500 Festival Announces Additions to its Board of Directors, Elected Officers to 2017 – 2018 Board

500 Festival Announces Additions to its Board of Directors, Elected Officers to 2017 – 2018 Board

INDIANAPOLIS (October 10, 2017) The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500®, today announced the election of officers for its 2017-2018 board of directors. In addition, six new civic and business leaders were appointed to the 500 Festival board of directors.

Serving as the governing body of the 500 Festival, the board of directors is comprised of 33 community leaders. The board guides the strategic vision of the 500 Festival and its members act as trustees, representing the organization within the community. Committed to bettering the organization, members serve on various committees that support and enhance the 500 Festival and its more than 50 programs and events.


Elected officers for 2017-2018:

Chairman of the board: Rob Hillman, president and general manager, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana

Vice chairman of the board: Mike Strohl, senior vice president, chief customer officer, Citizens Energy Group

Secretary: Kathy Cabello, president, Cabello Associates, Inc.

Treasurer: Rob Pruitt, regional managing partner, BKD, LLP

“Throughout his time on the 500 Festival board of directors, Rob’s leadership, perspective and relational approach have positively affected the organization. I’m looking forward to working closely with Rob throughout his term as chairman,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “I’m confident that he will continue to challenge his fellow board members to further advance the mission of the 500 Festival and its overall impact on Indianapolis and the state of Indiana.”

“The 2017-2018 500 Festival board of directors is full of active and accomplished community leaders,” Hillman said. “As board chairman, I’m looking forward to supporting the mission of the 500 Festival and working with these individuals to build relationships that foster a positive impact on our community. The 500 Festival is extremely important to this city, and our board will work to continue building its legacy of celebrating the Indianapolis 500.”

To download photos of the newly elected officers, click here.


New additions to the board of directors:

Nicole Mitchell, office of inclusion and diversity lead, Honda Manufacturing of Indiana

Nicole joined the Honda team in May 2015 as a member of the diversity and community relations team. In October 2016, Mitchell helped create the Honda Manufacturing of Indiana’s office of inclusion, where she now serves as a manager. Previously, she was the executive director for the President’s Council Foundation, and a network administrator for BYPO. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Baldwin-Wallace College and an MBA in human resources & management from Cleveland State University.

Mike Boatright, senior vice president, commercial banking, PNC Bank

Mike Boatright has been with PNC for 17 years and is currently the market manager in the Commercial Banking group. Prior to his banking career, Mike was the assistant controller at Ransburg Corporation and played professional basketball in Europe. He earned his degree in accounting from Grand Canyon College and his MBA from Butler University. He currently serves as Treasurer on the board of directors for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana. Mike is also a board member of Little Star Centers and volunteers at the Crooked Creek Food Pantry.

Brandi Davis-Handy, communications leader, AES United States

Brandi Davis-Handy is communications leader at AES United States.  She oversees communications and marketing for AES’ U.S. businesses which include 18 generation facilities, Indianapolis Power & Light Company and Dayton Power and Light. She received her bachelor’s degree in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University in Virginia. She also serves on the boards of Dress for Success Indianapolis, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana and Lynx Capital Corp.

Phyllis Ferrell, vice president, Alzheimer’s disease platform team leader, Eli Lilly and Company

Phyllis Ferrell is the vice president and Alzheimer’s disease platform team leader in Lilly BioMedicines. She received her bachelor’s in economics and management from DePauw University, an MBA in general management, and a certificate in public management from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 2001. She is a member of the Indiana Chapter of the HBA, on the Board of Directors for the Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and a founding member of Women Against Alzheimer’s.

Jeff Holley, executive vice president and chief financial officer, OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc.

Jeff Holley joined the OneAmerica team in 2011 as chief financial officer and was promoted to executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer in June of 2014. Jeff is a member of the Executive Council and serves on various OneAmerica committees that provide strategic leadership and governance to important areas of current and emerging strategy, risk management and operations within the company. He holds a bachelor of business administration in accounting from the University of Wisconsin. He also holds his C.P.A. license and is a former director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Mario Rodriguez, executive director, Indianapolis Airport Authority

Mario Rodriguez, an aviation expert with over 29 years of experience in the private and public sectors, was appointed as the executive director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority in 2014. Prior to his position at the Authority, Mario led the Long Beach Airport, successfully transforming it into an award-winning organization with world-class facilities and exceptional financial performance. Mario was the president of the California Airports Council, and sat on the board of Airports Council International (ACI). Mario also served as the deputy director at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, where his leadership helped in the rapid recovery of the airport after Hurricane Katrina. He has received numerous awards and been recognized many times for his achievements in the industry. Mario has overseen and served at airports from Hong Kong to Long Beach. He is an engineering graduate of the University of Miami (1987), attended the Harvard Kennedy School, and is an accomplished author and speaker on issues affecting the aviation industry, including business recovery and disaster management. Mario is currently authoring a textbook on airport financial management.

“The 500 Festival is proud to welcome these six accomplished individuals to our board of directors,” added Bryant. “Our newest members are not only successful in their professional lives, they are all deeply engaged in the community and truly believe in advancing the positive impact of the 500 Festival’s programs and events. Their diverse experiences will bring new perspectives and strengthen the board’s ability as we gear up for another exciting season at the 500 Festival.”

To learn more about 500 Festival’s events and programs, please visit www.500festival.com.

To download photos of the 2017-2018 board members, click here.

About the 500 Festival

Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500® and foster positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $400 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit www.500festival.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.