There's nothing like a challenge to spur enthusiasm.

Shea Foldvary has both — the exuberance to succeed and drive to give the United Way of Fort Smith as much growth as humanly possible.

Foldvary is the agency's new Fort Smith United Way Director of Resource Development. He began his journey Dec. 2.

"This is the one job I told my family, if it ever came open, I would put my application in for," Foldvary said. "I can't wait!"

A political science major at the University of Central Arkansas, the 2008 Southside graduate has been intertwined within reach of the UW since his time at Weldon, Williams & Lick, a Fort Smith institution with deep ties to the United Way.

Foldvary ran successful campaigns and handled the special events from the company side of operations.

"To be honest, when I worked with Weldon, Williams & Lick, HR (human resources) did a campaign for United Way and the (Fort Smith) school system."

In the coming week, Foldvary will get a "hands on view" of how the United Way provides.

The United Way of Fort Smith helps 33 local agencies.

"It's kind of cool now, with this position, I get to see where the money is going," Foldvary said. "Going to these agencies and seeing their faces, I wish the public could see it every single day from the giving side. I think that's the biggest challenge, to get help to people."

The United Way of Fort Smith oversees 6½ counties, including two in Oklahoma — vast LeFlore County, which spans 1,609 square miles, and smaller (714 square miles) Sequoyah County.

The Arkansas Counties include Sebastian, Crawford, Logan, Franklin, and a portion of Scott County.

As director of Resource Development, Foldvary is responsible for developing and executing annual workplace campaigns, retaining and strengthening individual donor engagement, as well as identifying and cultivating donors.

Foldvary's task is somewhat daunting, bringing in new sponsors, and making a connection with the past, though he's hardly apprehensive.

"The trend seems to be going down in the community," Foldvary said. "It's not only cultivating the existing, but we're reaching out to donors who gave 5 to 10 years ago."

Foldvary's new opportunity became a reality after Fort Smith's former director, Penni Burns, was promoted to become President and CEO of the Crisis Intervention Center.

"He's got the right personality," Burns said. "It's new, young energy."

“Shea is a tremendous addition, and we feel very fortunate to have him join the team," Eddie Lee Herndon, President and CEO of United Way of Fort Smith said in a statement.

"Shea has been a wonderful volunteer and donor and will bring a strong passion to the mission and work of our United Way,” Herndon continued.

Foldvary began his career in Fort Smith working for Weldon, Williams & Lick, Inc. in the Human Resources Department, where he was responsible for leading both internal and external initiatives to raise money for United Way of Fort Smith Area, as well as being involved throughout the community.

In 2015, Foldvary was named the Campaign Coordinator of the Year for the United Way of Fort Smith Area. He also served as a volunteer on the United Way Community Investment Team, and was part of the very important process of grant funding to partner agencies.

Most recently, Foldvary was a practice manager for Mercy Fort Smith, overseeing the day-to-day operation of three medical clinics.

"Jim Walcott and Tracey Geren (former board members at Weldon, Williams & Lick) put me in the right spot to succeed," Foldvary said. "They said, 'You have a good personality for it.' That helped me excel, and prepared me for the three medical clinics I oversaw at Mercy."