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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. Apologies for the wall of text. I promise I had this nicely formatted in paragraphs in Notepad before pasting here.

  2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

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  5. It is sad to see these races not have a full attendance. The Indy Car races are so much more exciting than Nascar. It seems to me the commenters here are still a little upset with Tony George from a move he made 20 years ago. It was his decision to make, not yours. He lost his position over it. But I believe the problem in all pro sports is the escalating price of admission. In todays economy, people have to pay much more for food and gas. The average fan cannot attend many events anymore. It's gotten priced out of most peoples budgets.

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