Mike Lunsford, President and CEO of Coldwell Banker Lunsford, has spent his 30-year career engaged in Delaware County—the community where he has chosen to raise his family, practice his faith, and grow his business. For him, giving back is an investment.
Since the beginning of his career, Lunsford has supported United Way. In 2003, he showed this support as a UWDC Campaign Chair, and he has continuously supported the organization’s mission.
“Effective giving requires thought and oversight,” Lunsford said. “Most people want to be good stewards, and United Way is all about making effective choices for the community served.”
Lunsford, a Muncie Central Bearcat and a 1974 graduate of Miami of Ohio, has been in the real estate business since 1978. Nearly 35 years after purchasing his company in 1983, he is proud to employ nearly 30 residential agents and three certified commercial brokers. Lunsford’s team has achieved a great deal in Delaware County, including redeveloping the 146,000 square foot Southway Center and converting the 250,000 square foot Daleville Outland Mall to the Heartland Business Center—before leasing or selling more than 90 percent of the resulting available space.
Given his position, Lunsford is quite literally rebuilding Muncie from the ground up.
“My hope is to connect and reconnect with people to update and communicate a fresh message about United Way’s purpose and vision,” he said. “Our community has a multitude of challenges, few of which have short-term solutions.”
Lunsford shares UWDC’s bold goal to combat generational poverty by bringing all the county’s third graders up to standard reading levels by 2024. With the support of his team, Lunsford sees this accomplishment coming to fruition by helping working families provide better educational environments for their children.
“We must continue a dialogue and invest in creating quality of life in a place where people are proud to live and work,” Lunsford said. “United Way is the best way to provide resources that help those in need and provide real opportunities for growth and prosperity.”
Delaware County has already seen this philosophy bear fruit. Out of 240 communities surveyed across the country, UWDC is one of only 15 showing significant progress in meeting its youth literacy goals.
“Financial investment is only the first step,” he said. “Community involvement is the engine that creates relationships. The more you give, the more you receive.”
Lunsford embodies these values, giving not only treasure, but time as a past Chair of the Indiana Real Estate Commission and the Real Estate Licensing Task Force. He also serves on the Meridian Health Service Investment Committee and Board of Directors, the Ball Memorial Foundation Board and Real Estate Committee, and the Chamber Economic Development Committee. His commitments to other community and nonprofit boards in the past are numerous.
“I’ve learned from my work with other Delaware County leaders that the opportunity to make an impact relies on your community,” said Lunsford. “Opportunity comes with investment in people. It’s an important one we must continue to foster.”