Dream Goals

New Cathedral Boys Soccer Coach, Paul “Whitey” Kapsalis, pens memoir of incredible soccer journey

Paul “Whitey” Kapsalis and his siblings were introduced to soccer while living in St. Louis. The entire family loved it.

Whitey’s father, Andy, worked for Allstate Insurance and was relocated to Minnesota where youth soccer didn’t exist, so the Kapsalis family started one. This club has since exploded in growth. The next stop was in Michigan. There, they started the Bonanza Express Soccer league, which was a select travel team, for his parents had a vision as to what the youth soccer landscape would become.

His oldest brother Pete played soccer for Michigan State University.

“This was groundbreaking for our family,” Whitey says. “Playing at another level, at Division 1, a Big 10 collegiate athlete — this had a huge influence upon me.”

While Pete was at MSU, the Kapsalis family moved to Carmel in 1981. Danny, the second of five, was a senior and Whitey was a sophomore. Soccer was not yet a varsity sport at the high school, and it was Whitey’s mom, Becky, who led the charge to petition and get soccer accepted as a varsity sport at Carmel High School. Ultimately, the IHSAA adopted it.

While living in Carmel, the Kapsalis family would road trip to Chicago to buy their soccer gear. Becky was inspired to open a soccer store in Carmel, and 25 years later, it was voted the No. 1 soccer store in the U.S.

“Soccer was something that our family found a lot of joy in, as it provided a fun opportunity to a wide range of kids,” Whitey says. “It was simply our passion, and we were pursuing what we believed in.”

Danny graduated from Carmel High School, where he set school records for scoring and walked on at Indiana University, the best soccer program in the country. Whitey gave a verbal commitment to play at Michigan State. Then, Danny won a National title at IU, and Whitey turned his attention to Bloomington. Whitey called the IU coach to talk about playing there.

“I was told that I wasn’t good enough, and they had seven returning starters and they had their pick of blue chip players from across the country,” Whitey says. “But this was my dream, and I made the decision the night before I was to check in at MSU that I was going to IU and do whatever I could to make the team as a walk-on.”

It made sense to go to Michigan State when Whitey assessed the pros and cons on paper, but the intangible element of having a dream was a challenge to transcend by a mere pen. After a three-hour conversation with his parents discussing why he was making this decision, it ultimately came to down to one question.

“Can I play at that level? Would I always wonder what would have been?” Whitey says. “I would rather have known that I had tried and failed than not have attempted it at all.”

Whitey placed a call to Coach Joe Baum at Michigan State and told him the news. Baum was gracious in receiving this call. Then he called Coach Jerry Yeagley and informed him that he was coming.

Once on campus, Whitey attended and watched all of the practices, working out on his own until the tryouts. He started doing the math and every factor weighed against him. Whitey was a long shot, but he worked his tail off and made the cut. He was the only player selected as a walk-on from tryouts. Even though he was red shirted his freshman year, Whitey was over the moon that he was a part of the program.

They won another National Championship that year.

Continue reading at TownePost.com

Interns to Orphans: Jeff Papa’s Mission to Mentor

While planting trees in Jeff Papa’s front yard in 2003, Jeff and Steve Wolff discussed how privileged they were to be where they are in their current positions and how far they had come. They admired the work of those around them, such as Barnes & Thornburg partner Bob Grand with his support of Little Red Door. Jeff and Steve were thinking out loud, exploring ideas for their own philanthropic impact …

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Designing Her Own Success

The recent recipient of the National Association of Women Business Owner’s (NAWBO) 2016 Woman Business Owner of the Year, Jeryl Mitsch started her business with determination and sheer will more than 25 years ago.

“Larry had a lot to do with it,” shares Jeryl, of her husband’s encouragement to open Mitsch Design, “He helped guide me along the initial process.”

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Love is… Adoption: Will and Adrienne Pfaffenberger’s Path to Parenthood

Avon residents Will and Adrienne Pfaffenberger began their journey into parenthood through the traditional route and then weighed fertility options, eventually deciding on adoption as their best course of action to become parents.

Both Will and Adrienne Pfaffenberger are Avon High School graduates. Adrienne is a pediatric physical therapist and Will has been part of the Smiley Morning Show on WZPL for the past six years. Both are outgoing people and, given Will’s public persona on the radio each weekday morning, being open about their fertility adventures seemed natural. Not that they had much of a choice …

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Susana Suarez: Zionsville Town Council President

Susana Suarez has been fascinated by politics since she was very young. She would spend her mornings reading the paper at her family’s kitchen table in Mexico City, exchanging sections with her father. Depending on the issue, she would follow up with a letter to the current sitting President of the United States. Born and raised in Mexico City, Susana and her family moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland, when she was 15. She graduated from Ohio State University where she became a member of the OSU Republicans and …

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Bridging The Gap Between Workforce Demands And Education

In Greater Indianapolis, it takes a tech company an average of five-and-a-half weeks to promote a STEM job before being able to fill it (according to the Brookings Institution). This is the fastest-growing space for employment and this is not sustainable for tech firms to work that hard to meet employment needs. What can we do to effectively and efficiently change that statistic?

Many, if not all, of the tech firms are led by entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs should be left to do what they do best – build companies of scale, create employment opportunities, and innovate. They are not educators.

The importance of bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and how educators can work to meet the demands of the talent pipeline in the personal and private sector cannot be overstated.

The Indiana Manufacturers Association likes the idea of passing funds to companies to do their own training. While this concept may work for certain manufacturers, this model of duplicity is simply not feasible nor efficient for the tech sector.

The share of the burden for the common cause of adequately preparing a workforce through organizations like Eleven Fifty Academy, who with the help of a grant through the Department of Workforce Development, created a significant statewide impact.

Over the course of 2016, Eleven Fifty Academy, through their Cool Coding Awareness Week, introduced the experience of coding to 25 communities across Indiana, reaching 23,000 students and 153 teachers. Through their immersive 9-week courses, they trained students on relevant, employer advised curriculum for placement in jobs after graduation. These students are enjoying a living wage and not just any wage. All with an average student debt 25% less than the states average 4-year college debt. If that’s not enough, they have taught 1,200 existing professionals from 21 states and 3 countries in their first 2 years. (and brought them in to see our state) All thanks, in great part, to a SkillUP grant from DWD. Not bad for a team of 14 (and lots of community support).

EFA now has 75 area employers involved in hiring or advisory roles for their graduates. They close their year with a successful experiment of taking their show on the road outside of Indiana, educating 50 coal miners in a rural eastern location in Kentucky. My grandfather was a coal miner in western Pennsylvania, I am sure he’d be delighted at additional opportunities available in rural areas for his fellow laborers as our energy needs evolve.

What else needs to be done? Nonprofits like EFA cannot act alone. The jobs of today and tomorrow clearly need to be met with a skilled workforce. Education at younger ages is critical to meeting the demands we face today and in the near future. There are challenges, but far greater are the opportunities for educators to become involved.

Our current culture is about college degree equaling success. If someone does not fit that category, how do we help them not to feel disconnected? I know I am guilty as a writer for consistently asking where someone went to school. John Qualls, President of Eleven Fifty Academy, does not have a college degree (unless you count the United States Marine Corps as a degree in hard knocks).

We all struggle with path actualization in one way or another. The ease to which a student can accumulate educational debt is overwhelming, and if they are not on a strong path to success, it is just debt. After a student is no longer a student in the education system, and lacks skills for a fulfilling job, they become a workforce problem. It is clear to me that early intervention of awareness of viable and promising career paths needs to be made available.

Education does a lot to help, but a stronger relationship between education, workforce development, and the private sector needs to exist. Many schools are already progressing in this arena, but what about communities with lots to offer, but lack the resources to create this bridge?

Clear paths to employment is only one facet to the solution, as there are many areas to be explored. Today, there is no such thing as a non-tech company.

While we can always do better, we should never shy away from innovating.

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Karen Mangia Creates Success With Less

Karen Mangia, Vice President of Customer and Market Insights for SalesForce, recently discovered an old email exchange with a friend stating how “email was ridiculous and it would never catch on.” This is laughable now, but back then, the most radical idea was a handheld cell phone for talking, not texting. Since her college days, Mangia knew she wanted to work with customer data and took a nontraditional path to a tech career. “I have been fascinated by why people make the choices they make, what are the trends, study the data…

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Sun King’s Bob Whitt

A more circuitous and unpredictable path could not have been had by Sun King President Bob Whitt with regards to his career, nor a more enjoyable one. “The job I am in and the job I just left are both dream jobs,” says Bob. “I am fortunate enough to experience two in one lifespan.” Prior to Sun King, Bob served 11 years as the Executive Director of White River State Park, having been appointed by then-Governor Mitch Daniels and reappointed by Mike Pence. The 250-acre downtown Indianapolis park includes the Indianapolis Zoo…

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Kara Kavensky

Kara Kavensky