Yesterday evening, Alan Winslow was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Leadership Evansville’s annual Celebration of Leadership. It was well deserved.
Alan has spent 95 years learning, serving, and contributing to the betterment of our city. Alan continues to play an important role in our community by being active in multiple local and national organizations including Patchwork Central, HOPE of Evansville, and CoCoDA.
Alan has been involved with Patchwork since he helped our founders locate resources they needed to get our organization started. In 1983, Alan created the Neighborhood Economic Development Center (NEDC) at Patchwork. Alan spent decades running NEDC, which taught classes on how to open a small business, helped people create their own business plans, and helped them secure loans in order to open their own small businesses. The individuals who participated in NEDC’s programs were people who had dreams of owning their own business but did not have access to classes on how to write a business plan and were considered too high risk for banks to lend them start-up money. As a result of Alan’s work with NEDC, hundreds of people were able to try owning their own business, and many of these businesses still exist in Evansville today. NEDC eventually grew to become an organization called Our Greater Community which later merged with HOPE of Evansville.
Alan has also been a leader in getting delegations from Evansville to go to El Salvador as part of exchanges meant to build cross-cultural understanding and to help small villages in El Salvador finance projects to provide potable water to their residents. Alan’s last trip to El Salvador was when he was 90, but he continues to help the organization called CoCoDA build partnerships between people in El Salvador and people in Evansville.
Alan embodies servant leadership. He inspires others to a common vision, he practices collaborative leadership, he embraces diversity, and he goes above and beyond to impact the community. Even at 95, he continues to listen to and learn from people whose backgrounds differ from his own. And, he continues to motivate his fellow citizens toward a vision for a healthy Evansville that does not forget the needs of its low income and marginalized residents.
Below is a video about Alan that we created for last year’s celebration of Alan’s 95th birthday and Patchwork Central’s 40th anniversary.