Allen C. Platt III, Commission Chair, Floyds Knobs
Allen C. Platt III serves as General Counsel for Samtec, Inc., a global manufacturer of electronic connectors, with its world headquarters located in New Albany, Indiana. Platt has a long commitment to, and has served for many years as, Board President for many of the arts organizations in his community. His service includes The Carnegie Center for Arts and History, the Arts Council of Southern Indiana, and the Hayswood Theatre Group. He has been a lifelong participant in the arts, including acting in and directing community theatrical productions throughout Southern Indiana.
Alberta Barker, Vice-Chair, Lafayette
Alberta Barker graduated summa cum laude from Indiana Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She is also a graduate of the University of Wisconsin ABA National Trust School and Cannon Trust School, earning the designation of Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Alberta is heavily invested in her community through endeavors with the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, Past President; Art Museum of Greater Lafayette Foundation Board, Vice President; Lafayette Symphony Orchestra Foundation, Past President; Estate Planning Council, Treasurer; and Ivy Tech Regional Development Committee, Chair. Barker is currently Vice President and Personal Trust Administrator to 1st Source Bank’s Lafayette Wealth Advisory Services.
Anne Penny Valentine, Secretary, Carmel
Before assuming her current position as the Vice President of Government Relations with United Way of Central Indiana, Anne Penny Valentine twice served as legislative director for Governor Mitch Daniels, with additional government experience as legislative director for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Deputy Commissioner for Communications and Government Affairs with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, and Assistant Vice President of Workforce Partnerships with Ivy Tech. Prior to working with state government, Valentine had experience in arts administration serving as Vice President for the Arts Council of Indianapolis; Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Edyvean Repertory Theatre; and Executive Director for Indianapolis Symphonic Choir.
Lisa Abbott, Fishers
Lisa is a communications professional with over 15 years of experience in both corporate and non-profit organizations. She most recently served as a global employee communications leader at Allegion. Lisa is a published author and experienced editor. She has a B.A. in Public Relations Journalism from Bob Jones University and an M.S. in Management and Leadership from Western Governors University.
Chad Bolser, Richmond
Chad earned his Bachelor of Arts in History at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri and his Masters of Education from Earlham College. Since that time, Chad has worked in education for 22 years including stints at public and private high schools and small universities. In July 2017, Ivy Tech Community College named Chad Bolser to serve as Chancellor of the Richmond campus where he has overseen new initiatives and developed strong relationship with local K-12 partners. In 2019, Ivy named Chad as the Vice President of Operations for its southern campuses. Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually.
Libby Lai-Bun Chiu, Ogden Dunes
Libby Lai-Bun Chiu is an adjunct lecturer in the Master of Arts in Arts Administration program at Goucher College. Libby’s professional career includes Chief of Staff at the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Vice President for Advancement at The Boston Conservatory, Executive Director of Urban Gateways: Center for Arts Education, adjunct professor at University of Massachusetts, Deputy of Massachusetts Arts Council, co-founder of the Boston Arts Academy, and a Boston Public Schools principal and teacher. Libby’s decades of experience in education, arts, and community engagement is demonstrated in leadership roles in nonprofit organization, including President of Corporate Responsibility Group Chicago, first Chair of Boston Human Rights Commission, Vice President of Boston YWCA, and active member of Asian American organization. She has been a consultant for many national and local arts and arts education entities. Libby is fluent in English and Chinese, and has studied ballet for over 30 years.
Ruth Ann Cowling, Jeffersonville
Ruth Ann Cowling has been an art educator for over 40 years. Having earned her M.A. from Indiana University in Art Education, she has taught elementary through college level students, most recently as adjunct professor at Indiana University Southeast. Previous to this she taught elementary art at Portage, Indiana, Jr. High Art at Hazelwood and Scribner Jr. High Schools in New Albany, Indiana, and art at New Albany High School in New Albany, Indiana. She has been integral in developing school curriculum, academic content, and the planning and execution of student art shows. During her teaching career she served as Chairperson and coordinator for Teacher IN-Service of the New Albany Floyd County School Corporation, chaired the Performance based Accreditation Correlate, and instituted student art shows throughout the community. She has been a member of the Louisville Visual Art Association, leading free art classes for 12 years, as well as establishing their summer art camps curriculum and serving as camp director. Beyond her teaching experience, Ruth Ann has worked as a freelance commercial artist creating numerous ads for Louisville Magazine, and a variety of art work for numerous clients to meet their needs. She has worked as a professional watercolor artist in which she owned her own business, traveled extensively for art shows and garnered numerous awards. Her adult life focus has been art. She is a patron of the arts and is an advocate for the arts and art education.
Dave Haist, Wabash
A Wabash, Indiana native, Dave lived in South Bend for 10 years as a partner of Barnes & Thornburg and then moved in 1986 to Fort Wayne to help open the firm’s Fort Wayne office. He joined Do it Best Corp. in 1997 and retired as its COO in 2012. He and his wife recently returned to his hometown of Wabash and they share time between Wabash and Lake Maxinkuckee in Culver. Dave began serving for arts organizations in South Bend as he served the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. After moving to Fort Wayne, he served on the Boards of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic (including board president for two years) Arts United and the Fort Wayne Ballet. In Wabash, Dave has served as the Chair of the Board of The Honeywell Foundation and continues to serve on their Board. Dave serves on several other boards including Parkview Health, The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and Manchester University.
Greg Hull, Indianapolis
Walter Knabe, Indianapolis
A designer since the age of 14, Walter obtained his Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin. Walter opened his first studio nearly 35 years ago as a painter in New York City. His paintings quickly morphed into full-scale wall coverings, which have been in demand by many high profile clients and interior design houses. His artwork can be found in the homes and offices of film, sports and music legends. Walter has been the official artist for several high profile events, including the Indianapolis 500.
Laurie Burns McRobbie, Bloomington
Laurie Burns McRobbie is the 18th First Lady of Indiana University. She is founder of the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council and the Indiana University Foundation and serves as its honorary chair. In 2012, she was named Woman of the Year by the City of Bloomington’s Commission on the Status of Women, and in 2014 she was given the Leading Light Outstanding Leadership Award by the Indianapolis-based organization Women in Hi-Tech. McRobbie holds has adjunct faculty position in IU’s School of Informatics and Computing, where she helped found the ServeIT service-learning clinic. She played a crucial role in establishing the Indiana University Center for Women in Technology (CEWiT), which seeks to create, foster, and improve academic and professional opportunities for women students, faculty, and staff working in or with technology.
Jake Oakman, Indianapolis
Jake has served as director of communications and media relations for the Indiana Office of Tourism Development, deputy press secretary to former Governor Mitch Daniels and director of media relations for then Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb. From 2017 until October of this year, he was Governor Holcomb's speechwriter and liaison on international engagement. He is now director of strategic communications for Holcomb for Indiana and the Indiana Republican Party. Jake earned his bachelor's degree in secondary education from Indiana University.
Kelsey Peaper, Indianapolis
Sofía Souto, Indianapolis
Dr. Sofía Souto is a professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Butler University. Her teaching and research interests primarily center on monolingual and bilingual language acquisition in children with and without language impairment. Dr. Souto earned her graduate degrees at Indiana University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Purdue University.
Yolanda "Dusty" Stemer, Chesterton
Yolanda is a community volunteer and long-time advocate and supporter of the arts. She is a trustee of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago and has served as Gala Co-chair for the museum's Annual Gala De Arte five times. She also serves on the Smithsonian Latino Board, the Women's Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, and is a member Chicago History Museum's Costume Council. She is also a member of the Service Club of Chicago. The Stemer's have extended their philanthropy to not only cultural organizations, but to Institutions of higher learning and medical centers. they have six children: Jordan; Brian, noted shoe designer of the brand B Brian Atwood; Cameron; Andy, who is completing a neurology fellowship; Emily; and Zak, a Senior at Duke University. Yolanda and Alexander reside in Chesterton, Indiana.