The Convo featuring Yecenia Tostado

In this Convo, meet Yecenia Tostado and learn about Project Azul, a non-profit that connects career resources to underrepresented communities.

The Leadership Indianapolis series The Convo provides opportunities to learn more about community leaders, organizations, issues, and opportunities in our city.

In this conversation you will meet Yecenia Tostado, who is a graduate of SKL Class XLIII and Executive Director of Project Azul, a recently formed non-profit that connects career resources to underrepresented communities. Yecenia talks to us about Project Azul’s focus on blue-collar workers.

Resources mentioned during The Convo:
Project Azul: www.projectazul.org

The Convo featuring Denise Herd

In this Convo, meet Denise Herd and learn about Herd Strategies and their new campaign #HerdTheHelp.

The Leadership Indianapolis series The Convo provides opportunities to learn more about community leaders, organizations, issues, and opportunities in our city.

In this conversation you will meet Denise Herd, who is founder and CEO of Herd Strategies, one of the city’s largest minority-owned public relations agencies. Denise is a graduate of SKL Class XXII. Denise shares information about her agency’s campaign, #HerdTheHelp.

Resources mentioned during The Convo:

Herd Strategies

#HerdTheHelp

The Convo featuring Duchess Adjei

In this Convo, meet Duchess Adjei and learn about the American Red Cross and their new campaign #DoingMyPart.

The Leadership Indianapolis series The Convo provides opportunities to learn more about community leaders, organizations, issues, and opportunities in our city.

In this conversation you will meet Duchess Adjei, who is Regional Communications Director for the American Red Cross – Indiana Region and a graduate of SKL Class XLIII. Duchess shares information about the American Red Cross and its new campaign #DoingMyPart .

Resources mentioned during The Convo:

American Red Cross – Indiana Region

#DoingMyPart

Ebony Chappel joins Leadership Indianapolis

We are thrilled to have Ebony Chappel join Leadership Indianapolis as Program & Communications Manager!

Ebony is an award-winning multimedia journalist and certified community health worker. Her work has garnered recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists, Hoosier State Press Association, National Newspaper Publishers Association and the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation among other honors. 

She previously worked for the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper and Indiana Minority Business Magazine where she held many roles including, editor in chief. Through her most recent position, with Indiana Donor Network, she led outreach efforts in communities of color, the LGBTQ+ community, Hoosiers living with HIV and various faith groups on the lifesaving gift of organ, tissue and eye donation. 

Staying connected to her journalistic roots, Ebony can be heard on the airwaves each Sunday morning where she hosts Open Lines, a community affairs show that airs at 8AM on both 106.7 WTLC and Hot 96.3 FM. 

She is an alum of two Leadership Indianapolis programs, LEAD and Opportunity Indianapolis, and is thrilled to take her self-described career as a “community servant,” to the next level by joining the LI team as Program & Communications Manager. 

Ebony is a proud product of Haughville, Indiana and a Ball State Cardinal.

Welcome to the LI team, Ebony!

The Convo featuring Julie Goodman

In this Convo, meet Julie Goodman and learn how the Arts Council of Indianapolis is supporting the arts community during COVID-19.

The Leadership Indianapolis event series The Convo provides opportunities to learn more about community leaders, organizations, issues, and opportunities in our city.

We believe that social distance doesn’t mean civic disengagement so we are adapting The Convo format to be recorded conversations.

In this conversation you will meet Julie Goodman, who is the President & CEO of the Arts Council of Indianapolis and has been a speaker at our Opportunity Indianapolis program. Julie shares how the Arts Council is supporting the arts community through the Indy Arts & Culture COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.

Resources mentioned during The Convo:

Arts Council of Indianapolis website

#IndyKeepsCreating

Visit Indy website

Visit Indy shirts supporting the Arts Council of Indianapolis and United Way of Central Indiana

The Convo featuring Tom Hanley

In this Convo, meet Tom Hanley and learn about how Nine13sports is adapting to serve Indy during COVID-19

The Leadership Indianapolis event series The Convo provides opportunities to learn more about community leaders, organizations, issues, and opportunities in our city.

We believe that social distance doesn’t mean civic disengagement so we are adapting The Convo format to be recorded conversations.

In this conversation you will meet Tom Hanley, Leadership Indianapolis board member and graduate of SKL Class XL. Tom is CEO of Nine13sports, a youth-serving organization that has reinvented itself to serve the community in a new way during COVID-19.

Resources mentioned during The Convo:

Nine13sports website

Tom’s email

IndyHub and Leadership Indianapolis to Host Digital Gatherings During “Social Distancing”

Local nonprofits IndyHub — which regularly focuses on helping Indy 20- and 30-somethings get connected, involved, and making a difference in their community — and Leadership Indianapolis — which works to educate, inspire, connect and mobilize community leaders — announced today the launch of a free digital gathering series designed to bring community members together while also helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The organizations plan to host digital book clubs, panel discussions and virtual meet-ups, replacing their traditional event and program schedules with opportunities to convene remotely. The organizations, which are heavily promoting “social distancing,” intend to continue fostering community while helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re an organization that believes in the power of person-to-person connection, so naturally, the spread of COVID-19 presents a unique challenge in our efforts,” said IndyHub president Blake Johnson. “Indianapolis is a community that sticks together, and we believe by using the amazing digital convening tools at our disposal, we can continue to meaningfully connect people to each other, to opportunities to grow and learn, and to ways they can engage in our city without risking their health or the health of their neighbors, family and friends.”

“Social distancing does not equal civic disengagement. While we may not be able to convene for conversations and programs in the ways we normally do, we can certainly continue providing opportunities for people to learn more about the city, the experiences of their fellow community members, and to engage as community leaders during this time,” said Leadership Indianapolis president and CEO Rebecca Hutton.

IndyHub and Leadership Indianapolis also encourage other organizations and community leaders to help connect people during a time that, in its nature, can be somewhat isolating. Organizations are encouraged to submit their digital opportunities to IndyHub through the link below.

“According to a 2018 study by Cigna, we know that nearly half of Americans report feeling lonely some or all of the time,” Johnson said. “This time of necessary social distancing will likely exacerbate this issue. We hope that by bringing people together, even through technology, we can help strengthen not only our city’s health but also our connection to one another.”

Hutton added, “It is important, especially during times like this when people can feel isolated and alone, that we don’t disengage but rather find new ways to connect, support one another, and invest in the common good of our community.”

For a regularly updated list of opportunities, resources and updates from IndyHub, as well as an opportunity to submit your organization’s gatherings, visit www.indyhub.org/together.

Current Opportunities

IndyHub and Leadership Indianapolis Digital Book Clubs (Weekly, March 25 – May 6, Virtual)

Meet up weekly on Wednesday nights with a group of new friends to discuss a good read, moderated by members of the IndyHub and Leadership Indianapolis teams and network. Registration and additional information can be found on IndyHub and Leadership Indianapolis websites.

Money Talks with Pete the Planner hosted by IndyHub and Leadership Indianapolis (March 24, 5:30 – 7:00pm, Virtual)

Break out your favorite local libation for a new twist on our “happy hours with a purpose.” We’ll get together remotely, share a drink or two, and hear from a nationally-renowned finance expert Pete the Planner on how to best plan and protect your financial health in times of uncertainty. Want to make a donation when you register for this free event? We’ll be supporting Gleaners Food Bank on Indiana. RSVP here.

Additional opportunities will be added throughout the coming weeks.

LI adds new board members


We are thrilled to welcome Tom Hanley and Sarah Myer to the Leadership Indianapolis Board of Directors.

Tom Hanley is CEO of Nine13sports, an organization he founded in 2011 that conducts engaging, youth-focused bicycling programs for K-12 students. Tom is also a graduate of SKL Class XL.

Sarah Myer is Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at Indiana Sports Corp, the nation’s first sports commission. Sarah is also a graduate of SKL Class XLII.

Leadership Indianapolis would like to thank Joe Smith for his service to the organization. He served as Board Chair 2017-2018 and provided wonderful guidance to the organization throughout his tenure, which concluded in December. Thank you, Joe!

2019-2020 MYLC Class Announced

Mayor Joe Hogsett announces new class of students to serve on
Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council

Fourteen teens selected from across Marion County to provide a voice on community issues, serve as advisors to city leaders

Mayor Joe Hogsett announced 14 new students will complete the 2019-2020 class of the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council (MYLC). These teens will join 11 returning members of the inaugural group which began meeting monthly last July. This diverse group of 25 juniors and seniors in high school will represent the interests of Indianapolis youth, providing feedback for the mayor and other city leaders on issues that affect the community.

“I am excited to welcome these talented young men and women to the discussion table, with an experience that is truly an immersion into local government,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “We not only look forward to hearing the unique and thoughtful perspectives from each student, but also to building upon the success of the council’s first year and developing the next generation of civic leaders.”

First announced by Mayor Hogsett in April of last year, the MYLC seeks to develop new leaders and elevate the role of young people in making Indianapolis a safer, stronger, and more welcoming city. The group represents high schools in all nine Indianapolis townships and reflects the community’s rich diversity. The council is made possible by the Lilly Endowment, The Indianapolis Foundation (a CICF affiliate), Leadership Indianapolis, and the Marion County Commission on Youth.

The MYLC saw its first group of student leaders graduate last month in a ceremony at the Indiana State Museum. The new students announced today will complete the 2019-2020 class and add their diverse perspectives to monthly meetings with the mayor and other city leaders, lending youth insight on issues facing the community as a whole, as well as specifically in their neighborhoods. Orientation for this year’s class will take place on Friday, July 26.

The members of the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council are as follows:

New for 2019-20

Angel-Hannah Akinleye – Riverside High School
Steve Akinterinwa – Ben Davis University High School
Katherine Dolen – Christel House Academy South

Mateo Escobedo – Lawrence Central High School
Madeline Felts – Bishop Chatard High School
Nikhil Gloyeske – Franklin Central High School
Natanya Katz – Brebeuf Jesuit High School
Joshua MacKinnon – Purdue Polytechnic High School
Grace Moore – Lawrence Central High School
Mangtin Par – Perry Meridian High School
Sui Len Par – Perry Meridian High School
Darnell Perkins Jr. – Pike High School
Cadyn Waxingmoon – Homeschool
Reese Wiley – Roncalli High School

Returning from 2018-19

Ranya Abedelmalik – Shortridge High School
Katie Baker – Roncalli High School
Amina Dalal – Ben Davis High School
Curshuna Harvey – Warren Central High School
Helen Hughes – Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School
Tara Kalia – Franklin Central High School
Adriyanna Staten – Ben Davis University High School
Arat Palacios-Ricaño – Herron High School
Sophia Pantzer – International School of Indiana
Hayden Redelman – Bishop Chatard High School
Alli Shuffitt – Warren Central High School

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!