Former Indianapolis Power & Light Co. CEO Ann Murtlow will take the helm of the United Way of Central Indiana on April 1, the organization announced Wednesday afternoon.
Murtlow will replace United Way president and CEO Ellen Annala, who is retiring at the end of March after 23 years with the not-for-profit, including the last 15 as chief executive.
The 52-year-old Murtlow has been running her own business-strategy and leadership-development firm, AM Consulting LLC, since she stepped down as CEO of IPL in 2011.
She will take over an organization with a $70 million endowment that reported $52 million in revenue and $115 million in net assets at the end of the 2011 fiscal year.
"This United Way has a rich history of serving our community …," Murtlow said in a prepared statement. "I am delighted and honored to serve our community through the leadership of this important organization and to change lives for the better by helping people learn more, earn more and lead safe and healthy lives.”
The hiring was approved Wednesday by United Way's board of directors following the recommendation of a board-comprised selection committee that began its search last fall.
"We have a strong and effective United Way with a proud history," Samuel L. Odle, chair of United Way's board of directors, said in a prepared statement. "Ann will help take us to the next level. She knows our community and is passionate about United Way's mission. And, as a respected CEO, Ann will help enhance and grow our community collaborations to address and reduce local human needs."
The not-for-profit did not disclose how much Murtlow would be compensated. Annala made about $245,000 in 2011, according to public records.
Murtlow’s 30-year business career began at Washington, D.C.-based engineering and construction firm Bechtel Power Corp. after she collected a degree in chemical engineering from Lehigh University in 1982. She moved to Arlington, Va.-based AES Corp. in 1987 to head the power company’s environmental permitting activities for new power stations.
In 1997, she started a stint in AES’ London office, where she oversaw business development and operations in 22 European countries, as well as an environmental liaison to the corporate directors.
The New York City native moved to Indianapolis in 2002 to become president and CEO of IPL soon after AES acquired the local electric company. The appointment made her one of the few female utility CEOs in the United States. She spent nearly a decade leading the company during a tumultous time in the utility industry.
Over her professional career, she has accrued not-for-profit experience on the boards of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, the Indianapolis Zoo, the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, the Economic Club of Indiana and The Mind Trust.
She was also a board director for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, First Internet Bank, Great Plains Energy, Herff Jones and Wabash National Corp.
Volunteer work has included co-chairing the tissue-collection committee for Indy’s Super Cure, which was a partnership between the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee and the Susan B. Komen Tissue Bank.
Murtlow and her husband of 26 years, Jim, have a daughter, Ally, 22, and a son, Tyler, 18.