United Way of Central Indiana Awards Young Professionals at ELEVATE fundraising event

INDIANAPOLIS – United Way of Central Indiana announced the winners of the 2020 ELEVATE Awards, presented by GEICO, during its signature fundraising event this evening. Winners were selected from a group of 15 finalists and nearly 100 nominees, ages 21-40, in five categories: outstanding board member; employee resource group; community ambassador; nonprofit employee; and volunteer.

“We congratulate these exceptional individuals who have demonstrated leadership, philanthropy and the ingenuity needed to move our community forward on important social causes,” said 2020 ELEVATE chair, Jamie Jansen. “They set the bar high for all of us as volunteers, advocates and donors of United Way.”

The winners of the 2020 ELEVATE awards are:

Board Member of the Year presented by Eli Lilly & Company
Marla Taylor, Taylor Advising on behalf of Brooke’s Place

Volunteer of the Year presented by Roche Diagnostics Corporation
Delano Robinson, Eli Lilly and Company on behalf of Black Data Processing Associates of Indianapolis

Nonprofit Employee of the Year presented by Katz, Sapper & Miller
Kelsey Burton, Executive Director, Paws & Think

Employee Resource Group of the Year presented by BMO Harris Bank
Roche Young Professionals at Roche

Community Ambassador of the Year presented by UPS
Sarah Myer, Indiana Sports Corp

This year the public was encouraged to vote for any of the 15 finalists for the ELEVATE 2020 People’s Choice Award Winner presented by OneAmerica. The inspiring recipient receiving the most votes was awarded $250 to donate to the 501(c)3 of their choice. With at least $1 per vote, the finalists raised over $4,000 towards the ELEVATE fundraising goal to support more programs addressing safe, affordable and equitable housing.

People’s Choice Award Winner
Luke Zhang, Data Scientist and Techpoint Fellow at DemandJump

“In the honorees, we can celebrate our community’s rising philanthropists and volunteers,” said Lauren Peterson, inaugural ELEVATE award winner and United Way of Central Indiana board member. “ELEVATE shines a spotlight on the extraordinary work of those that care most about ensuring Central Indiana is a sustainable, inclusive, and thriving community and thus inspires us all to be better stewards of this place we call home.”

In an addition to celebrating winners and finalists, attendees of ELEVATE participated in a community service project by packing emergency and transitional housing kits filled with essential items for donation to Horizon House.


About United Way of Central Indiana: United Way is a community of donors, advocates, volunteers, and partners who fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. United Way invites all members of our community to LIVE UNITED by giving, advocating and volunteering to improve lives in Central Indiana. Visit uwci.org to learn more.



Jennifer Hashem | Public Relations Manager

office: 317-921-1313 | cell: 563-271-4385