Ellen K. Annala, who has led the United Way of Central Indiana as CEO for 14 years, will retire next year, the not-for-profit announced Wednesday afternoon.
Annala, 67, told the United Way's board of directors that she will step down March 31 after 23 years with the organization.
Annala became the local United Way's first female CEO in 1998 after previously heading up the group's Community Service Council.
During her time as CEO, United Way has raised more than $837 million from annual campaigns, grants and other gifts. United Way's net assets have increased more than 300 percent during that time, and the group's endowment has grown from less than a $1 million to nearly $70 million.
Annala's retirement date will allow her to complete one more annual fundraising campaign. The group raised a record $40.6 million in its most recent campaign.
Annala said she did not have specific retirement plans, but decided the time is right for a "solid, thoughtful transition."
”I have loved this job as I have loved this community... This is a very demanding job .. .and requires full commitment and energy, and I'm ready to pass the torch to the next person," Annala said in an email to staff.
Among her accomplishments, Annala is credited with setting up United Way operations in Boone, Hancock, Hamilton, Hendricks and Morgan counties to better serve outlying counties
Before joining United Way, she was executive director of Big Sisters of Central Indiana for seven years. She also served as deputy director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission from 1980 to 1982.
David Resnick, former United Way board of directors chairman and managing partner of Indianapolis accounting firm Katz Sapper & Miller LLP, will head up a national search to find a replacement for Annala no later than February.