Board of Directors 2018 Slate

October 24, 2018

Here are the nominees for the Indy Pride Board of Directors 2018 slate!

The 2018 Slate Committee convened, interviewed many qualified candidates, and presents the following candidates for the Indy Pride Board of Directors.

Voting closes on Wednesday, November 7th at noon. Vote on the slate here!

Frank Ebels

I have been a volunteer with a Best Buddies Indiana for over 3 years matched in a committed one to one friendship with a person with disability. I spent a year volunteering with Indiana Youth Group as a room monitor and event helper. I am an active member of Christ Church Cathedral and help with various musical events. I am now in my second year singing with the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus. I have also performed in numerous community opera, musical theater, and theater productions. In addition to these experiences, I also make it a priority to be active politically by calling my senators and representatives and advocate for my community and it’s people. I also participate in marches and protests when I am able. It was a transformative experience to be at the Indiana State House during March for our Lives.

In college I was the student body president and a member of the board of trustees. I have not had a direct position on a board of directors since college, but I have served on auxiliary committees and fundraising committees for Best Buddies Indiana.

I joined Indy Pride as a member in 2016 at a mixer and have been to and a part of Indy Pride parade and festival the past two years. I’ve attended several mixers over the past 2 years. I’ve also attended Bat n’ Rouge and the community picnic.

I am a very skilled communicator (speaker, oral and written, interpersonal), socializer, leader, and event planner with many years of experience. I really enjoy connecting with people and helping them feel welcome. I am good at looking at the big picture and narrowing down to the small details. I am also very aware of smart logistical strategies for events.

Grant Helms

I have lived in the Indianapolis area almost all of my life, except when I studied in college.  In that time, I’ve seen the city grow into something more than I can imagine.  And with that growth, I’ve tried to become involved.  I began community involvement in Zionsville, Indiana, with community theater groups and my high school extracurricular activities.  And when I returned to Indy for law school, I was highly active in organizations promoting community understanding of the Constitution and the rule of law.  I also helped revive the law school’s Lambda Legal Society, which was the primary student organization dedicated to the intersection of the legal profession and the LGBT community.

As I mentioned, I did serve on Boards of Directors throughout law school here in Indianapolis, including Lambda Legal Society, the Indiana International and Comparative Law Review, and the American Constitution Society.  These academic boards helped cultivate my understanding of what it means to work together with others toward a common goal and effecting change through a mission.  Since then, I have been involved as a Member of the Board of Directors with Indy Pride for approximately one-and-a-half terms.  I began my involvement as a non-voting board member and was then elected on the first-ever slate for Indy Pride.

As a lifelong Hoosier and Indianapolis resident, I’ve been going to Pride for many years – probably since 2008.  And when I came back here after school, I made a point of getting involved in the community and the areas of civic life that affect me closely.  I can’t think of anything closer than Indy Pride, for me.  My role as a non-voting Board Member and then Vice President of Operations has meant a great deal to me, and I’ve seen first hand how this organization operates and grows.  I see only extreme potential in that, and I think my involvement over the past 3 or so years gives me a clear vision of where we are headed.  Turn-over and retention on this Board is frequent, and it’s an issue with which we struggle annually.  I am cognizant of that and hope to be someone who has seen things done in the past and can guide into the future.

I think my professional life as an attorney is an added value to the organization for reasons related to any non-profit of this size.  I can help guide the Board in making legal, financial, and responsible decisions that protect all parties involved.  But more importantly, I know this community well.  I have lived here quite a long time, I tend to follow the politics and trends of this city and region, and I understand the demands of people in this area.  That’s what we strive to learn more about: the wants, needs, hopes, and dreams of the LGBTQ+ community in central Indiana, and I have worked pretty hard in trying to hear all of that out.

Kathy Jones

I have been involved with several nonprofit agencies in Indianapolis, including Second Helpings, Indy Local Food Network and Noble Evening in Garden. I was on the board of directors for the Sitka Local Food Network, and served as the treasurer.
I served on the Branding Committee for the city of Sitka, Alaska.  I have attended the festival and parades. In the mid 1990’s, I was involved with the Bag Lady Bus Tour. I believe that I am very organized and outgoing. I have a strong background in creative fundraising and thinking outside the box.

Kyle Matthews

I have been an active member of the LGBTQ community for nearly a decade, where I have been a paid member of Indy Pride for several years and had the pleasure of volunteering with the organization directly during last year’s Indy Pride Festival, specifically being the lead organizer of the Hoosier 250 Tricycle Race.  I have also worked at Gregs – Our Place since 2012 as a member of the Marketing Team and as a Resident DJ.  During my time there I have helped raise money for the Indiana AIDS Walk & Greg Powers DEFA Fund on numerous occasions.  I also personally hosted several events at Gregs – Our Place over the years, one of which I organized using my production company at the time, Carpe Noctum Events, to raise money for the American Cancer Society during No Shave November in 2012.  Through those efforts we were able to donate just under $1500 directly towards cancer research. 

Outside the LGBTQ community, I have also been received as a member of the Indianapolis Centre Lodge #21 chapter of the Freemasons, where a large focus of our time and energy is spent raising money for various non-profit organizations in the local community. Furthermore, I have also volunteered my time working with children and the elderly over the years by visiting, joking, and making balloon animals while dressed as Buddie the Clown.  I became a certified clown with my grandfather when I was in middle school by studying the art of clowning at the Ministry of Smiles organization, where their primary focus was to visit nursing homes, children’s hospitals, and other venues where we donated our time to brighten the days of people who deserved the chance to laugh and smile. 

I have always worked closely with organizations, schools, and non-profits that had boards of directors first starting during my time at Knightstown High School.  Sophomore year I was elected to be Vice-President of my class, then from there I was elected to be President of my class both Junior and Senior years, as well as Vice-President of Student Council. Furthermore, I was also voted in as the Speaker of the House in Student Government.  Currently, I am enrolled in college at Ivy Tech Community College, where I hold the seat of President of the Psychology Club, an organization which I help found and write the first constitution for.

Outside of school related boards, I was actively involved in the Indy Pride Festival meetings and planning leading up to the 2018 Pride Festival, where I worked directly with the board and oversaw the full organization of the Hoosier 250 Tricycle Race.

I have been an active participant at the Indy Pride Festival nearly every year since I was 18, and I have been a paid general member for a number of years.  Over the last 4 years I helped guide HotBox Pizza to become a sponsor of the Indy Pride Festival, where they have continued to support the community and the festival.  Most recently I volunteered with Indy Pride in 2018 as the lead organizer for the Hoosier 250 Tricycle Race, was a DJ at the Indy Mojo stage, and participated at numerous board meetings to provide support leading up to the festival.

I have over a decade of experience as a Dance Music DJ, where I have maintained a residency at Gregs – Our Place and played several reputable venues in the city including The Vogue, Talbott Street, and Old National Center.  I also founded Carpe Noctum Events, which was an EDM production company in Indianapolis from 2009 – 2014, where I hosted several DJ’s on the international dance scene, such as ATB, Paul van Dyk, Above & Beyond, Cosmic Gate, and Pauly D, as well as other entertainers on the national party scene such as James St. James and Sharon Needles.  While running Carpe Noctum Events, I also earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Entertainment Business at Full Sail University with the hope to continue learning more to expand my reach and value in the entertainment industry. 

Outside of entertainment, I have been promoted to the ranks of Marketing Manager and General Manager at HotBox Pizza, where my skills in business management and leadership were further reinforced.  I embrace solutions rather than excuses, and due to that attitude many consider me to be a Jack of All Trades, as I catch on and learn things quickly and have a knack for working out and troubleshooting problems rather than getting caught up on whatever the issue may be.  I feel that my experience and education have all come together to prepare me for my role on the Indy Pride Board, and I hope to contribute and be an effective member of the team for years to come.

Colin Noll

My involvement with the community has been a bit explosive. I had barely been involved at all by the end of 2017; however this past year my involvement took a sharp rise. In only a few months time, I went from knowing nearly nobody in the community to going to and participating in nearly every IndyPride event, assisting with the festival and parade, becoming friends with a great number of people in the community, and attending non-IndyPride affiliated community events such as fashion shows, parties, and even pride events located in nearby cities such as Chicago and Louisville. What lack of chronological time I have had in the community, I’ve certainly made up for in recent man-hours and with the intensity brought on by finally feeling like I found a community I can call my own.

I have backgrounds in both literary-creative and technology fields, providing an eclectic mix of talents and experiences that most people only get to see on side of. One shared aspect of my education and my job experiences is that, no matter where, I have been the one called on to do intense research. for this reason, if I had to choose one specific thing I’d say is my most refined talent, it would be research whether it be academic or for marketing and advertising purposes. I also make great cookies!

Ann Savage

I have long considered my teaching, professional service, as well as my administrative work in various organizations, as my social activism. However, now having decided not to advance my career in university administration and reaching the highest faculty rank of professor, I have determined that it is important for me to more deeply engage outside of the academy and into the local community.

Considering my expertise in media studies, in previous years, I have volunteered for the Indianapolis International Film Festival and more recently, I have volunteered for democratic Dee Thornton’s campaign for the 5th District. I have consistently been civically engaged in protest (LGBTQ rights, immigration rights, and women’s rights). When Mike Pence signed RFRA into law – I was instrumental in pushing Butler University President James Danko to release a statement against it when Butler was absent on a previously released list of private Indiana colleges protesting RFRA. I pushed Butler to align itself with its own history of being one of the first University’s in the nation to admit women and African Americans on an equal basis with white men.
Although you might find my ‘on the streets’ activism limiting for a board position, I am confident you will find my passion, dedication and determination to outweigh any shortcomings in this area.

Although I do not have experience sitting on a board of directors, I have experience in serving both on the General Council for the National Women’s Studies Association as well as the Legislative Assembly of the National Communication Association. In both of these rolls, I have worked with a diverse group of representatives to plan, coordinate and ensure the health and stability of these organizations.

Frankly, most of my involvement with Indy Pride has been passive as a member. However, more recently and in collaboration with my colleague Dr. Irune del rio Gabiola, I have played an important role in developing a Butler University presence at the June Indy Pride events. Initially a sole initiative of the Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies program – the University is more broadly taking part now, marching in the parade and had its first table in June 2018.

I am well versed in the literatures of queer studies, queer history and social activism, I have led many diversity initiatives over decades at Butler University, including the development of the Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies major. I am knowledgeable, yet also practical, with a long history of a strong organizational skill set that I think would benefit Indy Pride.

Addison Smith

My history of LGBTQ community involvement is fairly short as I am fairly new to my transgender identity. It was only a couple of years ago that I came out and since then I’ve been attending and helping with events in Muncie. I want to increase my participation as an LGBTQ activist now that I’ve become more comfortable living out.

As for my community involvement in general, that goes back to childhood in Cub Scouts, Webelos, Boy Scouts, marching band, etc. In college, I was first Treasurer and then President of Marshall University’s chapter of the Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society and a student representative on the Honor’s Council. GBP is a community service society and every member was required to perform a certain number of community service hours and as President, I was tasked with tracking those hours for the membership and coordinating service opportunities. The Honors Council met to discuss issues faced by honors students in the university. In grad school, I volunteered for various events and was appointed to the College of Fine Art Graduate Council as a Student Representative. 

After school, I continued volunteering for community events and I was the Vice President and Past President of the Ball State University Libraries Staff Council. Eventually, I became one of the primary volunteers with Naptown Roller Derby, first as the Front of House Head where I was in charge of ticket sales and customer relations and eventually as Bout Director and Co-Chair of the Sponsorship Committee. The Bout Director is in charge of planning, developing and executing all activities on Bout Day from meeting with governmental and venue representatives to providing security and emergency services, to making sure the layout of the facility is correct, that all the electronics are up and running and even making sure that everything runs on time. As part of this duty, I revamped NRD’s bout committee to be more like the organizational structure of a theater production. Before that, there were many people with titles but no one was really sure who did what. I created positions, eliminated some and installed a top-down responsibility model for the committee. Sponsorship Committee found new sponsors for the League and executed contracts with them. When I took over, the league offered several packages that were overblown so no one used them. This lead to each sponsor having their own deal and none of these deals were equitable with each other. I scrapped that entire system and introduced a more a la carte model with incentives and clear pricing for each item that the sponsor could purchase. Since leaving NRD, I volunteered for the occasional event and now I’m ready to take a leadership position again. 

I attended several events as an ally before I admitted to myself that I’m trans. Since admitting being trans to myself, I’ve attended events including volunteering for the last three Pride festivals. I worked a booth for The Change Project in ’16 and Sex Geekdom Indy in ’17 and volunteered with Pride itself in ’18 as a photographer at TransGlam and a general volunteer for the Festival where I helped with setting up including constructing the pride colors behind the Visit Indy photo opportunity. 

Not to sound immodest but, many. I have degrees in Music Composition and Digital Storytelling which gave me media production skills and organizational skills from serving as the director of stage shows and the producer for a student TV special. In my time with Naptown Roller Derby, I learned how to manage an all-volunteer workforce and how to create an organizational structure for it as well as how to find sponsors. I’ve been a manager in a library department for many years so I can bring those managerial skills to the table as well as an understanding of research procedures. 

Elysia Smith

I have been hosting events for the last eight years including pop-up art shows, educational panels on activism and writing, writing workshops, poetry readings, and live music events. My community involvement has always meant service. I create communities or facilitate access for the communities that I want to be a part of. I’m very comfortable in community leadership roles because it comes naturally to me to moderate spaces and encourage participation.

I have been commissioned to write grants and host events for several organizations including Indy Convergence, the Indianapolis Arts Council, and the Elkhart City Chamber of Commerce.  My past involvement with Indy Pride is limited to attending Pride events and the festival. My special skills include event planning, being deeply connected to the arts and music scene in the city, grant writing, content marketing, and social media curation.

Larry Stribling

It has been deep-rooted in my upbringing of the importance of community involvement and service. I organized my high school first food drive to benefit those in need within the Chicago community. In recent years past and throughout my collegiate time at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, giving members of the black/African American community and members abroad experience into the history, music and method of black sacred repertoire through performance has provided the opportunity to give back in a unique way.

In my current line of work, I have the pleasure in partnering with directors. As their partner, I’m able to provide support, guidance to the directors and their extended teams on business topics. The overall commitment to foster a great workplace allows us to work together to achieve goals set by the director and the company.

As a current member of Indy Pride, I have attended past board meetings as a visitor to listen to topics being discussed by the sitting Indy Pride Board of Directors. This gave me an insight to the great work that is being done for the LGBTQ+ community.  I joined the nomination and selection committee for the 2017 candidate selection board of directors. My involvement included interviewing candidates to be on the board to lead Indy Pride. I was humbled by the experience in selecting the potential new leaders of Indy Pride because I understood the importance of selecting individuals who would be influential for Indy  LGBTQ+ community . I’ve been present for membership engagements throughout my time as a member of Indy Pride.   

I’m excited about the opportunity to join the Indy Pride Board of Directors. Personally, I’m interested in continuing the work the board does for LGBTQ+ community within Indianapolis and outside the city.  I hope to bring to the board a wide range of different perspectives on topics brought to the board of director’s attention. I truly believe that at any level of leadership that service should be the fuel behind the work to be done.

Todd Shelton

I have always been involved in community efforts -including events and fundraisers. Whether it be bartending an Artrageous Host Committee party, performing amateur drag for a Nashville Pride fundraiser, facilitating educational tracks for collegiate leaders or serving in leadership roles within organizations, I have been happy to jump in and serve in ways I felt contributed to the common goals. I have organized events from concept to execution such as a red dress run or a rugby tournament for gay and inclusive teams from across the country. I have helped increase memberships, developed sponsor relationships, organized logostics for arena size party
events and found effeciencies of man power and resources.

I have been fortunate to have had the capacity to serve on several boards for organizations. After several years of volunteering for Artrageous in Nashville, Tenn., I joined the board where I served for five years. Artrageous was a 501(c)3 that annually hosted an art gallery crawl then concluded with a “late” party. The event was attended by several thousand people each year and in its 20 years raised over $2 million for Nashville CARES. In addition to board roles, I twice served as event co-chair – once for marketing/PR, the second time responsible for the late party. I served on the Nashville Steering Committee for the Human Rights Campaign for four years with responsibilities related to marketing and public relations. I served on the board of the Nashville Grizzlies Rugby Football Club for five years including a year as president. Since 2016, I have served on the board of the Southeastern Interfraternity Conference. The SEIFC annually hosts a leadership education/training conference for collegiate officers from interfraternity councils across the nation (primarily the southeast). I am responsible for vendors, sponsorship and a silent auction. Since 2014, I have served on the board of directors of the Fraternity Communications Association. The FCA is a professional association composed of national fraternities and sororities, affiliates and alliance partners. The FCA mission is to enhance fraternity communications through the exchange of ideas, experiences and information. In my time on the board, I have served as Director of Recognition – responsible for an ADDYslike awards program. I also served two years as Vice President of Operations – responsible for membership, finance and information (technology). In 2017-18, I served as President. Currently, I serve as Past President.

I moved to Indianapolis in April. One of my first activities outside my new job was to seek out information about Indy Pride. I attended the pre-events such as the launch party and began meeting people involved. I attended Pride Week events and the parade and Festival. The day after, I helped breakdown the site in the rain. I told friends I wanted to see the event before getting involved. I was very impressed and knew I wanted to use my leadership and skills to contribute to the organization.

I feel very fortunate for the opportunities I have had to learn and serve within the non-profit community, both professionally and as a volunteer. In each new role and organization, I have found my broad experience a valuable tool in problem solving and developing new ideas to reach organizational goals. As you can see in my résumé, I have over 15 years in nonprofit management, communication, crisis communication, social network marketing, graphic design, publication production, marketing and event planning.

Rick Tisdale

I have lived in the Indianapolis Community for 30 years. In that time I have volunteered for various organizations.
-IYG volunteer 1996-1999, and I also donated my art annually for their silent auction fundraiser from 2005-2010.
-Indianapolis Humane Society volunteer 1995-2000. Volunteer of the Year 1996.
-Big Brothers Program. I served as a big brother from 2005-2008 until my little brother aged out.
-Ryan White Foundation Volunteer 1998

I have worked in the Indianapolis non-profit community for the last 20 years. I have volunteered for numerous events for my past employer, Easter Seals Crossroads, and my current employer, United Way of Central Indiana.
Indianapolis Humane Society Advisory Board member 2000-2003

I have been an Indy Pride festival attendee from 1991-2018. I have also Coordinated United Way of Central Indiana’s participation in the Pride Parade 2013-2016. Coordinated the participation of United Way of Central Indiana as an exhibitor 2012-2016.

I have 25 years’ experience in Talent Management and Human Resources and am well connected in the HR and non-profit communities. I am a certified DiSC facilitator. I am familiar with non-profit boards due to my 20 years of service in that community. I am familiar with diversity and inclusion initiatives in the community and within non-profits. I have been looking for a local non-profit board to become involved with. After seeing the Indy Pride posting related to that on Facebook, I thought it was a great match and fit, as I am very passionate about the LGBTQ community. I know I could bring a lot to the table.

Lucas Tressler

My history of community involvement includes volunteering at a local hospital gift shop, tutoring students who are behind in reading comprehension, as well as volunteering at community food pantries. This is my first opportunity to serve on a board of directors and I am very eager to learn and grow with Indy Pride over this next year. In 2018, I served as the ‘volunteer coordinator’ for the Indy Pride Festival and events.  My duties were to collect and direct volunteers for all Pride events occurring in May and June. In August 2018, I was appointed to the Indy Pride Board of Directors and serve as the organization’s Volunteer Director.

Vote on the slate here!