United Way of Lake County announced this week that it has appointed Lactran CEO Ben Capelle as president of the 2021 campaign.
Capelle quickly emerged as a leader in mass transit in Ohio, starting an early career at age 18 when he was a student bus driver for the Portage Regional Transit Authority while attending college.
He transferred to Ohio State University where he held a managerial position as supervisor of student drivers, later earning a bachelor’s degree.
Prior to joining Laketran, Capelle was Executive Director of Clermont Transportation Connection, where he improved ridership by an average of 23% per year.
In 2012, Capelle joined Laketran as the agency’s director of operations, where he led the implementation of numerous technology upgrades, including the company’s navigation and GPS tracking, automatic locators of bus and online reservations for Dial-a-Ride.
Capelle has also spearheaded a 3-phase construction project to switch Laketran’s Dial-a-Ride fleet to propane, saving the agency 35% fuel consumption.
He was promoted to Deputy Managing Director of Laketran in April 2016 and assumed the role of CEO in August 2017.
“It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve our community as chair of the 2021 campaign of Lake County United Way, said Capelle. “United Way is our region’s social safety net and the best way to help as many people as possible here in Lake County.
“This was very evident during the novel coronavirus, when United Way responded quickly to support families struggling due to the setbacks caused by the economic impact of the pandemic and our most vulnerable residents who needed the services provided. new ways to stay safe at home. “
Among many other programs supported by UWLC during the pandemic, the nonprofit has partnered with Laketran and several other community organizations to assist homebound seniors in need of grocery shopping.
The initiative was led by Capelle and nearly 2,500 bags of groceries were delivered to help tackle food insecurity among older people who had nowhere to turn.
“Ben’s exceptional leadership skills, commitment to giving back and good humor make him perfect for the role of campaign chair,” said Jennifer McCarty, CEO of UWLC. “We are honored that he has agreed to lead our campaign so that we can continue to help children and families in need in Lake County. Since our two organizations are focused on improving Lake County, I think this will be a great partnership. “
Capelle graduated from Leadership Lake County and was nationally recognized as the Top 40 Under 40 by Mass Transit Magazine, in addition to the Top 4 Under 40 by the Ohio Public Transit Association.
He sits on the board of directors of the Lake County Council on Aging and volunteers with the Lake Humane Society to advocate for animal welfare.
Capelle also acts as a technology consultant to the Ohio Department of Transportation, serves on the boards of directors of the Ohio Transit Risk Pool, the Health Transit Pool of Ohio, the Ohio Public Transit Association, and NOACA, and is currently president of NEORide.
“I look forward to working with Lake County businesses, organizations and agencies to mobilize leadership and increase donations to the Lake County United Way,” he said. “My goal is to join them to meet the many needs of our friends and neighbors so that no one is alone. “