The 1828 Project is one of our signature programs at IndyHub and each year it’s full of incredible leaders between the ages of 18 and 28. Danielle is a part of 1828’s Class VII. We sent her some questions and she responded. Keep reading to learn more about Danielle!
What is your day-job?
Diversity and Inclusion Senior Specialist for Cummins. I empower Cummins implementation of our global diversity and inclusion programming. My job is a mix of leadership engagement, data analysis, and support of our 100+ employee resource groups.
Where are you originally from?
Schaumburg, IL, a suburb of Chicago.
What made you lay your roots here in Indianapolis?
I moved here after finishing grad school at Indiana University – Bloomington. I decided to live here for my job at Cummins. I won’t lie, I wasn’t expecting to love living here as much as I do. While my job was the reason for moving, I decided to stay for the incredible people I’ve met. Indy makes it easy to get involved, to experience art & culture, and to have fun. I’m a live music fanatic and the Indy music scene is fantastic. It’s also much more affordable than other places I considered moving.
If you had to choose one mode of transportation to get around our city, which would you choose and why?
I love anything that doesn’t involve driving. You’ll find me most frequently walking. I also have a Pacers Bikeshare membership that I use all spring, summer, and fall. There’s a stop right by my apartment, which is awesome.
Which local coffee joint is your favorite? What’s your go-to order?
I don’t drink coffee but Calvin Fletcher’s. I get their Chai Tea Lattes. It’s my favorite place to curl up with a book on lazy Saturdays!
What are you most excited for with 1828, or who has been your favorite speaker thus far?
Aman Brar from Canvas, for sure. I never knew much about the Indy tech community but his talk sparked my interest in learning more. I’ve built my career knowing that businesses can be a positive force for change. It was fantastic to see an entrepreneur that was aware of the social impact, political impact, and bottom-line business impact of his products. His story and impact that he’s had as a community leader and business leader are very reflective of the type of leader I aspire to be.
What are you most excited about when thinking about the future of our city?
There isn’t a societal issue that will be solved by a business. There isn’t a societal issue that will be solved by a nonprofit. There isn’t a societal issue that will be solved by government. It’s when the different areas begin to work together that you can start to see change. Indy is an incredibly collaborative city and that makes me excited. The city has a variety of opportunities to strengthen what we offer. Issues like hunger, income inequality, housing needs, domestic violence and the opioid crisis are all very real in Indianapolis. That said, there is a unique mix of organizations, thought leaders, philanthropic support, and volunteers all giving their time and talent to deliver creative solutions to meet the needs. I’m excited to be a part of the problem solving force working to raise the quality of living in our city.
What was the best compliment you’ve ever received?
I work very hard and take a lot of pride in my work. I’m thrilled any time I’m able to give strong customer service and make a real difference. Having others recognize my effort means a lot to me.
Are you reading anything interesting right now, if so what? OR What book has impacted you the most to date?
I read a lot. I’ve run out of space in all three of my bookshelves (big supporter of Indy Reads Books). I can’t even begin to pick one book that has impacted me, reading is my favorite way to learn. I had a lazy weekend and finished two books. The first was “Inclusive Leadership” by Charlotte Sweeney and Fleur Bothwick and it was about how to maximize an inclusive work environment in your organization. The second was called “Text Me When You Get Home” by Kayleen Schaefer and it was about the impact and evolution of female friendships.
What’s your dream adventure vacation?
Traveling is my favorite thing to do. I have a goal to visit every continent before I’m 30. The trip that will probably be last will be my visit to Antarctica. I’ve had the change to backpack through northern Chile, which was stunning. My dream trip will be a backpacking trip to southern Chile (Patagonia) full of hiking in the Andes, camping under the stars, and viewing glaciers. The trip will be followed by a trip to Antarctica. I’d like to volunteer with researchers in the area and explore.