Mark Franklin’s dedication to United Way was honored with the Mary Alice Gray Memorial Award at the 2016-2017 Campaign Kick-Off. This award is presented annually for extraordinary volunteer service.
Franklin, Region President of German American Bank, joined the United Way Board as Treasurer, and then served as Board President. During his service as Board President, Franklin spearheaded several programs including the Loaned Executive Program, which recruits talented individuals from area businesses to assist with growing workplace campaigns. He also was instrumental in the development of the Priority Funds, which allow donors to focus their giving in one of United Way's three core areas: Education, Earnings Stability, and the Essentials. Under Franklin’s volunteer leadership, United Way expanded its work, particularly its education and financial stability initiatives, to Owen County.
At the luncheon, United Way Executive Director Barry Lessow remarked, "Service involves doing, but it also requires a clear vision, and we are honored to recognize Mark Franklin for putting his personal energy into ensuring every child has the right start in life and every family has the opportunity for economic mobility."