Love Lives Here

Recently I wrote a piece on my local library, which I was inspired to do since I love books. Around this time, the library’s website experienced a much needed makeover.

Part of their fresh new face (website) are these wonderful tag lines, “Ideas Live Here”, “Innovation Lives Here”, “Discovery Lives Here”, and I was thinking if I created my own tag line along that same vein, it would be “Love Lives Here”.

The line, “Love Lives Here” would describe the subjects in each and every article I have ever written. This is truth. Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Martha Hoover, lawyer turned restauranteur, whose love of providing the best quality ingredients to her patrons is what deeply motivates her. Another subject of an upcoming article is on Mickey Maurer, whose CV is longer than the street I live on and filled with an abundance of amazing business accomplishments and civic duties he has performed, is driven by love – the love of his family and helping others. Just meeting him and getting a glimpse into what he is all about makes you want to be a better person. He’s written 4 books, and I can honestly say I read all 4 cover to cover in 3 days while I wrote his article. (and I highly recommend them all: google Michael S. Maurer for titles)

Carol Frohlich, a 75 year old who performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra as a chaired violinist for 38 years, has channeled her energies into training for triathlons after having both knees replaced shortly after her husband (also a career violinist with the ISO) passed away. Carol exercises out of love of self. She knew she needed to exercise to keep moving and remain independent, not realizing it would lead to a 3-sport competition and loving every minute of it.

The kids performing with Summer Stock Stage at Park Tudor love performing, Josh Posner opened Eva Maison because of his love of natural skincare products, and Kevin Heffernan opened Center Stage Vintage Guitars (in Noblesville) because he loves repairing and creating new instruments – he is an artist in love with his craft.

It’s easy for me to connect with people when I speak with someone who loves what they do, because I love writing. And if they don’t love what they are doing, I quickly find what it is that they do love, because that’s what gets them talking. And I also love listening.

I am grateful to have the privilege of meeting so many incredibly interesting people, and all have the common bond of love. It’s love for what they do and their love of helping others that drives most everyone I meet and in the process they inspire us all.

WWII Duty, Honor, Country: The Memories of Those Who Were There

 

IMG_2450“Steve Hardwick and Duane Hodgin began a personal quest to assure that students and those who will populate the future will recall with detail and accuracy the great challenge of this world at war and the men and women who were engaged in the vanquishing of a great evil.” (take from the Foreword of WWII Duty, Honor Country)

So they have.  This collective account from 84 brave men and women whose interviews have been penned to paper and collected in one book, remind us that the “Greatest Generation” has many lessons from which to learn. In February on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Indian Creek Elementary School, military-clad MPs stood at the entrance to direct traffic while those who stories have been told in this amazing book made their way to the gymnasium for the book’s celebratory launch.

The gym was transformed to resemble a USO hall.  A standing-room only crowd gathered to honor these WWII Veterans and perhaps collect their signatures in a copy of the book.  Hodgin and Hardwick were quite obvious in their intent of the celebration – it is all for the Veterans.  Even though they organized the stories and pieced together the book, It was not them seated ready to pen their name  – only the Veterans.  “It isn’t about me or Duane,” said Steve Hardwick, who did a wonderful Jack Benny impersonation, “It’s about these incredible men and women that the world owes a sincere debt of gratitude.”  The book celebration included musical performances by former students of Steve Hardwick as well as by WWII Veteran Jim McDowell and Joy Conners (LCHS music teacher). An additional honor was bestowed upon the WWII Veterans as Mr. Tom Applegate, former head of Veterans Affairs for Indiana, awarded each Veteran with a Distinguished Hoosier Award.  The Distinguished Hoosier Award is one of the highest tributes given out by the State of Indiana to its citizens. It is solely granted at the discretion of the Governor to Hoosiers who have uniquely brought admiration and respect to the state through their character and accomplishments. No one could argue that there is not a more deserving group of recipients.

WWII KaraFor Hardwick, this all began for him while studying at Indiana State University in the fall of 1985 when he interviewed Terre Haute resident and Holocaust survivor, Eva Kor, for an assignment.  Two years earlier while Hardwick was serving in the military in West Germany, he had visited two concentration camps, which had an impact on him.  Mrs. Kor asked Steve to volunteer for the CANDLES (her Holocaust museum in Terre Haute, www.candlesholocaustmuseum.org) inquest into the death of Dr. Josef Mengele, who performed inhumane experiments on prisoners at the Auschwitz death camp (Mrs. Kor and her twin sister were part of his “experiments”).  After the inquest, Mrs. Kor asked the volunteers how they would use what they learned.  Hardwick announced to the group that his hopes were to share the stories of the Holocaust survivors when he became a teacher.

Forever inspired by Eva Kor’s miraculous story of survival and forgiveness, and that of WWII Veterans, Hardwick (teacher, Indian Creek Elementary – MSDLT) in his role of teacher, father, and now author, has dedicated much of his time to honoring those who served our country.

Co-Author Duane Hodgin’s involvement in writing this book was personally motivated as well, but for different reasons.  On July 13, 1944, while stationed in New Guinea, Everett Hodgin was serving his country during WWII.  Back in Richmond, Indiana, his wife, Ellabell, gave birth to their son Duane.  Like thousands of American servicemen, Everett was not present at the birth of his son. In May of 2004, Duane Hodgin took his father, Everett, to Steve Hardwick’s WWII Tribute put on by current and former students of Hardwick’s.  Upon retiring from Lawrence Township, Duane Hodgin suggested that he and Hardwick interview these Veterans and record their stories.  The interviews began in January 2011, with Everett Hodgin being the first to interview.

WWII Kara 2The list of Veterans, all residents of Indiana, to be included quickly grew to 84.  This is the largest collection of personal accounts from WWII to be printed in one book. Other featured Veterans include:  Edgar Whitcomb, former Governor of Indiana, who was in a bomber division in the Philippines when Pearl Harbor was bombed, (3) Tuskegee Airmen, (4) men to serve in Okinawa, (2) who were at Pearl Harbor, (6) who fought in The Battle of the Bulge, (6) who stormed the beaches at Normandy, many former POWs, (7) women volunteers, (1) Holocaust survivor (Mrs. Kor) and many, many more.  Navy Veteran Ed Moss (USS Neosho) said, “In the war, I learned to serve my country for a purpose greater than myself.”

A few of the Veterans featured in the book are no longer with us.  When Everett Hodgin was interviewed, he was the oldest at 94.  At 95, he was the first of eight who have died since work began on this book.  In 15 years, nearly all WWII veterans will have left us.  The youngest is about 86 years old right now.  As this generation continues to diminish, but Hardwick and Hodgin have provided them ‘a place in the hall of time.  As the last warriors are called home, Hardwick and Hodgin answer the war’s call to remember and honor.’ As Army Veteran (Normandy) Gene Cogan said, “In combat, every day is a life time.”

WWII:  Duty, Honor, Country is available on Amazon.com and also online at Barnes & Noble and available as an eBook.  The Carmel Barnes & Noble will host a book signing April 13th from 2-3pm for the authors and several veterans will be available to autograph books. For more information:  www.ww2dutyhonorcountry.com

The related article “A Love Letter to WWII” originally appeared in Broad Ripple Community Newsletter May 2014.

Todd and Kim Saxton, IU Kelley School of Business Professors Extend Their Passion Beyond the Classroom

saxton 2What do two high-energy individuals who are passionate about their work do for fun? The answer: invest in startups, consult with business owners, mentor, hold Board positions, support charitable organizations, travel, ski, boat and train for triathlons.

Todd Saxton is an Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship for IU Kelley School of Business, 2015 President of Board of Directors for the Venture Club of Indiana, and Indiana Venture Faculty Fellow. Kim Saxton is a Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing at IU Kelley, leads Lean In Circle for women MBA students, and hold s a PhD in statistics. The popular professors both instruct an unusually high number of classes per year, more than double the average.

Not only are Todd and Kim committed to education, they are involved beyond the scope of their jobs and have immersed themselves in the venture community, walking the walk of the talk they talk during lectures. For example, fifteen years ago, Todd sought opportunities to strengthen the relationship between Kelley and the Indianapolis venture community, so he joined the Venture Club of Indianapolis, of which he is now President. Both Todd and Kim are involved with numerous other organizations, including being board members for Marlon Jackson’s Fight for Life organization which facilitates social and emotional learning programs for kids.

Entrepreneurs at heart, neither set out to be educators, but eventually tapped into their natural talent in the area, as both have parents that were teachers. The two met as employees of a startup company providing competitive analysis for potential acquisitions outside of DC.

The appeal of IU’s MBA program brought them to Indianapolis. “We were looking for a program that would work with the needs of our growing family,” shares Todd. IU won out over several schools, including a couple Ivy League options.

saxton 1Now that their girls were older, Todd and Kim have made a commitment to each other and set new goals to celebrate turning 50. After years of taking their daughters to kids’ triathlons, they decided to train for their own Ironman. No small undertaking, this fits right in line with their “all in” modus operandi.

Everything that Todd and Kim do is done with intensity and tenacity of purpose. An Ironman race is the pinnacle of a personal fitness challenge. Supportive and dedicated, the time spent training only brought Kim and Todd closer. Together, they are a team, and they are both coaches as well.

Todd and Kim are people of initiative and action, engaging and energetic. Whether it is triathlons, corporate ventures, the entrepreneurial community, or teaching, the Saxtons are fully engaged. Their passion for what they do shines through.

“There is an entrepreneur inside of all of us, depending on circumstance and provocativeness, it can come out at any time,” states Todd.

This article originally appeared on TownPost.com March 2015.

Rob Sabatini Has the “Best Seat in the House”

RobGrowing up, former Purdue football player Rob Sabatini had two goals, he wanted to own a bar and be a race car driver. While he has accomplished the first objective, he has come as close to the later without actually being behind the wheel.

 

Sabatini has attended every Indy 500 race since 1961, except for one, which he still hasn’t forgiven Logansport High School for scheduling his graduation on race day.

A few years after moving to Indianapolis, Sabatini met Fred Treadway. Sabatini was an experienced food and beverage manager who longed to open a bar. Treadway helped make that dream a reality. Between 1992 and 1995, Treadway and Sabatini opened the Mineshaft Saloon, Rock Lobster Nightclub, and Average Joe’s Sports Pub, creating a trifecta of bars that helped form the Broad Ripple Avenue strip.

Quickly the clubs attracted race fans during the month of May. It wasn’t long before Sabatini ran the “Front Row Party” for the Indy 500 drivers, crew, and guests. Longing to be more closely involved with racing, the price tag to do so was rather high until fate intervened. The Indy Racing League formed in 1996 following the split from CART, allowing a window of opportunity for Treadway to start a race team with legendary racer Arie Luyendyk as his driver. This gave Sabatini a chance to join the team and live out his dream.

“The IRL offered me an opportunity to become an actual Indycar crew member. I remember my first 500 walking out of Gasoline Alley and being so excited I went back to the garage so I could walk out again!” shares Sabatini.

His position with the team was as the pit-board man. A pit-boarder’s job is one of the most dangerous on race day. The position entails being between the track and pit row in the narrow gap between the small concrete barriers conveying information to the driver such as when to pit, position, and lap numbers. If the radio fails, the pit-boarder is the only source of communication between the driver and the crew.

“I was the closest guy to the driver,” says Sabatini, “If the car ran over a piece of debris, the crew chief would have the driver pull up close to the wall so I could assess for potential damage. In that position, you are IN the race.”

Sabatini absorbed every adrenaline-rushed minute of it, claiming he had the best seat in the house. Due to safety concerns, the position was eliminated in 2014 after Mayor Ballard was hit with debris at the start of the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis. But while it was in play, Sabatini claims, “I am not sure which I enjoyed more, the racing element of danger or cheating death every race.”

The last race Sabatini crewed was in 2013. However, it was the 2011 Indianapolis 500, that, unfortunately, was the race that proved to be the biggest disappointment of the eighteen 500’s he participated in. Leading with one lap remaining and with his National Guard team ahead by more than 4 seconds, rookie driver J.R. Hildebrand hit the wall on the last turn of the last lap, handing, what moments before was certain victory to the late Dan Wheldon, and crossing the finish line second in his crashed car.

IMG_2246“It was unreal, recalls Sabatini, “My heart was pounding and my adrenaline was jacked and just that quick it was over. I recall sitting on the wall with team manager Chris Moyer and engineer David Cripps just shaking our heads in disbelief. The replays played for months and every time I thought maybe this time it would end differently. Apart from being part of Arie Luyendyk’s crew that set the one and four lap qualifying records and was victorious in the 1997 Indy 500, the 2011 race will always stand out as one of the most emotional moments of my life.”

“I am so grateful to Fred Treadway,” says Sabatini, “He not only financed my dream to own a bar, but also started an Indycar team, allowing me to live my childhood dream.” Sabatini bought out Treadway in 2008, but the two remain close.

And while not currently involved with a race team, Sabatini continues to spend time at the track. Last year he worked with Indy 500 event coordinators to help handle green room and pre-race logistics. “LeAnn Rimes, Cocoa and Ice Tea, Mark Cuban, and Andrew Luck all made appearances before the race and I was fortunate enough to get help with the coordination,” says Sabatini.

Prior to moving to Indianapolis in 1989, Sabatini was the food and beverage director for Ditka’s Restaurant in Chicago when the Bears won the Super Bowl. “Being around an event like that is similar to being in the Winner’s Circle at the Indy 500,” says Sabatini, “It’s a different kind of exhilaration.”

“I have dedicated my life to racing and to my businesses,” confesses Sabatini. However, there is more than owning a bar and racing that fuels him. Sabatini’s other passion lies in DJ’ing.

“Ever since Saturday Night Fever was big in the 70s, I have been a DJ. I was a DJ before it was cool to be one. When I moved to Indy, no one would hire me so I had to open my own bars to DJ in,” laughs Sabatini. He has been a fixture in both the Mineshaft Saloon and Rock Lobster DJ booths since opening and continues be the DJ at Rock Lobster every Friday and Saturday night starting at 10pm.

Sabatini is as invested in Broad Ripple as anyone could be. Owning three bars, a convenience store (Rock & Hard Place General Store, right next to Rock Lobster), Rob Sabatini covers all aspects of being a true Broad Ripple villager. He also owns a home and lives in Broad Ripple, is a landlord for two Broad Ripple rental homes, and built and sold the former Canal Point Grill, currently Flatwater. He is a director on the BRVA and serves as the association’s Public Safety Chairman.

“I can’t say enough about Fred Treadway. We were partners for 16 years,” shares Sabatini, “He believed in me and in my dreams.”

For more information on racing and other events, go to the company website at averagejoes.com or follow on twitter @djsabbo, Sabatini’s twitter account.

This article originally appeared in Broad Ripple Community Newsletter, May 2015

Myths and Legends of the White River

 

The curves along the White River through Broad Ripple have witnessed quite a bit in the last hundred years. And while you may never step into the same river twice, the residents along the White River know the secrets of its past.

IMG_2412A Bygone Era

Along the River, there used to be Millionaire’s Row, a speakeasy, brothels, bars, and a

dance hall with names such as Lovely Lassie’s, the Gold Doubloon, and Happy Landings Bar. A Chicago gangster named Toughie Mitchell was shot and killed at Happy Landings Bar, which was located at Ravenswood Beach.

In the early 1930s, Terrace Beach was host to many parties, one of which included Steve McQueen’s mom as a guest. “Steve McQueen grew up in Beech Grove,” shares Broad Ripple resident and life-long river rat, Mike Boone, “His mom was invited to a party on the river bank just north of where the White River Yacht Club is, called Terrace Beach, and my sister was placed in the same playpen with Steve and he bit her. She still has the scar,”

The 1950 romantic drama, To Please A Lady, starring Clark Gable and Barbara Stanwick was filmed, in part, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. During filming, Clark Gable stayed with and partied at the home of the IMS Publicist, who lived on the White River next door to Mike and Lynne Boone.

“Rumor has it that the boat house next door saw quite a few wild parties during the filming of the movie,” shares Boone, whose dad rented out a Cadillac convertible to the production company for use in the movie.

If These Walls Could Talk

Director of The Forum, Tim Yale, inherited quite a history when he purchased his waterfront home 23 years ago. The home was built in 1951 by LaRue Supper Club owner Harley Horton to accommodate the after hours parties once his club closed at midnight.

“The LaRue was the first dinner club in Indianapolis,” shares Yale, “and by law, the club had to close at midnight, so our home was built for after-hours entertaining.”

The home was professionally decorated, utilizing zebra rugs and accents and featuring female nude frescos lining the stairs and certain walls.

WhiteRiver3LaRue’s supper club hosted talent such as Rudy Valli, Roan & Martin, and Carol Channing. These performers as well as celebrity guests Johnny Weissmuller (the original Tarzan), Clark Gable, and our own “Voice of the 500” Tom Carnegie, all partied at the Horton House into the wee hours.

An article from the Indianapolis News indicates that the home caught on fire in 1952 and was extinguished by pumping 65,000 gallons of water from the 30′ x 66′ swimming pool. Weissmuller reportedly did cannon balls into the pool. The massive size of the pool allowed the Horton grandchildren to launch boats in it.

Presidential Visit:

May 4, 1980, Rex and Barbara Early hosted a political fundraiser for then Gov. Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Secret Service closed off their street in either direction during the 3 hour event. Fifty guests mingled with the Reagan’s around the Early pool and deck for the afternoon.

What made the event notable, aside from the high profile guest of honor, was the arrival of the uninvited guests via the river. The event was crashed by a boat load of beer enthusiasts who were fellow members of the White River Yacht Club with the Early’s. The intoxicated men obnoxiously called out, “Hey Ronnie!” to the guest of honor, who graciously waved back.

“The Secret Service did not know whether to laugh or open fire,” shares Rex Early, who was Gov. Ronald Reagan’s Presidential Campaign Chairman for the state of Indiana.

Overheard at the WRYC:

“There used to be a double-decker paddle wheel boat on the river, but it capsized when most of the passengers crammed to the starboard side to look at a beautiful girl (rumored to have been topless) in a canoe paddling by,” shares Jimmy “Mack” McDowell, long-time river resident.

Champion skier and river resident, Jim Kemna, recalls when the White River was known for its barefoot skiing.

“Back in the 80s, the river was the place to train for barefoot skiing,” says Kemna, who was a state champion and ranked nationally at that time, “Boats were cheap and gas was cheap,”

Boat companies targeted the area for promotional deals for new boats and skiing equipment.

“Barefoot regionals were held nearby but Broad Ripple held a Free Event Skiing, slalom, ski jump course also on the river,” says Kemna, “there used to be lots of people out on the river.”

Barefoot skiers and boat racing wasn’t the only daredevil attempts along the river. “Rumor has it Winston Knauss flew his helicopter under the Keystone Ave. bridge,” says Kemna.

“There used to be houseboats that the race drivers would use for parties on the White River across from the garden shop,” says McDowell.

The Dawson family has been linked to Broad Ripple and the White River for generations. Esther Dawson, Bob Dawson’s grandmother, even wrote a history of the Broad Ripple area. Esther and her husband owned a large farm with their original home now a part of Joy’s House on Broad Ripple Avenue. Esther’s husband was Lt. Governor under Gov. Henry Schricker.

For recent generations, Dawson Lake, owned by the Dawson family, was where every youth on the north side of Indianapolis went to party on the weekends.

“My ancestors bought their land from the Native Americans,” says Bob Dawson, “The river was significant, because it was a property boundary for the land.”

FC Tucker Realtor on the River, Angie Trusty, has made it her business to know the history of the homes along the river. “The home of Nancy Duke and Tod Trafelet has an interesting conversation piece: its stairwell. Their beautiful stairwell originated from a hotel downtown and was floated upriver to the home at the time of construction,” shares Trusty.

Inspiration from the White River:

Local visionary is Dan Ripley, who says, “I can envision a time when Labor Day traditions are defined by a trip to our waterways to boat, swim, canoe, float, fish, ski and generally socialize in the environment of our natural waterways. I can see a recovery of the water quality and its nature within. I see riverbanks cleared of invasive plant species that once again support a vibrant wildlife and are naturally sustainable. I can see waterfront homes, social clubs, restaurants and businesses that front the water instead of turning their backs and placing their trash containers along the water. I see water taxis, sightseeing tours, waterski shows and tournaments, flotillas and regattas. I see sandy beaches, protected swimming areas cleansed by natural filtration, flood controls that work with the natural flows of the river instead of fighting to contain it. I see bald eagles, otters and children each enjoying a clean, safe and beautiful outdoor lifestyle right here in central Indiana…None of this is mythological. It once was and can be again.”

For more information on Esther Dawson’s history in her own words, visit: broadripplehistory.com. For treasures from our area available at auction, visit RipleyAuctions.com. For more Rex Early stories, he wrote a book full of them, It’s A Mighty Think Pancake (that don’t have two sides).

This article originally appeared in the Broad Ripple Community Newsletter, April 2015

Michael S. Maurer, Leading By Example

“Take the leap, and the net will appear,” said Sylvia McNair, one of 19 women featured in a book by Michael S. Maurer, “19 Stars of Indiana: Exceptional Hoosier Women,” IU Press.

This statement by McNair adequately sums up Mickey Maurer’s approach to life. Maurer has been many things, and the term “entrepreneur” doesn’t seem to do him justice.

He is not someone that knows a little about a lot of things; he knows a lot about a lot of things. Maurer doesn’t take an interest in something lightly; he digs in, immersing himself until expert level is achieved. Then once saturated, he moves on to the next item on his list.

“I am not sure he keeps a ‘to do’ list, aside from writing down his schedule each night before leaving the office,” shares Maurer’s daughter, Jill Burnett. “He is the only person I know who still actively uses a Rolodex, even though I have told him his phone could do that.”

“My first job was leading ponies for small children at an amusement center. I was in elementary school. The pony in front of me dumped on my tennis shoe. I decided to continue my education and strive for something that smelled a little better,” shares Maurer.

After graduating from North Central High School, Maurer attended the University of Colorado for his undergrad, then earned a degree from the Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington.

After practicing law for 20 years, Maurer realized he was more of an entrepreneur. “I became an attorney because my father couldn’t due to the constraints of the Great Depression. I wasn’t very good at being a lawyer,” says Maurer.

Turning to other interests, Maurer indicates he’s dabbled in cable television, film production, radio broadcasting, newspaper publishing, real estate and banking. To be clear, Maurer is Chairman of the Board of the IBJ Corporation, which publishes The Indianapolis Business Journal, Court and Commercial Record and The Indiana Lawyer. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board of The National Bank of Indianapolis, so saying he “dabbles” is drastically understating the truth.

“Mickey has been a tremendous resource in the community,” says Emmis Communications Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan. “He has made a real impact through his tremendous civic stewardship.”

As one of original board members of Emmis Communications, Maurer’s friendship with Smulyan dates back over 30 years. Smulyan continues, “Mickey’s had a positive impact on improving the quality of life here in central Indiana.”

The impact of Maurer’s civic and philanthropic endeavors is impossible to quantify. Maurer’s contributions run wide and deep within our community, including his name gracing the Indiana University Law School in Bloomington. This incredibly generous donation on behalf of Maurer and his wife Janie illustrates their commitment to the school. The Maurer School of Law is a national leader in the study of the global legal profession.

As part of his civic duties, Maurer served as the President of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., and the following year, he was named Indiana Secretary of Commerce by Governor Mitch Daniels.

“I was paid $1 per year for that job,” shares Maurer emphasizing, “ONE dollar!”

Maurer replaced Vera Bradley co-founder Pat Miller as the Indiana Secretary of Commerce. During the transition, Maurer referred to Miller as a “classy dame,” which was spun as an offensive comment by The Indianapolis Star.

To the contrary, Maurer was offering Miller, who was not offended in the least, a sincere, heartfelt compliment. This incident inspired Maurer to pen the book, “19 Stars of Indiana: Exceptional Hoosier Women,” highlighting true role models for our society, both locally and globally.

“I marvel at Mickey’s perseverance and passion by which he pursues the things that are important to him,” praises Christel House Founder and CEO Christel DeHaan. “He is making a difference. What a great testimony to living a purposeful life.”

The success of the book influenced Maurer to create one honoring Hoosier men. In the book, he features, among others, Senator Richard Lugar, Eugene B. Glick and Gebisa Ejeta, a Purdue University geneticist and World Food Prize Foundation 2009 Prize Laureate, whom Maurer sincerely credits with the sole responsibility of saving more lives than anyone else on the planet.

“Dr. Ejeta researched drought-tolerant and striga-resistant sorghum seeds which reported yields four times larger than traditional sorghum crops. He’s helped save the lives of millions of Africans through his food research which cannot be understated,” says Maurer. Dr. Ejeta still teaches at the Purdue University Glenn W. Sample School of Agriculture in West Lafayette.

“My dad has always believed in following and pursuing your interests and passions,” shares Burnett. “He’s always encouraged my brothers and me to do so, as he certainly has followed his.”

One hobby turned into a gorgeous coffee table book, “Water Colors,” a stunning collection of underwater photography of creatures barely noticed by the naked eye. Aside from one photo of his beautiful wife hidden in a school of fish, all other photographs are of objects no bigger than a fingernail. The quality of the photographs look to be from one of National Geographic’s veteran underwater photographers.

“One snowy weekend, I thought I would arrange my underwater photographs into a book,” recalls Maurer. “One year later, the book went to print.”

In his most recent book, “10 Essential Principles of Entrepreneurship,” Maurer features life lessons you never learned in school. He dedicates the book to his father, Julius Maurer, and his Uncle Mickey.

“My dad and uncle owned Maurer Brothers Auto Parts at Ninth and Senate Avenue,” shares Maurer. “Out on the fence was a sign that read, ‘If you can’t stop in, smile as you go by.’” The lessons shared in the book are illustrated with examples of Maurer’s friends, including Martha Hoover, who exemplifies redefining “barriers to entry.” Hoover is not mentioned once but four times throughout the book.

“I am fortunate to be able to call Mickey Maurer a mentor, as well as a friend,” shares Hoover. “So often people refer to him as a ‘serial entrepreneur,’ but really he is a ‘serial mentor.’ Always generous to me personally, to countless others and to the community at large, Mickey gives of his time, talent and treasure.

“I never walk away from even a chance meeting without learning something. Mickey’s worldview is progressive and big picture, yet his impact is local. Unlike others in his position, he freely and graciously continues to share his knowledge.”

Hoover’s Patachou, Inc. proudly provides sponsorship for Mickey’s Camp, a unique camping experience Maurer created 15 years ago. What if you could combine two and a half days of fun events, relaxation and networking in a different environment than you are used to? Mickey’s Camp splits the week between the women and the men, enabling a fun networking experience for their campers, and it’s partially tax-deductible.

“It was always a dream of mine to have a camp where you can learn new skills from the best, so billiards is taught by world ranking professionals Jeanette Lee and her husband George Breedlove,” says Maurer, mentioning only a couple of the 40+ activities on the list of options. “A camper can learn how to play Texas Hold’em from World Series of Poker champion Linda Johnson.”

Since its inception 15 years ago, Mickey’s Camp has raised and donated over $2 million to local charities. Descending on Bradford Woods are 125 women and 125 men to immerse themselves in activities taught by the best in their fields.

Burnett joined event manager extraordinaire Kari Strolberg in coordinating all camp activities, meals and logistics. Not only does Burnett get to work with Mickey’s Camp, but this enables her to work closely with her dad, gleaning knowledge from him.

“You can’t get a better teacher than my dad,” says Burnett. “He is patient and encouraging, and while he may steer me a bit, he is always there for me. I love being with my dad and watching him in action.”

“This is the ninth year for women and the 15th year for men,” shares Strolberg. “We have many repeat campers, but new campers are always welcome.”

And thanks to donors like Patachou, Inc., campers experience incredible meals. “We have amazing partnerships providing our meals such as Patachou, Scholars Inn, Palomino, Kahn’s Catering, Traders Point Creamery, Amore, Sullivan’s and Shapiro’s, to name a few!” says Burnett. “We are so grateful for all of our sponsors!”

“Mickey’s Camp is a rewarding experience with so many stories,” shares Strolberg. “It is a great opportunity to try new things, and it can be whatever you want it to be. There are people who do wine tasting, gourmet cooking and anything that isn’t fitness related. There is something for everyone, no matter what kind of person you are, athletic or not, and each camper can choose eight options from over 40 activities, which encourages campers to come back and try more things.”

“Similar to Dr. Seuss’ ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ lesson, how do you know you don’t like them unless you try?” adds Burnett. “After all, trying something new might spark an unknown passion or skill.”

Maurer and his wife, Janie, have three children and nine grandchildren.

For more information on Mickey’s Camp, please visit mickeyscamp.com.

 

Cultivating Her Roots: Restauranteur Martha Hoover Flourishes in Her Own Backyard

marthaThe motivation behind opening Cafe Patachou at 49th & Penn was fueled by the need to fill a void for the type of place Martha Hoover wished to frequent. The location selected for this gutsy venture was close to home, close to her roots.

“Investing into my community is natural for me,” shares Hoover, “It only makes sense to invest in the place that you love.”

Hoover’s investment in her own neighborhood is substantial. It’s evident she believes in the Broad Ripple / Meridian Kessler neighborhoods, for her investment in these areas is consistent and generous. Not only does she have four of her restaurants in the area, the Patachou corporate office and production kitchen are located here, too.

“Not only do we have several locations concentrated in Broad Ripple and the Meridian Kessler neighborhoods, each time Martha remodels and improves the properties, it is with significant thoughtfulness and care,” says Patachou Inc. Brand Manager, Christina Pippen, “Martha only does things one way and that’s top notch, down to the last spoon.”

Rejuvenating a dilapidated building and turning it into a casual walk-in restaurant along the Monon is a prime example of the love Hoover has for the area as well as fostering Patachou Foundation’s mission to feed hungry kids. Public Greens, Hoover’s new concept restaurant, is entirely committed to giving back to the community she holds dear. But it means far more, for they grow much of their own produce on site. Hoover partnered with Growing Places Indy, supplying gardener Joe Huff as the in-house farmer at Public Greens to maintain and cultivate the raised beds along the Monon trail.

Huff is scheduling “growing” workshops for the home gardener. “We plan to cover topics such as companion planting,” says Huff, “For instance planting basil with tomatoes helps with spacial efficiency which is an element of sustainable urban farming.”

Farm Manager Tyler Henderson of Growing Places Indy is thrilled to be working with Public Greens and The Patachou Foundation. “At Growing Places Indy, our mission is to empower individuals and communities to Grow Well, Eat Well, Live Well, and Be Well,” shares Henderson, “The Public Greens Micro Farm on the Monon Trail is a great addition to our other urban farming sites including the White River State Park, the Cottage Home Neighborhood, and the Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center.”

Another Patachou Foundation partnership is with “Bee Public”, which will provide Public Greens with bees, strictly for their produce pollination.

“One in three bites of food is directly possible because of a bee,” says Pippen.

martha 2Sincere interest with educating their neighbors and patrons, Public Greens will host “1st Friday at the Farm”, every month. This event will feature a harvesting session with Farmer Joe, a beekeeping session with Public Greens Bee Keeper Kate, and cocktails and dinner based on what is harvested. Whether it’s date night or with kids, these events promise to be fun and educational.

Patachou, Inc. is serious about education, requiring their staff to be experts in just about everything Patachou dishes out, whether its the new Stumptown nitrobrew coffee on tap at Public Greens or the expresso at Petit Chou. This particular training is extensive, allowing two weeks to understand how to properly prepare a cup of joe. (not the farmer)

Stumptown Coffee Roasters Nitro coffee was served exclusively at their own shops until Hoover convinced them to trust her with their innovative nitro brew tapping process. Popular along the opposite coasts of the US, and originating in Portland, Oregon, Stumptown discovered a kindred spirit with Hoover and Patachou, Inc., resulting in the first non-Stumptown cafe to serve their cold nitro brew coffee on tap with the same reverence and exquisite attention to detail both companies demand.

Yet this is just the latest example of Hoover’s progressive demand for only the best for her patrons and staff. Hoover believes in investing in her personnel as well as her community. Extensive training is given to all staff, many of whom move up in the ranks, resulting in very little turnover.

“Years ago, before local produce suppliers could provide Hoover with all of her required ingredients, she would drive out to the airport to pick up her field greens,” shares Pippen, “No one had even heard of field greens and certainly no other area restaurant was using them at that time.”

Today, Patachou, Inc. proudly supports 25 local family farms, five of which are entirely and exclusively supported by Martha’s restaurants. Sourcing only the finest ingredients, quality is never compromised, and buying local whenever possible. “Martha is passionate about sourcing local whenever possible,” says Pippen.

“I am not motivated by pretension or fancy dishes, just superb quality food,” says Hoover. The proof is evident with every dish that leaves her kitchens.

“When you look at the projects we have done since 1989, the center of our focus has been in Broad Ripple and Meridian Kessler neighborhoods,” says Hoover, “These are incredibly fine examples of urban neighborhoods that have remarkable diversity of residential and business owners. The microcosms of the Mass Ave, Fountain Square, and downtown get a lot of attention which is wonderful, but Broad Ripple and Meridian Kessler are thriving and remarkably stable.”

“We are a regional brand with eyes focused nationally,” says Hoover, “People may take us for granted locally, but there isn’t an equivalent in Denver or other regions around the country.” Hoover may enjoy being taken for granted, given the consistency of the every day dining experience at any of her restaurants.

Public Greens will soon be open 7 days a week, including Sunday and Monday, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For beekeeping and gardening classes, please view website for details, www.publicgreensurbankitchen.com

This article originally appeared in Broad Ripple Community Newsletter June 2015

The Will to Stay Strong: Lyn Jones

 

IMG_2111Running has been a major part of Lyn Jones’ life for 35 years. The Junior Olympics started a running club at her school, encouraging kids to channel their energy in a positive way. “Coming from a poor and dysfunctional home, running saved my life,” shares Jones.

“Thanks to the focus I maintained through running at a young age, I went on to become the first person in my family to graduate from college,” says Jones, who earned a doctorate degree and now teaches English education and creative writing as a professor at Ball State University as well as being the Education Outreach Director for the Indiana Writers Center.

In 2010, she blew out her knee while playing with her son, Will, severing the nerve at edge of tibia. Given the severity of the injury, Jones was told she would never run again.

“Given my life experiences and my rough childhood, I can honestly say that not being able to run was the worst thing to ever happen to me,” says Jones, “That is how vital a part of my life it was.”

This period of Jones’ life was dominated by depression and stress. “I was weak, emotionally and physically,” says Jones. Lyn and her husband have a beautiful son, whom they love very much. Will is a joy and a blessing in so many ways, but he is also physically demanding. Will has cerebral palsy and autism, requiring two people to physically assist him 24 hours a day.

After two surgeries, multiple procedures, and exhaustive therapies, Jones was teetering into despair without having an outlet for her stress and no means of restorative physical exercise.

Her pediatrist, Dr. Scott Schulman, a former weight lifter, suggested Jones try iFAST. Jones was convinced that no one could help her, but Schulman persisted.

“Scott said iFAST was an amazing place,” says Jones, “I couldn’t imagine that a gym could help me, but I had nothing to lose.”

At iFAST, Jones started with physical therapy every day. She had a team to help her on her road for recovery. Her trainers believed in her at a time when she lacked the same positivity. Her team was determined that she have a successful experience and reach her goals.

“I need to be strong for my kid. I need to be strong for me,” says Jones, “I had a team that wanted me to be better. I had support. Hope returned that I could be strong again.”

“It’s a powerful moment when a client has hope,” says Mike Robertson, co-owner of iFAST, “My business partner Bill (Bill Hartman, PT) says that he wants an answer for everything. The goal is to learn and educate yourself so that you can ultimately help as many people as possible.”

Even though Jones will not run again, she has learned how to do cardio differently thanks to IFAST.  “I can do shorter, more impactful bursts of cardio using ropes, a prowler, a full incline treadmill, or with box jumps,” says Jones.

In terms of results, Jones started developing muscle definition and feeling emotionally and physically stronger within the first 2 weeks of training.  Most importantly, she was doing this pain free.

Just six months after starting at iFAST and experiencing slow and steady progress with regaining her strength, Jones broke her foot by tripping over her son’s hospital bed. “I was crushed, just when things were going well,” says Jones, “This break happened.”

Surprisingly to Jones, her trainer Zach said, “Get in here, we can work around it.”

“He kept me strong,” says Jones.

After working out at iFAST for just over a year, Jones attended a power lifting meet. “I want to do that!” Jones said to her trainer.

By making that pronouncement, her fitness goals changed as well as her training program. After years of reaching a finish line, she set a completely different goal for herself. Jones trained for a year before competing in her first power lifting meet, and she did well.

“iFAST is a special place. It has certainly been important in my life. My mantra with them is ‘keep me safe, keep me strong’ and they have helped me accomplish my goals,” says Jones.

To accompany photo with Lyn, Jim & Will, or with Jim and Lyn:

Jim Jones spent 23 years with the Army, now teaches at BSU. He is a martial arts expert with a 2nd degree black belt in Kung Fu and a black belt in Japanese sword fighting. He is currently working on being a Master in Tae Kwon Do.

Kirsten Shaw

Kirsten Shaw, who works the front desk at IFAST, has struggled with obesity for 20 years. In 2011, Shaw decided doing the Geist 5K would be a fun way to get fit with her family. Within days of completing the race, however, Kirsten’s husband Larry required emergency heart surgery and received three stents in his “widow-maker” artery.

“The doctor told us that walking the race probably saved his life. His surgery was a huge wake-up call for me on how important it was for me to stop the yo-yo madness and make being healthy my new normal.”

“My goal was to change one habit at a time.” says Shaw, who has lost over 115lbs to date. “When I finally prioritized my health and happiness, I blossomed. Taking care of myself first has enabled me to be a better mom, a better wife, and a better employee.”

This article originally appeared in Fishers Community Newsletter, April 2015

At Home with Scott and Aunna Fadness

First Family 4Scott and Aunna Fadness are relaxed and easy going as we sit down to talk. Given the last twelve months of their life, their demeanor is a pleasant surprise.

It was one year ago this month of September that Scott and Aunna began Scott’s run for Mayor in the town (almost City) where he has worked since 2006. “The last twelve months have been a bit action-packed,” confesses Scott. Aunna agrees, “the choice to run for mayor was Scott’s and we have just rolled with it.” Scott, 32, and Aunna, 31, moved to Fishers in 2007. Scott began an internship with the Town of Fishers in 2006 while commuting from Bloomington. Scott and Aunna would inevitably be drawn to call Fishers their home.

The build up to the primary last spring was a crazy time, and exciting in another way, for during the busiest part of the race, Aunna discovered she was expecting. They withheld this bit of news from the public until after the primary. And to top it off, their due date is mid-November, just after the main election.

Scott Fadness is a bit of a reluctant politician. Since 2006, Scott has held several different job titles within the town, learning as much as he can about each department along the way. Growing up on a farm in North Dakota in a town with a population of 2,200, Scott’s parents, Deb and Bruce Fadness, were surprised that he adapted so well to bigger city living. They were not surprised, however, by Scott’s soon to be new title of Mayor. Working out in the fields with his dad and grandfather, Scott learned every aspect of their farm through hands-on experience. They know this is where Scott gleaned his work ethic.

Frequently on ride-alongs with Fishers police officers, or helping plow the streets in the middle of the night, Scott continues to spend time with all departments. “I love the job of Town Manager. This is where my passion is. When the people voted to approve Fishers becoming a city in 2011, I had not realized that it meant I would lose my job,” shares Scott, “I ultimately decided to run for office so that I wouldn’t leave the team that I have loved being a part of.”

First Family 5Scott earned his undergrad degree in Political Science at the University of North Dakota. “I thought I would be a third generation farmer,” says Scott. Apparently he was guided down a different path. Knowing he wanted to get a masters degree in Public Affairs, IU’s SPEA was at the top of the list next to Harvard.

When Scott’s parents flew down to see him in Bloomington, Scott drove them around to let them get a feel for the city. “When you drive in downtown Bloomington and surrounding areas, you get an immediate feel for what Bloomington is all about. That is the feel I want to create in Fishers,” says Scott of his vision for our newly found city.

The move to Indiana would prove prophetic for not only his career path, but most importantly this is where he met Aunna. Aunna is from a small unincorporated area in northwestern Indiana called Union Mills, population: 2,212. She graduated from South Central High School, located in southern La Porte county. After getting her undergrad degree at Purdue, she earned a masters in Environmental Affairs at SPEA. She works for an environmental engineering company.

Both Scott and Aunna share a passion for giving back. Scott is on the Board for the Hamilton County Humane Society. They volunteer with the American Red Cross and for Alternatives, the women’s shelter in Anderson. They are also on the committee to fund a shelter in Hamilton County. Both are young, dynamic and easy-going, which are all needed characteristics for the job at hand.

Fishers has witnessed more than its fair share of growth and change in the last twenty-five years. Interestingly enough, a farm boy from North Dakota is leading us through the bulk of this shift. Given Scott and Aunna’s background and adaptability for change, their small town, country upbringing has perfectly prepared this couple for what lies ahead.

Scott is in the right place at the right time. But what if the baby decides the right time to arrive is on Election Day? “That is easy. I am with my wife and son. They are forever, the office isn’t,” says Scott.

He has his priorities straight.

This article originally appeared in Geist Community Newsletter, September 2014

Immersed with Scott Jones

ScottOne can only imagine how proud Scott Jones’ parents were to find out that their son was hired on as a research scientist at MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, only to discover that after spending 6 years at IU he had not yet earned a degree. A mere technicality of one Economics course and a language requirement was needed for Jones to move to Boston.

The Econ credit was completed via correspondence. What is interesting is the manner in which Jones studied for his Spanish language fulfillment exam – by locking himself in his grandmother’s attic for 10 days. Oddly, while immersing himself in his Spanish textbooks, Jones listened to German music.

During his time at IU, Jones applied to study abroad in Hamburg, Germany. However, Jones was not accepted into the program because he had not done well enough in class. Ironically, while attending MIT, he lived with a family from Hong Kong. There were 4 generations under one roof speaking Cantonese, which is more challenging to learn than Mandarin. Jones became mildly fluent in Cantonese conversation through this immersive experience.

The earliest memory Jones has of his extended focused attention was the time when he completely dismantled his mother’s (she was a journalist) electric typewriter and re-assembled it, which took all night.

This pattern of immersion would continue. During the creation of Boston Technology, a voicemail company he co-founded, the hard-working crew barely left their offices. They slept under their desks, ordered in carry-out, and completely immersed themselves into their voice mail services project. While this did result in a nice liquidity event for Jones,  and his partner and their investors, the process was not without moments of panic, sometimes expressed by partner, Greg Carr. What concerned Carr was Jones’ constant stream of entrepreneurial ideas. While perhaps valid ideas, most did not pertain to their project at hand, and were distractions for Jones.

Jones needed to cathartically release all other percolating ventures out of his head. He filled journals with these ideas so he could completely focus on their immediate situation. By writing down his extemporaneous thoughts, Jones was able to declutter his brain and focus.

Jones knew that in order to achieve what they set out to do, he had to get rid of all un-related distractions. They virtually did not leave the building for 2 years. His immersion paradigm would prove successful.

After the Boston Technology liquidity event, Jones explored those notebooks of ideas. He has been able to “play” in a spectrum of playgrounds. A few results of this are: Grace Note, ChaCha, Precise Path Robotics, Galaxia Lighting, Escient, Gazelle TechVentures, and now Eleven Fifty Academy.

With the proven success of Jones’ immersive style, this quintessential entrepreneur, with an innate understanding of technology, has repeated this pattern of immersion in everything he does. His process is not without moments of doubt or fear creeping in.

It was a fear of failure that delayed him diving into programming while at IU, but once he immersed himself into coding, he spent most of his time with computers in the basement of the HYPR building.

As challenges arise during Jones’ creative process, Jones focuses on the question, such as, “How can I solve this?” before he would sleep, then awake with an answer. If this doesn’t work, he goes outside to walk and contemplate the solution. During the Boston Technology days, Jones hiked around the famous Walden Pond in Concord, contemplating a snag that had arisen and a solution would inevitably surface.

Another coping mechanism that Jones employs is to look at all possible outcomes. “I mentally fast forward to what’s going to happen,” shares Jones, “I look for what can be done to prevent  as many of the failed scenarios as possible and move forward.” He has trained himself to take risks.

Einstein said, “Play is the highest form of research.” Einstein was on to something, for many discoveries of new innovations are facilitated by creativity and experimentation. Sometimes even mistakes or unintended results have been some of the greatest discoveries of science or technology.

Back in 2005, Indy Robotics LLC funded a team of 120 researchers to create a unmanned vehicle in a competition sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Of the researchers, about 20 of them spent one month camped out in the Mohave Desert doing nothing but working on their 6,000 pound, autonomous robot vehicle. Those 20 made more progress during that month in the desert than the full team of about a hundred managed during the prior 18 months leading up to the race. The twenty robotics experts and engineers were finally immersed in their project. There was no other choice. They were in the middle of the Mohave Desert with the closest hotel forty-five minutes away.

Eleven Fifty Academy puts immersion into practice. For 12-14 hours a day, for 7 days, students are writing code. Food is catered in, the distractions are minimized—the , leaving the only thing to do is to focus on programming. This The coding classes are often  school is headquartered offered in Scott Jones’ home.

A proven forward-thinker, Jones believes it is essential to have the skill of programming. Coding is the new “Spanish”. It is the language of the future, and that future is now.

While Jones may have a dozen or more major projects going on all at once, Jones has proved time and again that, while immersion isn’t the only way to learn, it is perhaps the best method.

For more information on coding classes, please visit: www.elevenfifty.com.

This article originally appeared in Townepost Network, March 2015

Kara Kavensky

Kara Kavensky