GRIFFITH | Angie Williams has been appointed director of allocations for Lake Area United Way.
She fills the post left vacant by Dave Sikes, who retired April 15 after completing nearly 28 years of service with the regional impact and fundraising organization.
Williams joins LAUW after serving seven years as executive director of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. She was instrumental in bringing many programs and initiatives to the food bank and drastically increasing the amount and quality of food to people in need.
“The combination of Angie’s management and leadership will be a huge asset as Lake Area United Way continues to expand its work focusing on education, income stability and health,” said Jeremy Miller, regional vice president of Centier Bank and chair of LAUW’s 2013 board of trustees.
Williams said her decision to leave the food bank is tinged with both sadness and excitement.
“I enjoyed seven wonderful years and I look forward to serving in my new position," Williams said.
Sikes was responsible for coordinating the distribution of millions of dollars to LAUW’s 28 member agencies and three regional initiatives, which help seniors, children, the disabled, the abused, the hungry, the homeless and others.
He said it’s time to take care of his family and himself.
Sikes joined Lake Area United Way on July 1, 1985. During his career, Sikes coordinated LAUW’s volunteer allocations process, overseeing the reinvestment of more than $100 million of donor contributions back into human services to help local people in need, officials said.
“The Lake Area United Way is truly losing one of our most dedicated people that perhaps has ever worked for us. Dave touched countless lives because of his dedication and effort to make Northwest Indiana a better place to live and work,” Miller said.
In 2008, Sikes was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer that currently has no cure.
“Five years ago, they said, ‘We think you have two to five years left’’,” Sikes said.
His illness is in remission.
Sikes said he is looking forward to spending more time with his wife, Rose, and their two children, Megan and Justin, and tending to his garden at their home in Hammond.
A lifelong Lake County resident, Sikes graduated from Griffith High School in 1966.
He served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam.
Through the years, Sikes received many awards and honors from organized labor and the United Way. In 1992, he was presented the Union Labor Award and was again recognized by the Northwest Indiana Federation of Labor in 2004.
In 2003, Sikes was presented United Way of America’s Staff Excellence Award, the highest honor given to a United Way professional. In 2009, he was given the St. Joseph the Worker Award from Calumet College of St. Joseph.
Sikes played a significant role in the aftermath of the 2008 floods that devastated parts of Northwest Indiana and affected nearly 18,000 residents. Through his efforts, Lake Area United Way received a $16 million grant from the Indiana Association of United Ways to help flood victims return to clean, sanitized and safe homes or in some cases, new homes.
Sikes said his decision to leave United Way is bittersweet, but that he is looking forward to this new chapter in his life.