Kelly Doucet joins Leadership Indianapolis

We are thrilled to have Kelly Doucet join Leadership Indianapolis as Office Manager & Executive Assistant!

An Indiana native, Kelly’s vast experiences in Marketing, Education, Elder Care and the Hospitality industry have given her a unique perspective on leadership and relationship development. Kelly firmly believes that a good leader must be a great listener, and be someone with a willingness and a heart to serve. Kelly’s experiences have allowed her to develop a passion for community, and the ways in which individuals across the lifespan can both contribute to and be served by innovative initiatives which engage individuals and activate their desire to actively seek to achieve progress on both the personal and community levels.

A proud graduate of Ball State University, Kelly earned a B.S. in Hospitality and Food Management. She currently serves as a member of the Indianapolis Chapter of the Ball State Alumni Association, and as a board member of the Ball State University Black Alumni Constituent Society. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys discovering the hidden wonders of Indianapolis, and exploring foodie havens with her family and friends.

Welcome to the LI team, Kelly!

Leadership Indianapolis names Rebecca King president and CEO

The Leadership Indianapolis board of directors today announced that Rebecca King has been named president and CEO of the leadership training and deployment organization.

King knows the organization well. For the past four years, she has been vice president of programs and alumni relations for Leadership Indianapolis and director of its flagship program, the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series. In that role, she has been responsible for overall direction and curriculum development, including opportunities for alumni. King is also a graduate of the SKL program’s Class XXXVII.

King replaces Christina Hale, who left Leadership Indianapolis to head youth leadership programs for her previous employer, Kiwanis International.

“At Leadership Indianapolis, we strive to educate, inspire, and mobilize community leaders to serve and strengthen greater Indianapolis,” said Board Chair Joe Smith, an attorney with Faegre Baker & Daniels. “We’re delighted to have Rebecca at the helm. She’s truly lived the mission of volunteer leadership, not only with our organization, but also through her personal life and career.”

“Leadership Indianapolis plays an important role in our city, especially at this point in time,” said King. “Communities around the country, including ours, are facing serious issues that require strong community leadership. All you have to do is turn on the news or check your Twitter feed to see that it is critical we have new and seasoned community leaders who represent diverse perspectives and experiences, and who engage in civil discourse about our most pressing civic issues.

“I am thrilled to lead this organization as we invite new voices into the conversation, immerse them in community issues, and connect them with opportunities to serve and strengthen Indianapolis.”

A graduate of Point Park University and the IU Lilly School of Philanthropy, King was, for fifteen years before joining Leadership Indianapolis, co-owner and CEO of Theater of Inclusion.

As a volunteer, King practices what she teaches at Leadership Indianapolis. She is currently an Indianapolis Foundation Fellow, a board member of the Indiana Repertory Theatre, and co-chairs the partner and agency engagement committee for the United Way of Central Indiana 100th Anniversary.

King’s past community volunteer experience includes the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Diving Trials, the 2015 and 2016 P&G Gymnastics Championships, Plan 2020, Tedx Indianapolis, the Carmel Arts Council, and United Way of Central Indiana.

Leadership Indianapolis, established in 2013, combined the long-established programs of the Stanley K. Lacy Leadership Series (SKL) and the Lacy Leadership Association. In recent years, Leadership Indianapolis has operated:

  • SKL (a 10-month program for emerging community leaders),
  • Opportunity Indianapolis, (a two-day community orientation program),
  • LEAD, (a four-part skill-enhancing session for emerging and experienced leaders),
  • Civic Boot Camp (for young professionals),
  • Civic Leadership Summit (leaders addressing issues affecting Indianapolis),
  • Get on Board (matches prospective leaders with nonprofit board opportunities).

Rebecca King, Leadership Indianapolis

Alumni Feature: SKL Class XLI

As last year’s SKL class year drew to a close, the class members decided they wanted to continue learning with and from one another. So SKL Class XLI gathered last week – now 4 months after becoming our newest-minted SKL class – for their first Forum Session.

The class has planned for their first year post-graduation three Forum Sessions exploring a given topic, plus 2 social events. At their closing retreat this summer, the group was especially interested in building further their relationships and exploring additional topics not covered during the class year. Their recent Forum Session was titled “The changing role of media in the community” and explored the intersection between the media landscape, politics, and the first amendment.

Donor Feature: Julie Burns

Why do you give to Leadership Indianapolis?

“Through SKL, I had the opportunity to engage with a diverse group of young professionals who wanted to impact their community in a positive way. I continued to see the positive impact leaders could have in our community. I continue to support Leadership Indianapolis today, because I think that by exposing community focused people to opportunities to develop these skills, we have a better chance at solving the problems we have in our community.”

Why is civic leadership important to you?

“Civic Leadership is a positive way to engage with a community. It’s how we make our world a little better and hopefully improve it for the next generation. I have always found in any volunteer role I participated in that I get much more out of it than I give.”

How has being a civic leader brought more meaning/impact to your life?

“I think in my current role at Jump IN for Healthy Kids, I am better prepared to give the most to my community and hopefully improve the health of our kids today before it negatively impacts them as adults.”

As Chief Executive Officer for Jump IN for Healthy Kids, Julie is a great representative of the difference our alumni are making in our community. Will you join Julie with your gift to Leadership Indianapolis to make a difference today for tomorrow’s leaders? 

Your contribution to Leadership Indianapolis makes it possible to continue informing, inspiring and educating tomorrow’s leaders to make a difference in our community. Please consider giving or renewing your support by donating here or contacting Jody Dedon, CFRE, Director of Advancement, at 317-860-3672 or

Welcome SKL Class XLII

Carolene Mays-Medley has been named the moderator for SKL Class XLI

We are excited to welcome SKL Class XLII to the Leadership Indianapolis family.

“Through their participation in the SKL class, these young professionals are investing in themselves as a new generation of leaders,” said Rebecca King, Vice President of Programs & Alumni Relations and SKL Program Director at Leadership Indianapolis. “They are making a public commitment to playing a key role in Central Indiana’s future and our community will be strengthened by their passion, insight, and leadership.”

Carolene Mays-Medley has been named the moderator for SKL Class XLII. Ms, Mays-Medley is Executive Director of the White River State Park Development Commission. To ensure that the series is timely and topical, each class’s moderator identifies aspects of broad economic and societal issues that are specific to Central Indiana for the class to study.

“It is a distinct honor for me to serve as moderator of this upcoming SKL class of emerging leaders,” said Mays-Medley. “SKL is a distinguished, impactful leadership series. Through it, this impressive group of young professionals is taking the initiative to grow more effective in community leadership. I look forward to engaging with them over the next year, as we explore, discuss and work to understand more fully, major issues impacting our community; and they deepen their passion to make a difference in strengthening and building our future society.”

Welcome to our new President and CEO, Christina Hale

New Leadership Indianapolis President & CEO Christina Hale

Did you hear the good news? Christina Hale recently joined Leadership Indianapolis as our new President and CEO.

Christina is well known locally and throughout Indiana as a public servant. She served for four years as state representative from Indianapolis, and was a candidate for lieutenant governor in 2016. During her election campaign in 2014, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce called her “one of the most active, thoughtful and determined state legislators.” In selecting Hale as his running mate, gubernatorial candidate John Gregg cited Hale’s “record of reaching across the aisle.”

But government is only one area of Christina’s proven leadership. Before entering the political arena, Christina spent eight years with Kiwanis International, serving as director of executive and board services, lead area director for Europe and Asia Pacific, and chief communications officer.

A Purdue University graduate, Christina began her career as a newspaper reporter in Northern Indiana, then worked in state government for the Indiana Department of Commerce and the governor’s office.

“I always try to be very mindful that I could be part of solutions,” she told the IBJ, which named Christina to its “Women of Influence” in 2015. “That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.”

An example to all of our Leadership Indianapolis participants, Christina is a much-honored and tireless volunteer. She serves on the boards of Indiana Humanities, the Indiana Commission on Latino Affairs, the Domestic Violence Network, the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault, Heartland Film, and Film Indy.

Please join us in welcoming Christina Hale as our new president and CEO.

Alumni Spotlight: Jackie Kelly

“Don’t be afraid to be involved. Find places to serve that feed your soul.” – Jackie Kelly, LEAD 2015 and OI 2015

Jackie Kelly participated in LEAD 2015 and OI 2015, and serves as Supervisor of the Community Engagement Team at Central Library.

What were your biggest take aways from OI and LEAD?

I loved that OI presented us with a behind the scenes glimpse into a variety of organizations and city agencies. During LEAD, civic leaders shared real talk about what worked and what didn’t in their community engagement endeavors; even for experienced professionals there is sometimes a learning curve, and I appreciated the honesty.

What impact has your participation in OI and LEAD had on your work in the community?

OI and LEAD gave me the confidence to get involved on many different levels.

What leadership quality has been most useful in your work?

Passion. I choose to give my time and energy to organizations whose missions resonate with me.

What board, committee, or other community leadership role have you had recently that was particularly important to you?

Why did you choose to serve in that capacity? I’m involved with a group called Back on My Feet Indianapolis. Back on My Feet, a national organization operating in 12 major cities, combats homelessness through the power of running, community support and essential employment and housing resources. As social chair of Team Wheeler Mission, I’m part of a group who brings a sense of camaraderie to our members and makes them feel part of the larger community through monthly social activities.

What piece of advice would you offer to other community leaders?

Don’t be afraid to be involved. Find places to serve that feed your soul. Above all, take advantage of as many of the alumni events and activities offered by Leadership Indianapolis as you can.

Why I support Leadership Indianapolis: Marisol Gouveia, SKL XLI and Opportunity Indianapolis 2014

“Leadership Indianapolis is committed to our city present and future. Civic leadership is vital to the health of all communities. To have a roster of emerging and established people ready to volunteer their time and talents for the greater good benefits everyone. Great civic leaders know their community, identify common concerns and collaborate on solutions, operate with integrity and transparency, spark and facilitate discussion across groups, and ensure all voices are at the table throughout the process.”

“Investment in Leadership Indianapolis is an investment in our shared destiny, and that’s why I give.”

Marisol, thank you for your leadership and your support of Leadership Indianapolis!

If you would like to make a gift or have questions about how you can support Leadership Indianapolis, please contact Jody Dedon, Director of Advancement, at 317.860.3672 or

Alumni Spotlight: Blake Roebuck

“I leveraged the information gained from Leadership Indianapolis to identify my interests in economic empowerment, public transportation, and mentoring.” Blake Roebuck, OI 2016

Blake Roebuck participated in Opportunity Indianapolis 2016 and serves as Foundation & Marketing Manager for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation… A State That Works!

What were your biggest take aways from Opportunity Indianapolis?

There are a myriad of organizations in Indianapolis tackling a wide-range of issues from public safety, education, hunger, transportation, etc. These issues share complexities which call for adequate resources — funding, vision, and engaged leaders.  Opportunity Indianapolis empowers you to be that leader.

What impact has your participation in Opportunity Indianapolis had on your work in the community?

I leveraged the information gained from Leadership Indianapolis to identify my interests in economic empowerment, public transportation, and mentoring. I attended Indy Transit Referendum meetings and gatherings to inform myself about the issue and advocated for the cause. Last December, I became a BIG with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana. Finally, I participated in Ball State University’s Center for Community Economic Development course for continued education. I’m always looking for opportunities to get plugged in.

What leadership quality has been most useful in your work?

Listening – I’m fortunate to work with many of the city and state’s business leaders, decision makers, and elected officials. They’ve played a huge role in my professional development the last few years.

What board, committee, or other community leadership role have you had recently that was particularly important to you? Why did you choose to serve in that capacity?

I’ve recently joined the Goodwill Industries Business Development Advisory Group. Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana does incredible work by empowering people to increase their independence and reach their potential through education, health, and employment. I encourage everyone to request a tour of Goodwill’s Tremont facility on the near west side.

What piece of advice would you offer to emerging community leaders?

Seek mentors who are vested in your development. These proven leaders who make time to pay it forward are exemplifying the embodiment of leadership.

SKL Alumni Spotlight: LeRoy Lewis III

“These classmates have taught me lessons on leadership styles, humility, cultural sensitivity and most importantly acceptance.” — LeRoy Lewis III, LEAD 2007, SKL Class XXXIX

LeRoy Lewis III, MBA, serves as Manager of Provider Relations at Eskenazi Medical Group. He participated in both LEAD 2007 and SKL Class XXXIX.

What were your biggest take-aways from LEAD and SKL?

My biggest take away from my time with LEAD and SKL are the relationships. I have learned long ago that I have a strong personality. Some see that as a hindrance, but it would provide me with the opportunity to not be shy in getting to know my fellow classmates. These classmates have taught me lessons on leadership styles, humility, cultural sensitivity and most importantly acceptance.

What impact has your participation in LEAD and SKL had on your work in the community?

The impact that LEAD and SKL has had on my work in the community is being able to accept people for who they are and not try to change them to what I believe they should be. Being in classes with intelligent individuals that all have strong values and perceptions, allowed me to see firsthand that people who can, will and have support for each other, come in all forms and from many different backgrounds.

What leadership quality has been most useful in your work?

The leadership quality that has been most useful in my work is the quality of communication. Being able to articulate my position and tell my story, while at the same time being able to listen to understand the position of others is a skill and trait that all good leaders must possess.

What board, committee, or other community leadership role have you had recently that was particularly important to you? Why did you choose to serve in that capacity?

The current role that I have as a board member of IndyHub is a role that I hold very dear. Anyone that knows me knows that I love my city. This organization is one that is focused not only on equipping future leaders and new residents with knowledge of community happenings, but it is also an advocate for those same individuals in making sure their future here looks and feels the way they want it. And that it looks the same for everyone.

What piece of advice would you offer to emerging community leaders?

If I was to offer any piece of advice for future leaders, it would be to push and pull to make sure you are at the table. We have so many bright individuals that never get an opportunity to be heard, because they were not at the table with the individuals that make the decisions. Just think of how much we may have missed out on, due to the exclusion of certain voices. Those voices may be youthful, cultural, masculine or feminine. But if those voices are not heard, then our world, and my beloved city, will fall into a homogenous demise.