2019 Touchstone Awards Luncheon
Our signature annual fundraiser honors women of exceptional achievement who embody the mission of Girls Inc. by inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, while also raising the funds that are vital to providing hands-on programming to thousands of girls in our community.
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Save the date for the 2019 Touchstone Awards Luncheon!
Thursday, June 20, 2019
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
White River Ballroom
10 S. West St.
For all questions related to the Touchstone Awards Luncheon, please contact:
Madeleine Smith, CFRE
Vice President of Development & Public Relations
email@example.com or (317) 522-2603
Meet the 2019 Touchstone Chairwoman
Barbara Fleming Cecil
President I BAF Corp.
Barb Fleming Cecil is the founder and president of BAF Corporation, which she started in 1997. BAF Corporation specializes in commercial interior finish construction and is a certified WBE (Women Business Enterprise) with the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana. In her role, Barb delivers quality products as quickly as possible to provide her clients with excellent service and minimum disruption throughout the construction process.
Barb’s career began at Luminatae, Inc. as a lighting design distributor. Barb later transitioned to the Vice President of Luminatae, Inc. where she called on all architects, interior designers, electrical and general contractors. Prior to these roles, she served as a high school math teacher and enjoyed volunteer work at the Jr. Symphony and as a Pi Beta Phi alumnae.
Barb holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in chemistry from Purdue University.
Barb first got involved with Girls Inc. Indy as she helped with the purchase of the organization’s current building at 3935 N. Meridian Street. She served on the organization’s board for six years; two of which she served as Chairwoman. In addition to her involvement with Girls Inc. Indy, Barb is a founding member and former president of the Impact 100 board of directors, the current board chairwoman for Outside the Box, and is in her third year on the board at Village of Merici.
Barb is a 2018 Indianapolis Business Journal Woman of Influence and a Starkey Woman Entrepreneur finalist.
Meet the 2019 Touchstone Honorees
Jennifer Pope Baker
Executive Director I Women’s Fund of Central Indiana
Jennifer Pope Baker, Executive Director of Women’s Fund of Central Indiana since 1998, has dedicated her career to creating transformative and sustainable change for women and girls. As a philanthropic leader, Jennifer is respected for her innovation, passion and strategic approach to increasing impact and influence. Under her leadership Women’s Fund has become the expert resource for issues impacting women and girls in central Indiana and a leader in seeking solutions in helping emerging adult women move from economic instability to economic security.
Jennifer is recognized nationally for the innovative and transformational initiative called NEXT – an incubator created to attract the most talented, visionary leaders to Indianapolis to develop solutions to measurably improve the lives of emerging adult women. As a strategic leader who effectively mobilizes action and resources, Jennifer helped guide the Women’s Fund launch of NEXT in 2014, which led to an invitation for Women’s Fund to join the prestigious Clinton Global Initiative. Jennifer was selected to be one of fifteen members of LEAD, a program of the Clinton Global Initiative, bringing together accomplished professionals who are committed to inspiring the next generation of leaders to address our world’s most urgent problems.
Jennifer is directly influencing and fostering the next generation of philanthropists and community leaders through the development of three unique philanthropic educational programs. GO: Give Back, OPTIONS and Perspectives are recognized as premier models for engaging people of all ages in thoughtful community leadership and philanthropy.
Jennifer is a sought-after speaker and is a regular guest on Inside Indiana Business; she has been a featured speaker at Give an Hour’s Global Mental Health Forum, The White House, the Clinton Global Initiative, MCON, National Association of Commissions for Women Conference, and many local and regional conferences and meetings.
She has led the Fund’s endowment growth from $3 million to its current total of nearly $16 million and has implemented a “best-practices” grant-making process with a focus on research that has resulted in distributions of over $6 million to 109 effective women and girl serving organizations. Jennifer is responsible for all aspects of Board and volunteer management and has guided the creation of administrative, governance, and strategic planning for the Fund. She leads the Fund’s development efforts, working closely with donors and volunteers who have created significant giving levels within Women’s Fund.
Jennifer’s community knowledge and efforts to increase economic self-sufficiency opportunities for women and girls led to her participation as a founding board member and former chair of Grameen America Indianapolis Advisory Board and she was a member of Grameen America National Advisory Board.
Jennifer is active in many volunteer activities, currently serving as IWIT LPGA Tournament, Local Organizing Committee Chair 2018-2019, Co-Chair 2017. Her past engagement includes: DePauw University, Board of Visitors; P&G Gymnastics Championships, Local Organizing Committee; multiple NCAA Women’s Final Four Local Organizing Committees; Children’s Museum Guild Member, Treasurer & Board of Directors; Super Bowl XLVI, Indy’s Super Cure Committee & NFL Team Liaison; United Way of Central Indiana, Executive Women’s Leadership Series Moderator.
Jennifer has been named a Torchbearer by the Indiana Commission for Women and a Woman of Influence by Indianapolis Business Journal; she is a Hoosier Fellow, a member of Class XXIV of Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series, a member of the FBI Citizen’s Academy, and was named by Indianapolis Business Journal as a member of the 2002 class of “40 Under Forty.”
Jennifer received a degree in Communication from DePauw University. She is married to Christopher Baker and has two children, Catherine and Charlie.
Sharon R. Barner
Vice President & General Counsel I Cummins Inc.
Sharon is Vice President and General Counsel for Cummins Inc., where she is responsible for worldwide legal matters and oversees a team of lawyers, paralegals and other professionals.
With more than 30 years of experience in the legal profession, Sharon primarily specializes in intellectual property law. Prior to joining Cummins, she served as Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). During the two years she spent in that role, Sharon led 15 foreign missions to meet with government representatives, as well as leaders in academia and industry to raise awareness about the impact of intellectual property on business and innovation.
She has spent the majority of her career in private practice, most recently at the law firm of Foley & Lardner in Chicago, where she led the firm’s Intellectual Property Department, a team of more than 200 intellectual property lawyers.
Sharon was recipient of the 2018 Diversity Tech Award from the Intellectual Property Section of the National Bar Association, 2016 IBJ Women of Influence – IBJ’s Women of Influence program is in its 10th year of recognizing women who have risen to the highest levels of business, the arts and public service in central Indiana. 2016 Leading Light Award –Barnes & Thornburg LLC Women & hi tech Woman of the Year Award. 2013 American Inns of Court Professionalism award for the 7th Circuit and the 2011 Women of Vision award from the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois. She was named one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America by the National Law Journal in 2008 and an Illinois “Super Lawyer” by Law & Politics Media Inc. (2005-2011) for her intellectual property litigation work.
She is a graduate of Syracuse University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and went on to receive a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.
Tina Burks, RN
Community Leader, Mentor, and Volunteer
Tina Luzer-Burks, RN, BSN is a deeply committed community leader and advocate for causes that benefit children and their families. She is co-owner of Concentrics Research, where she also serves as a board member. Tina is the Chair of the St. Vincent Foundation Board of Directors, serves on the board of the Indiana Golf Foundation and is a board member emerita of the Cancer Support Community of Central Indiana.
Tina graduated magna cum laude from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing after earning her Associate’s Degree in Nursing at Marian University. Tina worked in various medical units for both St. Vincent and Methodist Hospital including transplant-clinical research, coronary critical care, orthopedic outpatient recovery, ophthalmology outpatient, and medical-surgical. Tina retired from bedside nursing after 16 years to be a pharmaceutical sales representative for Hoechst Marion Roussel.
Tina went on to create her own business, Distinctive Event Coordination, where she specializes in project-development consulting and coordination. Her entrepreneurial leadership, generosity, energy, and expertise have made her a valued adviser and volunteer among nonprofit organizations both locally and in Florida, where she winters with her husband, Keith.
Tina’s involvement has helped to ensure the success of numerous premier events: Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital Gala, Love It Soiree, Giving Gig Gala, REV Gala, Butler University Clowes Memorial Hall Jubilee Celebration, Teammates for Kids with Garth Brooks, Key to the Cure Gala, Naples Winter Wine Festival, US Senior Open, BMW Championship, Thirst Project, and St. Vincent 50th Anniversary Gala. Tina was also the staff Coordinator of Sponsor/Donor Services for the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee and the Corporate Engagement Manager for the 100th Running of the Indy 500.
Just like Girls Inc., Tina believes that girls who are strong, smart, and bold can achieve their greatest aspirations in life—and help others along the way.
Representative Robin Shackleford
State Representative of Indiana House District 98 I Indiana House of Representatives
An Indianapolis native, State Representative Robin Shackleford has dedicated her life to the principles of servant leadership. She has extensive experience in government, community and diversity affairs coupled with a strong background in project management, supervision, training and budgeting.
First elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 2012, Shackleford represents the citizens of Indiana House District 98 and serves as ranking minority member of the Public Health Committee. She is also on the Financial Institutions, and Government and Regulatory Reform committees and former Assistant Minority Caucus Chair.
Shackleford is also the current chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus and vice chair of the bipartisan Indiana POWER Women’s Caucus.
Due to her passion for project management and transformational travel experiences, Shackleford currently serves as an independent travel consultant to expose clients to vast and stunning locales around the world.
She previously served as a project manager for both Crowe Horwath and Engaging Solutions consulting firms. In these roles, Shackleford managed projects, enhanced client relationships, improved staff development and increased sales.
Prior to consulting, her passion for public service was at the forefront while employed in the office of Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson as the Diversity Affairs Director.
Shackleford has worked as a policy and research specialist for the Indiana Health Care Association, where she developed public policy. Additionally, she gleaned extensive experience about issues impacting the Indiana General Assembly through positions she has held with the Indiana Department of Commerce, the Clerk of the Supreme and Appellate Courts, and the Indiana House of Representatives.
Shackleford is a graduate of Indiana University and IUPUI, having earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public affairs because of her dedication to community growth and education. She served as president of the Indiana University Neal Marshall Indianapolis Alumni Chapter, board member for Indy Reads and Martin University Board Trustee. She currently serves on the board of the Pathway Resource Center.
She has been recognized and honored for her hard work and dedication through various awards as a recipient of the following: Women in Government honoree; 2018 – Governing Institute, Crystal Gavel Award; 2017- NBCSL, Legislator of the Year; 2018 – IN Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Capitol Caregiver; 2017 – AARP Indiana.
Other civic involvement includes Eastern Star Church, National Black Caucus of State Legislators, Governing Institute’s Women in Government Leadership Program, Concerned Clergy, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Aarti S. Shah, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President and Chief Information and Digital Officer I Eli Lilly and Company
Aarti Shah is Senior Vice President and Chief Information and Digital Officer of Eli Lilly & Company. She is an accomplished executive with 25 years of extensive experience in drug development and commercialization, technology, cyber, digital transformation and data sciences. She is an agent of change and has successfully led large transformations with significant business outcomes. She currently serves as a board member of Elanco Animal Health Inc and serves on several non-profit boards. Aarti is known for her inspirational and genuine leadership style, and for leading global cross-functional teams from vision development to strategy creation to execution, with significant business outcomes and people development.
In her current role at Lilly, Aarti reports to the CEO and is a key member of the executive committee. She leads all technology, digital, cyber security, advanced analytics and data sciences globally – she is leading digital transformation and integrating tech, data and analytics to deliver on Lilly’s mission to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. She leads a large team of several thousand employees across the globe.
Aarti began her tenure at Lilly in 1994 as a Senior Statistician and was promoted to Research Scientist in 1999. She became Vice President for Global Statistical Sciences and Advanced Analytics in 2009. In 2012, she assumed additional responsibilities as Vice President for Biometrics (statistics, data management and scientific communications). In 2013, she was named Global Brand Development Leader in Lilly’s Biomedicines Business Unit. She was promoted to SVP and Chief Information Officer in 2016. Over her tenure, she has held both functional and business leadership roles, in the U.S. and International. She is adapt, agile, curious and a team player.
Aarti serves as a director on the following non-profit boards – The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, Center of Interfaith Cooperation (CIC) and has recently joined the Indiana India Business Council. She serves as a trustee for Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care (SRLC-USA), a nonprofit organization focused on educational, medical and humanitarian care. She has served on the executive advisory council for the Indiana chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA). In 2011, Aarti received the Rising Star Award from HBA. In 2016, she was honored as a “Women of Influence” by the Indianapolis Business Journal and was named one of the “Fierce Women in Biopharma” by Fierce Pharma.
Aarti received her B.S. and M.S. in Statistics and Mathematics in India before completing her Ph.D. in Applied Statistics at the University of California, Riverside. She is married and has two sons. Her hobbies include; meditation, spiritual learning, community service, hiking and traveling.
Thank you to our presenting sponsor:
Thank you to our supporting sponsor:
Meet Our Former Touchstone Award Honorees!
Ellen K. Annala
Sarah Evans Barker
Alpha C. Blackburn
Myra J. Borshoff
Barbara A. Boyd
Barbara E. Branic
Diane Brashear, Ph.D.
Susan W. Brooks
Virginia A. Caine, M.D.
Toni A. Cordingley
Deborah J. Daniels
Julie A. Davis
Alecia A. DeCoudreaux
Ann M. DeLaney
Dr. Lauren Dungy-Poythress
Sue Anne Gilroy
Dr. Jacqueline S. Greenwood
Dr. Lisa Harris
Barbara A. Henry
Patricia A. Keener, M.D.
Martha D. Lamkin
Virginia Dill McCarty
Ann D. Murtlow
Dr. Mercy Obeime
Marjorie H. O’Laughlin
Dr. Ora Pescovitz
Nancy Silvers Rogers
Pat Garrett Rooney
Sallie W. Rowland
Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
Honorable Myra C. Selby
Deborah Hearn Smith
Rev. Jean Smith
Lyn St. James
Juana O. Watson, Ed.D.
Mary B. Weiss
Fay H. Williams
Barbara S. Wynne