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LEADING QUESTIONS: Gleaners chief gets wake-up call

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Leading Questions

Welcome to the latest installment of  “Leading Questions: Wisdom from the Corner Office,” where  IBJ sits down with central Indiana’s top bosses to talk shop about their industry and the habits that lead to success.

Pamela Altmeyer, 63, was the first full-time hire of the fledgling Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana in 1981. As president and CEO, Altmeyer has helped grow the not-for-profit into the state's largest food bank, distributing food and grocery products to a network of more than 400 charitable programs in 21 Indiana counties. In 2009, Gleaners provided close to 24 million pounds of product to Hoosiers, the equivalent of more than 20 million meals.

Feeding Indiana's hungry became a consuming passion for Altmeyer, who for decades juggled the responsibilities of being a single mother with seven-day work weeks. "They didn't ever end," she said. "Even when I'm not working, I'm thinking of things that need to be or could be done."

She married her third husband, Daniel J. Alvey, in 2002. "Dan contrasted my work with the food bank to those women who chose a religious life, and he wasn't the first to make that observation," she said.

In the video below, Altmeyer discusses how her son's death from cancer in 2008 spurred her to reevaluate her priorities. With Gleaners now ensconced in a 297,000-square-foot warehouse facility and the $11.6 million capital campaign to finance the project nearly complete, she found herself at a natural stopping point for her career.



With more free time on her hands, Altmeyer will be able to indulge her other passions: geology and mechanical repairs. In the video below, Altmeyer reveals that her career might have taken a radically different path had her high school curriculum been more flexible.

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  • Nice Work
    Pam
    Nice work we appreciate all you have done for Gleaners, Foodbanks and the City of Indianapolis. We are looking forward to your next project!
  • Thank You
    Pam Altmeyer deserves a big thank you from everyone in our community. Her tireless dedication toward feeding the hungry has made central Indiana a better place for all of us to call home. Thank you Pam. I feel privileged to call you a friend. Enjoy your retirement. You've more than earned it!
  • Thank you
    I have lived in Indpls. for 51+ years. Thank and God Bless you for dedicating your life to feed the hungry. I have been blessed and never needed to seek Gleaner's help. I am so grateful you and Gleaners have been here all these years. It also breaks my heart anyone is hungry. Thank you again.
  • Thanks!
    Mason...Good job...wish I were a size 9...but that's another retirement project for me. Appreciate you! Be well! Pam

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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