Jennifer Pope Baker
Jennifer Pope Baker, Executive Director of Women’s Fund of Central Indiana since 1998, has dedicated her career to creating transformative and sustainable change for women and girls. As a philanthropic leader, Jennifer is respected for her innovation, passion and strategic approach to increasing impact and influence. Under her leadership Women’s Fund has become the expert resource for issues impacting women and girls in central Indiana and a leader in seeking solutions in helping emerging adult women move from economic instability to economic security.
Jennifer is recognized nationally for the innovative and transformational initiative called NEXT - an incubator created to attract the most talented, visionary leaders to Indianapolis to develop solutions to measurably improve the lives of emerging adult women. As a strategic leader who effectively mobilizes action and resources, Jennifer helped guide the Women’s Fund launch of NEXT in 2014, which led to an invitation for Women’s Fund to join the prestigious Clinton Global Initiative. Jennifer was selected to be one of fifteen members of LEAD, a program of the Clinton Global Initiative, bringing together accomplished professionals who are committed to inspiring the next generation of leaders to address our world’s most urgent problems.
Jennifer is directly influencing and fostering the next generation of philanthropists and community leaders through the development of three unique philanthropic educational programs. GO: Give Back, OPTIONS and Perspectives are recognized as premier models for engaging people of all ages in thoughtful community leadership and philanthropy.
Jennifer is a sought after speaker and is a regular guest on Inside Indiana Business and has been a featured speaker at The White House, the Clinton Global Initiative, MCON14, National Association of Commissions for Women Conference, and many local and regional conferences and meetings.
She has led the Fund’s endowment growth from $3 million to its current total of nearly $15 million and has implemented a “best-practices” grant-making process with a focus on research that has resulted in distributions of over $5 million to 109 effective women and girl serving organizations. Jennifer is responsible for all aspects of Board and volunteer management and has guided the creation of administrative, governance, and strategic planning for the Fund. She leads the Fund’s development efforts, working closely with donors and volunteers who have created significant giving levels within Women's Fund.
Jennifer's community knowledge and efforts to increase economic self-sufficiency opportunities for women and girls led to her participation as a founding board member and immediate past chair of Grameen America Indianapolis Advisory Board and member of Grameen America National Advisory Board.
Jennifer is active in many volunteer activities, including: IWIT LPGA Tournament, Co-Chair 2017; P&G Gymnastics Championships, Local Organizing Committee, 2015; NCAA Women’s Final Four Local Organizing Committee 2011; DePauw University, Board of Visitors 2012-2015; Children’s Museum Guild, past Treasurer & Board of Directors; Super Bowl XLVI, Indy's Super Cure Committee & NFL Team Liaison; United Way of Central Indiana, Executive Women's Leadership Series Moderator, 2011-2012.
In 2010, Jennifer was named a “Woman of Influence” by Indianapolis Business Journal; she is a 2007 Hoosier Fellow, a member of Class XXIV of Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series, a member of the FBI Citizen’s Academy in 2005, and was named by Indianapolis Business Journal as a member of the 2002 class of “40 Under Forty.”
Jennifer received a degree in Communication from DePauw University. She is married to Christopher Baker and has two children, Catherine and Charlie.
GO Education Consultant
After earning her degree at Ohio University, Christy returned to Indianapolis, the city she loves. When her son Jack was born, Christy left her career in event planning and special projects to raise children. A self-described "stay-at-home mom who never stays at home," Christy stayed busy with Jack, and then daughter, Ellie. She took on the role of GO Consultant when she felt she was at a point in her life when her teenage children didn't need as much of her time as they used to, and she decided to become more involved with Women's Fund.
An alum of OPTIONS Class 12 and co-chair of the 2014 Power of Women's Fund Philanthropy event, Christy first learned about Women's Fund and became involved when she met Jennifer Pope Baker during their tenure serving on the Children's Museum Guild. It was at the Children's Museum where Christy truly shaped her philanthropic interests and strengths. She co-chaired various museum events, including the first Haunted House to raise over $500,000 for the museum. She served beyond the six-year minimum on the Guild, also co-chairing the publication of the book, Larry Gets Lost in the Museum.
A runner, hiker and avid reader, Christy enjoys cooking, hot yoga, adventure traveling and exploring the Indy restaurant scene. She looks forward to serving as a consultant on the GO program. Specifically, Christy is thrilled to be working with and getting to know the children and families who share her interest in improving our community.
Development & Marketing Officer
Deanna Gonzales is Development and Marketing Officer for Women's Fund of Central Indiana, supporting the work of growing our assets through better communications with our donors and constituents. Deanna's interests are focused on educating women and girls on how to help others and better themselves.
Deanna's previous not-for-profit work includes acting as a Development Assistant for San Diego State University Athletics and a Planned Giving Associate for Fresno State University. Deanna's previous volunteer activities include volunteering with the San Diego Humane Society and San Diego City Schools After-School-Programs.
Deanna received a Bachelor's degree in History, with a minor in Secondary Education from the University of San Diego in 1996. Deanna has one daughter, Anna.
Julie K. Koegel
Julie Koegel serves as Grants Officer for Women’s Fund of Central Indiana. She is responsible for working with agencies seeking and receiving grants, as well as working with the Grants Committee. She also researches and writes Women’s Fund needs assessments, Still on Shaky Ground.
As a consultant, Julie also works for other community organizations, including United Way of Central Indiana and Central Indiana Community Foundation.
Julie’s volunteer activities include Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre, Board of Directors; and St. Monica School, School Commission.
Julie received a B.A. in Political Science and a M.P.A. from Indiana University. She is married to Clayton Taylor and has two children, Grace and Emma.
Special Projects Coordinator
Wendy McNamar is employed part-time for Women's Fund of Central Indiana as Special Projects Coordinator. This position encompasses several roles. She handles the administrative duties associated with implementing GO Funds. In addition, Wendy manages the details of planning the approximately 50 events that Women's Fund annually hosts. She is the point of contact for the OPTIONS Alumnae (OA) program and works with committee volunteers to plan meaningful events to retain and grow membership.
Wendy's current volunteer activities in the community, include: The Christamore Guild, Tatum's Bags of Fun, Towne Meadow Elementary PTO, and coaching girls and boys Jr. Team Tennis. Her past involvement has included volunteering her time with the Children's Museum Guild and the Jr. League of Indianapolis.
Wendy received a degree in Marketing from Michigan State University. Upon graduation she was employed by Steelcase Inc. and also Abbott Laboratories. She is married to Rick McNamar and has two children, Laney and Jones.
Gerri Pagach is Executive Assistant at Women’s Fund, supporting Jennifer Pope Baker. She is passionate about developing productive relationships with donors, board members and coworkers, resolving issues, and assisting the organization in achieving its overall mission.
Gerri came to Women’s Fund in 2016 with over 15 years of administrative experience. Prior to finding her passion in the non-profit world, Gerri worked in the corporate offices of Marsh Supermarkets and then Crystal Flash Petroleum. She got her start in not-for-profit work through volunteering. Her volunteer work led to six years of full time employment at Little Red Door Cancer Agency holding positions including Business Operations Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator and Executive Assistant.
Gerri was born and raised on Indianapolis’ Westside. Gerri enjoys staying active in her community by volunteering on the parent committee and boosters of her daughter’s sports teams, serves as a board member for Tanya Isaac Foundation, and is a member of the Speedway Chapter of Tri Kappa. She resides in Speedway, IN with her husband Douglas and daughter, Kristin.
Kamala is the Development Director for Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, and joined CICF in 2016. Kamala works closely with Women’s Fund board and staff to ensure continued and successful development, fundraising, donation and community giving efforts. She shares in the excitement and mission of Women’s Fund, and believes that the “door of opportunity should be open to every women and child. The investment of time, resources and energy to take aim at the critical issues that affect the heart and soul of our community is necessary, and leads to a stronger, more viable community for all.”
Kamala received her Bachelors’ degree in Business Administration from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Honor Society for Business and Management Education.
Prior to joining Women’s Fund, Kamala was a Territory and District Manager for General Motors Corporation and Automotive Distributors where she served as a Sales Manager engaging in training, customer retention, loyalty, and consultative market and profit growth strategies. Kamala lives in Carmel with her husband Roscoe, and their two daughters, Jordan and Brooke.
Director of Development
Shelley Raper joined the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana team in October, 2017 as the Director of Development to advance its mission to create options and opportunities for women and girls in central Indiana through the effective distribution of grants to women and girl serving organizations and through the philanthropic engagement and education of current and potential donors.
Prior to joining Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, Shelley served as the Director of Business Development at Markey’s Rental & Staging for 9 years. Her areas of responsibility included new business development, growing existing business, new market research and formalizing partnership. Previously, Shelley spent 13 years in the sports industry specializing in marketing, sponsorships, premium suite sales, event operations and volunteer management. Shelley served as the Senior Vice President of Business Development (2006-2008) and Director of the Youthlinks Indiana Charity Golf Tournament (2004-2006) at Indiana Sports Corporation. She also held sales positions at two professional teams: Indianapolis Colts (1998-2003) and the Indianapolis Ice (1994-1998). Prior to sports, she had numerous positions in the banking industry with Union Federal Bank (1986-1994).
Shelley holds a B.S. degree in Management and Organizations from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
Shelley’s community affiliations include Kelley School of Business Alumni Association’s Representative on the Indiana University Alumni Association Executive Council, IU Kelley Alumni Leader and Women’s Fund of Central Indiana. She resides in Fishers, Indiana.
GO Education Consultant
Growing up, Elana Thompson's parents stressed the importance of community service. They said, "You have been blessed. Pass it on." Thus, the habits of giving, volunteering and serving became core values for Elana.
Her expertise is in leadership and development, training, diversity and inclusion, communications, and educational initiatives. The mother of two sons, Elana is also a PhD candidate working on her dissertation. Her research centers on the role of black mothers and how they influence their sons' success in school - specifically in graduating from college. As mom, Elana wanted to know how best to help her sons succeed, despite the many barriers that face black boys.
Elana became involved in Women's Fund through the OPTIONS program during Class 14. The site visits gave her a glimpse into the great need within our community for support of women and girls. She left many site visits with the overwhelming need to do more and has since volunteered for several organizations she visited. Elana is going into her third year serving on the OPTIONS Alumnae Committee.
With deep experience in higher education, corporate America, and nonprofits, she will utilize her skills of public outreach, fundraising, event planning, and curriculum development to positively impact Women's Fund. She was recognized in the Indianapolis Business Journal "Forty Under 40" Class of 2016 and have received numerous honors throughout the community. She is also a graduate of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Program and a Pi Lambda Theta Educator Honor Society member. Elana's energy and drive generates change and results.
Elana's top priority is her family- Husband Dexter and sons Dylan and Devin. In her free time, she enjoys doing anything that gives her a creative outlet such as gardening, refinishing furniture and painting. She enjoys organization - so much, in fact, that in her spare time, she stages homes and provides event decorating such as those at weddings. She looks forward to bringing her passion and creativity to the GO Program.