Mary Cooksey, serves as the Community Resource Center director for the United Way of Abilene, which is home to 2-1-1 Texas A Call for Help. As the resource center director since 2004, Cooksey is responsible for leading a collaboration of the United Way of Abilene, City of Abilene, Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas Board, and Texas Health and Human Service Commission.
Cooksey works with staff and volunteers to guide the nationally accredited organization in providing information and referral services for the 19-counties of West Central Texas, as part of the statewide 2-1-1 Texas system. People dial 2-1-1 to reach this free, confidential, public service, 24-hours a day in more than 90 languages.
A native of Minot, North Dakota, Cooksey earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications Arts. She began her career life in broadcasting. Cooksey held a variety of operational, marketing and sales positions for public and commercial television stations in North Dakota. Coming to Texas in 1985 to work at KRBC-TV, Cooksey went on to be named the first director of the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL).
Cooksey made another career change in 2000, when she joined the United Way of Abilene as the Campaign Director. After leading four community campaigns that each raised more than $2 million dollars, she took the opportunity to coordinate the start-up of 2-1-1 in West Central Texas. She now serves on several state and national boards and committees for the advancement of Information and Referral services.
Mary, and her husband Vance, have two grown children.