The Loss of a Leader: Elmer Harris

United Way of Central Alabama is saddened by the loss of an exceptional businessman, philanthropist and servant leader in the state of Alabama. Our condolences go out to the family of Elmer B. Harris, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Alabama Power Company.

Elmer and his wife Glenda, have had a long history of benevolence and philanthropy in our community, as well as throughout Alabama. Leading by example, Elmer and Glenda were the first members of the Million Dollar Legacy Circle at United Way by making a $1-million commitment to the endowment. Elmer provided a deep commitment to United Way, encouraging business leaders to support United Way’s Corporate Matching program by providing matching gifts to the endowment. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors (1999) and Chairman of United Way’s Fundraising Campaign (1995); and both Elmer and Glenda have been integral to the leadership and growth of United Way’s campaign in St. Clair County. In 2015, the Harrises received the Tocqueville Society Award, United Way’s highest recognition of philanthropy.

“While Elmer has seen the heights of the corporate world, his real passion is promoting and developing people around him,” said Drew Langloh, President & CEO, United Way of Central Alabama. “ I knew him when he was the CEO of Alabama Power and what he was most proud of was how the people around him excelled in the company.” Langloh added, “ I was fortunate to be one of his projects when I was younger. Any of us who has been ‘taken up’ as one of Elmer’s causes has been changed for the better. His real legacy is not his corporate accomplishments but the people whose lives he changed.”

The board and staff of United Way of Central Alabama are saddened by the community’s loss, and his legacy of service will continue to inspire others.