The United Way leader served since 2015.
Dennis Burns, president and chief executive officer of the United Way of Volusia-Flagler Counties, died last weekend in Ormond Beach, where he resided.
“The entire UWVFC team mourns this loss and extends our deepest sympathies to his family,” Courtney Edgcomb, vice president, said in an email. “It was always the aspiration of Dennis to lead a local United Way.”
Burns is survived by his wife, Mary, and their three children.
Ormond Beach City Manager Joyce Shanahan, a United Way board member, said she is deeply saddened by his passing and knows he will be missed by all who knew him.
“Dennis was tirelessly dedicated to the mission of the United way and to our community,” she said. “His guidance and direction was immeasurable in transitioning our United Way to the Community Impact Model focusing on education, health and financial stability with measurable goals. Dennis was committed to service above self in all he did.”
Edgcomb credits him with increasing the community’s engagement with United Way.
“Dennis was an incredible leader that cared deeply for his local community,” she said. “He believed in the mission of United Way and in seeing a more prosperous life for all.”
Burns led the local United Way since Nov. 2, 2015, replacing Ray Salazar. John Walsh, Observer publisher, was on the selection committee.
“Burns was a perfect fit for the Volusia-Flagler United Way because he brought years of experience gained while he worked his way up to a leadership role at another, larger, United Way Chapter,” Walsh said. “Hiring Dennis Burns as the executive director was a unanimous vote of the committee members.”
Edgcomb said Burns was very grateful to the Volusia-Flagler community for their expression of confidence in him.
“He was an amazing leader, an advocate for this community and supporter of the United Way mission,” she said.
Burns grew up in Hornell, New York, and graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in communications. After working for the Orlando Sentinel, he worked for the Heart of Florida United Way.
Locally, he was involved with Flagler Cares, Commission on Homelessness for Volusia & Flagler Counties, One Voice for Volusia, VMA Education Committee, Leadership Daytona and Daytona Beach Rotary.
Arrangements have not been made, and the UWVFC team is in contact with the family.