Sherry Archibald and Steve Parr

Sherry Archibald, left, director of the Paramount Theatre and Goldsboro Event Center for the past 11 years, has been hired as executive director of the United Way of Wayne County, effective March 11. She will succeed Steve Parr, right, who is retiring March 2 after 30 years in the position.

The director of the Paramount Theatre for more than a decade has been named executive director of the United Way of Wayne County.

Sherry Archibald, who also juggled duties as director of Goldsboro Event Center, succeeds Steve Parr, who announced to his board mid-August that he will retire March 2.

Archibald starts as United Way executive director on March 11.

Parr had been leading the nonprofit United Way agency for the past 30 years, starting in 1989.

Greg Shackelford, United Way board chairman, made the announcement Thursday morning, praising the new hire.

“I believe that our United Way under Sherry’s leadership will continue to set the pace for our neighboring United Way organizations,” he said. “Our critical talents and skill set for the next United Way executive included, more than anything, was to have a vision for community impact and to be able to leverage the strength of relationships and networks and to work across private, public and corporate sectors to improve the lives of people in our community.

“Sherry Archibald exceeded all of our expectations and demonstrates visible leadership, integrity, a willingness to go the extra mile, grant writing and resource development skills and the wisdom to get the job done.”

Archibald, who has spent the bulk of the past 18 years working for the city of Goldsboro, called the next chapter a “bittersweet” opportunity.

“The mission of the United Way has always been attractive to me,” she said. “I have enjoyed working with them in many capacities over the years.

“I love that this is an opportunity to provide support to the community in a more broad way.”

She marks her 11th year at the Paramount this month, but her affiliation with the city began much earlier, starting in 2000 with the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp.

“I was fortunate to be the first promotions coordinator, for seven years, then left for a year to work with Habitat for Humanity,” she said.

When the job as director of the Paramount came open in 2008, she applied. She said that working with the city has prepared her for the next chapter.

“The opportunity to work with boards and committees and local government has enriched my professional experience,” she said. “I developed lasting relationships with the community and the city leadership nurtured my passion for the community.”

She expressed appreciation for the guidance of assistant city managers Tasha Logan-Ford and Randy Guthrie, both her immediate supervisors during her time at the Paramount and businessman David Weil, a reliable “go-to” over the years, she said.

“Never intrusive but always supportive, (Weil) has spearheaded the (Paramount) Foundation from the beginning to provide additional support, allowing us to remain competitive in technology and programming,” she said.

As she met with staff on Wednesday to announce the news of her imminent departure, she said she shared with them what a privilege it has been serving alongside those who share a passion for improving Wayne County, as well as countless sponsors and volunteers.

In the weeks remaining before she changes jobs, she says she hopes to be able to assist city leadership in securing her successor and aiding in a smooth transition.

At the same time, she said she is looking forward to the new role with United Way.

“I love collaborating with different organizations,” she said. “There’s so much of that at the United Way, and it’s very exciting to be able to do that.

“I’m excited about the opportunity. It’s going to be an exciting challenge.”

Archibald grew up in Roanoke, Virginia. She moved to Goldsboro in 1999 with her husband, David, and son, Kenny, now 21 and serving in the Army. The couple also has a daughter, Mary, 16, a student at Wayne School of Engineering.

“This has definitely been home for me,” she said.

Archibald obtained her education from N.C. Wesleyan College, earning a bachelor of science degree in business administration and a bachelor of arts in psychology.

Among her accomplishments have been receiving the Advocate of the Year award by the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. in 2007, the North Carolina Main Street Champion Award in 2008 and the Distinguished Service Award from the Goldsboro Jaycees in 2010.

Professional memberships have included serving on boards for InJoy Thrift Stores, United Way of Wayne, N.C. Presenters Consortium and Paramount Theatre Foundation. She was also Junior Leadership council chair for Wayne County Chamber of Commerce and on the task force committee for the National Day of Prayer Wayne County.