Indiana 250: Julie Roe Lach

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(Photo courtesy of Julie Roe Lach)

Julie Roe Lach is commissioner of the Horizon League, an athletic league made up of 11 universities in six states. She joined the league in 2014 as deputy commissioner. Before that, she founded JRL Consulting, which merged with CCHA Collegiate Consulting, where she serves as of counsel with the firm’s sports law practice. And before that, she worked at the NCAA for more than 15 years. Roe Lach is also board chair of the Indiana Sports Corp. and chairs the board of visitors for Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law.

First job

My sister and I started a mobile snow cone business out of the back of my dad’s truck. It was the first time I had to legitimately track expenses/revenue and realized that even our friends shouldn’t get free snow cones!

Job swap

Coach scholastic basketball.

Favorite thing about being a leader

The ability to collaborate with others to drive meaningful and positive change.

Something surprising

I love to bass-fish with my dad any chance I get back home in southern Illinois in old coal-mining strip pits. The best time is with hot coffee on the lake as the sun is rising or a cold beer as the sun is setting.

Favorite gadget

My Keurig. It greets me every morning with a consistently good cup of coffee.

Toughest challenge

Being publicly fired by the NCAA was hands down the toughest professional challenge I’ve faced. I’m grateful for the unwavering support of my family, friends and so many colleagues in college sports, which was why I chose to stay in the industry. There have been far greater personal challenges related to helping loved ones overcome major issues (physical and mental health) that brought me important (and needed) perspective relative to work and priorities.

Leadership lesson

At the end of the day, it’s about people and authentic relationships.

Walk-up song

“All Fired Up,” by Pat Benatar

Sabbatical topic

Transitional housing for homeless families

Favorite thing about Indiana

I love the four seasons [and] Midwestern hospitality that seems genuine. People are basically kind and want to help one another. In Indy, it seems that those with the ability to drive change, use their positions/authority for the basic good of our city and state.

Favorite Civic contribution

I really enjoy being on the Indiana Sports Corp. board as we help develop and deliver on the sports strategy for Indiana. Sports has such a positive economic and community impact.

Favorite sports team

College: The Millikin Women’s Basketball Team! Pro: The Indiana Fever. Let’s go!

Advice for a young person

1. Go above and beyond what’s asked. 2. Don’t wait for work. Spot the issue/problem/opportunity and devise a solution. 2. When you make a connection with someone, cultivate that relationship into a friendship. This will sustain you.•

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One thought on “Indiana 250: Julie Roe Lach

  1. As chair of the Horizon League Board of Directors and a member of the NCAA Division 1 Board of Directors, I can confidently write that there is widespread recognition that Julie is exceptionally talented, respected and successful as commissioner of the Horizon League. As a result of her leadership, the Horizon League has developed numerous innovative programs and initiatives for student athletes across our conference, which others now wish to emulate. Indianapolis is fortunate that Julie is such a visible leader in the Indianapolis community. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., President, Oakland University

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