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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 11, 2015           Contact: Christie Snyder, Area Director, Central Indiana Northwest, United Way of Central Indiana, 765.483.0165 or 317.771.0081 and Jennifer Pendleton, President & CEO, Community Foundation of Boone County, 765.482.0024 or 317.504.6746




Deepening county-wide knowledge and engagement,
program to remain unchanged through shift to new oversight

LEBANON, IN…June 11, 2015 — Boone County Leadership (BCL) is now taking applications for the 2015-2016 class starting in the fall. Community members interested in becoming part of a county-wide leadership network and deepening their knowledge of community challenges and commitment to serve can register online now at

The program, which accepts up to 25 participants from all parts of Boone County, meets one day a month for nine months. As in the past, the classes will continue focusing on the economic, civic, governmental and philanthropic structure of Boone County. New this year is that the program will transition from oversight by United Way of Central Indiana to the Community Foundation of Boone County. It’s a shift that both organizations say will be transparent to participants for the first year.

Christie Snyder, United Way’s area director, and Jen Pendleton, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Boone County, announced the change jointly.

Though the makeup of the course will remain intact this year, the Community Foundation plans to reach out to prior graduates this summer to “seek their ideas for strengthening the program by implementing new ideas and improvements,” said Pendleton.

Pendleton said the program is “a strong fit with the Community Foundation’s mission to unite people, organizations and philanthropy to create a thriving community for all.”

United Way’s Boone County arm has overseen the program for the past five years, assuming its management at a time when it would have otherwise been leaderless, Snyder said.

“We are proud of the hundreds of residents and working professionals who’ve completed the course and are now deepening their direct leadership and volunteerism roles as a result of the training,” added Snyder. “At the same time, we are excited about the new dimension that the Community Foundation can add to this important local experience.”

Helping graduates of the program decide how to best apply their talents to make a difference for others is one way that the foundation feels they are well positioned to enhance the curriculum.

One graduate, Lynn Kissel, said though she had lived in the county for 15 years, going through the program expanded her network of local resources in ways that would never have otherwise been possible. Kissel values the comradery she developed with diverse people including a firefighter, a banker, real estate agent and the YMCA director through the program.

After going through the program, Kissel, a residency specialist for Zionsville Community Schools, said she was moved to join United Way’s local advisory board.  Learning about United Way’s overarching role in helping move more people to self sufficiency was a discovery that prompted her to volunteer for that role.

The program also inspired Kissel to become a certified coach and trainer of leadership skills, an expertise that she has since used to provide professional development opportunities for colleagues in the school system and in local companies.

To anyone considering the classes, Kissel explains, “I loved all of it. It was inspiring and invigorating…It was a great way to connect and work with a diverse group of people and respect how each of them are contributing to make our community better.”


The Community Foundation of Boone County unites people, organizations and philanthropy to create a thriving community for all. We:

  • Engage the community and educate citizens on how they can make a difference here at home.
  • Invest in people, programs and organizations that transform lives and communities.
  • Lead a vision for collaborative solutions to address the root causes of challenges facing our community.

Forever. The establishment and growth of permanent endowment funds will strengthen Boone County for generations to come.

Since 1991, the Community Foundation has granted over $20 million back to Boone County. By our community, for our community – forever.

United Way of Central Indiana helps people learn more, earn more and lead safe and healthy lives. United Way drives improvement by mobilizing people and community partners in six Central Indiana counties to identify, advance and advocate for the best solutions. LIVE UNITED is a call to action for everyone to be part of the change. Visit to learn more.