CONTACT: Mary Kinney
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 18, 2012 after 5 p.m.
UNITED WAY OF CENTRAL INDIANA'S LEADER ELLEN ANNALA TO RETIRE MARCH 2013
INDIANAPOLIS – July 18, 2012 ... Ellen K. Annala today announced to United Way of Central Indiana's board of directors and staff that she will retire effective March 31, 2013. Annala's retirement will complete 23 years in leadership of the organization that helps people learn more, earn more and lead safe and healthy lives in the six-county region.
The first female to become chief executive of United Way of Central Indiana in 1998 after a national search, Annala previously headed up United Way's then Community Service Council. During her tenure, United Way has raised more than $837 million for the community in annual campaign, grants and other giving. Net assets have increased more than 300 percent, including an endowment that increased from less than a million to nearly $70 million.
In an email announcement to staff, Annala listed United Way's focus on helping more children succeed in school, support for a strong network of human service agencies, and greater focus on results as highlights. Also on a list of "accomplishments our organization can take pride in achieving together" are creation of an endowment, increased efficiencies and use of technology, greater emphasis on volunteerism, and responding to a changing marketplace.
Annala is credited with deploying staff and setting up United Way operations in Boone, Hancock, Hamilton, Hendricks and Morgan counties to better serve the outlying counties and improve giving and volunteering opportunities. And, the Indiana Association of United Ways attributes her leadership in shaping
During Annala's presidency, United Way has twice (2011, 2012) achieved the coveted Best Places to Work in Indiana distinction. Her leadership has twice put her in the IBJ's list of Most Influential Women (1996, 2007) as well as earning IBJ's Women in the Lead award in 2002. And, in 2011 she was chosen a Torchbearer honoree in Indiana's Salute to Women.
"Ellen's deep and wide grasp of our community and its needs has been a tremendous asset," said Samuel L. Odle, chairman of United Way's board of directors. "She has strengthened United Way's ability to meet today's human service needs by raising millions of dollars, while also working with others in the community to reduce tomorrow's needs."
Annala said she has not yet made specific retirement plans, but decided the time is right for a "solid, thoughtful transition." Last year, United Way completed a new strategic direction, passed the $40 million annual campaign mark for the first time, and has embarked on a long-term plan to improve child care quality.
"I have loved this job as I have loved this community...This is a very demanding job...and requires full commitment and energy, and I'm ready to pass the torch to the next person," wrote Annala to staff.
Nationally, Annala has also been active in leadership of the United Way movement as part of a team that upgraded standards in 2003 to assure quality performance and integrity among United Ways. She was part of the National Professional Council, a leadership group of 60 United Way CEOs.
"Ellen Annala exemplifies what we throughout the United Way network refer to as a good system citizen," said Brian Gallagher, president and CEO, United Way Worldwide. "She cares for community first, organization second, and herself last. Ellen represents United Way not only in Indianapolis and Central Indiana but throughout the United States and even globally. Currently she serves on United Way Worldwide’s National Professional Council and in that capacity brings thought-leadership to United Way’s work in education, income and health around the world. All of us in the United Way network are grateful for all she has done and all she will do to ensure the continued future success of United Way of Central Indiana."
Before joining United Way, Annala was executive director of Big Sisters of Central Indiana for seven years. She also served as deputy director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission from 1980-1982.
David Resnick, former United Way board of directors chair and managing partner, Katz, Sapper & Miller LLP, will head up a national search committee with a new leader to be chosen no later than February 2013.