Chris Kerrigan

Chris Kerrigan is stepping down after 20 years as CEO of Trident United Way. Provided/TUW

The leader of one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the Lowcountry is stepping down.

Chris Kerrigan announced he will retire as president and chief executive officer of Trident United Way in early 2019. He started with the North Charleston-based group 20 year ago.

Kerrigan announced the decision to his board of directors Thursday morning.

“I’m extremely proud of the work our dedicated board, staff, funded partners and volunteers have done in advancing the critical mission of ensuring all of our neighbors have opportunities in education, financial stability and health and grateful to have been a part of it,” Kerrigan said in a written statement Friday. 

Under his leadership, Trident United Way pivoted from its traditional role as a funding group to what it calls a "community connector" that collaborates with for-profit, government and nonprofit agencies to address key big-picture issues. Its main focus is on education, financial stability and health care.

Kerrigan has been with United Way for 30 years. Before coming to Charleston, he worked in various roles for the group in Maryland, North Carolina and Washington, D.C. 

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Trident United Way will conduct a national search for its next CEO, according to board chair P.J. Browning, publisher of The Post and Courier. Kerrigan will remain with the nonprofit through the transition period.

Browning said the board "is incredibly grateful" of its outgoing CEO's service.

“He has made so many significant contributions to the tri-county community and we are proud to have grown alongside him," she said. "We wish him the best as he moves into retirement and look forward to carrying his vision for this community on through our next CEO.”

Contact John McDermott at 843-937-5572 or follow him on Twitter at @byjohnmcdermott