United Way of Central Indiana Recognizes Emerging Philanthropic Leaders

United Way’s ELEVATE presented by GEICO celebrates up and coming community game changers in central Indiana
United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) today announced the finalists for this year’s ELEVATE awards, an annual celebration of the next generation of philanthropists, volunteers and activists in Central Indiana.
More than 100 nominations were submitted across six recognition categories, including those honoring the top Community Ambassador; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advocate; Nonprofit Employee of the Year; and more. This year’s ELEVATE finalists are:
Community Ambassador
• Jo Garcia, Community Outreach Manager, Indianapolis Indians
• Sara Hindi, Community Engagement Coordinator, Exodus Refugee Immigration
• Ashley Miser, Vice President, IndyHub
DEI Advocate presented by GEICO
• Tiffany Kyser, Ph.D., Associate Director of Engagement & Partnerships, Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center
• Natalia Rodriguez-Hilt, Economic Mobility Officer, Local Initiatives Support Corp (LISC)
• Stephanie Singh, Director of Communications and Marketing, Town of Plainfield
Employee Resource Group presented by Eli Lilly and Company
• Corteva Agriscience DAWN (Disability Awareness Network) on behalf of Corteva Agriscience
• Cummins Black Network on behalf of Cummins, Inc.
• Lilly Pride on behalf of Eli Lilly and Company
Nonprofit Employee of the Year presented by Katz, Sapper & Miller
• Sarah Frey, Director of Development and Marketing, Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc.
• Kalvin Jones, Founder, Code Black Indy
• Mariana Lopez-Owens, Director of Development, Marketing and Communications, La Plaza, Inc.
Volunteer of the Year presented by Roche
• Jaden Brown, Director of Chapter Services, Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity on behalf of IndyHub
• Ryan Cutter, Private Equity Associate, CID Capital on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana
• Serena Van Orman, Program Administrator, Indians Diaper Bank on behalf of Families First
Volunteer Leader of the Year presented by BMO Harris Bank
• Rufus Cochran, Business System Analyst, Roche on behalf of Indiana Sciences/March for Science Indianapolis
• Amna Sohail, Senior Investment Analyst, Elevate Ventures on behalf of the Pass the torch for Women Foundation
• Leila Viera, Digital Marketing Manager, MJ Insurance on behalf of the United Negro College Fund of Indianapolis
“I’m continually impressed by the passion and dedication of our community’s emerging philanthropic leaders,” said Ann Murtlow, President and CEO of United Way of Central Indiana. “UWCI is proud to recognize the efforts of these young leaders working to make Indianapolis a better place for all.”
This year’s event theme is “Around the World in 90 Minutes” in recognition of Indianapolis’ sister cities of Campinas, Brazil; Monza, Italy and Taipei, Taiwan.
Proceeds from United Way’s ELEVATE presented by GEICO benefit United Way’s basic needs fund – a collection dedicated to providing critical supplies and support for people in crisis situations. In the last two years, ELEVATE has raised more than $145,000 to support individual and family access to safe and affordable housing, healthy food and nutrition programs, healthcare services, transportation and more.
This year, all ELEVATE finalists will also have the opportunity to be named the “People’s Choice”. Thanks to the generosity of award sponsor BGBC Partners, LLP, the “People’s Choice” winner will also receive $250 to donate to a Central Indiana nonprofit of their choice.  
Given the current guidelines for social distancing and in-person events in Central Indiana, United Way will host ELEVATE as a virtual event on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Those interested in attending can register at elevate.uwci.org/.
ELEVATE Event and Ticket Information
ELEVATE will be presented online for all to experience at no charge; however special VIP packages are available for those who prefer to elevate their support of United Way. Individuals can register at uwci.org/elevate.




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 www.uwci.org to learn more.

Jessica DiSanto | Senior Director of Communications at United Way of Central Indiana
Bryn Eudy | Vox Global