Women of Influence

On October 19, IBJ honored 23 women who have risen to the highest levels of business, the arts, and community and public service in central Indiana. Learn more about this year's honorees at https://www.ibj.com/women-of-influence-2023.

Thursday, October 19, 2023
Indiana Roof Ballroom
140 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204
7:30 am
8:00 - 10:00 am
  • Presenting Sponsor
  • Faegre Dinker



Mel Raines

Mel Raines

President & Chief Operating Officer
Pacers Sports & Entertainment


Mel Raines is in her tenth season with Pacers Sports & Entertainment currently serving as President & COO as well as President of the 2024 NBA All-Star Local Organizing Committee.  Raines is responsible for Corporate Communications, Community Engagement, Facility and Event Operations/Management, Human Resources, and IT across the enterprise in addition to all construction projects.

Raines has more than 30 years of operations, legislative, political, corporate, and public affairs experience.  Prior to joining PS&E, she was chief of staff to Indiana Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks overseeing three offices as well as all legislative, constituent services and communications staff. 

From 2009 to 2012, Raines was one of the principal architects of Indianapolis’ highly acclaimed 2012 Super Bowl.  She was the vice president of government relations and event operations for the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee overseeing 14 planning committees. 

Raines has worked in various roles on six Republican National Conventions including serving as the COO for the 2008 Republican National Convention and as a senior advisor for the 2012 and 2016 conventions. 

Earlier in her career, Raines served as Assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney for Political Affairs, directing all the Vice President’s political and domestic outreach activities. She also held several leadership positions at Altria Corporate Services, at the Republican National Committee, and began her career on Capitol Hill with U.S. Sen. Daniel Coats of Indiana.

Raines, a South Bend, Ind. native and graduate of Indiana University – Bloomington, is on the board of directors of the Pacers Foundation, Indy Chamber, Visit Indy, the Indianapolis Zoo and the Economic Club of Indiana. She currently resides in Indianapolis.