Boone County Leadership Graduates 24 in its 25th Year

On May 11th, the Boone County Leadership 2016 class graduated 24 caring and committed leaders of Boone County who spent 9 months learning about how they can better serve our community. 2016 marked the 25th year for this prestigious program.

BCL program opportunities this year included:

• StrengthsFinder assessment and exercises
• Servant leadership presentation by Sheriff Mike Nielsen
• Participation in a community-wide poverty simulation to try to understand how difficult it can be to get ahead when the odds are stacked against you


• On almost everyone’s favorite day, we visited the Everett Family Farm (grain) and had a very eye-opening presentation about the business of farming; had lunch at Dull’s Tree Farm for an agri-tourism perspective and finished at Sugar Creek Malt Company.

• The class heard from organizations who are trying to make our community healthier, from the Health Department to the Friends of Boone County Trails. Students took a tour of Witham’s impressive new rehab unit and their wellness facilities, and got to try out Zumba and tai chi
• Toured the Child Advocacy Center and heard some very sobering statistics about child abuse from class member Kassie Frazier
• Learned from Heather Shumaker and Judge Jeffrey Edens about the great strides our Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative and Youth Assistance Programs are making to rehabilitate rather than punish our troubled kids
• Spent an afternoon at the jail with our highly impressive Sheriff and his staff

• Molly Whitehead presented to the class about how economic development works and took them through a simulation
• Workforce Development panel featuring Lebanon Superintendent Dr. Bob Taylor, Gigi Nicholas from Indy Reads and class member Dean Zimmerman, Human Resources Manager at Hendrickson Trailer

• Another highlight of the class was a behind the scenes tour of Amazon
• We enjoyed a private lunch at the Salty Cowboy, one of Zionsville’s hottest local restaurants
• Toured zWORKS, an innovative nonprofit coworking space and resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs; while there:
o Molly Whitehead provided statistics and demographic information about the landscape of business in Boone County
o Heard from its executive director about how zWORKS came to be
o Zionsville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julie Johns-Cole presented about the services they provide to small businesses in Zionsville

• Had a candid roundtable conversation with Superintendents Dr. Bob Taylor and Dr. Scott Robison and WeBo’s Director of Curriculum, Tricia Reed
• Learned about the Lebanon High School Grad Coach program from Lori Schroeder and heard the student’s perspective from graduate Abby Key
• Class member Kristen Scott highlighted LHS’ new POWER curriculum, a soft-skills certification for graduates and other ways that she is connecting non-degree seeking students to local work opportunities

• Panel Discussion with local lawmakers: Boone County Commissioner Jeff Wolfe, Boone County Councilman Tom Santelli, Lebanon Mayor Matt Gentry, Zionsville Mayor Tim Haak and Whitestown Town Manager Dax Norton
• Spent the afternoon with Justice Steve David at the Supreme Court
• Met our state lawmakers during a legislative reception at the Statehouse

• Toured the Arc of Greater Boone County with Executive Director Andy Kirby
• Received a primer on Being a Good Board Member from Jen Pendleton

 Congratulations 2016 Graduates:

Susan Albers
Jody Applegate
Sue Burks
Sara Forsythe
Kassie Frazier
Joshua Frost
Kendra Hedge
Rob Knox
Debbi Kuller
Bradley Miller
Elise Nieshalla
Trina Rose
Mandy Saucerman
Diane Schultz
Kristen Scott
Barbara Slegers-Hudson
Valerie Swack
Mike Thompson
James VanGorder
Mary Wagner-Shields
Pam Warmoth
Ben Worrell
Cynthia Young
Dean Zimmerman

We look forward to the 2017 Class! Contact Gabi at for more information on Boone County Leadership!