Let’s Close the Void

In Steve!, a Steve Martin documentary, Martin’s friend and artist Eric Fischl says, “[Art] comes from that deep awareness of the void — and the nature of the drive of art is to close that void.” Steve’s documentary is a beautiful love poem to his daughter (this is my interpretation after viewing it during several […]

Notes on Self Love

In my former Pilates studio, the chiropractor with whom I shared an office placed a scale in the hall. I was mortified and immediately created the sign above.  This message, “This scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, character, purpose, possibility, strength, […]

Dan Wakefield, A Tribute to a Friend

Dan Wakefield didn’t swear on Sundays. He hadn’t owned a car since an accident in Miami over fifteen years ago. He enjoyed good company, excellent conversation, and readily expressed aggravation towards technology — his nemesis. Dan was my mentor, my friend, and Chief Curmudgeon in my life for over a decade. One evening, while Dan […]

The Price of Unconditional Love

My first experience with unconditional love happened the moment I saw my beautiful daughter, Alexandra. I thought I knew what love was, but I instantaneously realized that I had known nothing about love until the moment I held her in my arms. One of the miracles of having children is their instant ability to expand […]


Starting last August, the social media posts of parents celebrating their high school seniors began. For my own mental health, I had to mute a few friends so I wouldn’t see their posts. There have been, and I assume there will continue to be, many painful reminders that my son Jake should be experiencing, but […]

Stories that Hit Hard

Sometimes a sequence of events cannot be logically explained. The following are seemingly random events, yet are inextricably entwined:  It’s an honor to share any story, and especially that of a WWII Veteran. It’s been nearly eleven years since I interviewed and wrote about the first of dozens of WWII Veterans, with that initial interview […]

Leaders and legacies: The rich history of those buried at Greenlawn Cemetery

In a nearly forgotten area along the banks of the White River in downtown Indianapolis lay buried gems of the past. These gems are the human remains of notable leaders who lived extraordinary lives, including the first Black landowner in Indiana — who is a woman, Muhammad Ali’s great-great grandfather, the first Black Grand Master […]

Three Brothers Survive Pearl Harbor

On December 19, 1940, four brothers made their way from Taswell, Indiana, located in Crawford County in Southern Indiana, to Louisville, Kentucky, to enlist in the US Navy. The threat of the United States engaging in WWII was imminent. Brothers Ivan, Edward, Melvin, and Maurice Atkins wanted to “see the world,” and they believed that […]

Pulling up a chair with Deb Whitfield

Deb Whitfield, Lawrence Common Council Member At-Large, is running for Mayor of Lawrence. If elected, Whitfield will become the second Black female Mayor in state history. Whitfield became a Lawrence resident nearly thirty years ago when she and her late husband, former Olympic track and field star Ashland Whitfield, relocated to Indianapolis for his job […]

Researching His Roots: Duane D. Perry, Sr. Leverages Genealogy to Uncover the Stories of His Family

Duane D. Perry, Sr. is a treasure hunter. The treasure he hunts for requires patience, curiosity, focus, resiliency, single-mindedness, and luck. The gems he finds are pieces of the past, and all share a common denominator: his DNA. Perry searches for his family, and a by-product of his efforts is enriching his life. Genealogy is […]

Leave the Heavy Lifting to the Librarians

Libraries represent community, connectedness, and until recently, inclusion. Libraries are places to get lost: within the pages of a great book. They are windows to the world of exploration, and can be a safe haven for children as they are exploring boundaries, relating to others, and discovering other cultures.  A related matter is the growing […]

The Propylaeum Part II: A History of Service Through Programming

During the Dedication Ceremony for The Indianapolis Propylaeum on January 27th, 1891, founder May Wright Sewall included the following in her address: The question that now makes us pause is not, ‘Will the Propylaeum be in demand?’ but rather ‘How have we lived so long comfortably without it?’ Viewed from its domestic aspect, the perfect […]


You never know, until faced with the unimaginable, how you will respond. It’s impossible to truly prepare for the unknown. Unimaginable loss is the ultimate test of resiliency. Your values, beliefs, level of integrity, and moral compass will influence how you react. When I discovered that my son Jake died in a car accident, I […]


In what feels like a lifetime ago, I owned a Pilates studio. It not only served as a fun place to workout, it was a networking hub, and to a great extent — my lifeline during a challenging period of my life.  Outside of writing about fitness, most of the human interest stories that I […]

The Indianapolis Propylaeum Celebrates 100 Years at 1410 N. Delaware

The Indianapolis Propylaeum serves as an anchor to the Old Northside neighborhood. The Propylaeum’s creed is the place that connects and celebrates women and since its founding in 1888, has lived up to its mission. The Indianapolis Propylaeum is celebrating 100 years at 1410 N. Delaware this year. The original location for The Indianapolis Propylaeum […]

The new force at Newfields: Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette

Arts and culture is a way to bring people together and after the scandal at the IMA in 2020, the organization clearly needed new leadership. They’ve found her. Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette was raised in a working-class family in an all-black neighborhood in Cleveland. Her grandmother was a strong influence in her life. Dr. Pierce […]

A Record Scratch

10 years ago I interviewed a WWII veteran named Bob. Bob is one of thousands of individuals that I have interviewed over the years, and no one has impacted my life like he has. He lived alone, was a widower, had macular degeneration, and was nearing his 90th birthday when I first met him.  At […]

The Interview That Inspired a Love Story

Every love story begins somewhere. Mine began ten years ago in the den of a widowed WWII veteran named Bob Albright.  As a journalist, I have the privilege of listening to and speaking with fascinating people. I’ve interviewed thousands of subjects for human interest stories, but none compare to my experience with Bob. I wanted […]

Midwest Writer’s Conference Essay

The following essay earned an Honorable Mention at the Midwest Writer’s Conference this year! PROMPT: Between the ocean and the mountains is a wild forest. That is where I want to make my home. An Essay by Kara Kavensky kara@karakavensky.com In my earliest memory, I am held by my father. We stand beside my mom, […]

Need Inspiration for Characters? Go Grocery Shopping!

My advice to writers: when you need inspiration for character development or interpersonal engagement, don’t take a walk in nature or meditate or declutter your work space — go to the grocery store. And go with a shopping list, so you look legit.  The basic layout:  There might be a greeter. At our local store, […]

The Ethics of Generative AI

Artificial intelligence is just that, “artificial.” And this two-word term is increasingly leaning towards oxymoron. Now there’s “generative artificial intelligence,” or gAI, which is booming amid the tech investment gloom and is simultaneously scaring the hell out of people.  New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose had a 2-hour conversation with Microsoft’s new chatbot, during which […]

Kathryn Haigh Takes the Reins at the Eiteljorg as First Female CEO

Kathryn Haigh’s earliest memories are of visits to the Cincinnati Art Museum. Her mom’s close friend was a docent there and Haigh recalls getting dressed up to tour the exhibits. These museum visits inspired Haigh to focus on fashion design at the University of Cincinnati. By the end of her sophomore year, Haigh discovered that […]

Vulnerability and Its Boundaries — At Work

Thanks to Brené Brown, vulnerability has achieved mainstream acceptance. Her TEDx talk 12 years ago broke the barriers to embracing vulnerability as a strength. As a result, leadership and inner-office communications have opened up, welcoming much-needed discussions of mental health and more meaningful connections. As a corporate communications professional, I look for authentic stories to share […]

How to Practice Impactful Communication

Making an impact upon entering a room may be natural at certain times, but how to make it a habit? How do we fine-tune our efforts to do so? To answer these questions, I spoke with communications expert Lisa Mitchell. Lisa is an expert on intentional communications, which encompasses an entire suite of communication techniques, including […]

Public Relations Outlook for 2023

One of the pioneers of public relations, Edward Bernays said, “The three main elements of public relations are practically as old as society: informing people, persuading people, or integrating people with people.” This last point of integration is the key for the future of public relations. In the early days, propaganda and ad slogans were […]

Meet ‘Mrs. Gee:’ Carmel Music Academy’s Maven

Mrs. Gee, Trophy Wife. Establishing a brand name can be a challenge, however, for Sondra Gee, the name “Mrs. Gee, Trophy Wife” is her preferred title. As a business owner, the mother of four boys, and the wife of a rock star musician, Mrs. Gee believes that all women should bring out their inner trophy […]

Dress For Success: Going Beyond The Job

Dress For Success Indianapolis celebrated their 20th year with an annual fashion show, Stepping Out in Style (pictured, above), in mid-September. The event is so popular, it sold out the previous spring. Dress For Success (DFS) began in New York City in 1997 by a then-college student and some nuns in the basement of a church. […]

Joy and Grief: Kara Kavensky Navigates both after the Accidental Death of her Son

In February of this year, I rudely and prematurely became an empty nester. Since that time, some moments are as raw as when I first learned that Jake, my 16-year-old son, had died in a car crash.  Every day I move forward into uncharted territory, establishing a new normal with every painful step. Some days […]

Meet Melissa Bunce, Owner of Essential Wellbeings

Melissa Bunce, the owner of Essential Wellbeings in Indianapolis, is a trained and certified aromatherapist who creates her own essential oil synergies and blends. In addition to her products, Essential Wellbeings also offers meditation classes, organic herbal tea workshops, and other special events. We spoke with Melissa to learn more about her business and find out about […]

Finding Your Roots: The Midwestern Roots Conference

The Midwestern Roots genealogy conference is in Indianapolis July 14-16. Here’s some fascinating insight on what to expect. “I’ve always wanted to be a character,” says Priscilla Austgen, a retired-attorney-turned-genealogist who loves research and libraries — a perfect storm for genealogy. Austgen has uncovered several ancestral “characters” within her family, which includes descendants of the […]

Here’s How to Engage Your Children in Support of Loved Ones In Need

If you have a friend or loved one who is grieving or in need of support, here are some smart tips for how to engage your kids to help. One of the toughest things in life is to accept help when we need it. When something happens to someone you know and love, it’s natural […]

It’s Harvest Time!

Riding in a combine in Indiana during harvest season provides a fresh perspective and an appreciation for our food supply chain. Thanks to advancing technology, a combine is the largest remote controlled vehicle used on a farm. It’s programmed to run autonomously with the driver maneuvering the steering wheel when needed and work a joystick […]

Andre Beasley: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

This year, we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the interment ceremony of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. That soldier was a veteran of WWI. Also entombed is a veteran of WWII and the Korean War. The guards for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are based out of Ft. Myer Army base in Virginia […]

Delicate Arch

The breathtaking views inside Arches National Parks are hard to describe beyond the word, “breathtaking”. The park has safe, easily accessible hikes to its monuments, except to Delicate Arch. Thanks to the other monument hikes, I was unprepared for the “strenuous” hike description in the guidebook for Delicate Arch. A more accurate description would be, […]

Cultural Competency Part 4: health care

Recently, the NFL agreed to drop race bias in concussion claims. It had previously been settling concussion claims using a “race-based formula that assumes Black players have a lower level of cognitive function,” according to a BBC report. Let that sink in. My questions are: How is it possible that this is happening in 2021?! […]

Cultural Competency Part 3: education

Discrepancies in education started way before 1865, considering there was only one educational system in place created by, and for, those who believed themselves the “founders” of what became the United States. This system was not established on a foundation of equality, regardless of race or socioeconomic status. It was established by affluent white people […]

Cultural Competency Part 2: an entrepreneurial history

“To accept that the cries of the oppressed are legitimate, you also need to accept that the systems put in place that created the oppression need to be changed,” said Mike Green, cultural economist and chief strategist with the National Institute for Inclusive Competitiveness (NIIC). The mission of the NIIC is to raise the productivity […]

A Peloton of Change

Thanks to the pandemic, all Big 10 sports were stockpiled into the spring with the exception of football. In April, and as an IU grad, I wondered what was happening with Little 5 (Little 500), the most famous track cycling race in the world (according to us Hoosiers). Both the men’s and women’s races are […]

We need more radicals*

The concept of cultural competency comes up often when referring to an educational process of informing people how to function in their profession with a higher level of compassion for all people, mainly people of color, and those with diverse religious backgrounds. Essentially, this programming is one of countless approaches designed to educate and inform […]

I Need a Re-entry Plan!

This weekend, we receive our second shots. So in two weeks we will be vaccinated with peak immunity to COVID and able to carefully socialize. I realized that I need a step-by-step re-entry plan. I could make jokes about forgetting how to accessorize or unsure how to apply makeup or dress myself outside of athleisurewear. […]

We should all read STAND by Kathryn Bertine

When Kathryn Bertine was six years old, she rode her bike to kindergarten in Bronxville, NY. One morning on the way to school, the chain fell off. She reattached the chain by herself and that day in class, her teacher asked the students what they wanted to do when they grew up. Kathryn confidently, and […]

Lessons Learned

Psychotherapist Michelle Gambs Has Unique Perspective on Parenting Experts say parenting does not actually begin until a child begins to talk, around age 2; don’t shoot the messenger, as psychologists like Michelle Gambs accept this detail, an author and psychotherapist who focuses her practice on parents with children ages 2 to 12.“Real parenting starts when […]

Journey of Resilience

April Ervin Seeks to Uplift and Empower April Ervin, the chief peace officer of Sustainable Leadership, LLC, knows a thing or two about resiliency, as she has hit the reset button multiple times in her life. A friend that Ervin has known for 25 years told Ervin that she is the most resilient person she […]

Tackling Possibilities

A former NFL player is driving change and facilitating upward mobility for people of color. At the age of 15, Emil Ekiyor left Nigeria and moved in with friends of his parents across the ocean in Daytona Beach, Florida. Ekiyor had never been away from home before. “I was excited about my new adventure but was leaving […]

Hello 2021!

In many ways, there isn’t much that hasn’t changed this year. Meeting friends for coffee, lunches, or breakfast meetings — has been absent from my agenda and replaced by Zoom calls.

Savage to Sage Podcast

As a guest on Savage to Sage podcast, Kara shares her approach to storytelling for businesses, discusses the inspiration for her soon-to-be-released memoir, Finding Joy, and offers advice to entrepreneurs.

Siri and the Pandemic

One of Siri’s commands is reminding me to breathe. The pandemic has influenced this specific Siri directive, taking on a deeper meaning.

I’m just filling in

I don’t really “get” Vegas. I understand that it’s popular for trade shows, which is why I am here. I am attending the KBIS show which is an industry-only trade show for the kitchen and bath and construction industries. This is the second year in a row for me to come to this show (with my boyfriend) and I […]

Carmel Music Academy

When Jon E. Gee was sixteen he was introduced to a band that needed a bass player. When asked if he played bass, Jon E. Gee replied, “Yes!” He didn’t.

Drawn to Inspire

A former Disney Illustrator shares her story with speech therapy, life at Disney, and now calls Zionsville home.

Remembering Dad

This Veteran’s Day and every day for that matter, Fishers resident David M. Delafield honors his father, David D. Delafield, who served during World War II.

Game On!

Pivotal, world-altering, moments are hard to forget. We remember where we were, who we were with, what we felt, and identified the possibilities that these defining moments could lead. July 10th, 1999, was one of these moments.  On that hot day in Los Angeles, the #USWNT beat China in final of the Women’s World Cup. […]

History Lesson

One of the birthday gifts I received from my boyfriend was a collection of books by Stephen E. Ambrose, an author I had not yet experienced.

The Journey of Finding Joy Began 5 Years Ago

My expectation with every (personal interest story) interview that I have experienced over the years has consistently provided me with wonderful stories that I am excited to share. But there was one that was different…

Intrapreneurship: A Driving Force Within Companies

Startup tech companies rely upon intrapreneurs to compliment their fast growth companies. In fact, this characteristic is highly sought after when assembling early stage teams.

It’s all About Love

This week of Thanksgiving has begun with sadness and an overabundance of gratitude for someone who has profoundly impacted my life.The following is the eulogy that I delivered today for a man that I loved dearly, for he asked me to find Joy… Bob would be sorry to miss this. He told me that he […]

4 Steps to A Successful Personal Pivot

This post originally appeared on The People Reader. Throughout your career and life, you will find yourself needing to make a few personal pivots to stay in alignment with your joy. Even when you think you have it all figured out, misalignments happen and you can either stay in it and be unfulfilled, or you […]

Who is your mentor?

The other night I attended a cocktail reception for the Indianapolis Business Journal’s 40 under 40. It was the celebration of the incoming class as well as alums. I was honored to be a guest of my dear friend Jenny Massey, a recent alum of this fraternity. The publisher of the IBJ, Greg Morris, in […]

Dream Goals

“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.

The glass is refillable.

He asked me to live my life with joy – he asked me to live, to be “closer to life”.

Give me the Walkers

Having a dream and doing something about it are entirely 2 different things.

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

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.

Indy Sculpturist Brian McCutcheon Creates Iconic Images

Growing up in Traverse City in northern Michigan, Brian McCutcheon’s first sculptural experience was fixing up his first car. “In retrospect, I realize my uncle lives like an artist. He was always in his shop where he has built hundreds of cars,” says Brian, who describes cars as a form of sculpture. Read the full […]

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.

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.

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?

So it goes…

Last Saturday morning, Dan Wakefield and I had just been seated at Cafe Patachou when I saw a woman seated at the bar who looked nearly identical in profile, even in 3/4 profile, to a museum laboratory scientist that I recently interviewed. (full disclosure: I did not have my glasses on) I told Dan I […]

Torchlite’s Shawn Herring

When Susan Marshall originally shared her idea with Shawn Herring, he instinctively knew she was on to something. Both former ExactTarget employees and both marketing experts, the disruptive digital marketing concept Marshall presented was attractive.

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.

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.”

Marion County’s Veteran Service Officer, Capt. Matt Hall

By law, each county across the state of Indiana has a dedicated Veteran Service Officer to help veterans navigate the complexities of its benefits system. Once Mayor Joe Hogsett was sworn into office and discovered this position was vacant, he appointed Capt. Matt Hall to the post.

The Art of Hair: Bobby Cooper Turns His Passion for Beauty Into One of the Top Salons in the Country

Bobby Cooper is arguably one of the top stylists in the Midwest, and certainly the most well-known in Indianapolis. His salon, which bears his name, is consistently one of the best in the city and nation, and is regularly featured in Salon Today Magazine as one of the Top 200 Salons in North America.

Election Spells Opportunity For Economic Development

Twitter wasn’t around when Truman beat Dewey in 1948, but I’m willing to bet that this year’s election results caused the biggest collective jaw-drop in at least the last century of presidential contests.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Cut-a-Thon Benefits Kountry Kitchen Soul Food Place

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang hosted a Cut-a-Thon and silent auction on October 9 at their Carmel location along Main Street in the Arts District. All proceeds benefited Kountry Kitchen Soul Food Place to support their Christmas Day outreach efforts to feed those in need.

Keller Williams Indy Plus Realty Group

Realtors? Yes. Different? ABSOLUTELY! $250,000 returned to clients over the last 2 years. Yes, $250,000 over 2 years by a handful of agents is what the Indy Plus Realty Group has given back through their Community Contributors program.

Virtually Shooting to Kill

One of my favorite quotes from former Texas Governor Ann Richards, “In Texas, gun control is using both hands to steady your weapon.” (her other indelible statement made during the ’92 Presidential election, “Stick a fork in him, he’s done.” referring to then President GHW Bush) My friend Emily Longnecker and I went to Poseidon […]

Brigadier General Chet Wright

Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Chet Wright recently celebrated his 98th birthday. He is a 1936 graduate of Ben Davis High School. At the time of Wright’s graduation, the school had 400 students.

Olympic Moments

As I watched the end of the women’s road race, it was painful to watch the horrific crash of the leader (Annemiek van Vlueten) on the final slope to the finish line, giving American Mara Abbot, the lead. The race was hers to lose, and lose she did. In a moment of shear authenticity after […]

Advantage: Heaven

Yesterday, my former pediatrician passed away. Dr. Belt was a very nice man. Having him as my doctor when I was a kid transpired into a long friendship between our families. As a young adult, he became my grandfather figure and worked with me on my tennis game.

Indiana’s 20th Star

While doing research, I frequently reference one of Mickey Mauer’s books, 19 Stars of Indiana (he has two of these, one focuses on significant Hoosier women, the other, men). Mickey’s story is truly the 20th star…but he’s too humble to include it.

The Love Train / Department of Public Words

…as I walked out of their building, I saw the mental balance I was needing after my meeting: art. Specifically, the Love Train mural created by the Department of Public Words along the Monon Trail between 52nd and 54th street.

Making Waves with Billie Dragoo

RepuCare Founder, President and CEO Billie Dragoo has an office so heavily decorated with awards and accolades that it appears to be a trophy room at a Hall of Fame museum.

Indiana Artist Dorothy Kandrac

Dorothy Evans Kandrac is living proof that you are never too old to figure out what you want to do with your life. At the age of 80, Kandrac took a painting class and has become a popular Hoosier painter over the last nearly two decades.

Alissa Moody: Campaigning for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Working with children under ideal circumstances can be challenging, but choosing to work with kids coping with extreme medical adversity is another thing entirely.

Living Large with Winston Knauss

After years of hearing stories about Winston Knauss, it was time to debunk the myths that surround conversation of this man. These seemingly tall tales of flying a helicopter or an airplane under the Keystone Ave. bridge, pulling water skiers from a helicopter along the White River and building his own yachts behind his house seemed a bit far fetched. Or were they?

Love, Loss, and Breaking Through

With the recent passing of Prince, the media is reporting, and quite frankly blaming, 2016 for taking a few of our most coveted entertainers; David Bowie, Alan Richman, and now Prince.

My April Fools Adventure with Dan Wakefield

On Friday, April 1st, we planned to go out to dinner. Mid-day I receive an email from Dan that we have been invited to a gallery exhibit of his friend, Will Higgins, who is a writer for the Indy Star.

Starlight Memories with Bob Young and Gary Hofmeister

In 1963, Gary Hofmeister was the leading actor/singer in a USO Show traveling through Greenland, Newfoundland and Labrador. On the day that President Kennedy was killed (November 22, 1963), he was hired to travel with the New York-based company of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

Creatives Darye and Dija Henry: Fulfilling Their Lives By Pursuing Their Interests

Darye and Dija Henry follow their hearts, dreams and passions.

This dynamic couple understands that, at their core, they are creative beings. When they met at Purdue, Darye played guitar and piano while majoring in computer science. Dija started as an engineering major.

Meet Conner Prairie’s New President, Norman O. Burns II

Norman Burns II, the new President and CEO of Conner Prairie, takes the helm at an exciting time.

With 28 years of experience in leadership roles at historic institutions around the country, Burns and his wife Sandy are embracing their new adventure with Conner Prairie. Originally from Tennessee, the Burns feel at home in Indiana and are arriving at the beginning of a year-long Bicentennial Celebration for our 200 years of Indiana statehood.

Scotty’s Celebrates 20 Years in Business

Celebrating 20 years, Scotty’s Dawghouse is the latest of the brand expansion with the most meaningful experience taking place in his hometown.

DemandJump: Driving Clients via Marketing Technology

Carmel-based DemandJump co-founders Christopher Day and Shawn Schwegman have raised the bar of sophistication in targeted online digital marketing.

Design Impact: Darin Grice Creates New Protective Headgear

Inspiration may come in a flash, and for Traders Point Christian Academy’s Darin Grice, his moment happened while watching a football game. As he sat on the couch watching the Indianapolis Colts play, he thought, “The outside of the helmet should have some flexibility.” Grice quickly sketched an external helmet system based on his epiphany.

The following day, Grice investigated the patent process and has since received patent protection for his innovative design.

“I’m an art teacher,” says Grice, who is also a freelance artist. “You don’t need to be a business genius to see that there is a real need for this.”

Rob Sabatini Has the Best Seat in the House

Growing 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 latter without actually being behind the wheel.

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

Sheryl Matthys Creates Successful Women Made Here

Entrepreneur Sheryl Matthys combines her diverse skill set and her passion for helping other female business owners with her Successful Women Made Here monthly networking group.

While working as a news reporter at an NBC affiliate in South Bend, Matthys was moonlighting with a videographer filming material for “Real Stories of the Highway Patrol” with the Indiana State Police.

“I’ve always worked hard and kept busy,” says Matthys. Given her background in radio and TV, Matthys credits her work ethic to her father, a hardworking farmer in South Bend.

The First Family of Fishers

One year ago from September, Scott and Aunna began Scott’s campaign for mayor in the town where he has worked since 2006, Fishers. “The last 12 months have been a bit action-packed,” Scott confessed.

“The choice to run for mayor was Scott’s and we have just rolled with it,” Aunna agreed. Scott, 32, and Aunna, 31, moved to Fishers in 2007, a year after Scott began an internship and commuted from Bloomington. Scott and Aunna inevitably were drawn to call Fishers their home.

Why We Should ALL Be Coaches

While I wouldn’t yell at the participants, I am bossy and confrontative, as early personality tests indicated (and as evidenced by said brother). Last I checked, these are dynamic and critical leadership skills

Writing Through Emotion

Last week I interviewed Luke Canterbury and his family. Luke is “Boy of the Year” for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He’d been diagnosed with stage 4 Burkitt’s Lymphoma two years ago. When I asked him what it means to him to be Boy of the Year, Luke said, “It means I beat cancer.” (tissue, please!)

Kim Dodson: A Hero for the Special Needs Community

Ok, I simply cannot hold back on sharing this story! It’s written for the March issues, but touches my heart deeply, so Valentine’s weekend seems the most appropriate time to share!

Sports Writing

In the book Monsters: The 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football, Richard Cohen shares the story of the greatest season in Bears history.

Creating Our Own Mythology

The feeling of coming home is the best way that I can possibly describe how I feel when I gaze upon work by Walter Knabe. As I walk into his studio, I inherently take a deep breath, for his art settles me.

Orgasms and the courage to write about them

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” -Anais Nin Dan Wakefield has done several favors for me. One of them was introducing me to the book, Autobiography of an Orgasm by Betsy […]

Testament of Youth

I know I promised to write about Orgasms next, but I’ve been interrupted. Over the weekend I watched Testament of Youth, a movie based on the memoir of the same title by Vera Brittain. It stars Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), and Taron Egerton (Kingsman) and explores the depth of emotion […]

Love Lives Here

Part of the library’s new 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”.

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

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.

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

What 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.

Rob Sabatini Has the “Best Seat in the House”

Growing 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 […]

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 […]

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

The 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 […]

The Will to Stay Strong: Lyn Jones

Running 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.

At Home with Scott and Aunna Fadness

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.

Immersed with Scott Jones

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.

Dan Wakefield Finds His Way Home

Kurt Vonnegut was wrong. In a satirical review in Life magazine of Dan Wakefield’s first novel, Vonnegut concluded from reading Going All The Way, that Wakefield would not be able to move back to Indianapolis, forced to forever watch the Indy 500 on television.

In Step with Carol Frohlich

By believing in herself, Carol Frohlich is inspiring others by competing in triathlons at the age of 75.

David Becker, Chairman and CEO of First Internet Bank

6th Annual Inspire Awards, College Mentors for Kids’ Lifetime Achievement Award recipient opens up about his business experience and who has mentored him.

WWII Combat Medic Andy Anderson

70 years after serving in Patton’s 3rd Army, US Army Medic Andy Anderson is taking a historic trip back to Germany to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp.

American Battle Monuments Commission battles Families of our WWII fallen

This year of historic anniversaries surrounding the final events of WWII is being celebrated by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) by canceling a long-held service honoring those who paid the absolute price for our freedom.

Bankers Aren’t All Boring…

After listening to Becker speak, I made a point to approach him for an interview. He graciously accepted my offer, resulting in one of my favorite articles I have written to date.

Dan Wakefield’s Red Key

What I love most about Dan Wakefield is his sense of humor. He is really funny. It is uncanny how close in humor he naturally is to his dear friend Kurt Vonnegut. Dan’s wit and satirical sense of humor is not lost on me.

As the Year Comes to a Close, a Look Back

Stories of inspiration, where blessings can occur under extreme circumstances, or perhaps just a 13 year old, determined to improve his basketball game in Queens by shoveling away the snow off a court. He couldn’t wait for the snow to melt.

FailFest Blog

On November 19th, Launch Fishers played host to a variety of speakers who really don’t use the f-word. And by f-word, I mean “failure”

While I enjoyed all of the speakers that I listened to, I am going to share my notes from Susan Baroncini-Moe’s presentation.

Indy Premier

To tell the truth, I have been looking for an excuse to write an article on the local soccer club that I have been writing checks to for over 12 years. When Fishers Soccer Club added members of the new Indy Eleven professional soccer team to their coaching staff, I finally found that opportunity.

Author John David Anderson

Interviewing John David (he prefers “Dave”) Anderson was fun – I read his novel, STANDARD HERO BEHAVIOR prior to meeting him, and I really enjoyed it! It is a fun read, and for an official review, I had my 13 year old son read it, he loved it, and is waiting for a sequel!

Scott and Aunna Fadness, Soon to be the First Mayor of Fishers, and First Time Parents

It is refreshing to interview a politician and sense that “I could be friends with these people”, as is the case with Scott and Aunna. They are warm, inviting, fun, and shockingly normal. Let’s hope the office of Mayor does not jade them!

WARMfest article

Dan and his wife Lisa are easy-going people, and love the water and conservation – so much so that they created WARMfest to raise awareness of the White River. The fact that they have spearheaded such a large-scale music festival from inception amazes me.

It’s a Start

My objective with this blog is to share the bits that either did not make the final edit, or expand upon the printed piece. This will definitely be more conversational and casual in most cases, allowing for some fun facts and experiences behind the scenes of an interview.

A Love Letter to WWII

While stationed at Camp Atterbury, preparing to be shipped overseas, Cpl. James McDowell was placed into the U.S. Army Medical Corps. Thanks to his typing skills (he took six semesters of typing at Lincoln High School, in Neb.), McDowell became the triage typist admitting injured soldiers into the hospital. He was part of the 231st […]

Cpl. Averitte Corley and Sargent Johnny Washington

As a guest on Savage to Sage podcast, Kara shares her approach to storytelling for businesses, discusses the inspiration for her soon-to-be-released memoir, Finding Joy, and offers advice to entrepreneurs.

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