Class of 2020 Endorsed Candidate: Amber Wertman
Amber Wertman, executive director for United Way of Central Ohio, is paving the way for women in leadership, running for office for the first time. As a leader for the Women United affinity group, she believes women leaders are essential to accelerating lasting change and she is committed to utilizing her political platform to drive solutions. If elected, Amber will continue to advocate for building safe vibrant neighborhoods, improving childhood development and to fight for women’s rights.
Meet the Candidate
1) In your interview with the Endorsement Committee, you shared a personal life experience that led you to the decision to run for office. Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
I believe that one of the greatest callings is that of a public servant. Born and raised in Crawford county, I want to give back by serving the county that has given so much to me. Having worked for our local United Way for the nearly eight years, as well as other for-impact organizations throughout my career, I know firsthand the needs of our county. This is what led me to run for office because I know that elected officials play a vital role in activating solutions. There are many ways to make Crawford County the best place it can be for all residents, and I know I have the skills needed to get the job done.
2) Many of you cited a family member whose strength was an inspiration to you. Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
“Everyone is a leader because everyone influences someone” – John Maxwell. I know this to be true, because of having amazing leaders growing up in Crawford County. My parents, grandparents and extended family taught me the value of hard work and being of good character. My father was a teacher and my mother is a registered nurse, which taught me the importance of service to others.
My grandfather, Charles Crall, was also a big influence in my life. He was a Crawford County Commissioner in the late 1980s. I remember my mother taking me to the courthouse to visit his office. I was in awe of the courthouse. It seemed so big, as places usually do when you are young. Today I am in awe of what he and the other commissioners were working towards back then, which was a better tomorrow for all of us.
3) Some of you are military veterans, some businesspeople, some professionals, some homemakers. How did one of these jobs shape who you are as a person and a leader?
I credit the leadership skills I possess today to my education and professional experiences. I am currently the Executive Director of United Way of North Central Ohio. Working for United Way allows me to do what I love; helping the community. I received my bachelor’s degree in business administration from Franklin University and am currently working towards my master’s degree in communications at Ashland University.
I have nearly twenty years of history working in the non-profit organization management industry. I am skilled in for-impact organizations, sales, event management, team building, fundraising and grant writing. I am a strong business professional with a Certificate of Nonprofit Board Consulting from BoardSource. I was appointed the first Executive Director of the Galion Historical Society in 2011 and in 2014 was named emerging leader of the year by the Crawford Partnership for Education & Economic Development. In 2016, I oversaw the successful merger of Crawford, Marion, and Wyandot counties thus forming the United Way of North Central Ohio, Inc. Today, I serve on the Area Agency on Aging District 5 Foundation Board, Galion Historical Society Board, Rotary Club of Marion Board and Third Street Family Health Services Board. These experiences and more continue to mold and make me into a better leader!
4) The Matriots PAC has a Big Hairy Audacious Goal to see 50% of all elected offices in Ohio held by women by 2028. What is your vision for Ohio in 2028?
Throughout my career, I have been in countless committee meetings, program training, and other agency events. Fortunately, I was not alone. Because behind every one of these meetings, trainings and events were busy and brilliant women. Women act and get things done. Today, at United Way, we run a Women United affinity group. We believe women leaders are essential to accelerating lasting change. The Matriots PAC believes this too. With so many different women’s groups coming together to encourage and support each other, I am confident that we will surpass the goal of 50% of elected offices on Ohio being held by women by 2028.
5) Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
I agree, all politics is local. In Crawford County, we have similar challenges that other counties in Ohio face. The top-two issues include providing education to close the skills gap occurring in today’s workforce and creating safe affordable housing, especially the increased senior population. These issues will not be solved easily, but forming a common agenda and action steps will help us to address the challenges together.
6) Now for fun: Tell us something personal about yourself. It can be a hobby, your favorite food, a funny pet story, something we might not know about you that you would like to share with our members.
I enjoy traveling, theater and singing. In high school, I had the opportunity to be in the American Christian Youth Chorale where I travel across the United States for the summer.
I enjoy time with my family most of all. I am the biggest cheerleader for my three sisters. They taught me from a young age what a group of ladies can do when they put their minds to it. But above all, my greatest joy is being a wife to Tim and mother to Logan.