What has it been like for you to come back to the Chamber? (Christy was a lobbyist in the areas of small business and economic development from 1988 to 1995.)
It was like coming home. Many of the business leaders with whom I previously worked are still involved. Most of the current Foundation board members served as chamber chairs and members of the executive committee. It’s been really great catching up – hearing about their families, children and the direction of their businesses. It’s humbling to see that these visionary leaders have been dedicated for so many years. They have such a passion for continuing to further the goals of the Chamber to move our state forward and position companies, employees and all Hoosier families and children for future economic prosperity.
Seven of our current staff members were here when I left in late 1995. Renewing those friendships and catching up with their careers and the growth of their families is fun. I’ve also enjoyed meeting other members of our incredibly talented staff.
What was attractive about this position with the Chamber Foundation?
It was a position that all of my career has built up to. I loved the policy work that I previously did when I was here. After leaving the Chamber, most of my career was focused on fundraising, grant writing, and administration and nonprofit management. So being able to come back, bring those skills I learned and combine them with policy development is very exciting for me. I’m very humbled and look forward to helping further our Indiana Vision 2025. It is so important. This aggressive plan advances four key drivers to create a dynamic, entrepreneurial business climate in Indiana that benefits companies, communities, families and our children.
What are the key ingredients for effective fundraising?
Identifying and telling the story about a problem, involving leaders to develop a visionary plan to solve the problem, asking for investment support, making a big and measurable impact with policy and program change, and then sharing the results. I think the Chamber Foundation is in a unique position. We have a history of conducting practical policy research that assesses policy and programmatic challenges and the resulting opportunities to improve our business climate. The Chamber’s leadership views the research results as calls to action, and has a reputation of involving other leaders and organizations in driving and investing in policy and programmatic change. That’s impact.
What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
My husband and I have four children. Now that we recently have one child out of college, two away at college and only one at home, I’m finding more time for hobbies besides laundry – that’s been my hobby for a long time! I love hiking. A friend and I are looking into doing a major hike in a national park in 2015. I’m excited about that opportunity.
What is your favorite food?
My favorite food would have to be my mother’s homemade peanut brittle. It’s to die for!
What is your favorite vacation spot and what would your dream vacation be?
My favorite vacations are when my whole family is with me, but a dream vacation would be an African safari with my husband.