Touchstone Awards Honorees

2008 Touchstone Awards Honorees

Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis’ annual Touchstone Awards acknowledges women whose personal and professional achievements inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and boldSM.

Susan W. Brooks

2008 Honoree

Susan Brooks serves as general counsel and senior vice president for workforce and economic development for Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. She is responsible for the leadership, direction and development of Ivy Tech’s statewide strategies and programming in workforce development. She is an integral part of the state’s strategic initiative to develop a trained workforce to attract and retain businesses in an effort to bolster the economic viability of the state. Brooks oversees more than 180 workforce development professionals who provide more than one million hours of accelerated, certified training to more than 20,000 workers. Ivy Tech’s workforce and economic development department awards more than 15,000 workforce certifications each year.

Previous to Ivy Tech, Brooks served six years as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. The United States attorney is the legal representative of the United States Government for both civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions and serves as the official spokesperson for the Department of Justice with relation to activities occurring in the Southern District of Indiana.

Prior to her appointment as U.S. District attorney, Brooks practiced at Ice Miller in the Government Services Practice Group. During the time she was with Ice Miller, she was involved in many civic organizations. She served as protocol chair for the 2001 World Police & Fire Games hosted in Indianapolis; chair of the United Way’s Violence and Safety Impact Council; member of Indiana Federal Community Defender Board; and member of Marion County Commission on Youth Advisory Board.

Brooks also served as deputy mayor for the City of Indianapolis under Mayor Stephen Goldsmith. During her service, her work focused on crime, the criminal justice system, and social welfare issues. Prior to joining the Goldsmith administration, she practiced criminal defense law from 1985 to 1997. Brooks earned her J.D. from Indiana University School of Law and B.A. from Miami University in Ohio. She is originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Community Involvement

• Marion County Community Corrections – board member
• Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. – board member
• Indianapolis Violence Reduction Partnership – board member
• Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee Race Relations Leadership Network Committee
• Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis – board of advisors
• Marion County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
• United Way Strategic Planning Committee
• Clarian Health’s Community Plunge Steering Committee
• Employers Against Domestic Violence Initiative – board member

Awards & Achievements

• Named an “Influential Woman of Indianapolis” – Indianapolis Business Journal/The Indiana Lawyer (1999)
• Named to the “40 under 40” list – Indianapolis Business Journal
• Named to “Who’s Who in Law” – Indianapolis Business Journal (2002)
• Listed in “Power” edition – Indianapolis Monthly (August 2007)

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Martha D. Lamkin

2008 Honoree

Martha Lamkin served as the founding president, chief executive officer and member of the board of directors of Lumina Foundation for Education, Inc. from 2000-2007. Lumina Foundation is an Indianapolis-based, private foundation with net assets in excess of $1.4 billion upon Lamkin’s retirement in December 2007. The foundation strives to help people achieve their potential by expanding access and success in education beyond high school, basing its mission on the belief that postsecondary education is one of the best investments that individuals can make in themselves and that society can make in its people. Lumina seeks to aid all students, particularly those traditionally underserved by higher education: first generation, low income, minority and adult learners.

Lamkin helped develop the concept of the foundation while serving as executive vice president at USA Group, Inc., which she joined in 1991 and on whose board she served. Lamkin previously served as president of the Cummins Engine Company Foundation in Columbus, Indiana; executive director of corporate responsibility and government affairs of Cummins Engine Company; and manager for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Indiana office.

Lamkin, an attorney, has extensive leadership experience in higher education and philanthropy. She served as a trustee and chair of The Indianapolis Foundation and the Central Indiana Community Foundation. While at Lumina Foundation, she served on the board of directors of the Council on Foundations and chaired its public policy committee. She has served on boards of several corporations, nonprofit organizations and higher-education institutions such as Christian Theological Seminary and the Independent Colleges of Indiana. She also served on advisory boards for DePauw and Indiana Universities.

Community Involvement

• Citizens Gas and Coke Utility Company, Inc. – vice chair of the board of directors
• Indiana State Symphony Society – board of directors
• Christel House International – board of directors
• Pathways to College, Inc. – board of directors
• Women’s Fund of Central Indiana – board of directors
• Tourism Tomorrow, Inc. – board of directors
• Chair of Steering Committee of the MusicCrossroads initiative for the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association

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Judy O’Bannon

2008 Honoree

Judy O’Bannon has spent much of her life supporting and promoting efforts to strengthen communities in Indiana and around the world. She actively speaks and writes on issues facing society today and leads humanitarian missions abroad.

As host and producer of the WFYI-TV public television series Communities Building Community, Judy brings attention to the many ways Hoosiers foster community life in Indiana. The series has won critical acclaim, including the Emmy award for public affairs programming in 2005 and 2007. Her new television series, Judy O’Bannon’s Foreign Exchange, looks at the commonality of community development efforts around the world.

As First Lady of Indiana (1997 – 2003), Judy used her role to promote civic engagement across Indiana. She created and led the Hoosier Millennium and Indiana 2016 initiatives with nearly 200 participating communities, encouraging Hoosiers to use the Millennium year and the state’s bicentennial as opportunities to spur community involvement in order to strengthen Indiana. Seeing the Governor’s Residence as the “State’s living room,” she made it accessible to all people. Believing that it is in the doing of things together that we become a community, she made the residence a gathering place for Hoosiers to share ideas and talents, celebrate achievements, and plan for the future. The broad variety of events included “Reading Day at the Residence”; workshops on the environment, social concerns, and civic skills; changing displays of contemporary Indiana art, and art shows and festivals. A summer day camp for underserved children made use of an on-site community garden to build skills in math, teamwork, and horticulture and to increase self-confidence.

Judy graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in social work. Selected as a Rockefeller Theological Scholar, she was the first woman to attend the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She holds nine honorary doctorates.

Judy is chairman of The O’Bannon Publishing Company, which publishes the award winning Corydon Democrat and Clarion newspapers. She co-founded Partners in Politics, a support and information group for family members of public officeholders. Judy and the late Governor Frank O’Bannon were married in 1957. Judy has three children and six grandchildren.

Community Involvement

• Indiana Main Street Council – chairman
• Community Revitalization Committee – Trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
• Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana – former member of executive board of directors
• Hoosier Motor Club – Board of Directors
• Indiana State Museum – former trustee
• Indiana Arts Commission – former member
• Silvercrest Children’s Development Center – founding member of advisory board
• Yellowwood Terrace Senior Housing – founding member of advisory board
• Old Centrum Foundation – past chair

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Yvonne Perkins

2008 Honoree

Yvonne Perkins is vice president of community relations at Citizens Energy Group, where she is responsible for corporate investments, community affairs, media relations, employee communications, public relations, the internet, brand management, diversity, and special events. She has been with Citizens Gas for 37 years.

Perkins is a graduate of Shortridge High School, Butler University and Indiana Wesleyan University. She is licensed by the state of Indiana as a certified public accountant. Perkins is a steward and treasurer at Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church. She is the mother of one daughter and grandmother of Davyd.

Community Involvement

• Coburn Place – board member
• Indiana Public Schools Educational Foundation – board member
• Ivy Tech Community College – board member
• Indianapolis Private Industry Council – board member
• CICOA – past board president
• King Park Area Development Corporation – past board president
• Girl Scout of Hoosier Capital Council – past board president
• Planned Parenthood of Central and Southern Indiana – past board president
• Coalition of 100 Black Women, Indianapolis Chapter – past board president
• United Way of Central Indiana – former board member
• The Villages – former board member
• Girls Scouts of the USA – former board member
• Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority – former national treasurer

Awards & Achievements

• Sagamore of the Wabash – Governor Frank O’Bannon
• Sarah Lewis Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteerism – United Way of Central Indiana
• Madame C.J. Walker Outstanding Woman of the Year Award – Center for Leadership Development

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