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


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.


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 Dan Stevens as the 2023 HCLA Distinguished Alumni and David Heighway as the 2023 HCLA Honorary Alumni. 

HCLA will recognize Dan Stevens and David Heighway as the 2023 awards recipients during the HCLA Leadership Summit which will take place on Tuesday, June 20 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Noblesville.

2023 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 2023 HCLA Distinguished Alumni is Dan Stevens, HCLA Class of 2000.

Dan Stevens joined the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department in January 1974. His career path included duties as a dispatcher, corrections officer, process server, Patrol Deputy, 13 years as a Division Commander with the rank of Captain, 8 years as Chief Deputy with the rank of Major, and elected to 8 years of service as County Sheriff. In October 2009, after nearly 36 years of duty at the Sheriff’s Department, he joined the Office of the County Commissioners as the director of administration. He served in that capacity for 13.5 years and retired on March 31, 2023.

Dan has received numerous community recognitions for his work, including the 2016 Community Service Award from Noblesville Sunrisers Kiwanis Club, 2020 Outstanding County Administrator Award from the Indiana Association of County Commissioners, and in 2023 received the Hamilton County Commissioners Continental Award for Service.

He will continue to serve Hamilton County in his retirement as an appointment by the County Commissioners on the Riverview Hospital Board of Trustees, president of the Hamilton County Redevelopment Commission, vice president of the Hamilton County Theater Guild (Home of the Belfry Theater), and on the board of directors for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Chaplaincy.

2023 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 2023 HCLA Honorary Alumni is David Heighway.

David Heighway is the Hamilton County Historian. He is a native Hoosier and received his undergraduate degree in history from Western Kentucky University and his Masters in History from Utah State University. He has worked at museums around the US, including places such as Utah and Pennsylvania, as well as museums in Indiana, such as Conner Prairie. He has recently published a book called The Hidden History of Hamilton County. He is presently an employee of the Hamilton East Public Library, sits on the Noblesville Historic Preservation Commission, and is on the board of directors of the Hamilton County Historical Society.

David has shared his passion for Hamilton County history with every HCLA class for the last 30+ years, making sure each program graduate is knowledgeable on the unique history where they call home and that they can relay the story of the great squirrel stampede to all of their friends, family, and neighbors.

Celebrate the HCLA 2023 Award Winners by making a gift to HCLA in their honor or attending the HCLA Leadership Summit.



NOBLESVILLE, IN – As Hamilton County Leadership Academy (HCLA) opens the application process for its 33rd cohort of leaders, they are thrilled to announce that Patrick Propst has been selected to serve as the HCLA dean for the Class of 2024. HCLA has been educating leaders and cultivating community networks for over 30 years.

“As an alumnus of the HCLA Class of 2018, I immediately saw the impression and influence that HCLA and its deans had in Hamilton County,” said Propst. “In particular, I saw how each dean had a unique ability to channel the leadership, knowledge, networks, and resources of each class to shape and elevate all areas of life in the county. I look forward to meeting this year’s class as they begin their journey with HCLA.”

“The HCLA board is honored that Patrick is volunteering his time to support the growth of Hamilton County by serving as dean,” Andrew Bradford, HCLA president shared. “His commitment to service will support the mission of HCLA to amplify impact and empower community members with access to people and insights into the operations of Hamilton County.”

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

“HCLA is eager to watch the guidance and growth Patrick will provide to the Class of 2024. His innate ability for developing individuals so they can identify their why and make an impact where they reside and work is clear and we can’t wait to harness that skillset into the HCLA cohort experience,” said Diana Coyle, HCLA executive director.

Propst is an ordained minister and has been serving alongside Faith Community in Noblesville since 2004. Faith Community recently re-missioned and is exploring new faith expressions in today’s world, while encouraging and supporting free-range Christians. He also serves as part-time executive director for Serve Noblesville and began his own life coaching, consulting, and spiritual direction company called Pachlain.

Patrick’s 18 years of living and raising his family in Noblesville created a passion for the city and the people. He recently launched a podcast with a good friend called A Sinner and Saint. On it, they explore the day-to-day experiences when we are at our best and our worst. Patrick’s work, regardless of the hat he is wearing, is guided by the mantra of helping people, businesses, and organizations to “discover their good.”

Patrick Propst married his wife and Noblesville native Kami in 2001 and have three children, college freshman, Jada; high school senior, Asher; and sophomore, Hines. They live in a unique 1875 Italianate house in Old Town Noblesville. He enjoys cooking, baking, hiking, gardening, riding motorcycles, movies, bourbon, cigars, and the winter season. He collects books and PEZ. His PEZ collection is around 1,000 pieces and most of them have been given to him by friends over the years.

Applications for the HCLA Class of 2024 are currently open and will close Wednesday, April 12. If you are interested in learning more about HCLA, its community impact, and how to apply for the Class of 2024 find more information at Members of the Class of 2024 will be announced in June.



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 to learn more about the Hamilton Connection program and to see profiles of participating HCLA Alumni.