2018 IPA Conference

We're excited to announce the theme of this year's conference—Inspiring Excellence in Philanthropy! Join us June 7-8 in Indianapolis to learn new models for improving operational efficiency, strengthening leadership skills, and achieving greater impact for social good in your community. This is the perfect opportunity for you to connect with Indiana's leaders in philanthropy and learn from national experts.

You also won't want to miss our keynote speaker, Paul Schmitz. Paul is a senior advisor to the Collective Impact Forum and the author of Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up. He is also the former CEO of Public Allies, where he spent 21 years helping more than 5,600 diverse young leaders turn their passions to make a difference into careers working for community and social change.

Please contact Catrena Morrow (317.630.5200 Ext. 110) with any questions about the conference or how to register.

Connect With the Conference

Stay connected with the conference through social media using #IPACON18 and following @inphilanthropy on Twitter. Stay tuned for more information about our conference app.


The conference will be held at the Indianapolis Marriot North, 3645 River Crossing Parkway, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240.

Indianapolis Marriott North offers complimentary on-site parking.

The hotel is located on East 86th Street, directly northeast of the Keystone Fashion Mall. Go east on 86th Street from Keystone Avenue to River Crossing Boulevard. Go north on River Crossing Boulevard to River Crossing Parkway, and the hotel is on the right.

Presenting Sponsor

Help us thank our presenting sponsor, Goelzer Investment Management, for their generous support!

Experience Indy


Downtown Indianapolis

White River State Park

Broad Ripple Village

Fountain Square

Mass Ave Arts District

Carmel Arts & Design District

The Center for the Performing Arts (Carmel)

The Children's Museum

Newfields: Art & Nature (Indianapolis Museum of Art)

The Fashion Mall, Keystone at the Crossing

Conner Prairie (Fishers)


Eat + Drink

Search Visit Indy for local spots to eat and drink.


Jump to: Thursday | Friday

Thursday, June 7, 2018

9:00 - 10:00 am

Marriott North Foyer

Come pick up your name badge, program, and other conference materials at the IPA registration desk.

10:00 - 10:50 am
Opening Remarks and Keynote Address
Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up
Keynote Presenter: Paul Schmitz, FSG

Clark Dawson Rooms

Where is the leadership we need to solve our most pressing community problems? It’s all around us. In this keynote address, Paul will inspire us to see new leadership possibilities with ourselves, our sector, and our communities. Paul will offer a set of practices that will help foundations be more effective and bring diverse people and groups together to solve problems. 

Through his consulting firm Leading Inside Out and his role as senior advisor to The Collective Impact Forum, Paul builds the collective leadership of organizations and communities to achieve greater social impact. Paul is the author of Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up, and the former CEO of Public Allies, where he helped more than 5,000 diverse young adults begin careers working for community and social change. Paul is a faculty member of The Asset-Based Community Development Institute, was a social innovation advisor to the Obama White House, and has been named three separate years to The Nonprofit Times list of the 50 most influential nonprofit leaders in America. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with his wife and five children.

10:50 - 11:30 am
Panel Conversation: Engaging Diverse Groups to Work on Common Goals

Clark Dawson Rooms

Everyone has the capacity to step up, take responsibility, and work with others to make progress on the issues they care about. Following his keynote address, Paul will facilitate a fascinating conversation with leaders from the foundation, faith-based, nonprofit, and public sectors on taking personal and social responsibility to work with others on common goals.

Moderator: Paul Schmitz, Senior Advisor to the Collective Impact Forum, FSG
Conversationalists: TBA

11:30 - 12:15 pm
“What’s Up With…” Conversations
  • Economic Security Organizations
  • Rural Issue Organizations
  • Community Economic Development Organizations
  • Human Service Organizations
  • Workforce Development Organizations

Porter Room: Economic Security Organizations
Miller Room: Rural Issue Organizations
Hart Room: Community Economic Development Organizations
Shields Room: Human Service Organizations
Brady Room: Workforce Development Organizations

Realizing that reaching your goals often requires working with partner organizations, you will have an opportunity to learn “what’s up” with a few of philanthropy’s go-to partner organizations. During two 15-minute sessions, participants will hear brief updates from and ask questions of organizations supporting economic security, rural issues, community economic development, human services, and workforce development.

12:30 - 2:00 pm
Opening Lunch & IPA Updates

Clark Dawson Rooms

The opening luncheon will provide an opportunity for you to catch up with your colleagues while hearing highlights of the past year and looking forward to our sector’s future. The luncheon will primarily be an opportunity for you to network with your peers but will include brief presentations celebrating IPA, GIFT, and YPII past success and plans for the future.

2:15 - 3:30 pm
Concurrent Sessions
  • Session 1: Values in Grantmaking
  • Session 2: Understanding Grantee Financial Statements
  • Session 3: ABCs of Major and Planned Gift Portfolio Management
  • Session 4: Tips to Transform Your Board into Engaged Partners

Session 1: Values in Grantmaking

All grant decisions are shaped by values—community values, institutional values, and personal values. Some grantmakers have clearly stated values and criteria while others do not. Some values are commonly accepted but unstated. Some values are stated but rarely practiced. Inherently, these values inform the way we practice philanthropy—in our priorities, adjudication, and evaluation. But rarely do we reflect on how they actually align with our work. This session will explore the complex interplay of values in our decision making processes. Participants will leave with a perspective on the role values play in their own organization and tools to create a robust discussion of values with boards and committees. This session is designed for board members, executives, and program officers of any type of foundation.

Presenters: David Patrick King and Karen Lake Buttrey, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, Indiana University School of Philanthropy

Session 2: Understanding Grantee Financial Statements

Audits, 990s, budgets, financial statements, oh my! We all know good grantmaking requires the ability to understand and analyze grantee financials, but the numbers can feel overwhelming for many non-finance experts. This session will provide a fast-paced overview of key financial documents. You will learn to spot signs of financial health and identify red flags that warrant further conversation. Participants will leave this session with an understanding of how to use financial statements to determine the financial stability of their grantees. This session is designed for executives, program staff, and grant committee members of any type of foundation.

Presenters: Jenna Wachtmann, Program Officer, Ball Brothers Foundation; Stephen Wachtmann, Senior Information Systems Audit Manager, Ball State University

Session 3: ABCs of Major and Planned Gift Portfolio Management

Using a “priority-based” method of portfolio management can be a game-changer in asset development. Any growing community foundation can increase their effectiveness by adopting and adapting this approach. This presentation will cover the best practices for segmenting a database, identifying and qualifying prospects, and managing lists for measurable results. And, best of all, the process can be tailored to meet the needs of any community foundation, of any size or budget. This session is designed for executives and development staff of community foundations or other foundations that build assets. 

Presenter: Linda Speed, President  & CEO, Community Foundation of Southern Indiana

Session 4: Tips to Transform Your Board into Engaged Partners

We all want the same things from our boards: engagement, guidance, and help with fundraising. The good news is a solution might be closer than you think. Come learn how some fundamental practices can help put your board on the path to becoming a productive partner, instead of a necessary evil. We’ll cover a lot of bases in a short time, including tips on recruitment, planning, effective meetings, board roles in fundraising, and more. Participants will leave this session with an understanding of how the executive and board can build a partnership to provide the best governance and advancement of their organization. This session is designed for executives, foundation staff, and board members of any type of foundation.

Presenter: Neel Hajra, President & CEO, Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF)

3:45 - 5:00 pm
Concurrent Sessions
  • Session 1: The Risk of Taking Risks in Grantmaking
  • Session 2: Philanthropy Working Cross Sector
  • Session 3: Narrowing Indiana’s Wealth Gap: Tools to Combat Economic Inequality
  • Session 4: The Roles and Responsibilities of Investment Committee Members

Session 1: The Risk of Taking Risks in Grantmaking

When do you take a risk on a new idea, nonprofit, or program? When do you stop funding projects which aren’t necessarily achieving the results you expected? In this session, experienced grantmakers from an array of foundations will share the rewards and lessons learned from taking risks in their grantmaking practices. Participants will leave this session with tips to determine when to take a risk, when to say “when,” and when to alter grantmaking practices when risks are not resulting in rewards. This session is designed for program officers, executive directors, and grant committee members of any type of foundation.

Moderator: Tony Macklin, Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy®
Conversationalists: Crystal Gunther, Director of Community Foundation of Southern Indiana; others TBA

Session 2: Philanthropy Working Cross Sector

Impact and innovation often occur at the increasingly blurry boundaries between for-profit, nonprofit, and public sectors. Hear about one foundation’s innovative public-private partnership, and join experts from CivicLab and Community Education Coalition as they provide principles and tools for addressing complex social problems through the practice of civic collaboration. Participants will leave this session with an understanding of CivicLab’s Stakeholder Engagement Process, as well as practical tools related to working with businesses and business leaders. This session is designed for staff and board members of any type of foundation.

Speakers: Jack Hess, Executive Director, Civic Lab; John Burnett, President and CEO, Community Education Coalition
Foundation Resource: Rose Meissner, President, Community Foundation of St. Joseph County

Session 3: Narrowing Indiana’s Wealth Gap: Tools to Combat Economic Inequality

Data shows  Indiana ranks in the bottom ten of all states in the country for economic mobility—or the ability of an individual, family, or group of people to improve (or lower) their economic status. Using the Prosperity Now Scorecard, this session outlines how economic mobility is tied to place, race, health, and employment. The data reveals startling inequalities in Indiana economic mobility and will lead to an engaging discussion on what Indiana funders can do to narrow the wealth gap and increase upward economic mobility in Indiana. Participants will leave this session with an overview of data impacting economic mobility, an understanding of the wealth gap, and strategies to consider in supporting upward economic mobility. This session is designed for staff and board members of any type of foundation wishing to impact economic stability and mobility.

Speaker: Lebaron Sims, Senior Research Manager, Prosperity Now
Foundation Resource: TBD 

Session 4: The Roles and Responsibilities of Investment Committee Members

Investment committee members should follow a few important principles to guide their work. The goal of this workshop is to introduce these principles to foundation staff, executive directors, trustees, and investment committee members—with the goal of establishing the prudent oversight of the portfolio management process. We will discuss what really matters when making financial decisions and how to add value to the overall investment program. Topics will include identifying smart planning, creating the right culture, having a sound decision making process, and understanding your group strengths and weakness. We will also share perspectives and lessons learned. Participants will leave with guidance on meeting your fiduciary responsibility; and information on building an effective committee, conducting well-structured and productive meetings with content that matters, and anticipating and resisting counterproductive behaviors. This session is designed for foundation staff, executive directors, trustees, and investment committee members.

Speakers: Representatives from Goelzer Investment Management, including Suzy Goelzer, Director of Strategic Partnerships; Don Hutchinson, Senior Vice President; Brett McKamey, CFA, President & COO; Jeff Borgert, CAIA, Institutional Investment Advisor

5:00 - 6:00 pm

Marriott Foyer

Join us to relax after a day of learning with your colleagues. This year’s reception will include refreshments, light hors d’oeuvres, and very special entertainment surprises you won’t want to miss.

7:00 - 9:00 pm
Dine Arounds

Marriott Foyer

Indy is quickly becoming a foodie town, and IPA has a list of great dining options for you. Continue your conversations over dinner or make a few new friends as you finish your first day of the conference.


Friday, June 8, 2018

8:00 - 9:00 am
Peer Community Sessions and Breakfast 

Clark Dawson Rooms

Connect with those who truly understand what you do. As you enjoy your breakfast, you will be able to discuss collaborations, trends, and best practices to improve your work. Tables will be reserved for peer conversations related to job type (program officer, finance manager), funding priority (substance abuse disorders, early learning), and identity (Indiana Blacks in Philanthropy, Young Leaders in Philanthropy). Choose your table, enjoy your breakfast, and take advantage of this open space to make connections and discuss with your peers what is important to you.

9:15 - 10:30 am
Concurrent Sessions
  • Session 1: The Nuts and Bolts of Designing a Capacity Building Strategy 
  • Session 2: Vibrant and Giving Communities
  • Session 3: Gifts of Nonfinancial Assets 
  • Session 4: Improving Evaluation Through Relationships

Session 1: The Nuts and Bolts of Designing a Capacity Building Strategy

A 2017 survey from Grantmakers for Effective Organizations found that 86% of staffed foundations in the U.S. provide some type of capacity building support to nonprofits through investments in things such as leadership development, fundraising capacity, or technology. This session will help you tailor your approach to build nonprofit resiliency based upon what works for you as well as for your grantees. You will learn how to use GEO’s core concepts in capacity building to develop, deliver, and assess your approach to capacity building. This session is designed for staff and board members of any type of foundation.

Speaker: Kristen Scott Kennedy, Senior Manager, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

Session 2: Vibrant and Giving Communities

Providing philanthropic opportunities for younger generations is a key factor in building a vibrant and giving community. Join staff from Indiana community foundations and YPII to learn how your foundation can take a leadership role in promoting the voice and choice of younger generations. Learn how to leverage existing partnerships by helping youth serve as advisers with local nonprofits, hear about examples of inter-generational service, and find out how you can easily implement youth philanthropy concepts into your foundation’s programs. This session is designed for staff and board members of any type of foundation wishing to enhance their community by engaging younger generations.

Facilitator/Speaker: Jill Gordon, Program Director, YPII
Panelists: Eric Hessel, Program Officer, Hendricks County Community Foundation; Margarita White, Program Director, Community Foundation of Noble County

Session 3: Gifts of Nonfinancial Assets

More than 60% of net worth in the U.S. is in nonfinancial illiquid assets, creating a significant opportunity to work creatively with your donors holding these assets. Session attendees will learn how to accept and maximize the value of these nonfinancial illiquid gifts. Many organizations are beginning to realize the opportunity that exists regarding gifts of nonfinancial assets, but if they do receive them, they aren’t sure what to do next. The two distinct opportunities include accepting gifts of nonfinancial assets and investing in nonfinancial assets. You will learn how to expand gift acceptance policies to accept nonfinancial assets, streamline the gift acceptance process, navigate the risks with accepting nonfinancial asset, and offer new gift opportunities for key donors. This session is designed for executives, finance staff, development and advancement staff, and committee and board members of any type of foundation that builds assets. 

Speakers: Joel J. Moore, Senior Portfolio Advisor, The J&R Group, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.; Chris Aiello, National Director, The J&R Group, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.

Session 4: Improving Evaluation Through Relationships

Learn about a unique collaborative, The Evaluation Exchange, from the perspective of a client, program director, foundation staff member, evaluation consultant, and executive director. Panelists will share how relationships were built and an evaluation model developed to improve data collection, management, and storytelling capabilities of a foundation and its grantee organizations. This session will outline collaborative practices to increase conversations between nonprofits and strengthen evaluation capacity. This session is designed for staff and board members of any type of foundation.

Facilitator/Speaker: Dawn Martz, Senior Program Officer, Foellinger Foundation
Panelists: Mindy King, Founder and President, Limelight Analytics; Jennifer Kasmier, Executive Director, Wellspring Interfaith Social Services; Mary Jo Hardiman, Chief Operating Officer, YWCA Northeast IN; Michelle Clayton    

10:45 - 12:00 pm
Concurrent Sessions
  • Session 1: Building a Transparency Mindset into Grant Strategies 
  • Session 2: Next Generation Foundation Leadership
  • Session 3: Move Your Mission Forward with Creative Storytelling 
  • Session 4: Making a Software Transition

Session 1: Building a Transparency Mindset into Grant Strategies

Transparency can be a challenge for program officers, grant committees, and foundations. From articulating funding priorities and grant decisions to expressing concerns, grantmakers often struggle with how open they can be with their grantees. This facilitated dialogue will provide data on foundation transparency, as well as tips from your colleagues to develop an effective transparency mindset and embed appropriate transparency practices into your grantmaking strategies. You will leave this session with an understanding of the importance of transparency in your grant making activities, as well as tips on honestly communicating with grantees regarding your funding priorities, expectations, and concerns. This session is designed for staff and board members of any type of foundation.

Speaker: Sara Beggs, Senior Philanthropic Advisor, Intentional Philanthropy    

Session 2: Next Generation Foundation Leadership

The foundation world is changing. Pick up any copy of the Chronicle of Philanthropy and you will see articles about generational change, new forms of philanthropy, disruptive technology, etc. It’s daunting. But the foundation world is fortunate to have a new generation of creative and dedicated professionals and volunteers who will ensure philanthropy continues to be a vibrant force in our changing society. Come and hear from a panel of next generation leaders about how they view their work and the challenges and opportunities for philanthropy in the coming decades. This session is designed for staff and board members of any type of foundation.

Conversationalists: TBD    

Session 3: Move Your Mission Forward with Creative Storytelling

Why is professional communication often SO boring? Through this session, you’ll come to understand how a little storytelling can engage donors and stakeholders and help your foundation achieve its mission. You’ll learn to create focused, effective messages and gain tips for turning a good story into a great one. Participants are encouraged to bring a sample of their foundation’s communication as a reference during the session (You won’t need to share…unless you choose!). Everyone will leave with permission to be VIBRANT! This session is designed for staff members who are responsible for communications in any type of foundation. 

Presenter: Sharon Smith, Retired Communication Professional

Session 4: Making a Software Transition

So, you have decided on implementing new software to manage data better and increase efficiency. Now what? Techno-minded people can handle all kinds of data migration, but what about the human side? Conducting staff training and creating new systems can be very stressful. Getting the most out of new software requires an investment of time to make it work. Join us for a panel of colleagues who have lived through the experience and will provide perspectives ranging from best practices to “if I had it to do over again...” This session is designed for management staff or IT staff of any type of foundation.

Conversationalists: Jennifer Danic, President & CEO, Steuben County Community Foundation; Nicole Thompson, Vice President, Grants Management, Strategy & Analysis, Strada Education Network; Stephen Borchers, Executive Director, Wayne County Community Foundation; Amy Haacker, Executive Director, Blue River Community Foundation

12:30 - 2:00 pm
Lunch & Celebration of Philanthropic Leadership 

Clark Dawson Rooms

Celebrate and learn from the accomplishments of distinguished leaders impacting Indiana’s philanthropic sector. During the luncheon, we will celebrate the 2018 recipients of the Hazelett Award, Spirit of Youth Philanthropy Award, and IPA Policy Champion award.

1:30 pm - 2:45 pm
“Spark” Sessions 

Use this space to find ideas you can take back to your office and use. You will have the opportunity to visit best practice tables covering such topics as grant rubrics, on-line scholarship tools, and online tools to measure outcomes. All tables will be staffed by experts and offer dessert, so plan on ending the day with a treat, as well as ideas you can implement when you return to your office.

3:00 pm
Conference Adjourns 


Thursday, June 7, 2018 - 10:00am
Indianapolis, IN
Indianapolis Marriott North, 3645 River Crossing Parkway, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240
You must be logged in to register for an event. Please login or create an account. After creating a new account, allow 48 hours before returning to this event to register. For immediate access, contact Marilee Steckler at 317-630-5200 Ext. 119.
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Registration Fees

Pricing (member / non-member)

  • Full Conference: $335 / $435
  • June 7 Only: $199 / $260
  • June 8 Only: $175 / $225
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Keynote Speaker

Paul Schmitz, Collective Impact Forum


Through his consulting firm Leading Inside Out and his role as Senior Advisor to The Collective Impact Forum, Paul Schmitz builds the collective leadership of organizations and communities to achieve greater social impact. Paul is the author of Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up, and the former CEO of Public Allies, where he helped more than 5,000 diverse young adults begin careers working for community and social change. Paul is a faculty member of The Asset- Based Community Development Institute, was a social innovation advisor to the Obama White House, and has been named three separate years to The Nonprofit Times list of the 50 most influential nonprofit leaders in America. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his wife and five children.

Concurrent Session Speakers

Christopher Aiello, National Sales Executive

Christopher is a managing director and national sales executive within the Specialty Asset Management group at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. In this role, Chris is responsible for building and managing the sales initiative integrating the sophisticated and disciplined investment approaches of Real Estate, Timberland, Farm & Ranch, Oil & Gas, Minerals and Private Business Group solutions across all lines of business within Bank of America. He works with a team of specialty asset professionals that develop, implement, and execute these strategic non-financial assets into a broader asset allocation and investment strategy for individuals, families, and institutions.

Previously, Chris was a trust consultant and senior trust advisor with Bank of America where he provided guidance in the development of estate planning and investment strategies for high-net-worth clients. Prior to joining Bank of America, he served as a corporate counsel to both Raymond James and Associates and AEGON USA in the field of securities litigation. He has also practiced law in the state of Florida and was a Portfolio Manager with Bank of New York. Chris earned his B.A. degree from Guilford College and his Juris Doctorate from Stetson University.


Sara Beggs, Intentional Philanthropy

Having supported and collaborated with foundations for 20 years, Sara has a deep knowledge of the legal, administrative, governance, and grantmaking functions of foundations. She brings an innate sense of what is practical when working with clients on strategic research and planning; grant program development; family and board engagement and succession; and retreat and meeting facilitation. Sara also understands the deeper work that revolves around managing change and building consensus among boards, staff, and communities. Prior to 2016, Sara shared her time between Intentional Philanthropy and Exponent Philanthropy where she served in senior positions for 15 years. Most recently, she has focused her energy on helping funders achieve impact and engage in evaluation. Prior to the impact work, she authored several publications including The Foundation Guidebook, The Trustee Handbook, and several legal primers. Sara’s prior work was in the field of community and economic development, after receiving her BA with honors in economics from Boston College.


Steve Borchers, Wayne County Foundation

Steve’s career includes 20 years with American City Bureau—a small, but nationally prominent fundraising counsel to nonprofit organizations. He worked with more than 150 client organizations engaged in local, regional, national, and international capital campaigns. He rose to the position of executive vice president and treasurer, where he was responsible for the day-to-day financial operations of the firm for seven years. In 2002, he assumed the position of chief operating officer for the Indiana Humanities Council where he was charged with developing and administering the Council’s $3.25 million budget, overseeing the day-to-day financial and human resource functions, and supervising all communication and development activities. Three years later, Steve assumed the position of executive director of the Wayne County Foundation.

Steve graduated, with honors, from Ohio State University with a degree in liberal arts, having completed a combined course of study in communication, marketing, and economics. 


Jeffrey Borgert, CAIA, Goelzer Investment Management

With 20 years of financial advisory and investment consulting experience, Jeff joined the Goelzer Investment Management (GIM) team in June of 2017 as an Institutional Investment Advisor. His primary focus is on providing comprehensive investment consulting solutions to institutional investors (endowments, foundations, and not-for-profit organizations). Before joining Goelzer Investment Management, Jeff was a Senior Vice President with Stifel Nicolaus, servicing both institutional clients as well as high-net-worth families. His investment consulting responsibilities included developing and implementing comprehensive portfolio strategies, engaging in business development, and providing client education. He began his financial career in 1997 as an Investment Adviser at John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company. Jeff earned an MBA at the Miller School of Business at Ball State University. Additionally, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Marketing & Distribution from Indiana University at Indianapolis. Jeff is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA). 


John Burnett, Community Education Coalition

John serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Education Coalition (CEC) of Columbus, Indiana. The 20-year-old CEC is a nationally recognized not-for-profit organization committed to the development of an aligned, high quality community learning system supporting learners of all ages. Burnett is a founder of Southeastern Indiana’s EcO Network (Economic Opportunities through Education). The 10-year-old network was initially funded by more than $80 million in grants, including $43 million from Lilly Endowment Inc., and major funding by Cummins Foundation, Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development, and Lumina Foundation. The EcO Network program and services have achieved a high level of sustainability through K-12 and post-secondary education partners, industry, and community partners. As a member of CEC’s CivicLab (an institute for civic collaboration) he serves on the national team which supports Lumina Foundation’s Talent Hub mobilization strategy. Burnett previously served as President of the Irwin Financial Foundation, owned a successful Adecco Personnel Services business in Buffalo, New York, and served as a human resource executive at Cummins Engine Company.


Michelle Clayton, The Rescue Mission

Born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a single mother of four children, Michelle has been affiliated with The Rescue Mission for 14 years. Ten years ago, she started working part time as a third shift resident care staff at Charis House. Nine years ago, she was given the opportunity to come on full-time and was given the position of Intake Coordinator. Upon returning to school, Michelle added Case Manager to her job responsibilities. Two years ago she took on the position of Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Programs. Graduating from Indiana Tech with a BS in Human Services, she is now the Program Coordinator at The Rescue Mission.


Suzy Goelzer, Goelzer Investment Management

As Director of Strategic Partnerships, Suzy Goelzer is responsible for managing and developing long-standing relationships with the firm’s institutional clients and prospects. These relationships include endowments and foundations, pension plans, and not-for-profit organizations that have entrusted Goelzer Investment Management to manage their portfolios.

With more than 25 years of prior business experience managing key account relationships with Fortune 500 companies, Suzy’s expertise is in creating educational campaigns that help investment boards and committees understand the complexities of serving as fiduciaries, as well as the benefits of building effective relationships with the portfolio managers who serve them. By providing creative, practical, and added-value ideas, Suzy expanded her industry reputation as a trusted advisor to a growing group of institutional investors. Suzy is a graduate of DePauw University where she earned a B.A. degree in English Literature.


Jill Gordon, The Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana (YPII)


Jill serves as the Program Director and primary contact for the Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana (YPII), a signature program of Indiana Philanthropy Alliance. Jill oversees YPII's role in providing resources and technical assistance to promote and support youth philanthropy. She facilitates training on how foundations and nonprofit organizations can engage younger generations in their communities through the four pillars of youth philanthropy: serving, giving, leading, and engaging. Originally from Northwest Indiana, Jill brings over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit arena, with a strong focus on program and curriculum development, training/evaluation, grant writing, and nonprofit management. She’s a 2013 Indy’s Best and Brightest finalist that is passionate about lifelong learning, community collaboration, and empowering youth to take action and make a difference. Jill lives in Indianapolis with her curious son, creative husband, and nosey dog..


Crystal Gunther, Community Foundation of Southern Indiana

Crystal joined the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana in August 2011. She currently serves as the Director of Community Philanthropy for the Foundation. In this role she implements and oversees the grant-making philosophy and associated activities of the Foundation and provides direction and support to the Foundation’s grant and scholarship programs. In addition, she plays a major role in the Foundation’s outreach and community leadership efforts, representing the Foundation publicly, and implementing strategic initiatives related to the Foundation’s role as a community catalyst and convener. Through her role at the Foundation she plays a leadership role with many community philanthropic initiatives including Education Matters Southern Indiana, Align Southern Indiana, Women’s Foundation Southern Indiana, Youth Philanthropy Council, Ivy Tech Women’s Philanthropy Program, and Leadership Southern Indiana NexGen Program.


Neel Hajra, Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation

Neel joined the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF) in 2010, and became its CEO in 2015. Under Neel's leadership, AAACF and its partners received a national award for "Coordinated Funding," a broad public-private partnership to strengthen the local safety net. AAACF was also named 2016's fastest growing foundation in southeast Michigan by Crain's Detroit. Neel previously served as CEO of Nonprofit Enterprise Work and corporate attorney at Ford Motor Company. For the past decade Neel has taught a graduate course on nonprofit policy and management at the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy, and has been named to its teaching honor roll on numerous occasions. He’s been recognized nationally for his nonprofit leadership through two fellowships with the Independent Sector and American Express. Neel holds two degrees from Michigan: a BS with distinction in physics, and in honor of Newton’s third law, he then became a lawyer.


Jack Hess, CivicLab

Jack is the Executive Director of CivicLab—an institute dedicated to advancing the practice of civic collaboration. CivicLab’s approach is to learn what makes community collaboration work at its best, document the discoveries, and teach and share the practices broadly.
 Prior to his work with CivicLab, he was the President of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce where he set in place an aggressive strategy of building on the power of place, increasing member engagement, and promoting the principles of entrepreneurship and innovation. Within two years of implementing its new strategic plan, the Columbus Chamber was named the Indiana Chamber of the Year in 2008. One year later, the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) presented the Columbus Chamber with the National Chamber of the Year Award. While at the Chamber, he helped to champion a number of collaborative projects including the state-of-the-art Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence, the formation of a regional learning system through Economic Opportunities 2015, an online training academy for entrepreneurs called SmallBizU, the Indiana University Center for Art+Design, and the formation of the downtown Columbus Arts District.


Eric Hessel, Hendricks County Community Foundation

Eric started working with the Community Foundation in 2003 as a youth grantmaker and has since worked in both the direct service and funding areas of nonprofits. Prior to joining HCCF full time, Hessel worked in youth programming and with the US Census Bureau, in addition to building relationships in the local community that assist in strategic and effective grantmaking decisions. Hessel, who grew up in Pittsboro, currently lives in downtown Indianapolis with his rescue dachshund.


Laura Hoffman, Lutheran Social Services

Laura is the Clinical Director for Lutheran Social Services of Indiana where she has served for the past six years. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor, and Certified EMDR Therapist with over 20 years of social work experience. Laura was the regional recipient of the National Association of Social Workers -2016 Social Worker of the Year Award. She has served as adjunct faculty for Indiana University’s Masters of Social Work program teaching social work practice and community mental health. Laura has a passion for serving her community’s most vulnerable members and believes in the power of relationship.


Donald Hutchinson, Goelzer Investment Management

As senior vice president, Don leads Goelzer Investment Management’s Institutional Advisory Group and is a member of the firm’s Executive Management and Investment Policy Committees. With more than 23 years of financial industry experience, Don has achieved a long record in managing institutional, OCIO, and HNW private client portfolios. Before joining Goelzer Investment Management in 2007, Don was a Managing Director and Senior Vice President at JPMorgan. He also served as an Institutional Investment Consultant at Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., where he co-managed larger institutional client portfolios.

Don is a licensed International Financial Analyst. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Financial Planning from Purdue University. He is founding Board Member and the Treasurer for New York based Cookies for Kid’s Cancer Foundation and serves on the Board of Cornea Research Foundation of America.

Jennifer Kasmier, Wellspring Interfaith Social Services

Jennifer is the Executive Director of Wellspring Interfaith Social Services. Her background includes earning a Human Services degree from Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne in 2012 and her Certificate in Executive Nonprofit Leadership from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in 2017. Jennifer’s professional and volunteer experiences are concentrated in the nonprofit field. She has worked with a variety of organizations in DeKalb County and Allen County through internships, employment and Board service. Jennifer is passionate about evaluation, servant leadership, and changing the world!


Mindy King, Limelight Analytics

Mindy, founder and president of Limelight Analytics, has worked as a program evaluator for 18 years, with expertise evaluating afterschool programs, early childhood environments, and healthy community initiatives. Prior to opening her own evaluation and assessment company, Dr. Hightower King served as a Research Scientist for the Center of Education and Lifelong Learning at Indiana University and the Director of Research and Policy Analysis at the Indiana Youth Institute. She currently holds an adjunct appointment in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University where she teaches courses on evaluation and performance. Dr. Hightower King earned her Ph.D. in Health Psychology from the University of California, Irvine and her BA in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Tony Macklin, Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy®

Tony consults with donor families, grantmakers, and their advisors about purpose, use of resources, action planning, and learning. Tony is also managing the National Center for Family Philanthropy’s “Community Foundations Family Philanthropy Network.” He previously served as executive director of the Roy A. Hunt Foundation, a multi-generation family foundation. He facilitated changes in visioning, impact investing, grantmaking, trustee education, and back-office management for the family. In twelve years at the Central Indiana Community Foundation, he led grantmaking initiatives, advised generous entrepreneurs and families, attracted $39 million in assets and co-investments, and launched a social enterprise. He currently serves as a senior advisor to the Impact Finance Center, peer reviewer for The Foundation Review, and trustee of Awesome Boulder.


Dawn Martz, Foellinger Foundation

Dawn has been with the Foellinger Foundation since 1990 and has served as the Senior Program Officer since 2002. Dawn provides the lead staff support for the program operations of the Foundation and monitors the grant administrative processes. In addition, she is responsible for the implementation of the Foundation’s evaluation strategy. Prior to joining the Foundation, Dawn was the Financial Development Director for the YWCA and worked in Economic Development for the City of Fort Wayne. Dawn earned her B.A. in Business and her M.S. in Education from Indiana University.


Brett McKamey, CFA, Goelzer Investment Management

Brett joined Goelzer Investment Management in 1990 and became President and Chief Operating Officer in 2003. A member of Goelzer’s Executive Management Committee, Brett also serves as Chairman of the Investment Policy Committee, a member of the Account Review Committee, and as trustee of the firm’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Prior to joining Goelzer Investment Management, Brett served as a Financial Consultant with Shearson Lehman. He began his business career with InterFirst Bank of Dallas, serving in both Dallas, Texas and London, England.

Brett graduated from Indiana University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and later earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (“CFA”) designation. He is an active member of the CFA Society of Indianapolis. Brett is a recipient of the 2000 Indianapolis Business Journal’s “40 Under Forty” award, recognizing his achievements as a business and professional leader in the Indianapolis area.

Brett has long been active in civic, educational, and philanthropic organizations including the following: Indiana Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Lincoln Collection Foundation, Indiana Landmarks Foundation, Indiana University School of Medicine Planned Giving Committee, Indiana University Kelly School of Business Dean’s Council, and Booth Tarkington Civic Theater's Board of Trustees.


Rose Meissner, Community Foundation of St. Joseph County

Rose joined the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County when it was established in 1992. Under her leadership, the Foundation has grown to be one of the top 100 community foundations in the United States. Meissner holds an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, and a MA in English Literature, and a BA in Economics from the University of Notre Dame. 



Joel Moore, Morgan Stanley

Joel joined Merrill Lynch in 2015, after 12 years with Morgan Stanley. He provides investment consulting services to institutions and families. His experience includes assisting clients with wealth management strategies, asset allocation, investment manager research, donor education, donor development, and overall relationship management. His other area of interest includes sustainable impact investing strategies, where he facilitates client education, thought leadership and portfolio implementation.

Joel graduated from Rockford University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Joel serves on the Rockford University board of trustees, investment committee and human resources committee. He has volunteered on various committees with Forefront Illinois, Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, and the Sustainable Local Food Investment Group (SLoFIG). Joel lives in Chicago with his wife, Brooke, and two young daughters, Ava and Londyn. He spends his free time with family, enjoying the city and visiting relatives throughout the upper Midwest.


Kristen Scott Kennedy, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

Kristen is senior manager in the office of the president at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. In her position, Kristen supports the priorities of the president and CEO, facilitates the work of GEO’s Board of Directors, manages place based partnerships in California and North Carolina, and conducts research and develops programming on emerging topics in philanthropy. 

Previously, Kristen worked for the U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council, a membership organization that promotes the use of cooperatives as a development paradigm. For four years she was managing director at The Bhutan Canada Foundation, a Canadian charitable organization dedicated to improving education in the Kingdom of Bhutan. Kristen began her career in communications and operations at The Unusual Suspects Theater Company in Los Angeles before working in fundraising at The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health in Palo Alto, CA and Macmillan Cancer Support in London, UK. Kristen received her master of public administration from American University’s School of Public Affairs. She is an alumna of the University of Southern California and a recipient of the Nonprofit Executive Scholarship at the Richard Ivey School of Business.


Lebaron Sims, Prosperity Now

Lebaron is Senior Research Manager at Prosperity Now. As a member of the Applied Research team, Lebaron is one of the leads on the Prosperity Now Scorecard, providing data analysis, visualization and writing support for the initiative. He also provides analysis for Prosperity Now policy and programs teams, and for the Assets and Opportunity Network. Previously, Lebaron was a Research Associate at LISC MetroEdge in Chicago, IL, where he provided technical support, analysis, and data visualization for local economic development initiatives in cities across the country. Lebaron holds an M.A. in Urban Affairs from Loyola University Chicago, and a B.A. in Economics from California State University, Fresno.


Sharon Smith, Recently Retired from Dekko Foundation


Sharon retired from the Dekko Foundation earlier this year, after 20 years serving in the roles of Communications Director and Program Director. Prior to joining the Dekko Foundation, she was the executive director of the Whitley County Communication Foundation from 1991-97. Sharon holds a BS in journalism and has been a communications specialist in both consultant and staff roles for numerous nonprofit and for-profit businesses. Sharon served on the IPA Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Member Services Committee.


Linda Speed, J.D., Community Foundation of Southern Indiana

Linda is the President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana. Her nonprofit work experience includes serving as Vice President of Development & Stewardship for the Community Foundation of Louisville, Vice President of Gift and Trust Administration for the Presbyterian Church (USA) Foundation, and Director of the Samuel L. Greenebaum Public Service Program at the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. She is a former litigation attorney with the Louisville law firm of Frost Brown Todd. She received her B.S. from the University of Kentucky and J.D. from the Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Linda serves on the board of the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance and chairs the IPA Education Committee. She is a member and Past President of the Southern Indiana Estate Planning Council, the Kentuckiana Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, and the Fund Raising Executives of Metro Louisville.


Jenna Wachtmann, Ball Brothers Foundation

Jenna is a program officer with Ball Brothers Foundation, a family foundation based in Muncie. She joined the foundation staff in 2014 after working for social service agencies in Indianapolis, Saint Louis, and Washington, D.C. Jenna completed her Master’s Degree in Philanthropic Studies at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy where she focused her studies on foundation giving. She writes occasional blogs for Exponent Philanthropy where she also completed the Next Gen program in 2016.


Stephen Wachtmann, Ball State University

Stephen serves as the Senior Information Systems Auditor at Ball State University where he works with the University to assess the impact of information system controls on financial reporting. Previously, Stephen held the role of Senior Manager at CapinCrouse, a national public accounting firm, where he spent 10 years focused on the nonprofit industry, providing financial reporting and information technology assurance and consulting services to many types of organizations including colleges and universities, foundations, social service agencies, and global mission organizations. His experience affords him a unique perspective on nonprofit financial reporting and information technology/systems impacting financial reporting. He holds professional certifications including the CPA, CITP, and CISA.


Margarita White, Community Foundation of Noble County


Margarita is the Program Director for the Community Foundation of Noble County. She oversees the grantmaking activities of the foundation, and provides direction, and support for the foundation’s various grantmaking programs. Margarita empowers the next generation of philanthropists through her role as the Navigator for PULSE, the foundation’s youth philanthropy group, and her leadership of the Teens on Boards Program. 

Indianapolis Marriott North

3645 River Crossing Pkwy, Indianapolis, IN 46240

Indianapolis Marriott North provides for your effortless stay. Delight in easy access to an array of Northside attractions including the city of Carmel, Grand Park sports complex and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. We are also within walking distance of Keystone Crossing shopping and business district.

Visit Indianapolis Marriott North for details

Benefits for Our Guests

Attendees who book a room at the discounted rate in our block at the Indianapolis Marriott North will also receive:

Room Description

  • Complimentary Wifi
  • Access to Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, TED TV, YOUTUBE
  • Refrigerators available based on request
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Luxurious bedding

Hotel Features

  • Newly updated workout facility
  • Outdoor walking path along our lake
  • Indoor Pool
  • Onsite restaurant and lobby bar
  • Room service

Book Your Room

Book your room now to receive the discounted rate of $164 per night. This rate will be available until Wednesday, May 23, but may sell out earlier.

To book a room, use the link below or call 1-317-705-0000 and mention you are booking as part of the 2018 IPA Conference block.

Book Your Room

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