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Bill Crim, a longtime advocate for Utah's poor, was named Thursday the new president and CEO of United Way Salt Lake.

Crim, who has worked for United Way (UWSL) in various capacities since 2004, was selected by unanimous vote of the agency's board after a nine-month national search and a pool of nearly 300 candidates, the United Way said in a news release.

The 48-year-old Crim assumes his new post July 1, although he will serve alongside retiring president and CEO Deborah Bayle until Aug. 21.

"This is the best decision for United Way of Salt Lake and will ensure that the organization is able to continue on its path to change the odds for at-risk kids and families in our community," said Allen Alexander, chairman of the UWSL board.

A graduate of the University of Utah, Crim came to UWSL after serving as executive director of the Utah Issues Center for Poverty Research and Action. He came to UWSL in 2004 to help Bayle in establishing and implementing transformative public policies at the state and local level.

"I have great respect for Bill and his many talents. He and I have worked closely together for the past 10 years; he is an exceptional leader who is ready to take on this role" Bayle said in a statement. "I have tremendous confidence in our leadership team here at United Way, and I know it will be a very smooth transition."

Bayle has been president and CEO of the United Way for 16 years. She announced her plans for retirement in February.

Bayle is credited by many as one of the organization's most innovative leaders, having transformed the agency from a fundraising organization to one focused on initiatives that foster communitywide social change and solve critical problems. Her leadership and innovation efforts have brought international recognition to the UWSL, including, most recently the Common Good Award for Innovation from United Way Worldwide.

"Without Deborah's influence and leadership, United Way of Salt Lake would not be the organization it is today," Alexander said. "And Bill Crim is a visionary leader who has the talents and the abilities necessary to take United Way to the next level of long-term community change. His leadership will enable United Way to continue to work toward its vision of being a powerful force for change by bringing together the private, public and nonprofit sectors to change the odds for kids and families."