Every business sector has influential players, whether they are in the public eye or wield their influence behind the scenes. In the last of eight installments of Who’s Who, we profile leaders in education. More than 100 individuals were nominated, representing public and private schools, secondary and post-secondary education, educational think-tanks, legislators and other organizations active in the sphere. Selections were made by those within the sector using a peer-review process. This list includes the youngest person named to any of our Who’s Who lists, Pat O’Donnell, and the first couple to be named to a single list, Anne and David Shane.
Greg Ballard, 56
Mayor,City of Indianapolis
Greg Ballard was elected as the 48th Mayor of Indianapolis on Nov. 6, 2007. Although education wasn’t the leading issue of his campaign, it has since gained prominence city- and statewide. Ballard’s administration has opened eight new charter schools, for a total of 23 in the city, created a new performance system for students in special education programs and expanded the Office of Charter Schools into the Office of Education Innovation, casting a wider net.
Before being elected mayor, Ballard was a self-employed leadership and management consultant and the author of “The Ballard Rules: Small Unit Leadership.” He conducted seminars and modular training based on the book and taught college-level economics, marketing and management courses at Indiana Business College. Previously, he worked for several years as North American Operations Manager for Bayer in Indianapolis.
Ballard spent 23 years in the United States Marine Corps, serving in the Persian Gulf War and retiring as a lieutenant colonel. As a Marine, Ballard rose steadily through the ranks and held a variety of leadership and staff positions in logistics, transportation, and acquisition, both at war and in peace. In recognition of his leadership and outstanding service, he received a number of awards, including the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal and the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
Ballard is a Distinguished Graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and he holds a master’s degree in military science from Marine Corps University, where he also studied operations analysis. He earned his undergraduate degree in economics from Indiana University.
A native Hoosier, Ballard was raised on the east side of Indianapolis and graduated from Cathedral High School. He and his wife, Winnie, reside in Pike Township and have a son and a daughter, both graduates of Indiana University.
Charles Bantz, 61
In 2003, Charles Bantz became chancellor of IUPUI—Indiana’s urban public research university, serving 30,000 students.
A highlight of his academic leadership is elevating the public perception of IUPUI as a health and life sciences campus and strategically focusing campus efforts in areas of economic development important to the state. Another focus has been enhancing undergraduate education. He has been an advocate for undergraduate, graduate and professional programs that keep graduates in Indiana. And he has fostered diversity and encouraged better math, science, engineering and technology education.
In the community, Bantz serves on the executive committee of the United Way of Central Indiana, as well as on several other boards. He is the 2011/2012 president of the Economic Club of Indiana Board of Governors.
Nationally, Bantz has been a member of the NCAA Division I board of directors and the NCAA’s executive committee from 2007 to 2011. He is vice chairman of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities and chairman of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities’ Commission on Urban Initiatives. He is also a member of the American Council on Education’s Commission on International Initiatives.
Before coming to IUPUI, Bantz was provost and senior vice president for academic affairs and a professor of communication at Wayne State University in Detroit.
Originally from Aberdeen, S.D., Bantz holds a bachelor’s degree in English education from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree in speech communication from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in communications from Ohio State University. He and his wife, Dr. Sandra Petronio, have one daughter, Kathleen. Bantz enjoys travel and visiting museums.
Allison Barber, 47
Western Governors University Indiana
With more than 20 years of experience in education and public service, Allison Barber returned to Indiana in 2010 to launch the state’s newest university, WGU Indiana. WGU offers more than 50 accredited, online, competency-based degree programs in fields including business, information technology, teacher education and nursing. The university targets an older population, with the average student being 36 years old.
Prior to joining WGU, Barber was president of her own Washington, D.C.-based strategic communications firm, which served not-for-profit organizations. She was also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, teaching in the master’s program for public relations and corporate communications.
Barber spent more than seven years at the Department of Defense, where she was Deputy Secretary of Defense for Internal Communications and Public Liaison. In this position, she was responsible for the department’s communications to the men and women in the U.S. military worldwide and for community relations programs that link citizens of the Armed Forces at home and abroad. Armed Forces Radio and Television, the Pentagon Channel, Stars and Stripes newspaper and the Defense Department’s web operations and new media division were among her responsibilities. For her work at the DOD, she earned the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.
Prior to the Defense Department, Barber worked in a variety of public relations and advertising positions, including as president of the Washington, D.C., office of PlowShare, a Connecticut-based advertising agency, and as public relations director for the American Red Cross.
From 1986 through 1991, Barber was a grade school teacher in the Merrillville Public Schools in Indiana and served as vice president and legislative liaison for the Merrillville teachers association.
A native of Indiana, Barber holds a B.S. in elementary education from Tennessee Temple University and an M.S. in elementary education from Indiana University.