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Indiana Arts Commission

IAC > About the Commission > Commissioners Commissioners

Members of the Indiana Arts Commission are appointed by the Governor to act as commissioners-at-large, to represent the state as an entity, and to take the citizens of Indiana as their constituents. Individual commissioners should exercise partisanship on behalf of the cultural development of Indiana. Commissioners' terms follow the fiscal year calendar. For example, a term listed as 2015-2018 would begin July 1, 2014 and conclude June 30, 2018.

Commissioner Responsibilities | Meetings | Meeting Minutes

Trevor Yager

Commission Chair
TrendyMinds, Indianapolis
Second Term: 2015-2018

Trevor Yager is owner of the advertising and public relations agency TrendyMinds, which he founded in 1995. The company specializes in advertising, marketing, mobile, PR, social, video and web services for local, national and international brands. The company's client list includes Indiana University Health, Eli Lilly and Company, Wellpoint, Allison Transmission, ExactTarget, Starbucks, Teachers Credit Union, Harrison College, NASCAR's Kevin Harvick, Inc. and more. A graduate of Anderson University, Trevor is a board of visitors member of Butler University's Jordan College of the Arts, a past board member of the Damien Center and a past board member of American Cabaret Theatre.

Pam Hicks

Commission Vice-Chair
Second Term: 2012-2015

Pam Hicks is a patron of and advocate for the arts. She serves as president of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Association's Executive Board and as president of the Alliance of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, on the President's Roundtable, the South Group of the ISO Board, the Greater Greenwood Arts Council and on the Franklin College Board of Trustees, where she also serves as curator of its art collection. Mrs. Hicks is a past president of the Hoosier Salon, Hoosier Salon Guild, Indiana Federation of Art Clubs, Southside Art League, Indianapolis Civic Theatre and the Masquers of  Civic Theatre Boards. She is a founding member of the Executive Committee of the Johnson County Community Foundation and a past State Fine Arts Chair for Tri Kappa. Among Pam's honors are a Distinguished Hoosier Award and a Sagamore of the Wabash.

Kathy Ziliak Anderson

Commission Secretary
First Term:  2012 - 2016

Native Hoosier Kathy Anderson has moved back to Indiana after having lived for 37 years in Philadelphia.  A graduate of IU’s School of Nursing, Kathy raised her five children and was focused on volunteering in schools and supporting her children’s basic education during her early years there. Pennsylvania Ballet was the focus of her later years in Philadelphia as she joined the Board and went on to be the Chairperson. Moving back to Brown County for retirement, Kathy has become involved with the Brown County Community Foundation, the Brown County Playhouse, Indiana Heritage Arts, and a member of the IU’s Jacobs School Advisory Board. 

Gilberto Cárdenas

University of Notre Dame, South Bend
Second Term: 2012-2016

Gilberto Cárdenas is an Assistant Provost at the University of Notre Dame and Director of the Institute for Latino Studies. Dr. Cárdenas has extensive experience in Latino arts. He is a member of the Board of Directors of The Mexican Fine Arts Museum, Chicago, and Self-Help Graphics, Los Angeles. Additionally, he is the founding Executive Producer of the award winning NPR radio program, Latino USA, and a member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. Dr. Cárdenas also serves on the Advisory Council of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation "Gates Millennium Scholars Program," the Board of Directors of the Mexican American Legal and Educational Defense Fund, the Smithsonian National Board for Latino Initiatives, and the editorial boards for both the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center’s A Ver project and MFAH’s Documents of 20th Century Latin American and Latino Art. Dr. Cardenas teaches a course on the Aesthetics of Latino Art and Culture. He is an avid collector of Latino art. A part of the collection is on long term loan at the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin, and a significant body of works will be on loan to the Snite Museum of Art for exhibition and tour in the near future and as a promised gift to the museum.

Karen Ellerbrook

Second Term: 2012-2015

Mrs. Ellerbrook is a former special education teacher and high school guidance counselor, as well as a former performing artist. She and husband Niel Ellerbrook, president, CEO, and chairman of the board of Vectren Corporation, are active in the arts community of southwestern Indiana including the University of Evansville Theatre Society Board, and the New Harmony Project. They have supported many projects sponsored by the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana, and have worked to advance the Arts & Work Benefit sponsored by Vectren Corporation and Old National Bank. Karen has returned to vocal performances for benefits supporting organizations such as the Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science, The Koch Family Children's Museum of Evansville, and Lampion Center.

Jon Ford

Chair, Committee on the Future
Terre Haute
Second Term:  2014-2017

Jon is an owner of All State Manufacturing, based in Terre Haute, IN, which specializes in the manufacturing and distribution of metal food service equipment. Mr. Ford is also a founding principal of Edison Strategies. Mr. Ford was elected to the Indiana State Senate November of 2014. As a frequently published author, Mr. Ford has written about corporate strategies and small business. Mr. Ford is dedicated to making change in the world through his volunteer work in many diverse organizations, including the Board of Overseers for the Swope Art Gallery, Indiana Manufacturers Association, Indiana Vending Council, and Honey Creek Township Board as well as others. 

M. Susan Hardwick

Vectren Corporation, Evansville
First Term:  2012-2016

Susan Hardwick was named vice president, controller and assistant treasurer of Vectren Corporation effective March 31, 2000. Prior to joining Vectren, Hardwick’s most recent experience was with Cinergy Corporation, a utility holding company based in Cincinnati, Ohio, in numerous financial roles, including assistant corporate controller.  Hardwick also has extensive public accounting experience and has spent the majority of her career involved in the regulated utility industry. Hardwick received a B.S. in accounting from Indiana University and is a certified public accountant. She is past president of the Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science.  She has also served on the boards of directors of many not-for-profit organizations, including Safesitter, Inc. and the Reitz Home Preservation Society. Most recently she was elected to serve as President of the Board of the Evansville Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series, and serves as Treasurer of Gilda’s Club of Evansville. She also serves as financial expert on the Board and audit committee of St. Mary’s Medical Center. She is also on the Board of Directors, as the Treasurer, of the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Leadership Series and, in 2007, was named to the Advisory Board of SOAR, Inc., a national women’s leadership development initiative based in Lexington, Kentucky. She was awarded the Athena Award in 2009 by the Chamber of Commerce of Southwestern Indiana. And in 2011, she was awarded the Maverick Award by the Midwest Energy Association.  Finally, she has held numerous leadership and committee roles in the American Gas Association and the Edison Electric Institute. 

Hardwick, an Indiana native, resides in Newburgh, Indiana.

Jeffrey Kirk

Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, Carmel
Second Term:  2015-2018

Mr. Kirk is a partner with the Indianapolis law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP where he specializes in venture capital finance and managing the legal affairs of high-growth, technology-based companies. Kirk is an active member of the Indianapolis community. He is a Board member of the Penrod Society, former chairman of the Penrod Arts Fair and Chairman of the Board of The Indianapolis School of Ballet.

Linda S. Levell

Vigo Elementary School, Vincennes
Second Term: 2014-2017

Mrs. Levell began her education career in media arts as an Education Advisor for The Letter Shop, a children's television series developed at Tecumseh-Harrison School in Vincennes, Indiana. As part of The Letter Shop team, she was also the co-author of a teacher's manual for the series. Mrs. Levell is involved on the Board of Directors of the Knox County Community Foundation, the PACE Policy Council, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Vincennes Education Foundation. She is also a Beginning Teacher Mentor with the Indiana Professional Standards Board. Mrs. Levell is currently a kindergarten teacher at Vigo Elementary School in Vincennes. 

Allen C. Platt III

Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP, Floyds Knobs
First Term: 2014-2017

Allen C. Platt III is counsel with the law firm Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP where he focuses on corporate law, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, contracts and litigation. Platt has a long commitment to and leadership of many of the arts organizations in his community, including The Carnegie Center for Arts and History, Arts Council of Southern Indiana, and the Hayswood Theatre Group where he currently serves as President. He has been a lifelong participant in the arts, performing with the JCC Orchestra (Louisville) and as a frequent actor in community theatrical productions throughout Southern Indiana. In his professional career, Platt works with a number of non-profit foundations and organizations, advising on a broad range of issues. 

J. Allan Rent

Ball State University, Muncie
First Term:  2012 - 2016

J. Allan (Al) Rent is a Muncie, Indiana native and a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Speech and Mass Communications. Al is currently Director of Relationship Marketing and Community Relations for Ball State University. Al has been involved in marketing, advertising and public relations work for the past 45 years having formerly served as Director of Public Relations for Marsh Supermarkets, President of J. Allan Rent Advertising, and Vice president and co-owner of radio stations WLBC and WXFN in Muncie. He has been honored by the American Advertising Federation with numerous Gold and Silver ADDY Awards. He has also been the recipient of many Silver Microphone Awards for radio production, National Telly Awards for television production, and is a two-time EMMY nominee.  Al is known for his many community and statewide volunteer efforts especially in the arts. He was instrumental in founding public radio and public television in Muncie, currently serves as a board member of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, and was a member of the coordinating committee for the Governor’s Arts Awards for the IAC held in Muncie in 2009. He has also been honored by United Way of Indiana as Volunteer of the Year, United Way of America for outstanding achievement in communications, and was named the 2010 Person of the Year by The Muncie Star Press.

Suzanne Rentschler

First Term: 2012-2015

Mrs. Rentschler has been involved with several community organizations that support arts including service as president of the Indianapolis Museum of Art-Columbus, a volunteer at UnCommon Cause, and a board member of the Columbus Area Arts Council. She and husband Charlie also helped lead the renovation of Hartsville Town Square, and host numerous fundraisers for the arts.

Micah L. Smith

Mocha Notes, Indianapolis
First Term: 2012 - 2015

Micah has been working with various forms of communications since 2003. Beginning in graphic design while at Indiana University, and moving more into strategic marketing and branding, post college, and her career.  In 2006, Micah was hired by Young & Laramore to work on Brizo -, a luxury kitchen/bath product manufactured by the Delta Faucet Company. In addition to the Brizo account, Mrs. Smith managed a book proposal and podcast productions of the Carmelite Nuns of Indianapolis - a long time client of Young & Laramore. She also supervised and worked closely with the New Business Team to enter Young & Laramore into industry achievement awards throughout the year: the Effies, The One Show and Communication Arts awards, to name a few. Over the past four years, Micah has started and currently runs her own graphic and web design company called Mocha Notes, LLC. The company produces print materials for both businesses and individuals. Her company also partners with a web development firm to ensure her web design is both visually pleasing and developed with the best quality possible.  In addition to running her business, Micah spends a lot of her time working with non-profits who share her passion of the arts and education. Micah has volunteered with The Center for Leadership Development as a facilitator for both their Precious Miss program (serving girls from 6th to 8th grade) and their Self Discovery Program (serving high school students). Micah has also worked with the Iibada Dance Company, helping them acquire first time grant funding as well as working to improve their overall brand management and awareness, board development, community involvement and marketing.

Sherry Stark

Retired, Columbus
First Term:  2012-2016

A Lafayette, Indiana native, Sherry has spent most of her adult community life in Columbus. Previously she was President and CEO of Heritage Fund – the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County for 12 years. During her tenure the foundation partnered with the local Community Education Coalition in obtaining a $38 million grant from Lilly Endowment for EcO15 – an initiative that addresses educational and career training needs in southeastern Indiana. Earlier positions include serving as Executive Director of the Columbus Area Arts Council for two years and being Senior Deputy Mayor and Director of Community Development for the City of Columbus for ten years. Active on a number of local boards, Sherry continues to work with the national Council on Foundations in ensuring that foundations comply with high ethical and operating standards. She is a frequent speaker and/or trainer on leadership, governance and community collaboration matters.

Nancy P. Stewart

Chair, Programs Grants & Services Committee
Fort Wayne
First Term:  2012-2016

Mrs. Stewart is a volunteer, patron and advocate for the arts. She currently serves on the Boards, and Executive Committee, of Arts United, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Mrs. Stewart is a member of the Steering Committee for “Art With Purpose”, IPFW’s 50th anniversary community project. She is a Past President of the Junior League of Fort Wayne (1982-1983) and is a Canterbury School Trustee, having served as Chairman of the Board (1991-1999).

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