In 1999 the chapter identified a need to show African American children a Santa that “looked like them.” During this year the chapter held the inaugural Breakfast with Santa event. In 2000 the chapter hosted the Teen Leadership Conference a first for the chapter.
In 2002, Past President Gail Barrett was elected National Editor at the National Convention and served on the National Executive Board (2002-2004).
Program Year: 2005 – 2010
In 2005, Indianapolis Chapter President Julie Simonton was elected to the 2005-2007 Regional Nominating Committee. At the 2006 National Convention Chapter Program Director Cheryl Beal Anderson was recognized as the distinguished Mid-Western Region Program Director of the Year (2005-2006). From 2006 – 2010, Anderson was the first Mid-Western Region Program Director and served on the National Program Committee. At the National level, the Teen Leadership Modules and Teen Leadership Summit were developed. At the regional level, Anderson chaired the regional committee that developed and launched the Tween Apprentice Program for Mid-Western Region Children’s Clusters.
In 2005, the Indianapolis Chapter, under the leadership of Chapter President Linda Hamilton and vision of Chapter Program Director Anderson and Chapter Foundation Liaison Andrea Neely established YES To Our Future! Youth Economic Leadership Summit to provide young people from the community and Jack and Jill an experience that increases their financial literacy. The YES To Our Future! Youth Economic Leadership Summit grant written by Chapter Program Director Cheryl Beal Anderson and Chapter Foundation Liaison Andrea Neely was the first-ever grant awarded to the chapter from the Jack and Jill of America Foundation, Inc., the philanthropic arm of Jack and Jill that is dedicated to supporting youth programs for local communities that build leadership in African-American youth. The first YES To Our Future! Summit was held in 2006 with then National President Alice Leigh Peoples in attendance at Pike Freshman Center in Indianapolis, IN. YES To Our Future! was named outstanding program at the 2006 National Convention. During this same convention Foundation Liaison Andrea Neely was selected to represent the Mid-Western region on behalf of our National Foundation as their workshop presenter on grant submission. YES To Our Future was accepted by the delegation to be the prototype for adding financial literacy curriculum to programming for Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
In 2007 the chapter hosted for the first time the Illinois Area Workday Cluster. During this cluster, the Indianapolis Chapter Associates Group was chartered. The eight charter members of the associates group were installed by the 21st National President, Jacqueline M. Bowles on October 27, 2007. The eight charter mothers were Gail Barrett, Rosemary Bickham, Cynthia Desadier, Annette Henderson, Rosie Burley Hicks, Marchusa Huff, Angelis Mason, and Karla Weathersby. Karla Weathersby served as the first Indianapolis Associates Group Chair (2007 – 2009).
In 2009, the Indianapolis Chapter endorsed for the first time a National Endorsed Candidate—Regional Program Director Cheryl Beal Anderson – who was unanimously elected during the 2009 Mother’s Regional Conference as the 2010 National Endorsed Candidate. At the same conference, Associate Group Chair Sally Mills was selected the chapters first Mid-Western Region Associate of the Year.
In 2010, at the National Convention in Chicago, Anderson was elected National Program Director and served on the National Executive Board 2010-2012. Under her leadership, the organization launched a first-ever program entitled, AIM for Healthy Living, which was recognized as a national partner by President Barak Obama Presidential Council on Fitness and Nutrition. The same year, Chapter Foundation Liaison Andrea Neely was appointed by Foundation President Jacqueline Moore Bowles to the Foundation’s Advisory Council and Chapter President Tanya Hand was appointed Regional Protocol Chair serving on the National Protocol Committee. In the summer of 2010 the chapter, once again, hosted the Teen Leadership Conference.
Program Year: 2011 – 2015
In 2011 at the Mother’s Regional Conference in Dearborn, Michigan, Immediate Past President Tanya Hand was elected as Foundation’s Regional Member-At-Large and newly elected President Paula Ingram-Coleman was elected to the 2011-2013 Regional Nominating Committee.
During the 2011-2012 program year, the Indianapolis Chapter sponsored the provisional group – Circle City Mothers on the Horizon. The chapter worked diligently to mentor and guide these mothers through the process of becoming a chapter with the goal of establishing a second chapter in Indianapolis, IN. At the 2012 National Convention, delegates voted by overwhelming majority to accept Circle City Mothers on the Horizon as the newest chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. The Circle City Chapter was officially chartered on November 4, 2012 under the leadership of Regional Director Melanie Lynn, alongside chapter leaders, Regional Member-at-Large Tanya Hand, Chapter President Paula Ingram-Coleman and Past National Program Director Cheryl Beal-Anderson.
In the summer of 2013 at the 28th Biennial Mothers Regional Conference in Louisville, KY, both Regional Member-at-Large Tanya Hand and local Chapter President Paula Ingram-Coleman were re-elected to their respective positions During this conference, the Indianapolis Chapter was spotlighted for three new initiatives—“Legacy Project Profile” and our new fundraising initiative, “Fundraising Frenzy”, which utilized the “Friends Asking Friends” Foundation website to raise money in our local community; the third initiative under the leadership of Chapter Program Director Deidre Lindsey was the chapter’s use of technology to streamline communication, excel programming excellence and to collect important historical data. The 2013 Distinguished Associate of the Year was Julie Hall (2011 Tenure Complete Mom).
During the 2013-2014 Program Year, the chapter undertook the long-term strategic goal of striving to become a 5 Star Chapter of Excellence – a designation of excellence as outlined by the National organization. The five areas of excellence include: Chapter, Membership, Programming, Finance and Community Service/Philanthropy.
At the 2014 National Convention, the national and regional awards bestowed upon the Indianapolis Chapter were:
National: 5 Star Chapter of Excellence with Exception:
Regional: Largest Foundation Per Capita Award:
Regional: Largest Foundation Contribution Award:
Regional: Outstanding Chapter Fundraiser/Community Service:
Regional: Program Director of the Year: Deidre Lindsey
Regional: Treasurer of the Year: Annette Suggs
—Immediate Past Regional Foundation Member-at-Large Tanya Hand was unanimously elected as the National Endorsed Candidate during the 2015 Mid-Western Region Biennial Mother’s Conference. She will seek election to the National Executive Board during the 2016 National Convention. The chapter was also recognized during the 2015 Mid-Western Region Biennial Mother’s Conference for the following:
Regional: Outstanding Program of the Year: YES to Our Future!
Regional: Outstanding Member Engagement Initiative: A Trip to Remember
(Jointly submitted with South Suburban Chapter)
Regional: Outstanding Legislative Chair of the Year: Marya Jones
Regional: 5-Star Submission schedule: Indianapolis 2016
VP Deidre Lindsey was elected as the second alternate to Regional Nominating Committee;
IP MAL Hand was appointed as Regional Growth and Development Chair
IP President Ingram-Coleman appointed as Regional Membership Chair
The Indianapolis Chapter also proudly recognizes our chapter teens that have made history by serving on the Mid-Western Regional Teen Executive Board and Regional committees throughout the years:
Regional Teen Executive Board:
2008-2009Joie Hand (Regional Teen President)
Regional Teen Nominating Committee:
Since the Indianapolis Associates Group was chartered in 2007, these mother members have stood alongside the Indianapolis chapter in their efforts to support the ideals of Jack and Jill of America since completing their tenures as active members.
The 2015 officers of the Indianapolis Associates Group are:
Past National Program Director Cheryl Anderson, Chair
Stacey Scales (Vice-Chair)
Julie Williams-Hall (Vice-Chair)
Sally Mills (Secretary)
Linda Hamilton (Treasure)
The past Associate Group Chairs were Melinda Pinner (2014-2015), Past Chapter President Linda Hamilton (2012-2014), Sally Mills (2009 – 2012) and Karla Weathersby (2007-2009). The Associates Group has dutifully provided community service to the Beautillion Militaire since being chartered. In 2014, the Associates Group extended its reach and sponsored a book drive to establish a library at the Wheeler-Dowe Band Girls Club under the leadership of Past Chair Melinda Pinner. Jack and Jill of America Associates continue to give and leave a legacy of service for others to follow.