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Kyla Cox
Leadership Bloomington-Monroe County

Last modified: Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Leadership Bloomington-Monroe County celebrates graduation, presents Distinguished Alumni Award

May 2, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Leadership Bloomington-Monroe County, a partnership between Indiana University Bloomington Continuing Studies and the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, honored 20 graduates and 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Cathi Crabtree last week in a ceremony at the Indiana Memorial Union Federal Room.

Lt. Col. Kirk White, assistant vice president for strategic partnerships at Indiana University, addressed the group on leadership lessons learned during his two overseas deployments to Afghanistan.


April 2012 graduates of Leadership Bloomington-Monroe County

Print-Quality Photo

Leadership Bloomington-Monroe County is a seven-month program designed to develop leadership skills and promote community involvement through experiential learning. Participants attend sessions focusing on specific aspects of community leadership, taught by experts from IU and the community.

In addition, each participant works with a small group of classmates to complete a project that addresses a specific community concern. This year's projects include a strategic plan to enhance local economic development through the Local First Indiana organization, a set of fundraising activities for the Women and Children IU Health Bloomington Hospital campaign, a community food preservation initiative and the 2012 Bloomington Festival of Words to promote literacy.

The Class of 2012 graduates represent business, nonprofit, education and government entities: Lana Boling, retired teacher; Lois Brown, student and IU employee; Kelly Carnahan, IU Office of the Vice Provost for Research; James M. Devereaux, retired physician; Lori Garraghty, United Way of Monroe County; Thomas Hill; Shapour Khosravipour, Maria Stolze-Epple and Holly Vonderheit, all of IU Health Bloomington Hospital; Nichole Lustre, Technology Service Corp.; Conor McIntyre, South Central Community Action Program; Sally J. G. Meyer; Matthew Minderman, Stone Belt Inc.; Jenny Olmes-Stevens, Indiana University Department of Physics; Dana Palazzo, Bloomington Economic Development Corp.; Constance Percifield, IU Credit Union; Adam Roberts, BKD LLP; Jami Scholl, My Edible Eden; Wade Snider, LifeDesigns; and Jennifer Syrek, IU Bloomington Continuing Studies.

The graduates join nearly 800 alumni of the program.

"The Class of 2012 was enthusiastic and passionate about their participation in the program. Each project group faced several challenges, but the participants met those challenges with the leadership skills needed to succeed. Our community will be well-served by these leaders and the projects and initiatives they support," said Kyla Cox, director of Leadership Bloomington-Monroe County.

Crabtree, the Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, was recognized for her achievements in professional and community service. An engineer for the U.S. Special Operations Command at Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane, Crabtree has served in leadership roles in her career and volunteer work. She chairs the Bloomington Commission on the Status of Women and is an on-scene advocate at Middle Way House Domestic Violence Shelter and Rape Crisis Center and a past president of the Middle Way House board of directors. Crabtree has held various positions within the Hoosier Hills Chapter of Federally Employed Women, including serving as president, and is an active member of Crane's local chapter of Blacks in Government.

The next Leadership Bloomington-Monroe County class will begin Oct. 12 with an orientation and alumni reception. For more information about the application process, email Kyla Cox at, call 812-855-1182 or visit

IU Bloomington Continuing Studies provides opportunities for adults to engage in lifelong learning. Programs include the general studies degree, Adult Student Resources, Lifelong Learning courses, Mini University and Leadership Bloomington-Monroe County. All programs draw upon the rich resources of IU Bloomington and are offered on campus and at convenient community locations in Bloomington and the surrounding area. IU Bloomington Continuing Studies is a division of the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. For more information, visit or call 812-855-9335.

The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit membership organization serving as the community's leading advocate for business. It offers unique leadership opportunities, meaningful volunteer activities and exclusive business-building programs focused on critical economic, civic and social priorities. Chamber members support each other and community initiatives, sharing information and resources to help create economic opportunity and community well-being.