Learn More about our Speakers
Carolene Mays-Medley • Keynote Speaker
Appointed as Executive Director of the White River State Park (WRSP) Development Commission in April 2016 by then Governor Mike Pence (now Vice President of the United States), Carolene was re-appointed in January, 2017 by Governor Eric Holcomb. WRSP is comprised of 250-acres in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, and is America’s only urban cultural State park. Over four (4) million people visit the Park and its Attractions annually. Carolene plans to continue to build and develop attractions in Downtown Indianapolis.
In February, 2010, Carolene was appointed by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels as a Commissioner for the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) which regulates the utility industry. She was reappointed and named Vice-Chairman, January, 2014 by Governor Michael Pence.
Carolene served on the board of directors for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), as Chairperson of the Critical Infrastructure Committee, and on the Washington Action and Water Committees. As a recognized leader in cyber and physical security, she was named a 2013 Smart Grid Today Top 50 Smart Grid Pioneer. She served on the New Mexico State University Center for Public Utilities and University of Missouri Financial Research Institute Symposium Advisory Boards, and was president of Mid-America Regulatory Conference.
Carolene was a finalist for an appointment by President Barack Obama as the Midwest Regional Director of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). She withdrew from consideration upon receiving the IURC appointment; later finding out she had been selected by President Obama. Prior, she was President of the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper and the Indiana Minority Business Magazine. Carolene was the producer and co-host of the "Recorder On Air Report Television Show" on Central Indiana cable networks, as well as the co-host of a television news segment, "Community Link", on the Central Indiana's CBS affiliate.
Carolene’s commitment to service and community led her to the Indiana Legislature, in 2002. She served three terms as a State Representative. Carolene retired from the Legislature in November, 2008 after making an unsuccessful bid for Congress.
Carolene quickly earned leadership roles early in her career. Previously, at Mays Chemical Co., she was Manager of Customer Service and National Accounts; and at Occidental Chemical Co. she held positions in sales and corporate account management throughout the United States.
Among her many volunteer roles, Carolene was Chairperson of the NCAA Women’s Final Four in 2016, 2011 and 2005. She was the 2012 NFL Super Bowl Indianapolis Division Chairperson of Administration.
In 2016, Carolene was honored with a Sagamore of the Wabash by Governor Mike Pence which is the highest distinction designated by an Indiana Governor. She has been featured in Indianapolis Monthly Magazine as one of “Indy’s Most Powerful” and has been honored by the Indianapolis Business Journal as one of “Indiana’s Most Influential Women.” IBJ also has listed her as a “Women to Watch.” Her accomplishments were highlighted twice as the cover and feature story of the Indianapolis Woman Magazine. She has been honored in Ben Davis High School’s Hall of Fame and as an Indiana State University Distinguished Alumni.
On the political front, Carolene received many Legislator of the Year awards, as well as a 2017 Community Leader and Servant Award from Martin University, was named an Indiana Commission for Women Torchbearer, and was listed by Roll Call, a Washington D.C. publication as a Rising Star in Indiana Politics.
Carolene has a B.S. in Business Management from Indiana State University and is a currently a candidate for a Masters of Jurisprudence from Indiana University McKinney School of Law. She’s also a 2017 graduate of the FBI Citizen’s Academy. She is an active member of Heartland Church, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Indianapolis Chapter of the Links, and Northeasterners.
Joe Albano • Breakout Session on Designing Your Whole-Life Blend: Abandon the Myth of Work/Life Balance and Create a Life That Works
Joe Albano, PhD works with individuals committed to the pursuit of excellence in their careers, organizations, and communities. “Dr. Joe” combines gentle humor with frank Corporate Realism™ to get to the heart of what’s really important, set priorities, and drive action that creates results. His background includes engineering, management, and organizational psychology giving him a rich toolset for building human-powered business systems that work. Dr. Joe is the founder of Logika International, LLC – a professional services firm specializing in systematic strategy and leadership development and the Logika Entrepreneurs Guild, recognizing the skill of entrepreneurialism is teachable and a vital component of professional success.
Enrique Alvarez-Uria • Technology Panel Participant
Since joining EDPR in 2008, Enrique has been responsible for originating and implementing EDPR’s offshore wind initiatives in Europe where EDPR co-owns projects totaling over 2.5GW in UK, France and Portugal. Since 2017 he is based in Boston exploring opportunities for EDPR in the North American offshore wind market. Enrique led project origination in UK, where EDPR achieved the development rights of the Moray Firth zone (c. 1500 MW). In 2011, Enrique spearheaded the set-up of a JV with a major O&G player to co-develop the Inch Cape project (c.900MW). In 2013-2016, Enrique managed EDPR’s tendering process in the French market where EDPR achieved, in partnership with two French leading players, the development rights for two projects of 500 MW each as well as 24MW floating project. Prior to joining EDPR, Enrique worked for the energy group Areva as a Contract and Risk Manager in several international projects related to the nuclear industry. He is a Mining Engineer and earned a full-time MBA degree at IESE Business School.
Greg Ballard • Technology Panel Participant
After a twenty-three year career in the Marine Corps and retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel, Greg Ballard returned home to Indianapolis in 2001. In 2007, he ran a successful campaign to become the 48th Mayor of Indianapolis, subsequently serving two terms. While Mayor, he became a Trustee for the US Conference of Mayors and was known for his boldness and innovation by his fellow mayors. He is a graduate of Indiana University, holds a Masters in Military Science, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from both Butler University and Marian University. He was a co-founder of Indy Women in Tech, an organization that provides funding for women to train for tech careers and also sponsors the State VEX Robotics Championship. A Persian Gulf War veteran, he continues to be active in veteran causes and was recently named to Indiana's Veteran Affairs Commission. He is currently a Visiting Fellow for Civic Leadership and Mayoral Archives at the University of Indianapolis.
Amanda Craft • Breakout Session
Amanda Craft is the president and founder of Crafted Communications, but most importantly she is a person who is dedicated to her clients and passionate about her work in public relations. With more than 15 years experience in the public relations industry, Amanda has a wealth of communications management experience for non-profit, government, association and private sector clients. Prior to founding Crafted Communications, Amanda worked as a senior public relations specialist for a large advertising and public relations agency, as a public information officer in city government and as a marketing manager in the private sector. During her career, Amanda developed and implemented the media relations program for an energy efficiency initiative in Indiana, aimed at reducing energy consumption for residents and business owners. Amanda is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and serves as an adjunct professor for public relations writing at Indiana University’s Media School.
Sarah Freeman • Executive Panel Participant
Sarah Freeman was appointed by Governor Mike Pence as Commissioner on Sept. 19, 2016, and reappointed by Governor Eric Holcomb on December 29, 2017. She is a member of NARUC’s Committee on Critical Infrastructure and Committee on Telecommunications. Commissioner Freeman also represents the Commission on the Organization of MISO States and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). She previously represented the Commission on the Organization of PJM States’ Board of Directors. Prior to her appointment, Commissioner Freeman served as a senior staff attorney with the nonpartisan Indiana Legislative Services Agency for 16 years, where she drafted utility and transportation legislation and served as counsel to numerous legislative committees. In addition, Commissioner Freeman was a member of the Executive Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the NCSL Task Force on Cybersecurity. Before joining the legislative branch, Commissioner Freeman served as a deputy attorney general with the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, where she specialized in appellate law, post-conviction relief, and juvenile issues. Commissioner Freeman also served as judicial clerk to the Honorable Frank Sullivan of the Indiana Supreme Court. A native Hoosier, Commissioner Freeman earned her undergraduate degrees in psychology, French, and political science from Indiana University – Bloomington and her juris doctor degree from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law.
Carrie Hightman • Executive Panel Participant
Carrie Hightman is Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of NiSource Inc. Her responsibilities include all legal functions, as well as business continuity, records management, compliance, and is a member of the senior management team and the Executive Champion of Inclusion and Diversity. Hightman previously served as President of AT&T Illinois and was responsible for all regulatory, legislative, governmental and external affairs activities, and community and industry relations. Prior to that, she was a partner at the national law firm Schiff Hardin, where she led its Energy, Telecommunications and Public Utilities practice group, Staff Counsel at the Florida Public Service Commission and associate counsel at the Florida Office of Public Counsel. Hightman serves on the boards of Fifth Third Bank Chicago, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Foundation, and the Chicago Architectural Foundation. Hightman earned her B.A. from the University of Illinois and her J.D. from Florida State University.
Rubi Ho • Closing Session
Rubi Ho is a well-regarded strategic and organizational leadership consultant, celebrated author, and founder and architect of the Strategic, Agile, Organizational Health and Leadership (SAOL™) methodology and certification program. With an extensive background in organizational management, curriculum design, strategic leadership and executive coaching; Rubi’s direct and candid approach to consulting and issue resolution has earned him the trusted respect of CEO’s and their staff. A published author, Rubi has shared these leadership concepts while chronicling his own life story as a survivor escaping Saigon, one day before its fall.
Jennifer Kinney • Technology Panel Participant
Jen Kinney is a technology leader with a passion for building great teams. Ms. Kinney has a strong ability to think strategically, be execution-focused and prioritize based on business and technical needs. Ms. Kinney drives technical vision toward components necessary to build great software in a lean, business-focused way. Ms. Kinney is driven in environments where she can contribute to a shared vision and leverage both her business and technical acumen. Ms. Kinney is an AOL/Verizon MAKERS 2015 award winner. Her passions include building teams, lean technology and architecture, financial management, start-ups, mentoring, Girls in Tech, and STEM. Ms. Kinney calls herself a geek at heart.
Robin Lanning • Breakout Session on Defining Your Mission: Build the Foundation of Your Perfect Life with One Simple Statement
Robin Lanning cultivates the lightbulb moments necessary for powerful, personal transformation. Utilizing storytelling and a healthy dose of humor, Robin guides her audiences to the realization that they are not only capable of getting their sh*t together, but they are also not alone in their journey to “figuring it all out”. Robin is a self-described personal development junkie who loves connecting people to the ideas, resources, and humans that will help them create their best life. A recovering overachiever, she owns Floof, LLC – a marketing strategy consulting company – and is the founder of Grown Up YOUniversity, a training & development company that helps young adults with all things adulting.
John McDonald • Breakout Session on Internet of Everything
John McDonald is the President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ClearObject, Indiana’s leading Internet of Things systems integrator and Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing IT Services company in Indiana for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. ClearObject is the winner of the 2016 and 2017 Entrepreneur Magazine 360, the 2016 and 2017 Deloitte Fast 500 in Technology, the 2016 and 2017 CRN Next-Gen 250. He is Chairman of the Technology and Innovation Council and a board member of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, President of the Venture Club of Indiana, a board member of TechPoint, a member of the IBM PartnerWorld Global Business Partner Advisory Council, of the advisory council for Hamilton Southeastern Schools, of the Workforce Alignment council of Ivy Tech, of the Industrial Advisory Council for Computer Information Technology and the Dean's Council for the Purdue Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University.
Melissa Seymour • Executive Panel Moderator
Melissa Seymour is Regional Executive of the Central Region for the MidContinent Independent System Operator (MISO), an independent, non‐profit organization responsible for maintaining reliable transmission of power in 15 states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. In this role, Ms. Seymour works with her team of customer and regulatory advisors to understand the needs and issues of stakeholders and regulators, and assure that their policy, strategic, technical and administrative issues are addressed, resolved and communicated both internally and externally. Ms. Seymour has 20 years’ experience in the energy industry. Prior to joining MISO, Ms. Seymour was the Director of Regional Markets and Regulation at Iberdrola Renewables, LLC, where she was responsible for advancing policy changes to better accommodate renewable energy into the power system and create business opportunities for the company. Before Iberdrola Renewables, she held various strategic planning, business development, and regulatory positions at the Bonneville Power Administration, PacifiCorp, Southstar Energy Services and Southern Company Energy Marketing. Ms. Seymour holds a B.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics from the University of Tennessee.
Sanya Strawser • Breakout Session on Employee Engagement: Strategies to Become Your Employer's Greatest Asset
Sanya Strawser is the founder and CEO of People Factor LLC, a company that is dedicated to helping organizations create intentional, productive, and meaningful cultures by assessing their culture and providing strategic solutions where needed. Sanya is a certified Master Executive and Group Coach. She also brings over 20 years of experience to the People Factor team through her work in the people industry in both local and global markets. Before starting People Factor in June 2016, she worked for the second largest automotive remarketing company in the country, leading their employee engagement and people development initiatives.
Donna Walker • Executive Panel Participant
Amy Waninger • Breakout Session on Network Beyond Bias: Break Out, Break In & Break Through
As a leader, speaker, author, and coach, Amy C. Waninger is passionate about helping others achieve their full potential at work. Amy is the Founder and CEO of Lead at Any Level LLC, which helps busy professionals develop skills in leadership, diversity and inclusion, and career management. She is the author of Network Beyond Bias: Making Diversity a Competitive Advantage for Your Career. Amy holds two degrees from Indiana University and is a Prosci Certified Change Practitioner. Her other credentials include several insurance industry designations and a World’s Best Mom coffee mug.