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Demel named new United Way director

POSTED May 16, 2017 1:57 p.m.

 The United Way of Central Kansas announced Tuesday that Gaila (Nielsen) Demel from Ellinwood will be the new executive director for UWCK. She will begin her duties June 1.

Demel has been involved with the Ellinwood community for more than 40 years. She was inspired by the opportunities and involvement she had with UWCK as a United Way Agency in her previous position with ElderCare Inc. 

“Gaila quickly developed a deep passion for the charitable work and mission of her fellow not-for-profit partner agencies in her time with ElderCare and the partnership between the agencies UWCK supports,” a news release from UWCK stated. 

She has worked on various projects with the UWCK including Stuff the Bus and Boxes of Love. She accompanied current Executive Director Julie Bugner-Smith on numerous payroll campaign presentations for the last two years.

“These are big shoes to fill and I’m so humbled by this opportunity,” Demel said. “The organization of the day-to-day duties is ready and waiting for the startup with a new campaign. This is just a great time to begin this journey.”

Demel is a member of the Ellinwood City Council, a Great Bend Chamber of Commerce ambassador and member of the chamber Board of Directors, and a board member of Housing Opportunities Inc.

Her 24-year career path ranges from sales and operations for a large assisted living provider to the front desk at the Ellinwood Grade School.

“It is my nature to help people find answers and to work hard to meet goals,” Demel said.

Recently married, Demel and her husband Maurice reside in Ellinwood and enjoy spending time with family and friends, gardening and day trips throughout Kansas.

“We want to welcome Gaila with open arms,” said Desa Marmie-Behr, president of the UWCK board. “Her leadership, passion and life experiences made her the ideal choice to take over our United Way.” 

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