Class Notes

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Beginning her career as a security guard at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum in 1984, Cathryn C. Ferree, BA’86, MPA’04, proved to be a quick study, eventually working her way up to associate vice president. After a stint as a founding staff member of the Atlanta Children’s Museum, Ferree joined the Conner Prairie interactive history park in Fishers, Ind., in 2008, where she held a number of executive positions, becoming chief operating officer in 2011. In May 2017, Ferree became CEO of the Indiana State Museum. In addition to overseeing the museum, located within White River State Park in Indianapolis, Ferree is also responsible for 11 historic sites around the state, including the T. C. Steele State Historic Site in Brown County, Ind.

Having completed the fastest marathon of his life at 55 years old, and qualifying for the Boston Marathon, Tim W. McDaniel, MA/MS’85, of New Carlisle, Ohio, was preparing to share the good news with friends and family. Logging onto Facebook, he read that his nephew had been badly injured in a motorcycle accident. At the hospital, it was also discovered that his nephew had a previously undetected brain cancer. McDaniel dedicated his Boston Marathon run to his nephew and started a GoFundMe account to cover ongoing costs not covered by insurance. McDaniel is environmental health and safety manager at the Springfield, Ohio, plant of Navistar, a leading manufacturer of commercial trucks, buses, defense vehicles, and engines.

In October 2017, Amy L. Sink, BS’87, CEO of Interra Credit Union in Goshen Ind., received the Indiana Credit Union League’s 2017 Professional Achievement Award. Sink has been in the credit union business since 1987. Her tenure began at Interra when she was named CEO five years ago, and since that time the credit union has grown by nearly $300 million in assets and by 25,000 members. In addition to the leadership she provides at Interra, Sink’s contributions have served credit unions in Indiana and across the country. She is a member of the League’s Governmental Affairs Committee. Her regular interactions with elected officials from Interra’s service area, and beyond, help reinforce visibility for the all credit unions and for key credit union issues, for which she is a passionate advocate.

LaVreen Tealer Hall, BS’99, of Indianapolis, writes that she has been awarded the certificate of leadership from the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy for developing a course and workbook on self-care. Hall is a psychotherapist and faith counselor with Just Words, a company she founded in Indianapolis. Just Words offers professional spiritually based and traditional counseling services to individuals, couples, families, and groups.

In February, IUPUI recognized Kathryn P. Koehler, MPA’98, of Indianapolis, with the Maynard K. Hine Medal for her contributions to the campus and its alumni programs. Koehler has more than 20 years of experience working with public, nonprofit, and private organizations to improve their services. In 2010, she founded Koehler Partners, an Indianapolis-based consulting firm specializing in program evaluation, project management, and training. In addition to her consulting work, she has served as interim director of the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs Executive Education and the IU Public Policy Institute. She frequently speaks to SPEA classes and students, has served as an adjunct professor, and recently completed a term as board president for the SPEA Alumni Association.

In February, Marci M. Ackerhalt-Price, Cert/BA’00, MPA’05, of Indianapolis, was named executive director of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Foundation. A skilled fundraiser with prior experience at Northwestern University and Feeding America, Ackerhalt-Price most recently served as director of grants and foundations for the United Way of Central Indiana. In that role, she was responsible for grant acquisition and strategic partnerships with local and national foundations, resulting in millions of new dollars for the organization.

Nicholas A. Bragin, BS’08, MA’15, recently became associate director of strategic planning and initiatives at IU Bloomington. He and his wife, Anna (Duquaine), MPA’15, welcomed their first child, George Daniel, in August 2017.

In October 2017, PNC Bank announced the appointment of Anthony J. Bridgeman, MPl’06, to vice president and relationship manager for the community development banking team in Indiana. Based in Indianapolis, Bridgeman generates loans and investments to support community and economic development efforts in underserved areas in the state where PNC has a presence. With more than 16 years of community and economic development experience, Bridgeman has led community investment, education, and outreach programs. Most recently, he served as director of community initiatives for the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Bridgeman is a member of the SPEA Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Joshua A. Busby, MPA’08, has been promoted to dean of students and chief student affairs officer at Langston (Okla.) University. In his nine years at Langston, he has worked as coordinator of counseling in the Office of Financial Aid, annual giving officer, and director of student life before he was named dean of students. Busby was also named one of The Journal Record’s 2016 Top 40 Achievers Under 40 in Oklahoma. He lives in Oklahoma City.

In March, Anthony G. “Andy” Fraizer, MPA’05, of Haddon Township, N.J., was named executive director of the Community Foundation of South Jersey. Fraizer joins CFSJ after serving as executive director of Prosperity Indiana, a community economic development organization, for 10 years. He previously worked as director of community development and assistant controller for the City of Indianapolis. Fraizer is a graduate of the Achieving Excellence Program at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. He has served on several local and national boards, including the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations, of which he is currently treasurer, and the SPEA Alumni Association Board of Directors.

In 2017, Allen County Democrats elected Misti M. Meehan, BS’03, BA’14, to succeed Mindy Rogers as party chairwoman. Meehan had been serving as secretary of the party. Meehan is a Fort Wayne resident and executive assistant for T.J. Nowak Supply/Balloon Works. She earned bachelor’s degrees in public affairs and political science from IPFW and was a delegate for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Amanda S. Nickey, BA’01, MPA’10, was named to IU College of Arts and Sciences’ 20 Under 40 inaugural list of outstanding young alumni. She is the president and CEO of Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, a Bloomington, Ind.-based nonprofit that increases access to healthy, whole foods and provides community-based opportunities to build self-reliance. Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard distributes over 181,000 bags of groceries annually and, in 2013, received the Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award, which recognizes innovative U.S.-based grassroots organizations. In addition to running day-to-day operations of the nonprofit, Nickey recently steered the organization’s $325,000 capital campaign and is on the leadership team for Closing the Hunger Gap, a national coalition of organizations working to integrate social justice in emergency food programs. She lives in Bloomington.

In May, experienced environmental litigator Leah B. Silverthorn, BS’04, JD’07, joined the California Chamber of Commerce’s policy team. As a policy advocate, she specializes in climate change, air quality, energy, environmental justice, and transportation and infrastructure issues. Prior to joining CalChamber, Silverthorn was principal owner of Silverthorn Legal, based in Seattle, Wash., where she focused on environmental litigation, contaminated property redevelopment, and environmental cost recovery and defense. Before entering private practice, Silverthorn was a staff attorney in the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s Office of Legal Counsel. She lives in Sacramento, Calif.

“I completed my 11th marathon in November by running the New York City Marathon,” writes Brian L. Spector, MPA’02, of Hamden, Conn. He is deputy chair of clinical operations, physician relations, and program development at the Yale School of Medicine. Over the course of his nearly 25-year career, he has experience working in some of the nation’s premier academic medical centers and schools at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Duke University.

Alison Waske Sutter, JD/MPA’06, sustainability manager for the city of Grand Rapids, Mich., was named to the Grand Rapids’ Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list in 2017. She lives in Grand Rapids.

“I was promoted from development associate to annual giving and stewardship manager at the WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology,” writes, Mallory C. Elver, Cert/BS’15, who lives and works in Bloomington, Ind.

A 22-year-old alum who doesn’t play sports became an overnight sensation at the 23rd Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. At the games, Adam J. Kiefer, BAJ/Cert’17, of Fishers, Ind., almost instantly acquired a nickname: the Singing Soundchecker. Kiefer sang “Silent Night” during a mic check before a press conference for the U.S. slopestyle ski team. This followed a spontaneous rendition of a Pink song, “Just Give Me a Reason,” before a press conference for Canada’s women’s ice hockey team. A spectator shot video of Kiefer’s jaunty rendition and a 41-second clip wound up on the internet. Kiefer traveled to the games as part of his job setting up athletes’ press conferences. One of his tasks was the mic check. (NOTE: Kiefer received an Area Cert in Nonprofit Management in 2017)

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