Young Professionals Take Home Awards at Inaugural ELEVATE Event

United Way of Central Indiana announced the winners of the inaugural ELEVATE Awards during its signature fundraising event on Saturday, March 2. Winners were selected from a group of 15 finalists and over 100 nominees, ages 21-40, in five categories: outstanding board member; employee resource group; innovator; nonprofit professional; 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 ELEVATE chair, Kaylin Dedinsky. “They set the bar high for all of us as volunteers, advocates and donors of United Way.”


The winners of the 2019 ELEVATE awards are:


Board Member of the Year presented by Eli Lilly & Company

Lauren Petersen, TechPoint on behalf of Partners in Housing


Employee Resource Group of the Year presented by Becknell Industrial

BOLDForce at Salesforce


Innovator of the Year presented by UPS

Ronni Kloth, Lilly Endowment Inc. for the Strengthening Indianapolis Through Arts and Cultural Innovation Grant


Nonprofit Professional of the Year presented by Strada Education Network

Dave Neff, EDGE Mentoring


Volunteer of the Year presented by Roche Diagnostics Corporation

Katie Bailey, Indiana University Public Policy Institute on behalf of the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic


“In the honorees we get a glimpse of what’s possible,” said Marshawn Wolley, ELEVATE Judge and Director of Community Engagement and Strategic Initiatives at IUPUI. “Through the ELEVATE Awards, United Way has found a diverse group of young leaders whose stories challenge us and show us what it means to be committed to an organization or cause.”


In an addition to celebrating winners and finalists, attendees of ELEVATE participated in a community service project by packing 500 backpacks filled with healthy food and essential hygiene items for students at the Edna Martin Christian Center.