ASTORIA— At the end of January, Jennifer Holen stepped down from her five-year tenure as executive director of United Way of Clatsop County. The new executive director will be Kassia Nye, the organization’s former workplace campaign coordinator.

Holen left United Way in order to turn her attention toward her family’s restaurant, Nekst, which offers global street food next door to the location of their previous restaurant, Baked Alaska.

Holen started volunteering for United Way in 2005, then served on the board of directors for seven years before she became executive director in 2015. During her time in that position, Holen and the board created the fundraiser Iron Chef Goes Coastal, which has raised more than $750,000 over the years. The Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce awarded Holen with the 2018 George Award for her community service.

Nye has also raised money for nonprofit organizations for about 20 years. Nye previously worked with the Columbia Memorial Hospital Foundation, running its annual gifts program before becoming interim director. She is also the president of the Astoria Parks, Recreation and Community Foundation, which raises funds for scholarships for the aquatic center and youth sports, as well as local trails. She started at United Way in October and became the executive director Feb. 1.

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