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I Love Indy Because...

Morgan

MORGAN SNYDER, ‘07

One might peg me as someone with a bit of bias towards Indy. After all, as Director of Public Relations for Visit Indy, I’m paid to pitch to journalists what it is that makes Indy so special and worthy of ink in Forbes or AFAR Magazine.

I love my job. But, I love my job because I love the product I get to promote. One doesn’t come without the other.

I was closing in on graduation from Butler in 2007 and wanted one more internship to round-out my skillset. I landed a gig with the city’s tourism office and it was in the span of those four internship months where I was forced to learn a new product: Indianapolis. I learned that there’s more than an iconic motor speedway and 500-mile race. There’s a glimmering canal walk, 250 acres of urban greenspace with seven museums and a top ten zoo. I learned that less than a mile from Butler’s campus there’s the original, iconic LOVE sculpture and one of the most progressive art museums in the country. The world’s largest children’s museum. A restaurant that’s pegged for having the world’s spiciest dish and another restaurant that is named on Condé Nast Traveler’s World’s Best Restaurants list. A city that checks the boxes on just about any sporting event one can imagine. Hip and funky neighborhoods. And so much more.

After that internship, I was sold on the city that was going to be my home. The city where I would make my core group of friends, find my husband, and raise our family together.

What I didn’t know or even really care that much about as a college student was that Indy was super accessible and affordable. Friends can flee to bigger cities after college – some of mine did – but ask them how much they paid for that tiny studio apartment or what their meal cost even at the most casual of restaurants. Indy is continuously ranked as one of the country’s most affordable cities. Even better, Indy is a city that is led by listeners, believers, and visionaries. Did you know this city built a football stadium when we didn’t even have a football team? And look where we are now. If you have an idea, you can actually make it happen here. The guy that built an 8-mile, $63 million bike trail in the heart of downtown wrote his idea on a napkin and without any taxpayers’ dollars, he made it happen. Project for Public Spaces called his trail, “the biggest and boldest step by any American city.”

Fortunately for us, Indy loves their Butler Bulldogs. We’re a community that has a unique bond in the principles we learned through The Butler Way. And I am continuously grateful that our city operates under a similar mantra.

 

NATALIE VAN DONGEN, ’18

I love Indianapolis because it rejects expectation. Upon seeing our humble skyline, one may believe that Indianapolis is nothing more than a run-of-the-mill, midwestern, industrial city – this assumption would be incorrect. Indianapolis is defined by its residents, and therefore cannot be adequately defined by any given industry, belief system, socioeconomic status, or even basketball team. We are artists, agriculturalists, environmentalists, athletes, activists, techies, entrepreneurs, doctors, spiritual leaders, and civil servants. We are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, and community members. We are hard workers, determined to do better and grow faster than any expectation would allow. We are our own city, made for each other, by each other.

Indianapolis is by no means a perfect city. In recent years, we have faced the same unrest many of our country’s cities have had to overcome. The issues we are facing currently will not subside in a day’s time. These challenges, be it an aging infrastructure or increased political tension, will require time, patience, and diligence. However, we do not claim to be perfect, nor do we claim to be complete. Indianapolis is a constant work in progress, wherein we must not only identify the adversity laid at our feet, but learn how to overcome as a community. We do not make excuses, we do not point fingers, we do not fall victim to hatred, and above all else, we watch out for all members of our community.

I love Indianapolis because it is limitless. In years past, Indianapolis has welcomed the victims of natural disasters, opened our hearts to refugees, and become a new home to disenfranchised populations. All who have come to Indianapolis, no matter if it was out of newfound opportunity or dire circumstance, have become an integral part of our city’s fabric. An engravement in the stone of the Old City Hall building in downtown Indianapolis reads, “I am a citizen of no mean city” – that is Indianapolis. A city proud of its people, the backgrounds of those people, and the accomplishments of those people.

 

JEFFREY STANICH III, ‘16

Indianapolis will sneak up on you - like how, during a random visit with a friend, it turned out to be a place I might actually like to call home.

Years ago, my high school buddy Elliot and I were down from Wisconsin for the day looking for some warmer golfing weather that we never found, so we had time to kill in a place we knew nothing about. Until he said: “Want to go check out that one small school that just made it to the Final Four?” So we did.

As reader has probably already picked up on, the institution in question was Butler University, and it turned out to be so much more than one small school. After leaving with more reasons to return than any other university visit had offered, Butler was choice number one when it came time to choose. And the following four years surpassed every expectation that I had built up in my head since first walking up the steps of Robertson Hall.

Beyond the ways that Butler integrated me into the surrounding city - such as statehouse visits with journalism courses, or learning that weekends begin on Thursday nights in Broad Ripple - it was on my peers and I to get to know Indianapolis beyond the bubble.

And for as much as we tried to get to know places, it wasn’t until the June following my ’16 commencement that I finally stumbled upon the downtown canal walk, and months more until I got to witness the leaves turn every September in Holliday and Garfield parks. Sure, nice places to spend some time are found in every city - but that autumn was when I learned how Butler University and Indianapolis are part of an entire community that has your back. 

I got my first real job out of college - writing speeches for Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett - because his chief of staff somehow found my name on Butler’s website. This job (beyond a consistent paycheck) offered a chance to see the true dynamic identity of Indianapolis, that major-metropolis-with-small-town-charm people often speak to.

On any given weekend, hundreds of thousands of visitors will flood the town late into the night for world-class events like the Indy 500 and GenCon, and then by Monday you’re bumping into old and new friendly faces to catch up with during your morning routine.

You can meet residents whose families have lived in a neighborhood for generations, and then spend time with whole communities of Burmese immigrants who are just starting their lives in America through Exodus Refugee Immigration.

There are all the jobs you could want in the 80,000-strong hospitality industry that is to credit for Indianapolis’ ranking as the number one convention city in the United States, or you can pursue just as many careers in one of the many tech companies like Salesforce and Infosys that contribute to our reputation as the Tech Capital of the Midwest. (We’re not letting Silicon Prairie catch on, sorry.)

So Indianapolis will sneak up on you - for me, it transformed from a day-trip destination, to a place where I spent four years learning and living, to the place where I still intend on growing. My little cousin is starting at Butler in August, and she’s echoing that same sentiment I did six years ago: “this is a whole lot better than I expected.”

Yeah, it is, I tell her. And you’re only at the beginning.

 

I Love Indianapolis Because...
IndyPeopleCommunity

I Love Indy Because...

We know Indy is a great city; we asked 3 young alumni to tell us why. 

What She Did On Her Summer Vacation: Shakespeare

By Marc Allan

For the past 10 years, Butler Theatre Chair Diane Timmerman has spent her summers bringing Shakespeare to the masses in White River State Park—first as an actor and, since 2013, as Producing Artistic Director of the Indianapolis Shakespeare Company, better known as Indy Shakes.

It's a huge commitment of time and energy, but Timmerman has a list of reasons that it's worth her time.

"There's a freewheeling joy to getting together and producing a Shakespeare play outdoors, where it was originally produced," she said as she prepared for this summer's production of the rarely produced tragedy Coriolanus, August 2-4.

Her list continues:

-Indy Shakes gives work to Butler alumni and interns. This summer's cast includes alumni Ryan Ruckman '06 and Joanna Bennett '08, and four current students are working as interns. "This project provides gainful, paying, artistically satisfying work for local artists. So that's a driver. I seem to have the ability to give a lot of other theater artists jobs, and I really like that."

-These free shows are an opportunity to expose more people to theater. Through surveys, Indy Shakes has found that as many as 12 percent of its audiences are seeing live theater for the first time.

-She gets the chance to work with so many talented people. "To have the professional quality of the actors, directors, designers, and everyone doing this work is incredible."

Coriolanus tells the story of a man who ends up seizing power and wielding that over the people. The story, Timmerman said, is easy to understand and dynamic.

"I think it's going to be our strongest production to date," she said.

Indy Shakes was founded as the Heartland Actors Repertory Theatre in 2006-07 by a group of equity actors. They began by doing mostly contemporary work, but Shakespeare in the Park took hold and became the company's primary activity. Timmerman was in the first Shakespeare production, The Merchant of Venice.

This year, the company launched a new traveling troupe that played a one-hour version of Macbeth in city parks, libraries, and community centers.

"What I love about this company is that none of us really have to do it," said Timmerman, who has been teaching at Butler for 25 years. "All of the artists are gainfully employed in other ways. But this project feeds everybody's artistic soul."

Coriolanus will be staged August 2-4 at 8:00 PM each night in White River State Park. Admission is free. Food trucks and beer and wine vendors will be on hand and pre-show entertainment begins at 5:00 PM.

 

In the photo: Grant Goodman and Constance Macy star in 'Coriolanus.' (Julie Curry Photography)

Shakespeare
IndyPeopleCommunity

What She Did On Her Summer Vacation: Shakespeare

Theatre Chair Diane Timmerman is Producing Artistic Director for Indy Shakes

A Career That's Off to the Races

By Elizabeth Duis '20

Name: Zach Horrall
Hometown: Vincennes, IN
Major(s): Journalism, Spanish minor
Anticipated Grad Date: Spring 2019
Career Goals: Become a NASCAR reporter; travel and cover motor sports

 

Maybe it’s the sound. Maybe it’s the crowd. Maybe it’s the speed. Maybe it’s all of the above. Zach Horrall loves racing and hopes to make a career of it. But his route to victory in the sport isn’t exactly what you’d expect.

Growing up only two hours south of Indianapolis, Zach Horrall watched countless NASCAR, stock, and Indy car races. Frequent trips to the city fueled Zach’s desire to become a part of the racing community. This passion quickly merged with his talent for writing, and he began to aspire towards sports journalism. When the time came to make a college decision, Zach knew exactly where he wanted to be.

“There are two major racing hubs: Charlotte, North Carolina and Indianapolis,” Zach explained. “From there, I felt like Butler was the best school in Indy.”

Zach describes Butler’s caring community as plainly evident from his first visit. Small details like someone going out of their way to hold a door or an advisor’s genuine interest in him contributed to Zach’s overall view of Butler as a place where he could succeed.

During Zach’s first and second years, Butler’s sports media program owned and operated a website. After convincing the director to let him write for the website, Zach handled all the racing coverage. Covering one race in particular would change the course of his career.

While covering the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2016, Zach ran into his sports journalism idol Marty Smith. Smith was a general assignment reporter for ESPN who was also covering the race. Zach promptly introduced himself and explained his passion for sports journalism. It was then that Smith pointed to IndyStar’s table of employees and prompted Zach to reach out.

Believing he had plenty of time, Zach continued his coverage of the race in the hopes of approaching IndyStar later in the day. At the conclusion of the race, Zach looked back to see the table packed up and the employees about to leave. Practically running so as not to miss the chance, Zach approached the group, introduced himself, and inquired about a writing position.

Two years later, Zach Horrall is about to celebrate his second anniversary at The Indianapolis Star. This same interest in racing has transformed into a sports writing internship at one of the largest news sources in the state. His involvement with IndyStar began in a sports clerk role covering high school sports and has grown into the coverage of major motor sporting events such as the 2017 U.S. Nationals and this past spring’s Indy 500. A few of his stories have also been picked up by USA Today.

Zach attributes much of his academic and professional development to journalism classes and his time with the Butler Collegian. This experience provided real-world exposure that allowed Zach to learn in a hands-on setting. He will use these real-world lessons to serve as the Digital Managing Editor for the Collegian this upcoming academic year.

Moving forward, this successful senior aspires to continue working in racing, specifically as a NASCAR reporter. Zach maintains that as long as he can remain part of the racing community, he will be content and excited to go to work.

“I’m a very optimistic, happy-go-lucky person, and I want to maintain that attitude. I know the only way for me to do that is to do something I love,” Zach explained. “I want to be a person who says ‘I don’t have to go to work, I get to go to work.’”

This enthusiasm springs from a desire to share live sports with people. Not everyone has the ability to see a race, and Zach’s aim is to make these quick getaways accessible for everyone. He believes that everyone deserves the getaway from everyday stresses that sports can provide.

“Even if it’s only for a two or three hour race, everyone deserves that break from time to time,” Zach shared. “Racing isn’t the most popular thing in the world, but I want to show people why I love it and why it’s so interesting.”

To aspiring writers, Zach would like them to realize that it is possible to pursue a passion. Though covering a NASCAR race might not often be associated with journalism, it’s important to know yourself and explore the variety of positions available.

“The way that I’ve lived my life is to never take ‘no’ for an answer and never be afraid. If I was afraid to talk to my idol Marty Smith, I wouldn’t be where I am right now,” Zach explained. “You have to take chances because if you don’t, you will never meet your full potential.”

IndyStudent LifePeople

A Career That's Off to the Races

Zach Horrall's route to victory in racing isn’t exactly what you’d expect.

A Career That's Off to the Races

By Elizabeth Duis '20

Midwestern Voice in the Capital

Marc Allan

from Spring 2016

During her six years at Butler—four as an undergraduate Arts Administration major and two earning her Master of Music Education— Ursula Kuhar ’05 MM ’07 often thought about moving to Washington, DC. 

In July, Kuhar took over as Executive Director of Washington Concert Opera, which specializes in performing seldom-heard operas. Kuhar calls it “one of the most revered companies in the country.” 

Getting to this point was a journey that began in Powell, Ohio, outside Columbus, where Kuhar had volunteered for her hometown symphony orchestra while in high school. She knew she wanted to pursue a career in music. After meeting with then-Associate Dean of the Jordan College of Fine Arts Steve Roberson, she discovered the idea of Arts Administration as a major. 

Butler’s undergraduate program allowed Kuhar to explore all avenues of music, from business to teaching to performance. She was so taken with what she learned from Professor Michael Sells (“He’s still a huge mentor and guiding force in my life, and a great friend.”) that she wanted to keep studying with him. So she stayed for a master’s degree, taking voice lessons and performance-based classes from Sells, as well as music education classes with another favorite professor of hers, Penny Dimmick. 

Butler led to Indiana University, where Kuhar earned her Doctor of Music in Voice. Three days after graduation in 2011, she was hired by Sweet Briar College as Director and Assistant Professor of Arts Management. She spent four years there—and would have happily stayed longer—but on March 3, 2015, the faculty was assembled and told that the school would be closing on June 30. (That decision was rescinded in mid-June, but not until after Kuhar had accepted her position with Washington Concert Opera.) 

At Sweet Briar, Kuhar had quadrupled enrollment in the arts-management program, helped secure foundation and individual gifts, and “had a wonderful time” there. Now, she enjoys presenting “exquisite music” like Rossini’s Semiramide “to a group of devoted patrons.” 

“It’s a niche that people love,” Kuhar said. 

Plus, there’s the benefit of being in the nation’s capital. The location is head-turning, she said, “but I’m still a salt-of-the-earth, Midwest girl at the end of the day.”

 

Bright Lights to Financial Heights

Evie Schultz ’16

from Spring 2016

 

When Renee Tabben ’94 arrived at Butler as a freshman, she dreamed of Broadway. She ended up— happily—closer to Wall Street. 

“All I wanted to do was perform,” the Cincinnati native said. “I was absolutely focused on moving to New York and becoming wildly successful in musical theater.” 

But she also wanted a backup plan. Encouraged by her parents and Owen Schaub, the Department Head of Theater at the time, Tabben declared an arts administration major with a concentration in theatre. During her time at Butler she performed with the Butler Chorale and participated in a variety of Jordan College of Fine Arts (JCFA), now currently named the Jordan College of the Arts (JCA) productions. 

Her first job in musical theatre came two weeks after graduation at a summer stock theater in Maine (thanks to an introduction from Bernard Wurger, a Butler Theater Professor). That opportunity led to several others at theaters across the country, but by 1997, Tabben wanted a change of pace. 

Renee left New York, returning to her hometown of Cincinnati to consider going to law school. Before enrolling, she landed a temporary job at Fidelity Investments. The job required her to be a quick study and to communicate effectively—two skills she had honed while performing. 

From there, an unexpected career in finance took off. Tabben went on to start a financial planning practice and earn an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University. 

Now she is the Market Executive of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in West Michigan. She is responsible for seven offices across the state in a role she said is incredibly dynamic, people focused, and personally rewarding. 

“Theatre has a human, emotional, raw core,” she said. “When I began engaging with clients around their financial lives, I realized the connection with the person—their emotions about money, was the essential element to helping clients achieve their purpose for their wealth. My experience with communicating with audiences and actively listening helped me to connect with people. My business education in Arts Administration reinforced my value in the business world.” 

That connection, Tabben said, is easier with the help of her Butler education. 

“There is no way I ever thought I would be a Market Executive at Merrill Lynch,” she said. “But so many of those skills I learned at JCA are highly transferrable.” 

“At Butler, what you’re learning can be valuable at a variety of careers. Stay open-minded—don’t limit yourself to what you think you can do with your degree.” 

People

Bright Lights to Financial Heights

by Evie Schultz ’16

from Spring 2016

Read more

Deeply Rooted

Cindy Dashnaw

from Spring 2016

“It's about time.” 

That’s how Patricia Brennan See ’74 reacted when she heard that Butler’s vision for its Arts Center is to become Central Indiana’s arts and culture destination. 

“Butler has had a stellar—and I mean stellar—arts program for decades, and it’s been under wraps. Now, we’re coming into our own,” said this alum and member of the Jordan College of the Arts (JCA) Board of Visitors. “It’s time to get out there and show ourselves as the fantastic school we are.” 

See generously supports ArtsFest and the Butler Community Arts School. And though she wasn’t an arts major, her family tree is as firmly rooted in the arts as it is in Butler. 

Her father and mother were amateur actors during her childhood, and “Patsy,” as family and friends call her, was active in high school theatre. When it came time for college, she and her brother followed in dad’s footsteps by attending his alma mater; Robert Brennan holds Butler degrees in Music and Pharmacy. 

He also taught here for 18 years, some of which overlapped his children’s time as students. And nine years after her graduation, See joined him on Butler’s faculty. 

After a career focused on speech and communication, See felt the bite of the theatre bug once her three children were grown. 

“I got involved in the local (Zionsville, Indiana) community theatre. And because I can’t do anything halfway, I worked on 19 shows in a row and did everything except costuming,” she said. “I’ve relaxed a little bit now, except that this week, my husband and I are doing lights and sound for a children’s play.” 

“Relaxed” meant getting involved in Butler arts again when an old classmate popped up on Facebook: Howard Schrott, the arts supporter after which the Howard L. Schrott Center is named. 

“We're starting to have a coordinated vision for the arts together. Butler's arts center is just a gold mine of artistic expression."

“Howard introduced me to Ron Caltabiano (Dean of the Jordan College of the Arts), and I thought his vision for Butler was long overdue,” See said. “I don’t have relationships with institutions. I have relationships with individuals at institutions. So after talking with Ron and those who support him, I was glad to get involved.” 

See believes wholeheartedly in the quality of the arts at Butler and in the value of the arts in education. 

“There’s no other discipline on earth that teaches you who you are—not only who you are, but who you are in relation to other people. My friend Lynn Manning says, ‘Art is the ultimate team sport.’ You find out how to work with other people in intricate ways, and you learn so much about yourself,” she said. 

She pointed out that plenty of research shows the arts enhance every other discipline. 

“Teaching the arts is integral to the proliferation of artistic expression,” See said. “The arts are cut and cut and cut from schools, yet there has to be some place that will continue to offer them.” 

She believes Butler emphasizes excellence, expertise, and depth of knowledge to a degree no other school can match. 

“Even just building the Schrott Center has elevated all the arts at Butler. It’s one of those rare places where you can do music, dance, and theatre all in one place because of the adaptability of the space. Now, with Studio 168, black-box spaces, Clowes, the Schrott—whatever you want to do, you can do it in one of our spaces. 

“We’re starting to have a coordinated vision for the arts together. Butler’s Arts Center is just a gold mine of artistic expression.” 

People

Deeply Rooted

by Cindy Dashnaw

from Spring 2016

Read more

Creating a Workforce

Marc Allan

from Fall 2016

“Butler is my college,” Michael Bill is saying. “Right along with my college that I graduated from.”

That would be Syracuse University, where Bill played center on the football team—that included the legendary Jim Brown in the backfield—and received the grounding to begin a more than 50-year career in the insurance industry.

And while he’ll always love the Orange, the Chairman of the Board of Indianapolis-based MJ Insurance showed his Butler Blue streak last year when he, along with MJ Insurance, gave the University $250,000 to start a student-run insurance company beginning in May of 2017.

The Butler business, known as a “captive insurance company,” will insure certain programs at Butler, perhaps including the live mascot, Butler Blue III, or physical damage to University vehicles. The idea is to give students hands-on experience that will jumpstart their careers.

Bill learned his trade in the 1960s during a two-year training program at his first employer, Commercial Union Insurance Group. “When they trained you, they would not let you out in the field until they thought you knew everything you had to know in all areas,” he said.

Fast-forward 50 years, and colleges are expected to do the training.

That’s where his gift comes in.

Bill wants Butler students to learn insurance from the ground up, from the state of incorporation to actuarial work, claims, investments, and more—the way he did. He also wants them to zero in on the area of the business they like most so they’ll have fulfilling careers.

“We’re going to go out and create a workforce,” he said. “There’s a huge shortage of people in our industry. The average age at big insurance carriers is in their 50s. In the next five years, the students coming out of Butler University with a degree in insurance in a specific area will be highly compensated. You’re going to have a waiting list for people to get in there.”

Bill started MJ Insurance when he was 27. He’s 80 now, and said he still loves the business. He also appreciates the practical teaching approach taken in Butler’s Lacy School of Business.

“I fell in love with the business because I had great teachers,” he said. “That’s the key—great teachers and great mentors. This gift is my way of giving back to a great community and a great college. It was probably the easiest check I’ve ever written.”

People

Creating a Workforce

by Marc Allan

from Fall 2016

Read more

An Engineering dual degree from Butler is propelling Alyssa Setnar ’16 to infinity and beyond.

The Columbus, Ohio native headed to Los Angeles in June to begin working for Millennium Space Systems, a satellite manufacturing company, as a spacecraft structural engineer. She interned with Millennium previously.

“I’m a part of the team that goes all the way from the napkin sketch to the proposal all the way to manufacturing,” she said. “I’m really excited to be a part of the entire process.”

That process started at Butler, when she found out she could get an Engineering degree through Butler’s dual degree program with IUPUI. Setnar is Butler’s first graduate in the program’s Motorsports Engineering concentration. In her final semester, she worked with other students on a prototype race car for the International Society of Automotive Engineering’s student design initiative.

“I got that big-school degree from Purdue at IUPUI’s campus, but I really fell in love with Butler’s small campus feel and the people that I met here,” she said. “I feel really lucky that I got both.”

Setnar got involved early on at Butler. She arrived a week before Welcome Week her first-year for the Ambassadors of Change (AOC) program.

She was so impressed with and transformed by the program that she served as an AOC team leader for the next three years. It’s that passion for helping others that sets Butler students apart, Setnar said.

“Whenever I’m out, whether I’m volunteering, or at a restaurant, or just wearing a Butler shirt out while I’m shopping, the community recognizes that the people that are coming from Butler are really genuine and smart and interested in caring,” she said.

From MBA to CEO

Evie Schultz ’16

from Fall 2016

Jane Keller ’00 fills many roles. She’s a nurse, a wife, a mom… and she’s also CEO of OrthoIndy and OrthoIndy Hospital, Indiana’s largest orthopedic provider.

It’s a position she never imagined filling until she earned an MBA from Butler.

“My classes at Butler taught me a lot about servant leadership and networking,” she said.

Keller graduated from Ball State University in 1988 with a degree in nursing. Afterwards she worked for Methodist Hospital as a nurse, patient care manager, clinical manager, and the Director of Perioperative Performance.

Keller began working at OrthoIndy as the Executive Director/Nursing Director of the surgery centers while she was earning her MBA.

She was promoted to OrthoIndy’s Chief Nursing Officer in 2005, when the hospital was built. Just one year later she became the hospital’s CEO.

“I call it my child,” Keller said. “The hospital opened in 2005, and I really was in on it from the ground floor, helping design it and hire the staff that worked in it.”

In 2013, she was named the Chief Executive Officer of OrthoIndy and OrthoIndy Hospital. She’s busier than ever, especially with three kids and a husband at home in Zionsville. But, she said the connections she forges with patients and providers are worth it.

“I spend a lot of time building relationships with our physicians, talking to them about operations and strategizing going forward,” she said. “There is a lot of emphasis on our patients and making sure they get excellent quality care, as well as making sure employees get what they need to do their jobs well.”

Those physicians can perform up to 70 surgeries a day at the hospital. At its three main and three satellite locations, physicians see up to 1,000 patients a day. Keller said her ability to organize that many people is a reflection of her time at Butler.

“Team building, development, trying to pull people together, getting people to learn to work through conflict—I learned all of those things at Butler.”

People

From MBA to CEO

by Evie Schultz ’16

from Fall 2016

Read more

Butler Felt like Learning with Family

Marc Allan

from Fall 2016

JoAn Scott MBA ’05 works for the NCAA as Managing Director of Men’s Basketball Championships and, no, she can’t get you tickets.

“From airport check-in to bellmen,” she said with a smile, “it’s always about tickets.” Scott oversees the Division I, II, and III men’s basketball tournaments and post-season NIT. That means loads of logistics—arena preparations, arranging flights and hotels, overseeing the music and fan festivals, public relations and marketing, and so much more. Planning with her staff of 12 begins in June and continues in earnest into March.

In addition, she’s in the room when the selection committee creates the brackets, and she’s at as many games as possible, making sure everything goes as planned.

“I have a radio in my ear, I have a cellphone, I have instant messaging, I have email,” Scott said. “Sometimes you have friends telling you something sounds weird, sometimes you hear the radio telling you a thunderstorm is coming. I’m pretty good at handling approaches from 5–6 different directions.”

Scott grew up a sports fan and athlete in Ansley, Nebraska, population 550. She did her undergraduate work at Kearney State University (now University of Nebraska at Kearney), then moved to Colorado after graduation. After a year working for a brokerage firm, she answered a newspaper classified ad for what was then called Amateur Basketball Association of the United States of America (now USA Basketball).

She spent 10 years there, accumulating experiences that included traveling with the 1992 men’s basketball Dream Team and “seeing basketball practices behind closed doors that no one will ever see.” Then she took a job with Nike, where she spent 17 years moving among Portland, Oregon; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Denver, Colorado.

During that time, she decided to get her MBA at Butler.

“I knew a lot of the sports side and I knew personalities,” she said. “But once I got to Nike, I felt like I didn’t know the business side. I traveled a lot, but it was my one night (to devote to school) and I just absolutely loved it. I was there to learn and I soaked it in and I loved it. I’m not sure anybody could enjoy it more than I did, and I still talk to my Butler professors.”

At Butler, she learned from Executive-in-Residence Jerry Toomer about leadership styles (“You adapt to your boss; your boss doesn’t adapt to you”), and she recalled the camaraderie in Marketing/Management Professor Bob Mackoy’s classes.

“I could interact with my whole class and ask Eli Lilly folks what they thought and Guidant folks what they thought,” she said. “They were so approachable. It felt like family there. It made me want to go, it made me want to learn.”

Scott said she learned a lot, and she continues to soak up information wherever she goes. “When you deal with the best of the best, you learn how to be the best,” she said.

She’s three years into her role at the NCAA now, and she has one more goal when she’s finished there.

“I’d love to end my career on a college campus, teaching,” she said. “I love to learn, and I would love to teach my experiences and what I learned along the way.”

Bulldogish on Wall Street

Patricia Snyder Pickett ’82, APR

from Fall 2016

There are thousands of millennials working in the heart of New York City’s financial district and dozens at the J.P. Morgan Chase headquarters.

However, there are very few who’ve spent countless hours at Atherton, love a certain bulldog named “Trip,” or can burst forth with The Butler War Song. Butler graduate Michael Bennett ’09 is hopeful that changes soon.

Last year Bennett was instrumental in spearheading a program that brought eight Butler business students to his Manhattan workplace where he serves as an investment specialist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

“They were able to spend the whole day at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, sitting through rotating panels that focused on our four lines of business,” he described. “They networked and talked  with human resource staff, as well as spending time with other bank and hedge fund personnel. It exposed them to different elements of financial services and provided tangible take-aways that will hopefully help them choose a career.”

In Bennett’s mind, this closely follows suit with the Lacy School’s real business experience mantra. “There’s a ‘real-world’ business mentality at Butler where students are not sheltered so much in the classroom. That immediate introduction to the business community gives you a leg up. The sooner you can participate in that world, the better.”

Bennett, a native of Elmhurst, Illinois, started his academic career at Butler on the Liberal Arts path where he played football. Having enjoyed writing for his high school newspaper, he was pursuing a major in English when he found himself in business classes that were both enjoyable and fulfilling. “I really liked the professors I worked with and enjoyed the curriculum. I was fortunate that I was able to find a way to express myself creatively in a business environment,” he said.

A portfolio management class and internships in wealth management services provided a gateway to a job offer with J.P. Morgan Private Bank shortly after graduation. “Was it ever a dream to live in Manhattan and work on Wall Street? No,” he said. “I moved pretty much sight-unseen into a tiny apartment that was about six times what I was paying in Indianapolis. I feel very fortunate to be working at the company headquarters and exposed to a wide variety of work that’s at a very high level. It has been a great experience so far.”

While he spends long hours at the office, he does make time for some fun and games like an adult flag football league. In addition, he’s a repeat participant (and a member of the competitor board) for the Wall Street Decathalon/Wall Street’s Best Athlete competition which, since its 2009 launch has raised more than $6 million for Pediatric Oncology Experimental Therapeutics Investigator’s Consortium (POETIC).

In retrospect, what’s the advice Bennett would give to future Butler graduates? “I wish I had known more about the entirety of the financial services world and the numerous opportunities it holds. I’m an advocate for more knowledge; knowledge equals power and better decisions. It’s unfortunate if doors are shut when a student doesn’t know what is out there . . . doesn’t realize how banks work, the different elements of the financial sector; when they don’t realize the skill sets they should hone or who they should be networking with to give themselves the best chance to succeed.”

People

Bulldogish on Wall Street

Butler Grad Michael Bennett ’09 finds his place in Manhattan's financial district.

by Patricia Snyder Pickett ’82, APR

from Fall 2016

Read more

Inside a 450-square-foot corner of the Lucky’s Market in Bloomington, Indiana, Lester Burris ’12 and his partners, Steve Anderson ’91 and Josh Anderson ’07, are working to turn the pharmacy business on its head.

This is Panacea Pharmacy, which offers a proactive approach to healthcare. Rather than worrying about doing a volume business, they concentrate on patient care. They check in with customers to make sure they’re taking their medicines.

And, if they’re not, the pharmacists try to find out why. If necessary, they’ll call a patient’s doctor to talk about alternative treatments, so the patient isn’t waiting months or even a year for an approved appointment.

When patients are taking medicine from multiple prescribers, Panacea tries to serve as a communication hub for the patient and the doctors, “which a lot of pharmacies either don’t have time to do or are not willing to do,” Burris said.

And although Burris is the principal pharmacist—the Andersons are busy operating four other pharmacies in Bedford, Indiana—he even makes deliveries from time to time.

“We thought this was a unique fit, being in a health food store, where we thought we could impact people who wanted to make healthy decisions,” Burris said.

So far, it’s working: The partners said they have about 500 patients—a number they’re happy with—and business has increased every month.

Starting an independent pharmacy in Indiana is relatively rare. The Indiana Pharmacists Alliance said there are 160 independents throughout the state, but only one or two new ones each year.

The opportunity for Panacea came when Lucky’s Market—which bills itself as “organic for the 99 percent”—reached out to Health Mart, a collection of independent pharmacies, about opening a pharmacy in the Bloomington store. In December 2014, that request got passed along to the Andersons.

Josh Anderson looked into the Colorado-based Lucky’s chain and found out that, in addition to being a natural organic grocery store, it also has a vitamin/supplement line called Natural Living.

“It was a dream of mine from the time I was in the Self-Care class at Butler: to mix modern medicine—traditional medicine— with more of a holistic care approach and put it all under one roof,” Josh said.

Josh approached his uncle Steve with the idea. They knew they needed another partner to run Panacea on a day-to-day basis.

They asked Burris, a running buddy of Josh’s, who had worked for CVS and Kmart. Burris jumped at the chance.

“Working for a chain can be very demanding of your time and energy,” he said. “Here, you’re your own boss. If I need help, I hire it.”

Burris went into the venture with “a little bit of business training, but nothing official.” He learned on the fly about licensing, insurance contracts, and things like how many medicines to stock. (Panacea keeps a couple hundred on hand and can get more or less anything they need in a day.)

He said the biggest challenge in their first year has been making people aware that Panacea exists. Jonathan Piland, 34, discovered Panacea by accident when he walked into the store. “Of all the pharmacies out here, it’s the best one,” he said. “Lester and the company go out of their way for you. If they don’t have something, they find it. If you need to have something made, they make it for you.”

“It was a dream of mine from the time I was in the Self-Care class at Butler: to mix modern medicine—traditional medicine—with more of a holistic care approach and put it all under one roof,” Josh said.

Panacea sits in the rear of Lucky’s, beyond the gourmet meats and cheeses and behind aisles of vitamins and nutritional supplements. A couple hundred medicines are stacked on taupe-colored shelves that span the far wall. There’s a computer, a work area, and a machine the pharmacists use to specially package medicines.

Steve Anderson said what they’ve created “has been a little bit of a learning experience for all of us,” but he thinks it’s important for the future of healthcare.

“We’re taking care of the whole patient, spending time with the patient—getting back to patient-oriented pharmacy,” he said.

 

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