Posted by: Kallie Sulanke  | Aug/26/2020

Jim Williams Named the 2020 Recipient of The Community Foundation’s David Sursa Leadership Award

The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Inc. has announced that Jim Williams has been awarded the 2020 David Sursa Leadership Award to recognize his dedicated service to Muncie Community Schools.

Williams was nominated by Muncie Community Schools and Ball State University for his service on the Muncie Community School Board since 2018. He assumed this role shortly after the Ball State University and Muncie Community Schools partnership was approved by the Indiana State Legislature. This landmark decision led to a new seven-member school board who would navigate the uncharted territory. Williams did not hesitate to step up and lead this effort.

According to his nominations, Williams has acted as a champion for Muncie Community Schools by sharing positive stories about the schools, teachers and students through opinion pieces featured in local media, and during conversations with funders and community leaders. By accepting a role on the Muncie Community School Board, Williams understood that development of financial and human resources would be an essential responsibility. Under the leadership of Williams, Muncie Community Schools has received over $5.2 million in pledges and grants to support their work toward their mission.

“Mr. Williams orchestrates ongoing communications with skill, courage, civility, and compassion towards all,” wrote Muncie Community Schools CEO Lee Ann Kwiatkowski. “As a life-long learner, he constantly studies educational books and articles and engages with education experts from across the country to ascertain innovative best practices to bring to MCS. Through Jim’s willingness to take charge and lead, our community, school faculty, and the board merged as a united team incorporating strong collaboration and mutual trust.”

In addition to his role on the Muncie Community School Board, Williams serves as chairperson for the BY5 board of directors. He is a partner of DeFur Voran. He handled juvenile cases and developed education programs for children in Union County as a circuit court judge from 1998 to 2008. He has volunteered with area youth, teaching vocabulary to first graders and educating high school students about business law. He has also served on boards for the Ball State University Foundation and Habitat for Humanity.

Williams was surprised with the award on August 25 during the Muncie Community School’s board meeting. Each year, the Foundation reviews nominations for high caliber community leaders that deserve recognition. We are pleased to share the names of the other finalists for the David Sursa Leadership Award. Finalists for 2020 include:

  • Cindy Davis, Psi Iota Xi
  • Scott McKee, A Better Way Services, Inc.
  • Juli Metzger, Indiana Youth Institute
  • Keith Miller, Urban Light Community Development Corporation
  • Jim Trulock, Muncie Civic Theater

The David Sursa Leadership Award was established in memory of the Foundation’s first leader. As Founding President, David Sursa blazed the trail for The Community Foundation. His visionary leadership contributed significantly to the success of the Foundation and to the generous support it has provided to our community. The annual program rewards, recognizes, and encourages extraordinary nonprofit leadership by a board member displaying the characteristics and commitment to community expressed by Mr. Sursa during his lifetime.

Additionally, in David Sursa’s honor and to commemorate the award, The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County awarded a $1,000 grant to Muncie Community Schools.

For more information about the David Sursa Leadership Award, please visit The Community Foundation’s website at cfmdin.org or contact Kallie Sulanke, Community Engagement Officer at ksulanke@cfmdin.org.