NEWS

HAMILTON COUNTY LEADERSHIP ACADEMY ANNOUNCES 2024 AWARD WINNERS

NOBLESVILLE, IN –Each year, Hamilton County Leadership Academy (HCLA) recognizes HCLA alumni and community partners for their commitment and service to HCLA and their impact in Hamilton County. This year HCLA is thrilled to announce Andrea Davis as the 2024 HCLA Distinguished Alumni and Brenda Myers as the 2024 HCLA Honorary Alumni. 

HCLA will recognize Andrea Davis and Brenda Myers as the 2024 awards recipients during the HCLA Leadership Summit which will take place on Tuesday, June 18th from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Noblesville.

2024 Distinguished Alumni 

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes an alumnus from the HCLA program who has made a difference in the HCLA network and Hamilton County through their service to the community and leadership efforts. They have utilized the knowledge gained from the program to leave a mark in the community where they reside and work. The 2024 HCLA Distinguished Alumni is Andrea Davis, HCLA Class of 2014.

Andrea Davis is executive director of nonprofit housing developer HAND Inc. and a resident of Fishers. Andrea joined HAND in 2016 after more than 20 years as a newspaper reporter and editor, most recently for the Indianapolis Business Journal. She is a proud graduate of the Hamilton County Leadership Academy (#BCE2014) and the Fishers City Government Academy.

When she’s not working, napping, or exploring the local dining scene, Andrea can probably be found at a poker table. She and her high school sweetheart, Bob, celebrate their 31st wedding anniversary in June. 

2024 HCLA Honorary Alumni 

The HCLA Honorary Alumni Award recognizes a Hamilton County leader for their investment, advocacy, and partnership with HCLA. Honorees are not alumnus of the program but have a deep belief in the mission and vision of HCLA and the impact graduates can make in the community. The 2024 HCLA Honorary Alumni is Brenda Myers. 

Brenda Myers is president and CEO of Hamilton County Tourism, Inc., where she oversees destination and tourism economic development for one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation. Myers has more than 35 years of experience in tourism development, working in cultural attractions management as well as in tourism development for the state of Indiana. She began her career as a journalist, and that curiosity laid the foundation for her passion to seek information to make informed decisions.

She helped lead Hamilton County’s work on the White River Vision Plan and collaborated with her team and local leadership to create the Business of Entertainment, Sport & Tourism Fund under the care of Karen Radcliff. During her tenure, Hamilton County Tourism has given more than $15 million to the community in the form of grants and research support and now gives back under the Inspire Hamilton County arm of tourism’s work, supporting People, Place, Planet, & Prosperity. 

Celebrate the HCLA 2024 Award Winners by making a gift to HCLA in their honor or attending the HCLA Leadership Summit.

 

HAMILTON COUNTY LEADERSHIP ACADEMY ANNOUNCES MEGAN WILES AS DEAN OF CLASS OF 2025

NOBLESVILLE, IN –Hamilton County Leadership Academy (HCLA) announced today that Megan Wiles will serve as dean for the Class of 2025. HCLA will open applications for its 34th cohort of community leaders on Friday, March 1.

“I am honored to be asked to serve as dean for the Hamilton County Leadership Academy’s upcoming class,” said Wiles, vice president of the Foundation and Community Affairs for Riverview Health. “HCLA does such a great job of exposing its class members to aspects of our community they might never have seen. It also provides opportunities for those individuals to become engaged and continue to make Hamilton County such a great place to live. I look forward to working with the upcoming class to help them feel more connected to our community.”

HCLA has been educating leaders and cultivating community networks for over 30 years. Since its inception in 1991, more than 850 community leaders have graduated from HCLA. The organization is anchored by its mission to inspire and empower HCLA participants and alumni to drive and amplify community impact by providing them with unique access to knowledge, leaders, and organizations.

The dean plays an integral role in creating the class culture and connectivity and provides meaningful insight and expertise throughout the HCLA class experience. They also serve as an ambassador for the program in the community and collaborate with the HCLA executive director and board to cultivate and maintain an engaging, dynamic, and thought-provoking learning environment.

“HCLA is thrilled to have Megan serve as our dean for the Class of 2025,” said Diana Coyle, executive director of HCLA. “Megan embodies our values of community, learning, and strategic flexibility, and we are confident in her ability to bring those values to life in our class days. She has a firm pulse on the business, government, and non-profit intersections because of her professional and community leadership, and will be able to utilize that knowledge to increase the competency and connections for our cohort. We can’t wait to see Megan leave her mark on HCLA’s legacy.”

With over 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector, in both paid and volunteer positions, Wiles is passionate about working with others in making a difference in Hamilton County. In 2023, Wiles joined Conner Prairie’s Board of Directors where she serves on the Development and Finance Committees. She has been a member of the Conner Prairie Alliance for over 15 years.

In January 2024, Wiles began her third term as a member of the Noblesville Common Council where she serves as vice president of the Council and chairs the Economic Development Committee. She previously served as president of the Council and is a member of the Finance Committee and created the Downtown District Committee. Wiles was appointed by Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen to serve as co-chair of the Noblesville Bicentennial Committee in 2023.

Wiles is a member of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church and serves on the vestry and planning committee for its annual Strawberry Festival. She is a graduate of the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series and Hamilton County Leadership Academy, Class of 2000.

Applications for the HCLA Class of 2025 will close April 8, 2024. The cohort will be announced in June.

HCLA will also host meet-ups for those interested in joining the 2025 cohort and looking to learn more about HCLA and the application process. Meet-ups include:

  • Thursday, March 7 from 3:30-5 p.m. at The Collaboration Hub (11810 Technology Drive, Fishers)
  • Monday, March 11 from 5-6:30 p.m. at Northbrook Brewing Company (119 W Main Street, Arcadia)
  • Wednesday, March 20 from 8:30-10 a.m. at Hamilton County Tourism (37 E Main Street, Carmel)

If you are interested in attending, please register here

HAMILTON COUNTY LEADERSHIP ACADEMY ANNOUNCES THE CLASS OF 2024

Noblesville, IN- The Hamilton County Leadership Academy (HCLA) has selected 36 individuals who reside or work in Hamilton County to take part in its 10-month community leadership program.

HCLA Executive Director, Diana Coyle, shared, “This cohort is composed of up-and-coming and established community leaders who will learn from one another, our dean, class speakers, and community partners. They will inspire one another to impact where they work and reside and empower each other to be change-makers and connectors in areas of passion and trends on the horizon in the county. Through their HCLA journey, they will weave themselves into the fabric of who Hamilton County is and will become.”

HCLA is thrilled to officially announce the Class of 2024 and welcome them into the folds of HCLA’s 30+ year legacy in Hamilton County:

  • Katie Abernathy | Alpha Gamma Delta
  • Billy Adams | Westfield Police Department
  • Sandy Allen | Hamilton County Tourism
  • Joshua Andrews | Westfield Washington Schools
  • Chris Beaver | Beaver Gravel Corporation
  • Aaron Collins | OfficeWorks
  • Christina Collins | Ivy Tech Community College-Hamilton County
  • Brittany Delph | Student Impact of Westfield
  • Murry Dixon | Noblesville Fire Department
  • Brien Donahue | Performance Contracting, Inc.
  • Pete Dunbar | American Bank of Freedom
  • Katie Ellis | Purdue University
  • Patricia Ellis | Tegria
  • Jenell Fairman | City of Carmel
  • Derrick Ferguson | Meyer Najem
  • Anthony Gary | Village Capital Corporation, A Pedcor Company
  • Samuel Gibson | Custom Concrete
  • Heather Haas | ADVISA
  • Emily Hitchcock | Conner Prairie Museum
  • Danielle Humphrey | Hamilton County Community Foundation
  • Tonya Hyatt | Northern Hamilton County Chamber of Commerce
  • Steve Latour | Westfield Chamber of Commerce & Downtown Westfield Association
  • Stephanie Lay | Everwise Credit Union
  • Julie Plake | United Way of Central Indiana
  • Brian Price | Wessler Engineering
  • Bailey Rayford | Kendal Logan Logistics, LLC
  • Jennifer Roam | City of Fishers
  • Elizabeth Roberson | Krieg DeVault LLP
  • Jennifer Rozelle | Indiana Estate & Elder Law
  • Hyacinth Rucker | The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
  • Emily J. Schmale | Church Church Hittle + Antrim
  • Alexis Sowder | KSM Location Advisors
  • Peg Strass | Westfield Fire Department
  • Jordan Willy | City of Fishers
  • Ashley Woodward Fischer | Beck’s
  • Lindsay Zehren | Resounding Joy Indiana

Each year, HCLA selects participants through a highly competitive application process. Class members are selected based on their community engagement, desire to learn and grow through the HCLA program, and passion for making an impact through leading and serving in Hamilton County.

Earlier this year, HCLA announced that Patrick Propst would serve HCLA as the Class of 2024 Dean. HCLA will kick off its Class of 2024 cohort experience in mid-August with a two-day opening retreat.

HAMILTON COUNTY LAUNCHES NEW COMMUNITY AMBASSADOR PROGRAM

NOBLESVILLE, IN – Hamilton County Leadership Academy (HCLA) and Invest Hamilton County have launched a new community ambassador program. The partnership, called HAMILTON CONNECTION will highlight personal stories of HCLA alumni and allow those Connectors to help personalize the things that make Hamilton County a great place to live, work, learn and thrive. Fifteen HCLA alumni have signed on as Connectors through the first year

“Our alumni network is excited to be community connectors for those new to Hamilton County, interested in relocating here, or looking to identify new ways to engage where they reside or work,” said Diana Coyle, Executive Director of HCLA, “a key part of what makes HCLA a great program is it dives deep into our community which makes our alumni the perfect group to help others do the same.”

Through Invest Hamilton County’s website, those interested can access Connectors’ stories, experiences and personal snapshots to learn more about the Hamilton County community.  If the stories spark additional interest and a desire for further conversations, individuals can reach out to Hamilton Connectors through a variety of social media channels to engage in conversations about topics like volunteering, employment, and/or community events.

“If you Google search any community in our County you will see amazing articles about the quality of our schools, parks, roads, health and employment,” says Mike Thibideau, President/CEO of Invest Hamilton County, “what this program does is personalize those accolades, showcase the diversity of experiences that make our community great, and provide an opportunity for immediate connection.” Thibideau also looks forward to the Connectors engaging with other similar programs in the Indy Region.

Visit www.investhamiltoncounty.com/work/hamilton-connection to learn more about the Hamilton Connection program and to see profiles of participating HCLA Alumni.