United Through Reading Appoints Tim Farrell as Chief Executive Officer

October 6, 2022

October 6, 2022, San Diego, CA – United Through Reading, a national non-profit connecting military families through shared storytime, today announced the appointment of Tim Farrell as Chief Executive Officer. Farrell will succeed Dr. Sally Ann Zoll on October 17, 2022. Dr. Zoll is expected to remain in an advisory role until December 31, 2022, at which time she will retire after 16 years of service to military families as United Through Reading’s Chief Executive Officer and a career dedicated to promoting education and literacy.

Farrell most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Military Child Education Coalition® (MCEC®), a national non-profit that supports all military-connected children by educating, advocating, and collaborating to resolve education challenges associated with the military lifestyle. His background includes 23 years of service as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, where he rose to the rank of colonel, and more than a decade with non-profit organizations predominantly focused on military/veteran/family and educational missions. Farrell holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University and an MS in Administration from Central Michigan University.

“I am thrilled to join United Through Reading as it writes its next chapter. I look forward to working with United Through Reading’s extraordinary staff, Board of Trustees, volunteers, and supporters to build upon Sally’s incredible success over the past 16 years and to continue to champion shared reading in military families,” said Farrell.

“United Through Reading has a long track record of strengthening military families through shared reading, increasing literacy, and improving educational outcomes for children,” said Sean McHugh, Chair of the United Through Reading Board of Trustees. “Tim Farrell’s leadership in the military support community and his dedication to service make him an outstanding choice to ensure families stay connected through reading, no matter the distance between them.”

Under Dr. Zoll’s leadership, United Through Reading has thrived in fulfilling the incredibly important mission of connecting service members who are separated from their families due to deployment, training, or active-duty assignment through the act of reading aloud. Since she became CEO in 2007, UTR has delivered millions of bedtime stories to military families. These stories have touched more than 2.7 military family members in United Through Reading’s quest to make sure no military child goes to sleep without a bedtime story.

McHugh continued, “We’ve been honored to have Sally lead and improve the reach and capabilities of our organization over the last 16 years. We owe her a debt of gratitude and have no doubt that she will continue to support military families and UTR in her retirement. The entire board and staff of UTR wish her all the best as she spends well-earned time with her husband Jim and their wonderful family.”

“It has been my distinct honor to serve as CEO of United Through Reading and help millions of military and Veteran families to stay connected through the power of reading. Our team is dedicated to helping every single family love reading and keep reading, even when military life makes reading together difficult. I can’t wait to cheer them on as they continue this important work,” said Dr. Zoll.

Farrell was selected from a competitive pool of candidates through a process led by the United Through Reading Board of Trustees and executive search firm Koya Partners.


About United Through Reading
United Through Reading keeps military families reading ready, no matter the distance between them. Families stay connected through storytime video recordings and books sent to military families. These stories ease the stress of time apart due to military duty, maintain positive emotional connections, and cultivate a love of reading and early childhood literacy. Service members and veterans can record a story for their family at more than 200 United Through Reading recording locations worldwide, as well as on their mobile device with the free and secure reading app. Since 1989, 2.7 million military members and their families have benefited from the program.

Media inquiries: please email jessicahall@utr.org