Articles

Training agency slashes government reliance: Not-for-profit turns to private donations for funding

Talk about a turnaround. An Indianapolis not-for-profit that once relied on government money to pay for most of its programs has found a way to do what many others wish they could-diversify its revenue stream as public funding dries up. In less than five years, work-force development agency Training Inc. has ended a decades-long dependence on government grants and contracts. “We had to reinvent ourselves in order to survive,” said former Director Joyce Duvall, who left this month after more…

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Midfield may alter hotel-biz flight path: Hendricks County could gain from new airport terminal

Airport Expressway won’t live up to its name for much longer. When Indianapolis International Airport’s midfield terminal opens in 2008, the fast track to flight will be a dedicated entrance off Interstate 70. The move will shift travelers a few miles to the south and west-and take away the direct access that now drives them to expressway hotels. Observers predict hotel development along I-70 will take off as the midfield project nears completion, most likely creating a new hospitality hub…

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Law would improve oversight of not-for-profits: Attorney general says he needs enforcement options

Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter thinks there’s room to improve oversight of the state’s 60,000-plus not-for-profit organizations, a task that happens to fall under his purview. So two months into his second term as Indiana’s top lawyer-and nearly two years after becoming embroiled in a highprofile charitable dispute-Carter is backing legislation that would strengthen existing laws and allow his office flexibility in dealing with problems when they arise. “We’re not proposing to give ourselves a magic wand,” said Brent Embry,…

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Artsy edge propels Y&L: Agency shows its creativity with 2nd Globe

But Indianapolis-based Young & Laramore needed more than the “I think I can” mantra of bedtime stories to make tracks for the big time. It needed a plan. The four-part strategy was simple in concept, if challenging in execution: Attract the talent necessary to do national-caliber work, put it to good use, get results and earn widespread recognition. “I’m a big believer in developing plans for growth and working hard at them,” said Paul Knapp, a lawyer by training and…

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Mission: possible: Financial crisis averted, but work remains

Humane Society of Indianapolis saved itself in 2004. Poised on the brink of financial disaster, agency leaders came up with a deceptively simple recovery plan: Spend less, raise more and borrow some to make up the difference. So far, so good. Expenses last year came in about a half-percent under budget, fund-raising revenue was up 37 percent, and the shelter didn’t use as much credit as expected. Then there was the real victory-nearly 53 percent of the 8,985 animals that…

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Sides nearing peace on the Prairie: ‘Solomonic’ ending awaits Earlham, museum

Once the fine points of the deal with Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter are worked out, Earlham will hand over $91.5 million in cash and its interest in a jointly owned golf course worth another $2.5 million-much more than the $64.7 million take-it-or-leaveit offer the college made just before firing the museum’s CEO and dismissing nearly all its directors in June 2003. “We’re just trying to put this behind us,” Earlham board Chairman Mark B. Myers told IBJ after trustees…

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New La Plaza says adios to independent NFP operations: Three groups uniting to serve Hispanic community

It took several years and a couple of gentle nudges in the direction of progress, but a streamlined support system for local Latinos is finally taking shape. Three Indianapolis not-for-profit agencies are giving up their own identities-and autonomy-to populate La Plaza Inc., an organization that aims to position itself as the place for the burgeoning Hispanic community to look for help. “When you have three or four groups working with minimal budgets and overlapping services, it can get confusing,” said…

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Studies praised, panned in convention, stadium debate: Proponents say marketplace provides more evidence

Numbers may well tell the story about the need for a larger convention center and new stadium in Indianapolis, but the question remains: Is it fact or fiction? Even as proponents work to sell lawmakers on a plan to expand the Indiana Convention Center and replace the RCA Dome, some skeptics aren’t sold on all the information used to make the case. “There are a lot of questions [decision makers] ought to be asking,” said Rick Eckstein, a Villanova University…

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Carter avoids blame game-so far: Museum proposal doesn’t pass judgment on past practices

Now he’s proposing a solution that’s focused on the future-even as it tacitly endorses past spending practices at the Hamilton County living history museum. His plan to establish an independent Conner Prairie and equip it with a $94 million endowment may well resolve the immediate issue, but it won’t answer the questions that drew him into the matter in mid-2003. “There have been serious claims brought to my attention about potential misallocation of trust funds that warrants review by this…

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Partners bet on Capitol block: Shiel Sexton teams up with Gregory & Appel to redevelop old factory

An Indianapolis contracting company is deepening its near-north-side roots-and exploring another avenue of the real estate business-with a multimillion-dollar plan to renovate and rent out an 85-year-old building just blocks from its Capitol Avenue headquarters. Shiel Sexton Co. Inc. has agreed to spend more than $5 million on the 60,000-square-foot brick building at 1402 N. Capitol Ave., restoring the property to its former glory and transforming it from industrial to office use. The company also is seeking tenants for a…

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Tsunami relief could hurt fund raising at home: Local agencies hope charitable response doesn’t come at their expense

Philanthropic response to last month’s tsunami has mounted along with the death toll, as citizens worldwide open their hearts and their checkbooks to help southeast Asia recover. In the United States alone, international relief organizations have raised more than $400 million, observers estimate, and pledges are still flowing in. But the impressive charitable effort-perhaps second only to the outpouring of support that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks-has some fund-raisers worried that causes closer to home will suffer. “Sept. 11 taught…

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School-based clinics get boost from grant: Learning Well Inc. operates in 53 Marion County schools

Indianapolis-based Anthem Foundation gave Learning Well Inc. $100,000 to open two school-based clinics in Marion County and support its efforts to address childhood obesity and asthma. But the effect will go much further than that, one board member said. “We’re finally seeing stability and potential for growth,” said Betty Wilson, a member of Learning Well’s executive committee and CEO of The Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis, which has plowed millions into the program and is a driving force behind the…

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Herron site might be used for new school: Charter campus proposed for soon-to-be vacated spot

Joanna Taft isn’t content helping to develop emerging artists. She also wants to help develop art patrons-and the historic neighborhood around what will soon be the former home of IUPUI’s Herron School of Art at Pennsylvania and 16th streets. So Taft, executive director at the nearby Harrison Center for the Arts, is working on plans for a charter high school to occupy a portion of the space IUPUI will vacate when it moves the art school to the campus proper…

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Ivy Tech president secured: After 21 years in charge, Lamkin signs first job pact

Ivy Tech State College trustees last month approved a first-ever employment contract for longtime President Gerald Lamkin, giving him a 9-percent pay raise and relative job security until his intended retirement in mid-2007. Such deals are increasingly common in higher education, trustees said, and the timing was right for Ivy Tech as the school takes over control of the state’s community college system and expands it to all 23 of its campuses. Formalizing Lamkin’s future now-after 21 years in the…

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Growing convention business creates tough decisions: Mayor outlines possible solution for expanding center and adding stadium, but funding battle looms ahead

Consider Indianapolis a victim of its own success. The city’s efforts to make a name for itself as a convention destination have worked-almost too well. The Indiana Convention Center is at capacity with 40 major events a year, and two of its biggest customers are moving to roomier digs. What began as a “what if” discussion about adding space to accommodate more business has turned into a “must do” conversation about keeping what’s already here. “That’s what really drove it…

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