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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. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

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