United Way of Lake County Announces 2021 Campaign Chair
United Way of Lake County (UWLC) has appointed Mr. Ben Capelle, CEO of Laketran, as the 2021 Campaign Chair.
Capelle quickly emerged as a transit leader in Ohio starting an early career at eighteen years old as a student bus driver for the Portage Regional Transit Authority while in college. He transferred to The Ohio State University where he earned a management role as the Supervisor of Student Drivers and graduated with a Bachelor of Science. Prior to joining Laketran, Capelle served as the Executive Director of Clermont Transportation Connection where he improved ridership by an average of twenty-three percent per year.
In 2012, Capelle joined Laketran as their Operations Manager where he led the implementation of many technology upgrades including the agency’s GPS navigation and tracking, automatic bus locators, and online reservations for Dial-a-Ride. Capelle also spearheaded a three-phase construction project to transition the Laketran’s Dial-a-Ride fleet to propane fuel which yields a thirty-five percent fuel savings for the agency.
He was promoted to Deputy General Manager of Laketran in April 2016 and to CEO in August 2017.
According to Capelle, “It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve our community as the 2021 Campaign Chair of United Way of Lake County. United Way is our region’s social safety net and the best way to help the most people here in Lake County. This was very apparent during the pandemic, when United Way responded quickly to support families that were struggling due to the setbacks brought on by the economic impact of the pandemic and to our most vulnerable residents who needed services delivered in new ways to remain safe at home.”
Among many other programs UWLC supported during the pandemic, the organization teamed up with Laketran and several other agencies to provide relief to homebound seniors in need of groceries. The initiative was led by Capelle, and nearly 2,500 bags of groceries were delivered to assist with food insecurity among seniors with nowhere else to turn.
Jennifer McCarty, President and CEO of United Way of Lake County emphasizes that, “Ben’s exceptional leadership skills, commitment to giving back, and good-natured disposition make him perfect for the role of campaign chair. We are honored he has agreed to lead our campaign so we may continue to provide help for Lake County children and families in need. Since both of our organizations focus on bettering Lake County, I believe this will be a great partnership.”
Capelle is a graduate of Leadership Lake County, was recognized nationally as Mass Transit Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40, and Ohio Public Transit Association’s Top 4 Under 40. He serves on the board of Lake County Council on Aging and volunteers for Lake Humane Society to advocate for animal welfare.
Capelle also serves as a technology consultant with the Ohio Department of Transportation. He serves on the board of Ohio Transit Risk Pool, Health Transit Pool of Ohio, Ohio Public Transit Association, NOACA and is current president of NEORide.
“I look forward to working together with Lake County businesses, organizations and agencies to mobilize leaders and increase giving to United Way of Lake County. My goal is to join them in meeting the many needs of our friends and neighbors so that no one stands alone,” Capelle added.