Marion has a longtime passionate servant leader in Steve Wright. Wright has lived most of his life in Marion. He was born in Kentucky, moved to Columbus, Indiana, then planted roots in Marion at age 14. He attended the former Washington Jr. High, then Marion High School, and graduated in 1973. Wright went straight to work for Indiana Michigan Power, devoting 20 years with them. He also started his own businesses, Wright’s Family Video, and later a video production company / ad agency which he operated for six years. At that time, one of his clients, General Motors, asked him to join their staff as a Communications Coordinator. From 1999 until 2018, he worked for GM, the last six years of his tenure traveling and working with dealerships as a district sales manager.
While gone, Wright missed his family and friends in Marion. Upon retirement, he and his wife, Cindy, moved back home to be with them and to again get involved volunteering for the community. Of the plethora of organizations Wright served with over the years, he chose to focus strictly on two of them most dear to his heart…
From the inception of the Walkway of Lights, Wright has been behind the wintery scenes. From 1993 until present – aside from the few years he lived out of state – he has worked to make the worldwide attraction what it is today, from raising funds to making important decisions with the committee. In 2019, he and the committee and the City worked together to create a magical movement with the annual event – adding a downtown festival with two main sites, rerouting the parade to canvas the downtown, and nearly doubling parade participation. Since the event did not occur in 2020 due to the pandemic, Wright plans to “take it up a notch” in 2021.
Wright also decided to keep serving with the Marion Easter Pageant planning committee. Following decades of helping one of Marion’s most special events come to life, he expressed a desire to continue to help fulfill the Easter Pageant’s mission to tell the story of Jesus Christ.
Marion has also been the recipient of Wright’s dedicated service chairing the Marion-Grant County Chamber of Commerce, Grant County Economic Growth Council, Grant County Jail’s Chaplaincy Program, and also serving on the United Way of Grant County Board. He also attends Sunnycrest Baptist Church where he dedicated many years toward their TV ministry. Wright is also a three-term City Councilman, even serving as President and Council Liaison for the Utility Service Board. He is also serving an interim role as Executive Director for the Grant County Family YMCA which serves many needs of youth and families.
In July of 2020, Wright contracted and conquered the COVID-19 virus. After a lengthy battle including several nights in the hospital, he recovered and shared his story publicly. “I couldn’t have asked for better care from MGH. My advice is to not wait to get medical care. The virus is real and serious.”
Wright is a champion of many things…even overcoming the coronavirus…but he has an overarching love for the Marion community overall. “This is a place that if you want to get involved, you can. I returned because I like to be involved, and be with the people here. The other places I’ve lived were nice, but there is no place like home.”
Wright and his wife have two children and five grandchildren, all living within a mile in Marion.