At IndyHub, we believe that leadership thats all forms and that our city requires all types of leaders. That’s why we work every day to empower, engage and connect the extraordinary young people who call Indy home, encouraging them to channel their skills and talents into shaping our city for generations to come. Today, we’re thrilled to announce a cohort of leaders who are prepared to do just that: Class XII of The 1828 Leadership Project presented by Citizens Energy Group.
Now in its 12th year, the 1828 Leadership Project has maintained its fundamental philosophy: young leaders are ready to lead and have ideas ready to implement now. Over the next nine months, these leaders will connect to deepen their understanding of the challenges facing our city, meet the many individuals who are shaping policy and practice in our community, and identify ways in which they can have an impactful role moving forward. Through 1828, IndyHub will seek to assist in the development of these projects and passions by connecting these individuals with resources and people who can help them fully realize their big ideas.
Program participants – which represent a wide range of sectors – are nominated by community leaders and selected by a committee of program alumni and community stakeholders. Class members participate in this leadership development program at absolutely no cost to them. The 2022-2023 program will be moderated by Greg Stowers of Ice Miller and Taylor Schaffer of Downtown Indy, Inc.. To date, The 1828 Leadership Project has served over 150 alumni. Class XII will meet for the first time in late September.
Please join us in welcoming Class XII of The 1828 Leadership Project presented by Citizens Energy Group!
Hayden Barnack, Indianapolis Colts
Hayden Barnack is an Indianapolis native with eight years of working in the sports industry. Currently, Hayden works for the Indianapolis Colts where she specializes in promotion strategy, looking for new ways to engage fanbases and meet people where they are. A supportive and passionate thought-leader, Hayden is inspired by the power of vulnerability and empathy in the workplace and uses her platform to shed light on the mental health stigma. She attended Indiana University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the Kelley School of Business. In her free time, she enjoys supporting local restaurants and events in addition to traveling to new cities and countries with her husband.
Alie Brown, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Alie has a passion for bringing people together and creating positive, uplifting environments. As the Project Coordinator for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, she has the opportunity to fulfill her passion. Growing up less than 20 miles from Indianapolis, her love for Indianapolis and all it has to offer grew when she moved to the University of Indianapolis campus to study marketing & supply chain management. In her last year at UIndy, Alie served as a 2021 500 Festival Princess where she collaborated with 32 other young women to make an impact on their communities. Prior to landing her role at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, she helped support diverse businesses with the City of Indianapolis – Office of Minority & Women Business Development. Alie is eager to become more involved and share her ideas with the communities in Indianapolis.
Jamarro Johnson, Community Alliance of the Far Eastside
Jamarro Johnson, Community Leader, Youth Advocate, Social Justice Warrior, and ally of the Immigrant community has dedicated his life to helping his community of the Far Eastside and other “Hoosiers” across the city of Indianapolis. Jamarro is an outstanding community leader and grassroots organizer with a passion for youth, people, and community connectedness. Jamarro is bilingual in both English/Spanish and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services Management from Indiana Wesleyan University and he is currently pursuing his MSW degree. Jamarro is a driven community activist and impassioned advocate who builds alliances with everyone and connects people across ages, languages, cultures, and experiences all to make his community stronger. Jamarro has worked in various youth development positions on the Far Eastside but shares his heart and God allowed life to come full circle and called him back to CAFE where he now oversees all youth and family programming as proud Director of Youth & Family Services. Jamarro is passionate about several social causes such as mental health, immigration reform, youth development, and Education. Jamarro volunteers much of his “free time” to provide backbone support to several grassroots community efforts and organizations that all work to address these social causes. As a lover of people, language, and youth Jamarro doesn’t see barriers but rather opportunities to grow, learn and connect.
Tiffany Keown, Teachers Credit Union
Community advocacy and financial literacy is my true passions. As an Assistant Manager at Teachers Credit Union, I am able to build relationships, create trust, and improve the lives of my members everyday. In 2019, I decided to pursue my passion for politics and policy by becoming a Field Organizer for Mayor Joe Hogsett & the Indianapolis City County Council Campaigns. After winning several key districts, I interned for the Indiana Senate Democratic Caucus under Senator Karen Tallian. This insight into the legislative process motivated me to join RISE Indy as the Parent Advocate Coordinator in 2020. I led Indianapolis parents to advocate, push, and collaborate on the pressing issues students are facing. I hope to obtain my MBA at IUPUI’s Kelley School of Business, to further study the fundamentals of business and corporate social responsibility. Personally, you can catch me on a hike, listening to R&B music, or exploring new food spots across the city.
Attiyana Morris, Indianapolis Airport Authority
Attiyana began her career with the Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA) in 2019 as a Project Manager in the Planning and Development Department where she opens the line of communication between the projects team, project stakeholders, and all IAA departments. Attiyana supports the execution of professional planning, architecture, engineering, and construction services for airside projects. Attiyana graduated from Purdue University’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology with a Bachelor’s in Aviation and Aerospace Management. Attiyana is a member of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and is currently working to become a Certified Member. Attiyana is passionate about Aviation and actively works to inspire the next generation and peers to achieve their goals.
Bolanle Oladokun, State of Indiana
Bolanle Oladokun is a CDBG Program Manager for the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). At OCRA, she oversees the Grant Administration Training and Continuing Ed Program and the Planning Grant. She has been working at the state for four years, previously serving as a Secured School Safety Grant Team Lead, Public Information Support Specialist, and a Governor’s Summer Public Service Intern for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development for the Marketing and Communications Department. She has an Honors Associates in Liberal Art Studies from Ivy Tech Community College, a B.S. in Communication Studies from Manchester University, a M.S. in Strategic Leadership and Design from the University of Indianapolis, and is a PMP. Outside of work, Bolanle enjoys movies, writing, and learning new skills.
Alex Oleson, LISC Indianapolis
Alex’s main areas on interest revolve around community development, children and families. Alex has been involved in many policy and advocacy efforts. interned with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute in Washington, D.C. at the same time as he interned for a US senator as a part of the Foster Youth Intern Policy program. Alex worked on a policy report to create a federal child welfare policy report focusing on barriers to permanency in the U.S. child welfare system with other former foster youth. The team presented the policy recommendations in briefings to leaders of the U.S. Congress, Department of Health and Human Services, Executive branch, and private sector. Alex has been a part of legislation and programming at all levels of government. Alex has also been involved with workforce readiness, career tools, and career outcomes through the DeBruce Foundation in Kansas City. Alex was a transplant to Indianapolis through the Orr fellowship where he was involved in a rotation program with Woven, a B2B tech start up. In the Orr Fellowship Oleson networked with local partner companies, and entrepreneurs across the city, and learned about Civic, DEI, and Entrepreneurial activity across the City of Indianapolis, Currently, Alex, works for the Economic development team with the Local Initiative Support Corporation where he runs 2 programs that engage small businesses across the city. Oleson is also pursuing his Masters in Public Administration. Alex is a recent father to his son Abriel and is engaged.
Ephraim Palmero, LISC Indianapolis
Ephraim is an Assistant Program Officer for LISC Indianapolis. As a rising community development practitioner, he provides technical assistance to partner organizations such as grants management, program and administrative support. His program focus is on health equity and food systems development.
Jackelinna Rodriguez, Indiana Humanities
Jackie serves as Indiana Humanities’ communications manager and spends her time overseeing IH’s social media strategy while also developing innovative ways to cultivate relationships and drive engagement across digital spaces. Prior to joining the team at Indiana Humanities, she served as Immigrant Welcome Center’s marketing and communications manager. Jackie is an alumna of the International Center’s Jim Morris Global Leadership Series and was recently recognized as a “woman to watch” by local lifestyle resource, Indy Maven. As a second-generation American, Jackie is familiar with exploring the cultural and historical nuances of her own dual identity. Her lived experience motivates her to ask critical questions and examine the ways in which we find belonging. She believes the intersection between technology and humanities serves as a bridge to connect people, places and communities.
Lexes Rubio, Endress+Hauser Group
Lexes is the oldest of 4. She graduated from the University of Indianapolis with an Accounting degree in 2018. She works as an IT consultant at Endress + Hauser located in Greenwood, Indiana. Lexes has two cats named Chivo and Cookie.
Allison Walker, Citizens Energy Group
Allison Walker is a Project Engineer at Citizens Energy Group. She works in the Underground Engineering and Construction group working on capital water and wastewater projects. She studied Mechanical Engineering at IUPUI while being a member of the swim and dive team. Allison enjoys giving back to the community while volunteering as a high school swim coach, cleaning up local parks and preparing meals at the food bank. She enjoys staying active by trying new work out classes and hiking at local state parks. She enjoys trying new restaurants and coffee shops with friends. She also loves traveling to new places and has the goal of visiting all US National Parks.
Matt Waweru, Dittoe PR
Matt graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Public Relations and Strategic Communications and works for Dittoe PR as an Account Executive. For fun, he currently serves on the Young Professionals Board of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. He also volunteers his time with local sporting events and has worked with March Madness, the College Football Playoff, the Big Ten Football Championship and the Indy 500.
Deonna Weatherly, Weatherhouse Company LLC
Hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana, Deonna Weatherly is a director, cinematographer, and all around filmmaker. In 2020, she graduated from Indiana University with a Masters in Media with a specialization in narrative storytelling. Majority of her video and film works are inspired by art and storytelling with themes including but not limited to race, gender, and sexuality. She specializes in narrative fiction and documentary styled projects. In 2021, Deonna founded her own production company called Weatherhouse Company that focuses on providing safe spaces for women and people of color with learning and hands-on opportunities in the film and video industry. Weatherhouse also aims to create films, build community, and encourage collaboration in the process.
Paul Williams, Machyne Makerspace
Paul Williams is a versatile artist, designer, and fabricator. In 20221, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Integrative Studio Practice and a Certificate in Organizational Leadership Studies from Indiana University Purdue University of Indianapolis. As the Workshop Manager of Machyne Makerspace, the makerspace at 16 Tech, Paul exemplifies the maker mindset through leading entrepreneurial initiatives in the realm of making. Within his independent art & design business, Indie Creative Studios, Paul creates high-design furniture and unique custom products such as awards for keynote speakers, and signage for high-end retail establishments.
Maria Yuquilima, Indiana University
Maria is a graduate of Indiana Tech University and currently serves in the Army National Guard. She specializes in removal proceedings immigration cases as a paralegal and currently works at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis serving in employment based immigration. In her free time, Maria likes to community organize , spend time with family, and loves to be outdoors! As a first generation Latina Maria is passionate about creating sustainable change and pushing for improved opportunities for current and future generations.
Alina Zayas-Navarrete, EmployIndy
Alina Zayas-Navarrete is a Chicana, a proud daughter of Mexican Immigrants, and a first-generation college graduate of Purdue University and the Ohio State University. She was born in Corona, New York, and moved to Indiana at age eleven with her family to open their family restaurant. Alina enjoys giving back to her community through the coaching, development and empowerment of young adults in Indianapolis. She currently serves as the Associate Director of Student Success for the Indy Achieves Scholarship Program through EmployIndy and IUPUI. Alina is committed to transforming her community through education, mentorship, advocacy and acting as a “Career Champion” for her students. In her free time, she loves to go running with her fiancé, Jesse and their two pups, Axel and Gus.
We are able to provide the 1828 Leadership Project at no cost to participants thanks to the generous support of Citizens Energy Group and because of individual contributors like you. Please consider sponsoring an 1828 leader by visiting our donate page.
MEET THE MODERATORS
Greg Stowers is a lifelong resident of Indianapolis and has been focused on find ways to engage, exposure and empower people throughout his career. He serves as Director of Public Affairs at Ice Miller LLP, representing clients in a wide range of policy matters on the state, local and federal level. He’s spent time in the public, non-profit and private sector which has provided him with unique opportunities to learn, grow and build relationships with leaders around the state. He believes in the importance of community and culture, which is evident in his non-profit and volunteer efforts for various initiatives. He currently serves on boards for Indy Hub, Washington Township Schools Foundation, Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation, NBA All-Star 2024 Host Committee and the Public Health and Safety Board for the City of Indianapolis. He also directs Hashtag Lunchbag Indianapolis, which has provided more than 35,000 meals for Indianapolis residents in need. He is a graduate of Indiana State University and an 1828 Class VI alum.
Taylor Schaffer was recently named President and CEO of Downtown Indy, Inc., a nonprofit civic organization focused on improving Downtown Indianapolis. For the last six years, she has served in a variety of roles within city government — most recently as Chief of Staff and Chief Deputy Mayor for Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. Before joining the Hogsett administration, Schaffer worked in the private sector for clients ranging from non-profit organizations to Fortune 500 Companies, developing communications, branding, and marketing strategies. Schaffer currently serves on the board of directors for Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, The Athenaeum Foundation, Visit Indy, and the 2024 NBA All-Star Game Local Organizing Committee. She is a former board member of the Indy Hub Foundation, and is a passionate advocate for attracting, retaining, and engaging young talent in Indianapolis. Schaffer is a proud graduate of Indiana State University and a member of Class 44 of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series.