CLASS OF 2018-19 (INAUGURAL CLASS)
Thank you to our inaugural class of Ambassadors!
(Front Row: Lisa Porat, Jill Johnson, Rich Arkanoff, Girish Iyer; Middle Row: Jeremy Pell, Tandy Shuck, Amy Herron, Billy Bemis, Mike Heffner; Back Row: Don Line, Rick Johnson, Brent Clarkston, Mike Hyde, Mark Myers; Not Pictured: Derrick Christy, George Hill, Jonathan Owen)
MEET THE CENTER GROVE AMBASSADORS
BILLY BEMIS - Owner, Bemis Group
Billy L. Bemis is a 19-year Center Grove resident and married to Mindy Bemis with four children who all attend Center Grove Schools - Ellie (Senior), Charlie (Sophomore), Evie (Freshman), and Sadie (8 th ). Co-owner of Bemis Group, a Johnson County real estate development and construction business which focuses primarily on commercial properties, and Garment Factory Events, an event venue located downtown Franklin that can accommodate up to 500 for a sit-down dinner with onsite chef and catering, which opened May 2018. Hobbies and activities center around his family and all his children’s events and activities. Former girls & boys youth coach for baseball, basketball, football and soccer, past president of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, Youth Connections, and Sertoma Club of Greenwood. Current president of CG Hardwood Club and member of Johnson County Development Corporation.
DERRICK CHRISTY - CEO, Approved Mortgage & Distance Learning Solutions
Derrick Christy is CEO of Approved Mortgage, A Winterwood Mortgage Group, the largest and oldest locally owned mortgage banker in central Indiana that has closed in excess of $6 billion in mortgages for Indiana families. In 2003, he founded Ben Franklin Finance, a billing and accounts receivable management company that services thousands of student loans. In 2013, he founded Ben Franklin Insurance & Investments. Christy is the principal owner and CEO of Distance Learning Systems, a national post-secondary education company with an emphasis in nursing with over 20,000 student enrolled nationwide seeking their ASN and BSN as well as a multitude of various degrees. In August 2004, Derrick Christy opened a tutoring facility, Coastal Education Institute located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In 2007, Derrick Christy developed an online learning platform and these classes were broadcast worldwide by Bayside Education Institute. The companies have a national average pass rate of 97%. Derrick Christy purchased his first piece of commercial real estate in 1998. In 2000, he developed and constructed the largest office building in Greenwood, Indiana where he headquartered all of his entities in the 20,000 square feet of the 3rd floor. In the latter part of 2006, Derrick closed 15th largest commercial real estate transaction in 2006 that consisted of a $26 million purchase of 5 shopping centers and development ground. Derrick Christy is the CEO at Horizon Property Group, located in Greenwood, Indiana. Horizon Property Group provides property management, leasing services, and construction services for these commercial properties.
BRENT CLARKSTON - Financial Advisor, Edward Jones
Brent Clarkston lives in Bargersville with his wife Paula and three kids Benjamin 15, Grace 13, and Sarah 7. The family enjoys swimming, traveling, and meeting new people. Clarkston graduated from Hanover College in 1998 where he studied Communication. He was the Captain of the Varsity Basketball team where they participated in the NCAA tournament. He also played varsity baseball and was a member of Lamba Chi Alpha Fraternity. He has an MBA in Marketing and Management from Indiana Tech where he graduated with a 4.0 GPA. Clarkston also studied martial arts and has a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. He is a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones in Greenwood, IN where he helps people achieve life goals and make dreams come true.
MIKE HEFFNER - Owner, Express Employment Professionals
Mike Heffner and his wife, Kelly, are the local Franchise Owners of the Indy South Express Employment Professionals offices located in Greenwood and Columbus. Heffner served for six years as a Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce Board Director and currently serves on the Region 5 Indiana Workforce Development Board as well as the Johnson County Development Corporation Board. Heffner is involved in many community events and has even brought the Express Clydesdales to Greenwood and Columbus to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network. He and his wife Kelly are both active at both Emmanuel Christian Church and Mount Pleasant Christian Church and have two very active children in softball and golf.
AMY HERRON - Controller, Franciscan St. Francis Health
Shortly after graduating from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, with a B.S. in Accounting, Amy Herron began working for Franciscan Health. She has been with Franciscan for more than 20 years and currently serves as the Administrative Director of Accounting. Her work has provided her with several opportunities to serve in leadership roles, including active involvement in St. Francis' professional organization, Healthcare Financial Management Association. After many years of committee involvement and serving as a board member, she joined the executive team and served as Chapter President. She and her husband Mike have been members of the Center Grove community for 20 years and consider it home. They have two children, Grant and Madison, who keep them busy with their various activities and sporting activities.
GEORGE HILL - Managing Partner, Texas Roadhouse
George Hill grew up in Cincinnati, OH. He attended Indiana University to pursue a degree in Music Education with a background in Percussion. While in school he took a job at Texas Roadhouse in Bloomington serving tables in 1998. He became a manager and eventually the Managing Partner of the Greenwood location in 2006. Hill has been in Greenwood ever since, building Texas Roadhouse to be one of the top leaders in the community through Partnership and Outreach.
MIKE HYDE - Doctor of Physical Therapy, Hayden Physical Therapy
Mike Hyde has worked at Hayden Physical Therapy for 13 years and has been a co-owner for 11 of those years. Hyde is originally from the south side of Indianapolis and attended Roncalli High School. He went on to play football at the University of Indianapolis and received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from U of I in 2006. Hyde's wife, Jessie, is the principal of Sugar Grove Elementary and has worked in Center Grove Schools for the past 11 years. They have two children and one on the way. Their daughter, Molly, is 6 and is in kindergarten at Sugar Grove, their son, Bennett, is 3 1/2. They are expecting #3 in June of this year. Hyde's free time includes projects around the house and yard and time with his family. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, and golfing.
GIRISH IYER - Partner, AR2, L.L.C.
JILL JOHNSON - Realtor, Century 21 Sheetz
Jill Johnson grew up in Center Grove and graduated with the class of 1993. After attending Indiana State University and receiving a bachelor's degree in math education and another in health education, she taught at Center Grove Middle school for 5 years. During that time, she earned her master's degree in school counseling from Indiana State University and spent two years as an at-risk counselor in Brown County Schools. After spending two years at home with her two children, she began a career in real estate in 2009. Currently, she is a broker with CENTURY 21 Scheetz. Johnson spent four years on the board of directors for the Center Grove Education Foundation to give back to her community while still fulfilling her love of education. Her husband, Derek, is retired after spending 20 years as the VP of Grand Rental Station in Greenwood and Franklin. Cole, Johnson's son, is a freshman at Center Grove High School in the Early College program, and plays Ultimate Frisbee with the Center Grove Ultimate Club. Her daughter, Tyler, is currently a 5th grader in the Extended Learning program at Maple Grove Elementary, and is an avid gymnast who trains at Wright's Gymnastics Academy. As a family, they love to travel in their RV, vacation on catamarans, and play golf.
RICK JOHNSON - Owner, Chick-fil-A
Rick Johnson and his wife Katy have been residents of the Center Grove Community for over twenty years. Both of their children Megan (Johnson) Puello (Class 2003) and Nathan Johnson (Class of 2006) attended and graduated from Center Grove Community Schools. Rick Johnson owns and operates the Chick-fil-A Restaurants in Greenwood (Greenwood St. Rd. 135 and Greenwood Park Mall). He started with Chick-fil-A in 1992. He was awarded Greenwood Park Mall franchise in 1997. In 2002 he opened the St. Rd. 135 location in front of Meijer. . Spirit NIghts, Core Essentials, and All Pro Dad clubs are a few of the Chick-fil-A programs they have introduced to support local school education. Also, through Chick-fil-A Remarkable Leadership Scholarships his Greenwood locations have awarded over $190,000 in the past three years to more than sixty employees. Rick and Katy have been married for 37 years. They are activity involved at Emmanuel Church of Greenwood. Rick also stays busy leading mission work in Colombia, South America and in Rwanda, Africa. He enjoys traveling, sailing, working outdoors, and spending time with his grandkids.
DON LINE - President and Managing Partner, Aqua Systems
Don and his wife, Jeri-Lyn, have been Center Grove Residents since 1991. They have 4 Children: daughter, Ali (CG 2015 Grad); son, Trent (CG 2017 Grad); son, Cameron (Current CG Senior); and daughter, Anna (Current CG Junior). Line is a graduate of Southport High School and of the Indiana University School of Business. He is the President and Managing Partner of Aqua Systems. He has coached numerous youth sports teams in the area. He is currently a Board member of Hope Road Nicaragua, and serves as the Chairman of the Board, Central Indiana Better Business Bureau.
MARK MYERS - Mayor, City of Greenwood
Mayor Mark Myers was born and raised in Greenwood, Indiana. He is a devoted father to six children and proud husband to Stacie Myers. In addition to his duties as Mayor, Myers serves as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. His father was a former mayor of Greenwood and ran the family-owned-and-operated Myers Ambulance Service, where Myers worked for several years. Myers has worked for the Greenwood Volunteer Fire Department and was a 14-year member of the Greenwood Police Department, serving as a full-time Police Officer/Detective. In 1992, Myers was elected Johnson County Coroner. Myers is in his second term in office. He has served as the 2017-2018 President of the Indiana Conference of Mayors and serves on the Board of Directors of Accelerate Indiana Municipalities. He is also a member of the National League of Cities and was recently appointed to serve on the 2019 Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee. Myers is also a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and Johnson County Fraternal Order of Police. Myers serves as Chairman for the Indianapolis Regional Transportation Committee and Johnson County Recycle District. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, appointed by the Governor. Myers served as a missionary with World Gospel Mission from 1997 to 2001 and Director of Security for the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay from 2001-2002.
JONATHAN OWEN - HR Business Partner, Endress-Hauser
Jonathan Owen has fifteen years of experience working in strategic human capital management. Currently working at Endress+Hauser, he has a progressive background spanning multiple industry segments. Owen has a Bachelor of Arts in History from Heidelberg University and a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Indiana Wesleyan University. A strong believer that company and employee success are linked, he works to solve complex business problems through the application of people-centered solutions. Owen lives in Center Grove with his wife Theresa and his two children, Jacob and Catherine.
JEREMY PELL - Fire Chief, White River Township Fire Dept.
Jeremy A. Pell, Fire Chief at the White River Township Fire Department (WRTFD) has served at the helm of the department since 2007 and currently leads 111 full-time and part-time personnel. A life-long southsider, Chief Pell began his fire service career at WRTFD in 1989 as a part-time firefighter. In 1994-2007, he served the Warren Township Fire Department before returning to the WRTFD as Fire Chief which serves to protect nearly 36,000 citizens in the fire district. Under Chief Pell’s direction, the department is currently building their newest station adjacent to Center Grove Middle School North in a unique partnership with the school corporation. A long-time Center Grove resident, Chief Pell is also a reserve Johnson County Sherriff Deputy, dog trainer and a volunteer with the Indiana K9 Search and Rescue Organization along with his canine partners, Luna and Gunner. He is a graduate of the Leadership Johnson County and has served a pivotal role in creating a county-wide action plan for first responders dealing with an active shooter or hostage situations. Chief Pell, married to Lori Pell since 1994, has two sons in the Center Grove Community School system.
LISA PORAT - President, ILP Solutions
Lisa Marquette Porat, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, FAOSW, most importantly is a proud mother of a Center Grove 8th grader and active member of the community. A native Hoosier and Southsider, Porat has demonstrated her passion and commitment to the community through volunteer and business endeavors. She has more than 28 years of experience in the health care industry as an oncology social worker, health communication/marketing executive, clinical director, graduate school professor (IU), organizational leadership consultant, health educator and strategic planning consultant in both private and public settings. Porat is President of ILP Solutions, a Healthcare Communications and Organizational Leadership Consulting firm, and is a consultant with various industry and non-profit groups, including Cullari Communications Global, where she is their Director of Oncology Stakeholder Relations. She was previously the Senior Vice President and Head of Oncology for a Washington, D.C. health communications firm and in oncology marketing for Eli Lily Pharmaceuticals as well as the founding clinical program director of the Cancer Support Community-Central Indiana. Lisa is also co-owner and Senior Vice President of CMIT Solutions of Indianapolis, an IT Company based here in our community who provides managed IT support, services and equipment to small and medium- sized business. CMIT combines personalized local service with the technical resources of a national firm. In addition to being a business owner, Porat is an active volunteer in the Center Grove Schools, as a PTO Board Member (CGMSC), Red Alert Robotics Mentor, and President of the Center Grove Building Corporation.
TANDY SHUCK - Executive Director, Leadership Johnson County
Tandy Shuck is the Executive Director for Leadership Johnson County at Franklin College, a program designed to integrate leadership training and community awareness skills for citizens of Johnson County. Shuck graduated from Hanover College and received her advanced degree from Connecticut College in Clinical Psychology. Shuck serves on the Center Grove Education Foundation Board and is past president of the Franklin Chamber of Commerce Board. She is active in the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce and the Indy Chamber and she volunteers for various other organizations in the local community. Shuck is a certified instructor of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). She also conducts various workshops around the state on leadership. Shuck lives in the Center Grove area with her husband, Michael, and their three kids – Savannah, Connor, and Cameron.