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United Way of Mower County names new executive director

The United Way of Mower County has named Molly Lanke as the new executive director, succeeding Diane Baker who stepped down earlier this year to take over as CEO of the YMCA.

Lanke has been the interim executive director since May 6 and previously held the role of marketing and resource development coordinator for the United Way since July 2017.

“We are extremely excited to have Molly as our executive director,” said Tami Yokiel, United Way of Mower County’s board chair, in a press release. “Molly has done a phenomenal job in the interim role and has shown great leadership skills and possesses high personal standards of integrity and character. She not only loves living in Austin, but also has a tremendous passion for serving people and continuing to move the United Way’s mission forward for the common good in the communities we serve within Mower County.”

Lanke has a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, where she also studied political science and received certification in leadership studies. Lanke obtained a mini MBA for nonprofit organizations from St. Thomas University in Minneapolis in June.


Looking Ahead: Look to Tuesday’s Austin Daily Herald for a full feature on Molly Lanke’s new role as executive director.


“This is an incredible opportunity with an organization, I feel deeply connected to in a community I have grown to love, so I couldn’t be more appreciative and excited,” Lanke said.  “I look forward to working alongside the Board of Directors to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of community and am confident there are great things to come.”

Lanke will transition in as executive director effective Monday, Aug. 5.

As CEO of the YMCA, Baker has been leading the Austin Community Recreation Center since May 3.

The United Way of Mower County provides resources to 54 local programs coordinated by 25 nonprofit agencies and connects volunteers to various needs in Mower County.