Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana awarded the 2019 Diane Humphrey Award to Natalie Axel during the 12th Annual Women’s Champagne Brunch at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Established in 2012 and named in honor of its inaugural recipient, this special accolade recognizes women who demonstrate passionate volunteerism, strong community leadership, and a lifelong commitment to serving others.
Living, loving, and looking at life with an open heart. Mother Teresa notably said, “Faith in Action is Love – and Love in Action is Service.” Putting care and concern for others at the forefront, Natalie Axel quietly makes a significant impact everywhere she goes. Known for her compassionate nature, optimistic attitude, and cheerful personality, like Diane Humphrey, Natalie is a living legacy who devotes her time and energy to helping others and building a community. With kindness, honesty, and gratefulness at the core, she is a community leader, dedicated friend, and mentor to many.
Natalie Axel was born and raised in Kendallville, Indiana, where she currently resides with her husband Mike Axel. She is a wonderful mother to Drew, Trevor, Jordan, and Ben and a selfless friend to many— she doesn’t know a stranger! She has worked in HR and management but more importantly, she is the CEO of a large busy family, an active community volunteer, and simply put, a lover of life.
Over the last 18 years, she has volunteered for countless organizations. She was a board member for the Kendallville Area Chamber of Commerce, the President of Noble Leadership Academy, a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, a founding member and chairman of the Parkview Noble Patient and Family Advisory Council, and attended Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council meetings with her little sister Abby, just to name a few. Out of all of her experience, her family members can all agree that one specific organization is very close to her heart. Natalie became involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters in 2008 when she became a lunch buddy, at which time she was matched with her little sister, Abby. They started out in the lunch buddy program and eventually became community based. Abby and Natalie have shared meals, laughs, and lots of fun memories over the years. Earlier this year, Natalie was awarded “Big Sister of the Year” in Northeast Indiana. She loves her little sister Abby as one of her own and believes in her wholeheartedly.
Many wouldn’t know, but Natalie has faced several health challenges over the years. She overcomes each with grace and a smile on her face. When many would have lessened their load and emptied their plate, Natalie continued to be an active member of her community and selflessly
serve others. On top of her commitment to service, she has kept her busy family afloat. Her Twitter bio includes “CEO of a large busy family,” which sums up her role of motherhood perfectly. Her youngest son, Ben said, “Mom works hard at making everything run smoothly and to ensure everyone is happy and healthy, which can be very challenging with our busy family.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters is proud to celebrate and recognize Natalie Axel for her outstanding leadership and philanthropic efforts with the 2019 Diane Humphrey Award.