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Abbie Smith talks with people as she holds her son Jack after her concession speech on Election Day at the Democratic headquarters on Tuesday, Nov.r 5, 2019. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

The United Way Serving Howard and Tipton Counties’ board of directors announced today that its executive committee has reinstated Abbie Smith as the organization’s president and CEO, following her loss Tuesday in Kokomo’s mayoral race.

The reinstatement is effective immediately for Smith, who started her role as the local United Way’s leader in January 2013. She was not involved in any funding decisions or public engagements for the nonprofit after taking a leave of absence in January.

In recent months, she has worked as a consultant to the organization, taking on a further reduced role following her primary election victory.

Following Tuesday’s results, however, Smith will return to her leading role inside United Way. She was defeated by Republican Tyler Moore in the contest to be Kokomo’s next mayor; Moore gained 68% of the vote.

Libby O’Brien, former interim executive director, will resume her position of community development director, while Jeff Young, former interim president and CEO, will resume as board chairman, the organization announced.

“United Way welcomes Abbie back as president and CEO,” said Young in a statement.

“We look forward to her continued leadership and focus on addressing the community’s needs. I am excited to see United Way carry on the work of fighting for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community.”

Smith first acknowledged her reinstatement Tuesday night in the moments following her loss, saying, “I’ll be reinstated and then we’ll move forward.”

George Myers can be reached at 765-454-8585, by email at george.myers@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @gmyerskt.

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