By: Rebecca Parker—
Muncie, IN— Whitely Community Council (WCC) will welcome its first Executive Director, Ken Hudson, in April. After a long and successful managerial career in the for-profit world, Hudson is looking forward to a new challenge and is ready to learn more about the nonprofit world and the Whitely Community. “I have worked in management or some form of leadership in all the jobs I have held in my past. They all have contributed to building the person that I am now and slowly growing to be.” Previously Hudson has held managerial positions in the restaurant industry and in retail. He holds degrees in both accounting and business management. “We’re so excited to have Ken in this position because he has a passion and enthusiasm that is contagious,” said Whitely Board President Frank Scott, “He also sees the value and power of teamwork and has a desire to bring people and groups together to accomplish like goals and projects.”
“I am eager to learn from the Whitely community,” said Hudson, “I want to help unlock the hidden jewels in our community and I believe that Whitley can be the catalyst for unity, growth, and inspiration that can make Muncie a leader among Indiana cities.” Accustomed to working 60 hours per week, Hudson isn’t afraid of the challenge. He has been reading up on non-profit fundraising and grant-writing in preparation for his intended career change, and is familiarizing himself with Whitely’s current projects. “Ken has expressed his desire to hit the ground running. Both Ken and I have expectations of not only increasing memberships but also small businesses and residential involvement. Whitely is moving in the direction of becoming self-sustaining without being self-contained and someone like Ken can help us bring a better quality of life and quality of place not only to Whitely residents but our entire community,” said Scott.
Hudson’s hiring is thanks to a generous grant from the George and Frances Ball Foundation. “My first month as Executive Director will involve a lot of relationship building and carving out a robust plan for growth and fundraising. I hope to build relationships and partnerships that will benefit this community and lay the groundwork to self-sustainability.” Hudson will be supported in these endeavors by an active board and strong volunteer base, “Our commitment is to insure that Ken has the tools and support he needs to help him be successful in this position,” said Scott. A long-term dream of Hudson’s is to help attract a strong business presence in Whitely, and to see new businesses “fill Martin Luther King Blvd.”
Hudson is an Indiana native, born in Michigan City, who made his home in Muncie after moving here in 2000 with his wife, Sylvia. Whitely reminds Ken of his hometown, and Whitely residents were the first to befriend him when he arrived, “The people here are very welcoming and friendly.” Hudson shares his home with his wife of 19 years, his 4 children (ages 5-11), and two dogs. He is inspired by Whitely’s story, and “how a group of caring individuals can come together, with their own unique personalities and backgrounds, for a common goal.” He hopes to work closely with residents and community partners to “achieve the greatest good” for the neighborhood and make it a beacon of hope within the wider Muncie community.