Jim Goodling taking over direction of United Fund

There is a changing of the guard at the United Fund of Warren County.

Director Mike Hostovich will hand over the reins of the operation to Jim Goodling on July 12.

Hostovich has been the director of the United Fund, which accepts contributions and distributes them to its many member agencies, for 10 years.

“The United Fund has been good for me over the past 10 years,” Hostovich said. “I would like to think that I have also been good for the United Fund.”

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end,” he said, quoting the 1990s alternative rock band Semisonic. “I have decided it’s time for a new beginning.”

Gardening, fishing, and household projects will be some of his priorities in that new beginning, he said.

“I’ve been contemplating retirement for the past couple years,” Hostovich said. “One of my concerns was, “Who’s going to replace me in such an important position?”

“I am very confident that I am passing the torch to the right person,” he said.

Although Goodling has spent most of his life elsewhere, he considers Warren home. “I met my wife here, we got married here, we had kids here,” he said.

In the early 1980s, Goodling was Warren Borough assistant manager. He was also the Warren County planning director for 10 years.

More recently, he was the first director of Leadership Warren County.

“I was retiring at that point,” he said. “Leadership Warren County was a part-time job. It sounded really interesting.”

With his background in local government, he was a good fit. “It was my favorite job… other than this one,” he said Wednesday.

Between his four years with Leadership Warren County and his new post at the United Fund, Goodling served as director of downtown projects for Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.

When he heard of the United Fund job, he was enthused.

“To work in the spirit of generosity that Warren embodies… I think that’s a great opportunity,” Goodling said. “That’s what was exciting to me about coming into the position.”

He is impressed by the United Fund’s ability to consistently meet its lofty fund-raising goals even during lean years. “Given the economic circumstances, I think it’s remarkable,” he said.

Hostovich is more than satisfied with his replacement.

“Over the past week or so, since Jim officially accepted the job,” the public has shared nothing but kind words for Goodling, he said. “Everybody knows Jim. He’s a good guy.”

“The United Fund got the right director,” Hostovich said.