Blog interview series: David O'Rourke

david2.JPGDavid O’Rourke is from Evansville, Indiana. He attended Franklin College, where he graduated with a bachelor of arts in journalism/public relations and played football for four years. David was captain in his junior and senior years, and helped lead the team to two conference championships and two playoff appearances.

Currently, David is the communications manager at the Indianapolis Parks Foundation, where he is responsible for daily media communication, internal design and connecting people with resources. He serves as a member of the Great Places Livability Committee and is a graduate of IndyHub’s 1828 Project. He also heads the Park Foundation Engagement Committee.

In his spare time, you can find David either in a park, on a trail, at Epic Climbing and Fitness, or at one of Indy’s many restaurants or breweries. He's only been climbing recreationally for about a year now, but it has become one of David's real passions and he looks forward to embracing the opportunity to experience outdoors in a new way.

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Blog interview series: Kait Baffoe

IMG_7904.JPGKait Baffoe is the director of real estate development for Partners In Housing. She manages the development portfolio for PIH which includes writing and administering capital grants, securing development financing, underwriting developments, building acquisition, overseeing the rehabilitation and/or construction of the properties, as well as working with property management to create a scope of work that is appropriate for the population served by the building.

Prior to her time with Partners In Housing she worked for the State with the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority working with housing policy and administering grant funds as a Real Estate Production Analyst. She received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University and her Master’s in Urban Planning, with a concentration on affordable housing, from the University of Illinois-Chicago. She is doing exactly what she wants to be doing.

Kait lives in the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood with her fiancé Derek and her two pups. She is originally from the City of Chicago and is the oldest of six kids. She grew up spending a lot of time outside camping and continues that tradition today. Her hobbies include traveling, camping, hiking, reading, spending time with friends and being socially engaged in her community. Kait currently sits on the boards of Earth Charter Indiana and the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association, is an active member of the Junior League of Indianapolis and volunteers with several Indianapolis organizations.

Kait has a passion for helping those less fortunate than herself and has found her calling in the affordable housing arena. She also considers herself a social activist and is very outspoken about politics.

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Blog interview series: Brandon Randall

20170716_234706.jpgBrandon Randall is an Eastside resident of Indianapolis, originally from Joplin, Missouri. He attended Pike School and attended a year of Purdue University. That didn't quite work out, so he attended Ivy Tech and then IUPUI.

Brandon holds an Associate's degree and a Bachelor's degree in criminal justice, focusing on the juvenile justice system and youth advocacy. He currently serves as the program manager for VOICES Corp Day Reporting program. He is responsible for oversight of daily programming, researching behavior management approaches and building capacity as an alternatives to detention program. His previous role was as the Parent Involvement Educator for an Indianapolis Public School (IPS) elementary school.

Brandon has been consistent in youth advocacy and working to find opportunities for young people to display and implement their leadership abilities. Brandon also serves in multiple community-based organizations. He serves as the program director for the Bloom Project and the Community Liaison for DON'T SLEEP.

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Blog interview series: Ceceily Brickley

Ceceily-Brickley-_Plater_Medallion.jpgCeceily Brickley is originally from South Bend, Indiana. Ceceily moved to Indianapolis shortly after graduating from Indiana University in Bloomington to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Marion County Commission on Youth. She is currently a Program Officer with United Way of Central Indiana, specifically working on the Great Families 2020 initiative and just recently graduated from the IU School of Public and Environmental affairs with a Master’s in Public Affairs.

In her prior role, Ceceily was a Program Officer with Serve Indiana, the Indiana Commission for Community Service and Volunteerism, where she also managed funding through the Corporation for National and Community Service as well as TANF funding through the Family and Social Services Administration.

Service is an integral part of who Ceceily is. She has stayed heavily involved with AmeriCorps programming and national service since serving as a VISTA, is a member of The Exchange, the Indianapolis Urban League’s Young Professionals auxiliary, vice president of the Neal Marshall Alumni Club and volunteers regularly at Holy Family Shelter teaching life skills.

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Blog interview series: Marissa Nielsen

Marissa_CICF_Development_Team_x.jpgMarissa is passionate about local philanthropy and the power of community foundations to be a positive change agent in their communities. “I enjoy engaging with compassionate people to assist in creating positive community change. Nothing is more rewarding than helping others achieve their philanthropic goals.”

Marissa holds a M.A. in Philanthropic Studies from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and a B.S. in Advertising and Public Relations from Spring Arbor University.

Prior to joining Central Indiana Community Foundation, Marissa was the Interim Director of the Smithville Charitable Foundation and interned at the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation. Before making the move to Indiana from Michigan, Marissa’s previous professional experiences include serving as the Executive Director of the Homer Area Community Foundation and working with the Community Foundation Alliance of Calhoun County.

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Blog interview series: Ro & Earl Townsend


This is the story of a husband and wife who started their own nonprofit to create positive change in their neighborhood. 

Ro and Earl Townsend are all about their community, and when they saw a need there, these social entrepreneurs didn't wait for someone else to fill it - they stepped up and addressed the issue themselves. 

RoE's (Ro + Earl) primary goal is to illuminate the worth and value in individuals, and use resources and community partnerships to meet their identified needs. They help by feeding children who may go home to little or no food after school and by collecting clothes and coats for those who need them.

From hosting events that engage neighborhood families to teaching farm-to-table cooking classes, they are striving to bring their community together.


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Blog interview series: CoraLyn Turentine

WS_Gala.jpgCoraLyn J. Turentine is a native of Canada who has been passionate about social justice since childhood. Her fire for service has mobilized her to leverage her leadership talents with a variety of organizations and faith-based ministries, such as Chosen Ministries, KidsPeace and WaterStep.  

CoraLyn's efforts have had a global reach, positioning her provide leadership to organizations in Costa Rica, Haiti, Tanzania, India, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. As a result of her commitment to the nonprofit sector and to leadership excellence, CoraLyn was awarded the 2013 United Way Diversity Volunteer Award, the 2014 NAPW Woman of the Year award, and is a featured professional in the 2014 Women of Distinction Magazine.  

After more than 10 years in the nonprofit sector, CoraLyn began offering strategic planning and leadership coaching services to nonprofit organizations and prospective nonprofit founders. CoraLyn serves as the Director of Neighborhood Engagement for John Boner Neighborhood Centers, stewarding the Near Eastside Quality of Life plan.

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Blog interview series: Teri Baker

NovaSF-117.jpgTeri Baker has worked in special events for the past nine years and is the Program and Event Coordinator for the Indianapolis Prize, the world's leading award for animal conservation, at the Indianapolis Zoo. Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, Teri is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego. Before moving to Indianapolis in 2015, Teri worked as an Event Project Coordinator for a nationally certified public accounting and consulting firm.

As a new resident of Indianapolis Teri strove to find her place in the community. With a love for farm-to-table restaurants and a passion for cooking, she joined the local food movement and currently serves on the board of Slow Food Indy. Dedicated to leading an all-encompassing healthy lifestyle, Teri also enjoys running, dancing, DIY projects and spending time with friends, family and her fiancé, Eric.

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Blog interview series: Rick Anderson

Rick_Anderson.jpgRick Anderson brings a breadth of education administration experience to his hometown of Indianapolis as he sets out to found and lead an excellent school.

Rick is a graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and earned his M.Ed. from Christian Brothers University. His ambition is inspired by his mother, a single parent putting herself through college at age 50, who taught him the importance of education. From her, he learned not only a relentless work ethic, but also a deep respect and appreciation for education. After a couple of years in corporate America immediately following college, Rick felt a need to redirect his career toward his true interest – education.

Rick served as the dean of students at a Building Excellent Schools (BES) Middle School in Memphis, Tenn., after spending time teaching first and sixth grades. As a dean, he developed and implemented a school-wide culture and behavioral standard. In addition, he coached novice educators, communicated with students’ families, and devised professional development objectives for the faculty. Rick’s next step in school leadership was as head of school at the 6-8, then head of school at the elementary school shortly thereafter. In these roles, he led 60 teachers and over 750 students.

With this experience under his belt, Rick is prepared and eager to open his own school. In doing so, he is determined to foster a community that embodies operational effectiveness, a strong academic culture and a commitment to college readiness.

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Blog interview series: Ashleigh Graves-Roesler

ash.jpgAshleigh Graves-Roesler is vice president of development for the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, the home and museum of America’s 23rd president.

Ashleigh majored in English and minored in Communications at Asbury University in Kentucky. She earned an MA in Philanthropic Studies from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Ashleigh helps people to give, learn and serve their communities through her work as a nonprofit development professional for arts and cultural organizations.

She and her husband, Bryan Roesler, live in a circa 1918 house in the Warfleigh neighborhood of Broad Ripple with two dogs and some lemon trees.

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