Q&A with the Class of 2019 - October

Q&A with the Class of 2019 - October

Each month, we get to know six leaders from the Class of 2019. This month, our leaders are (L to R): Leigh Ann Erickson, Bob Swanay, Katie Guerra, Janet Gafkjen, Kyle Wise and Brian Dell.

 

 

 

 

Leigh Ann Erickson

What is your education and work history?

Graduated from Ball State University. Career spent with several nonprofits - American Heart Association, Ronald McDonald House of Indiana, Crohn's & Colitis Foundation, Special Olympics Indiana, National MS Society, Fairbanks Addiction Treatment Center and Hope Academy.

How long have you lived or worked in Hamilton County?

20+ years

Tell us about your family.

Proud mom of one son

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Carbs

What or who inspires you?

Individuals who are working hard to overcome adversity

What is one thing we would be surprised to know about you?

I sing my lungs out in the car to my XM radio


Bob Swanay

What is your education and work history?

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from East Tennessee State University and a Master of Science in Information Sciences from the University of Tennessee. I worked in various capacities in the Johnson City Public Library for 21 years, including the last eight years as director. I started as the director of the Carmel Clay Public Library in 2016.

How long have you lived or worked in Hamilton County?

2 years.

Tell us about your family.

I live with my wife Donna in Carmel. Our daughter Susan is currently attending East Tennessee State University.

What is your favorite thing to do or place to visit in Hamilton County?

I love the extensive network of bike trails in Carmel and in the greater region. Everything being so accessible by bicycle is really big plus for the area.

What is your favorite restaurant in Hamilton County?

Woody's Library Restaurant, naturally.

What is the last book you read (or your all-time favorite book)?

An excellent book I read recently was Grant by Ron Chernow. Chernow points out that no other president has been at such a low point as Grant had been at one point in his life and went on to rise so high in national stature. While perhaps more commonly remembered as the victorious general in the American Civil War, Chernow also fully explores Grant's presidency and afterwards. One of Grant's most significant achievements as president was breaking the original and more dangerous version of the Ku Klux Klan. Highly recommended biography.


Katie Guerra

What is your education and work history?

I graduated from IU in 2001 with a BS in Accounting & Finance from IU's Kelly School of Business. Obtained a Masters of Accounting, IUPUI and became a Certified Public Accountant in 2002. I worked as an auditor at PwC in Indianapolis and then moved into Individual tax and estate planning for the Private Company Services division of PwC in Philadelphia. I briefly started my own accounting firm in Conshohocken, PA before moving back to Noblesville, Indiana to grow our family business, The Play School where I helped sell two centers and open three centers since 2009.

How long have you lived or worked in Hamilton County?

I have lived in Hamilton County over 20 years.

Tell us about your family.

I am the middle of three girls raised in Noblesville, Indiana. I cheered and played volleyball and basketball as a Lady Miller. My dad and my older sister, Becky, live in Minnesota, where we enjoy fishing in the summer and a guaranteed snowy Christmas each winter. I work with my mom and younger sister, Amanda, at The Play School. I met my husband, Al, at PwC while we were at a training in Boston, MA. He is a Villanova graduate, a CPA, and is now the tax director for KAR Auction Services in Carmel, IN. We lived downtown in Philadelphia, PA for the first 9 years of our marriage and had our first two sons, Landon and Andrew, in Philadelphia. (Hence, they are die-hard Eagles and Villanova fans.) We moved back to Indiana to enjoy the family-oriented nature of Hamilton County and to get involved in the growing business opportunities that Hamilton County offers. The move has been nothing but positive for our family!

What is your favorite thing to do or place to visit in Hamilton County?

Our most favorite thing to do is go swimming, tubing or skiing on Morse Reservoir in the summer. We love the summer concert series at Dillon Park and Federal Hills Commons. We love Conner Prairie's Symphony on the Prairie concerts. With three young sports-fanatics in the family, we spend a LOT of time at Grand Park sports facilities: soccer, baseball, and basketball!

What is the last book you read (or your all-time favorite book)?

I'm reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown right now. I love non-fiction which could include Christian, parenting, self-help, technology, education, or business. I can't wait to end a busy day reading!

What or who inspires you?

Life inspires me. The ticking of the clock and knowing I have one life to live really inspires me to constantly re-evaluate how I'm balancing all my roles.


Janet Gafkjen

What is your education and work history?

Bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology. Graduate coursework in economics and marketing. I stated my career as a clinical lab educator for programs at the associate and bachelor degree levels in Clinical Laboratory Science. Relocating to the near east and then back to the Midwest I have held multiple leadership positions within both hospital management, community education, and most recently nonprofit management. I have moved 11 times in my adult life.

How long have you lived or worked in Hamilton County?

Have lived and worked in Hamilton County for 16 years. Yes!

Tell us about your family.

Part of a wonderful family of four. Married to my husband Bill for 27 years. Have a son, graduate of Valparaiso University, living in Westfield and in his first job as communications project manager for church in Carmel. A daughter, college senior, studying animal behavior ecology and conservation aka ABEC, human psychology and studio art in Buffalo, NY. Two aging Cairn Terriers and a cat, Maine Coon.

What is your favorite restaurant in Hamilton County?

Lots of favorites depending on the meal. Breakfast: Rosie’s in Noblesville, Wild Eggs in Fishers, Soho Cafe, Carmel Lunch: usually out and about but Panera. Dinner: Ceviche at Verde in Fishers, Biaggi's, Clay Terrace, Chuy's Noblesville

What or who inspires you?

My biggest source of inspiration is nature. I’m drawn to green plants, bright flowers, animals in their native habitats. Breaking away from the computer or a full day of people...inspires me to take on the work in my yard, tend to flowers, identify birds....and squirrels at the feeder. Working up a sweat outdoors is a quick fix for the flow of creativity. Love the outdoors to recharge my battery.

What is one thing we would be surprised to know about you?

As a "green brain", would not say not adventuresome (sky diving out), but have an active sense of curiosity. And I did say I have moved 11 times since college.


Kyle Wise

What is your education and work history?

Graduated from Purdue in '88 and worked in the Horticulture industry (Altums) in Hamilton County until 1994. Then I went to work for Callahan Seeds managing a sales territory in SW Indiana. In 1997 I made a career move to Great Lakes Hybrids and moved to Lafayette, IN. In 2003 I made a career move to Channel Bio. and ran a sales territory for them until I moved back to Hamilton County in 2010 to work for Becks Hybrids. At Beck's I started as a Sales Consultant, then managed a sales team in Ohio and Eastern Indiana from 2010 until 2014. Then in July of 2014 I became the Regional Business Manager for the Eastern half of our marketing area. In January of 2017 I took the role of Sales Operations Manager which is the role I have today.

How long have you lived or worked in Hamilton County?

14 years total

Tell us about your family.

My wife Tracie and I have been married for 26 years and we have a daughter Kelsey who is a Sophomore at IU Bloomington and my son Cody works at Beck's. We also have 2 long coat German Shepherds.

What is your favorite thing to do or place to visit in Hamilton County?

I enjoy visiting Koteewi Park

What is your favorite restaurant in Hamilton County?

10 West

Do you have a favorite movie or TV show?

TV show: Big Bang Theory or Last Man Standing


Brian Dell

What is your education and work history?

Indiana University Kelley School of Business - Finance-Real Estate major. Minor in Psychology. I have been in the commercial real estate industry for approximately 20 years, with 10 of those years at my current company, which was purchased by Colliers International three years ago. I love what I do!

How long have you lived or worked in Hamilton County?

I grew up in Sheridan and live in Fishers now. Altogether, I've lived in Hamilton County 18 years or more.

Tell us about your family.

My wife, Kim, and I have a daughter who will turn one in October. My wife is finishing up her PhD in School Psychology in December and I am a very proud husband. We enjoy watching our daughter grow, trying new things as a family, spending time with other friends and our two dogs, fitness activities and attending Church. I have three brothers who also live in north suburbs with their families and my parents still live in Sheridan. I am fortunate to have everyone so close.

What is your favorite thing to do or place to visit in Hamilton County?

With a hectic schedule these days, I really look forward to my weekly sand volleyball league at Pinheads.

What is your favorite restaurant in Hamilton County?

Thai Sushi House

Do you have a favorite movie or TV show?

Movie - Old School.....bring your green hat.

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