Board Member

The daughter of Baptist missionaries, Sara grew up in South Korea where she lived from age 6 to age 18. She came to Birmingham to attend college and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Samford University and a Masters of Public Administration from The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Prior to assuming her current role at United Way, she worked for five years as a fundraiser for United Cerebral Palsy in Los Angeles and New York City. She returned to Birmingham to join United Way in December 2006 to run United Way’s agency relations and campaign allocations. In that capacity, she oversees the distribution of approximately $28,000,000 each year. She is also UWCA’s lead organizer for the Bold Goals Coalition of Central Alabama, a community-wide collaborative effort aimed at creating positive, measurable and community-level change in Health, Education and Financial Stability. Sara was recognized in 2018 as “Top Influencer Under 40” by Birmingham magazine and has served on the Boards of Directors for the Alabama Association of Nonprofits, Hands On Birmingham and is a graduate of Leadership Birmingham. She is married to Van Newell and they have two sons, ages eight and two.