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Indianapolis Parks Foundation leader plans retirement

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The Indianapolis Parks Foundation will start looking this week for a replacement for President Cindy Porteous, who plans to retire.

Porteous, 62, plans to step down at the end of June. She joined the not-for-profit foundation in 2000 and has secured more than $30 million in private funds for a number of projects in Indianapolis parks during that time.

The foundation has helped build a new family center at Windsor Village Park, an aquatic center at Bethel Park, added 200 acres of green space, built six new water-spray grounds and renovated 60 tennis courts.

Porteous said she chose to retire this year because the foundation is reaching several milestones, including its 20th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of the Mayor’s Lunch for Parks, scheduled for March 7. This is also the final year of a three-year, $7.3 million Lilly Endowment grant that helped build the aquatic center, renovated tennis courts and built restrooms in several parks.

“The impact Cindy has made on this organization during her tenure is significant,” Indianapolis Parks Foundation board Chairman Kelly Pfledderer said in a prepared statement. “Her leadership and direction have positioned the parks foundation as one of the leading not-for-profits in central Indiana.”

The board said it has been preparing for the executive search since November.

Porteous is a Howe High School graduate who grew up on the east side of Indianapolis and considers Christian Park her “grassroots anchor.” She said she’s been driven to find the “less celebrated areas” of Indianapolis, connect them with resources and enhance the recreational, educational and cultural life of the community.

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