By: Juli Metzger—
Muncie, IN—Two members of the executive team of Muncie Power Products – longtime stalwart Liz Ludwick and a relative newcomer to Muncie Power and Muncie —Damon Elmore — will head up the 2019 United Way annual fundraising campaign.
“We could not be more excited about the 2019 campaign,” said 2019 Co-Chair Ludwick. “There is so much to be positive about in our community. For 40 years, I’ve been a supporter of United Way. I’ve seen its work firsthand and know the difference it can make.”
Muncie Power Products and its employees are no strangers to going all-in on community efforts and causes. The late Muncie Power Products CEO Hamer Shafer and his wife, Phyllis, built a legacy of philanthropy that is being continued by a new generation of employees with the work truck parts manufacturer. In addition to their headquarters here in Muncie, the company has a presence in Tulsa, Atlanta, Columbus, Philadelphia, Houston, Richmond, Visalia, California, and Fairmount, Indiana.
United Way in Delaware County has raised nearly $3 million over the last two years. Each of the campaigns in 2017 and 2018 surpassed its goal. Since 1925, the Delaware County community has given more than $275 million, in today’s dollars, to provide a lifeline to its neighbors in need. To conquer generational poverty, UWDC has adopted the bold goal that by 2024 all third graders will be reading at grade level—the single greatest indicator of a child’s success in school and life. Campaign contributions will be strategically invested in local programs to help put children on a pathway out of poverty through better educational outcomes.
UWDC has made huge strides in providing free, educational resources to local families. These strides include bringing Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library—a program providing children (ages newborn to five years old) with a free monthly, high-quality book—to Delaware County residents. There are almost 1,000 children enrolled in the program.
“United Way’s bold goal excites me,” 2019 Co-Chair Elmore explained. “I’m energized about helping community members with their most-pressing, urgent needs while addressing a root cause of generational poverty.”
Elmore is the Sr. Executive Director for People Strategy and General Counsel. He started with Muncie Power Products in 2017 and quickly became involved with community activities. Today, he serves on the boards of IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, the Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, the Cardinal Greenway, the Muncie Downtown Development Partnership, and as a Trustee with Ivy Tech Community College for Delaware and Henry Counties.
Since 2010, Ludwick has been executive administrative assistant to Muncie Power Products Chairman, CEO and President Ray Chambers. Previously, she held a similar position at the Office of University Development at Ball State University and before that was the longtime executive assistant to Kelly Stanley, when he was President and CEO of Ontario Corporation. Ludwick has also been active in the community having recently served for three terms on the Downtown Development Partnership Board and with fundraising efforts for Ball State University’s stadium renovation campaign, Motivate Our Minds and Muncie Civic Theatre.
“I am grateful to Liz and Damon who will use their time and talents to help us stand up and combat barriers contributing to generational poverty,” United Way President and CEO Jenni Marsh said. “They understand what we’re all about and are anxious to get started.”
In addition to Muncie Power Products employees chairing the campaign, the company’s Group Manager-Technology Solutions Group, Kevin Woehler, is the 2019-2020 chair of the United Way Board of Directors, having served on the board since 2016. Woehler holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from Ball State University.
“The kind of commitment Muncie Power Products makes to our community through their annual United Way support is truly incredible. As Muncie Power Products approaches their 85th anniversary, to commit the time and talents of three of their executive leadership team members to these critical community volunteer roles is amazing! We are so appreciative,” Marsh said.
About United Way of Delaware and Henry Counties
United Way of Delaware and Henry Counties focuses its resources on education, health, and financial stability. The non-profit fights to create lasting change in community conditions. With its bold goal to reach grade-level reading by 2024, United Way works to help children read at or above grade level by the end of their third-grade year. Learn more at invitedtoliveunited.org.