Trailblazers Past Panelists

Click on the panelist’s name to view her words of wisdom.


Angela Adams

Adams Immigration Law

Melody Birmingham-Bird

Duke Energy

Moira Carlstedt

Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership

Barbara Duncombe

Taft Stettinius and Hollister


Barbara Coury

American Red Cross

Deborah Daniels

Krieg DeVault

Joyce Irwin

Community Health Network Foundation

Myasha Smith


Rupal Thanawala



Tavonna Harris Askew

Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County

Allison Barber

WGU of Indiana

Mariama Carson

Global Preparatory Academy

Emma Hostetter

The Borrowed Boutique


Lindsay Boccardo

Managing Millenials

Anne Hathaway

Hathaway Strategies

Patty Martin

Senior Director, Strategy and Operations for Lilly Diabetes, Eli Lilly & Company

DeShong Perry-Smitherman

U.S. Corporate Communications Manager, The AES Corporation


Nikki Blaine

Owner, Nikki Blaine Couture

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. (Reinhold Niebuhr,
American theologian)

Susan Brooks

Congresswoman, 5th District, 113th Congress

Gratitude turns what we have into enough. (Unknown)

Carlie Irsay-Gordon

Vice Chair/Owner, Indianapolis Colts

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence. (Robert Frost)

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way that I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. (Steve Jobs)

Cathy Langham

CEO, Langham Logistics, Inc.

Do something every day that scares you.

Jan Long

Owner, The Mr. Canary Company

The optimist is someone who figures out that taking a step backward after taking a step forward isn’t a disaster. It’s a cha-cha.


Elaine Bedel

President, Bedel Financial Consulting

Autumn Letendre

Owner, Abby Adams Boutique

Founder, The Golden Star Foundation

Nichole Wilson

Director of Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation, and Sports Medicine, Community Health Network

Honorary Chair & Panelist: Laurie Burns McRobbie

18th First Lady, Indiana University

Founder, Women’s Philanthropy Council at Indiana University Foundation


Stephanie Fuhrmann

President, Technology Integration Group, Telamon Corp.

Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition. (Marilyn Monroe)

Kim Hendren

Owner and President, CC Holdings, Inc.

You playing to win, or break even?

Maggie Lewis

President, Indianapolis City County Council

I can do all things through Christ. (Philippians 4:13)

Linda Rendleman

CEO and Co-Founder, Women Like Us Foundation

I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.

Jenny Vance

Founder and President, LeadJen LLC

It will all be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.

Honorary Chair: Yvonne Perkins

Vice President, Corporate Communication and Chief Diversity Officer, Citizen’s Energy Group

And now stays faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (Corinthians 13:13)


Angela Brown

International Opera Soprano

Keep shooting for the moon. If you miss, at least you land among the stars.

Kelly Campbell

Co-owner, The Village Experience; Executive Director, The Village Cooperative

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. (Mark Twain)

Allison Melangton

President and CEO, 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee

They may forget what you said, but they will NEVER forget how you made them feel. (Carl W. Buechner)

Maura Robinson

Owner and President, M.G. Robinson, Inc.

Do one thing that scares you everyday. (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Anne Sellers

Managing Principal, Sensory Technologies

Keep calm and carry on. (Winston Churchill)

Honorary Chair: Dee Strum

CEO, MDStrum Housing Services, Inc.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)


Kathie De Voe

President & CEO, Gilchrist & Soames

Even if you’re on the right track you’ll get run over if you just sit there. (Will Rogers)

Susan Haber

Principal, Nonprofit Systems Solutions

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. (Dalai Lama)

Angie Hicks

Co-founder and CMO, Angie’s List

Evaluate your chances, weigh your chance of success and take risks that make sense.

Jennifer Satterfield-Siegel, DDS

Owner, Special Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

Sometimes you have to just close your eyes and just jump. Believe in yourself, follow your heart, you can do it. (Julie Simonton)

Mary F. Schmid

President and CEO, Stewart & Irwin, P.C.

When you lie about your age, the terrorists win. (Carol Leifer)

Honorary Chair: Dr. Jo Ann Gora

President, Ball State University

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit. (Aristotle)


Louise Dunn

Founder, Riches Within; Author of The Soul’s Compass

Try, easier!

Abbe Hohmann

Senior Vice President and Principal, Colliers Turley Martin Tucker

People with clenched fists cannot shake hands. (Indira Gandhi)

Lisa Jeff

President and CEO, L’Acquis Consulting Engineers

. . . we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Pat Koch

Director of Values, Holiday World

Am I a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration?

Dr. Amy Marckese

Owner, Dental Spa

To get something you never had before, you must do something you’ve never done before.

Honorary Chair: Sue Anne Gilroy

Executive Director, St. Vincent Foundation; Indiana’s first female Secretary of State


Barbara Boyd

Indianapolis’ first African-American female television journalist

Have a great day and stay on top of the world!

Tina McIntosh

Founder, Joy’s House

You can hope for an outcome and things will either work out the way you want them to or they won’t, but either way they’ll work their way out.

Pamela Parker

Founder, J.P. Parker Company Flowers

Believe in yourself! Believe, believe, believe!

Carly Swift and Mandy Swift Selke

Founders, Just Pop In!

Be flexible but always stand behind your own heart—it usually leads you in the right direction.

Barbara Wynne

Founder of Washington Township Schools Community Tennis Program; Founder of the Indianapolis Chapter of the USTA Tennis National Junior Tennis League; Founding publisher of Indy’s Child Magazine

In everything you do, you have to build a good team.

Honorary Chair: Kay Fleming

Attorney, Ice Miller LLP, and NAWBO-Indianapolis Board Advisor


Billie Dragoo

President/CEO, RepuCare Inc. and RepuStaff LLC

Kindness and respect: if you have those two things and you give out those two things, you cannot fail at whatever you do.

Beverly Middaugh

CEO, Bright Ideas in Broad Ripple, Inc.

Whatever it is, stop talking about it and just go do it!

Deborah Oatts

President, Nubian Transport Management

If a door opens, walk through it with courage!

Carol Schwachenwald

President, Integrity Document Solutions, Inc.

Remember to always keep your own personal integrity and character at the forefront of all your efforts.

Jean Wojtowicz

President, Cambridge Capital Management Corp.

Start the day smiling and find a way to be positive and optimistic.

Honorary Chair: Sally Stephens

Spectrum Health Systems


Martha Hoover

Owner, Cafe Patachou and Petite Chou Restaurants

There really is no problem that cannot be overcome or tackled; people can accomplish amazing things.

Dr. Mercy Obeime

Medical Director, St. Francis Neighborhood Health Center

Always stand for the truth, even when it is hard and even if you are standing alone.

Dr. Ora Pescovitz

President and CEO, Riley Hospital for Children

Find opportunity in the unexpected.

Patzetta Trice

Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Air Services, Indianapolis Airport Authority

Understand what the priorities are in your life.

Mary Weiss

President and CEO, Weiss Communications, Inc.

Sit back and really take the time to determine where you need to be and how to get there.


Alpha Blackburn

President/CEO, Blackburn Architects, Inc., and President, Alpha, Inc.

Susan Brooks

United States Attorney, Southern District of Indiana

Catherine Scionti

President, BAA Indianapolis LLC

Yvonne Shaheen

Retired President and CEO, Long Electric

Maribeth Smith

President, Maribeth Smith & Associates

Honorary Chair: Sally Rowland

Co-founder, Rowland Design


Cathy Langham

President, Langham

Sallie Rowland

Co-founder, Rowland Design

Rep. Carolene Mays

Indiana House of Representatives

Ann Murtlow

President & CEO, Indianapolis Power and Light Company

Patty Thornberry

Co-founder and Vice President of Security Home Inspections

Honorary Chair: Amy Minick Peterson

First Lady of Indianapolis