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Hendricks County Speakers

Click to see speakers under the following topics:



Jim Beebe

Jim owns and operates Unbreakable Athletics Academy. We train adults in CrossFit, student-athletes in sports performance, as well as nutrition coaching. Motivation and Mindset training is necessary for all physical endeavors. Jim speaks about and does work-shops on the process required for physical and mental advancement. The process is applicable for the novice and the advanced. The mind must decide and commit before the body advances. Jim will teach you how to do this better than anyone else.

Motivation and Mindset

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*This speaker will accept donations to their organization

Leah Bode

The Neuroscientific Benefits of Hobbies and Leisure Activities for Healthcare Providers: How Self-care Improves Patient Care

The job of caring for others in their most critical and vulnerable states takes a toll on healthcare providers. One study found that 60.7% of doctors experience exhaustion or stress three or more days of the week and that ‘having no coping mechanisms’ was a predictive factor for mental health problems in physicians (Chambers & Belcher, 1994). Periods of rest and recovery from the hard work of healthcare are vital to ensuring that providers remain both effective and compassionate caregivers. After completing her capstone project on this subject at Notre Dame, medical student Leah is ready to share her expertise on how to creatielvy address these issues.


Chase Cotten

Mental Health, Substance Use Disorders / Addiction and Recovery, Wellness, Diversity and Equity, The Case Against Vaping, The Case Against Cannabis, Trauma-Informed Care in Your Setting 

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Chase Cotten is the Community Director at The Willow Center in Brownsburg, Indiana. It is his personal and professional passion to help end the stigma around mental health and recovery, and to prevent mental illness and substance misuse. Chase is a dynamic and engaging speaker, using a combination of brain science, real-world examples, data, story-telling, and practical advice in each session he hosts. He is happy to cater any topic to meet your contextual needs.

Karl Zimmer III

Leadership, RULE®️, anti-bullying in school, life, and the workplace, the power of the mind, overcoming hardships, fighting cancer, and essentially living your best life despite all the pressures against you.

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Tracy Justice

Tracy Justice, Life & Leadership Coach

Tracy became the BE BOLD COACH™ in the summer of 2021. She found herself in a position where she had to make a choice....should she stand on her life values and core guiding principles or not? She made a pivotal decision. She chose to be bold and walk away from something that didn't honor her values. For a brief period, she found herself struggling to find her confidence and self-worth because she anchored it to something else outside of herself. She had to re-discover who she was and it was going to take a level of boldness to do so and like a butterfly struggling out of her cocoon, Be Bold Be You, LLC was born! I love to coach and facilitate conversations around confidence, life priorities, values, core guiding principles, SMART goal setting, Energy Leadership™, performance management, strategic planning, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging and Justice (DEIBJ) and many other human resources related topics. I help leaders recognize what they want in life and who they need to be so they can show up BOLDLY in the circles they serve in. Let's chat about how I can serve you!

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Brynn Cochran

Overcoming/Breaking the Cycle – Business Owner

My ambition to be successful was stifled by a childhood filled with abandonment and abuse.  After a short stent of playing the role of a victim, I quickly realized the only thing stopping me to be successful is my own mentality.  I took a long hard look at where my life was going and decided I have a choice to be an overcomer.  Here I am today, taking one day at time working hard and staying true to my moral compass.  Creating a business built on honesty, integrity and customer oriented focused.  I love working in the insurance industry, my hope is to reform the service part of the business. 

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Janet Krebs

Diet and Nutrition..."Simplifying and unbundling to remove overwhelm"

Janet is passionate about simplifying the wellness industry and providing some simple guidelines. Too much information is daunting making it hard to know what to do!!!


Parenting/Education "Less is Best Parenting"

Twenty years of teaching taught me how to be a better parent and raise children who left the nest with self reliance  and confidence to succeed.

Hold hands with death and learn how to live

Having a healthy relationship around the reality of death shifts the lens we use while living. An inspiring talk about gratitude and joy and "the small stuff"

The Sandwich Generation...It aint Easy

Being a middle ager today finds us parenting AND caring for our own parents.  No one speaks on this life event. A funny and honest talk about this topic relatable to so many and if not now, soon. 


Health, wellness, nutrition, fitness, functional medicine, gut health, immunity, balancing hormones, fasting, weight loss, eating disorder awareness, food cravings, optimum health and more!

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Christy is a Certified Functional Medicine Nutrition health coach and certified personal trainer. Starting with eating disorders at age 11 led to a passion with nutrition and fitness. After getting a dietetic degree, own health struggles and seeing the need in others decided to study the root cause solutions. Her purpose is to empower others through lifestyle choices and nutrition to reach their optimum health.

Danny Carl Layton

Indoor Garden

Danny became interested in indoor gardens at a young age. Danny's parents started raising indoor gardens as a source of extra food as child. Danny has saw the economy get harder for people to feed themselves. He also has seen the health benefits associated with indoor gardens and he likes to share them.

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Special Interest

Special Interest

Traveling Tanya


Tanya Shelburne, otherwise known as Traveling Tanya, is a local travel blogger on a mission to inspire busy people to make travel a priority. She shares her travel adventures and tips on her blog at and on her social media channels, but she also enjoys talking about all things travel with anyone who is interested! She is happy to discuss local travel as well as European vacations and beach getaways, and she has lots of tips on travel planning and how to find budget-friendly travel deals.

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Bob Taylor

Artificial Intelligence

Bob writes the Mr. AI column for The Republican Newspaper in Hendricks County. He has over 30 years experience in Information Technology. Bob would love to lead engaging conversations about the new advances in AI and all of the cultural and social implications of this technology. 

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Colletta Kosiba


A popular garden speaker, Colletta Kosiba teaches state wide at libraries, garden clubs, master garden seminars, Indianapolis Flower & Patio show and other civic organizations.  


Colletta lives in a beautiful 13 acre country setting with a lake and a babbling brook.  She designed large flower beds and planted areas with a huge variety of flowers, shrubs and trees.  The bloom season begins with 70 varieties of native spring wildflowers and 1000’s of daffodils in the spring; it ends with goldenrod, asters and mums in the fall. 


An enthusiastic speaker- who loves getting "her hands dirty."


Mike Langford

History of Adoption

Mike Langford weaves his personal journey as an adoptee with the history of adoption in America. You’ll learn about the historic achievements and pitfalls of the American adoption process, how state adoption laws have changed (or not changed) with the times, and the prickly balance of preserving privacy of birth parents and providing valuable health information to adoptees. Mike will also share his personal story of how he found his biological family – 50 years after his birth!

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History of Hitchhiking

In this rollicking talk about the quirky world of hitchhiking, Mike Langford picks you up and takes you for an adventure, detailing the early days of hitchhiking, how hitchhiking became embedded in American culture, the offbeat ways of those who hitchhike and those who give hitchhikers rides and, finally, where have all the hitchhikers gone?

Catherine Lewis

Reading IS Rocket Science

When her eldest daughter, Claire, was a toddler, Dr. Catherine Lewis took her hands off her home computer and said, “If I do things right when my daughter is this age, school will be easier for her, and she will be a strong, independent learner.” So she unplugged that

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computer, grabbed a beloved board book, and began to read aloud. She didn’t stop for eight years!


Dr. Lewis has read widely about language acquisition and the science of reading and applied what she learned while raising her two daughters and teaching children at Hickory Elementary in Avon. As anyone who has talked with her about this topic knows, Dr. Lewis has a passion for literacy; she gets excited helping any educator or caregiver understand how children acquire language and how reading works. She will talk about the science of language acquisition and reading in a fun, interactive presentation that empowers parents, grandparents, and caregivers to be their child’s first reading teacher.

Jack Harlan

Model T


I moved from Richmond, into Avon. In 2006 I became aware of the Centennial T Ford celebration would be held in 2008 in Richmond. I rebuilt the rolling chassis I had driven from 1959 to 1961. It was a great to rebuild a car that had

been abandoned for 45 years ( YES parts are still available). I sure enjoyed the 100th T celebration.

When I moved to Avon, near my son, I discovered that a nearby Lowes hosts a cruise in every Saturday. The monies raised

helps veterans and there is no car judging. Incredibly in 7 years no one has shown a stock powered Model T. This car used

an engine which produced 20 horsepower. I have an original exhaust whistle and an electric bell  which amuses the crowd.


I would enjoy showing and talking about my speedster. All parts I have used were available from Sears in the 20's, of course

today are for sale from several suppliers. I am an active member in the Indy 500 T

club and have strong ties to Richmond, In home of the only Model T museum in the country. If you were to visit you can

see this T engine in an airplane, homemade tractors, camping cars and snow transportation.

Joni Wolf


Joni Wolf is Christian speaker, and the maker, author, and storyteller of the Immanuel Quilt. For nearly ten years she has been crossing county, state, denominational, and civic borders giving Show and Tell presentations with one unique quilt. Joni loves to tell the story. She would welcome the opportunity to give a presentation to your group or organization. More about Joni and the Immanuel Quilt can be found at

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Drew Langford

Astronomy, space exploration

Drew Langford has been passionate about space exploration since he was five years old playing with his model Saturn 5 Rocket.  He is now earned a degree in physics from the University of Notre Dame. He has published research in astronomy and astrodynamics and was nationally recognized as a Goldwater Scholar. He is excited to explain the complexities of astrodynamics and excite audiences about the future of space exploration. 

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Joe Johansson

Lions on the prowl

On safari with four friends in an old Land Rover in the Okavango Game Reserve in Botswana I watched juvenile lions try to hunt water-buck and fail. This is the same game reserve that Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing) describes in her book Cry of the Kalahari. I was born and lived in South Africa, and I would love to describe it to an audience.

Diamonds are forever

I worked as a mechanical engineer on a diamond reclamation construction site in a remote ocean site just south of Namibia for the de Beers company.  This talk describes the search for diamonds on the Atlantic coast, but also traces the history of the de Beers company and its founder, Cecil John Rhodes.


A life well lived

This elderly gentleman attended my Bible lessons at a Senior Assisted Living facility in Avon. He and I shared a passion for steam locomotives. When he died his daughter asked me to pray at his funeral. I agreed but it turned out that I was probably expected to do more. He told me he was in the US Steam Corps in India in WW2. This is the story of how he was involved in getting arms to the airfields in the Himalayas for flying them ”over the hump” to  Chiang Kai-Shek who was fighting the Japanese in China.


I am able to craft any story of engineering technology (especially heavy trucking), travels in Africa, heavy haul truck operations in southern Africa, the USA, Canada and Central America. I have also given talks about retirement, based upon 7 years of personal experience of retirement.


I have been a Toastmaster for many years, and enjoy speaking to audiences. An event organizer is welcome to suggest a topic which I would research, and determine if I can speak on it. As an example, I am currently working on a speed titled “Decarbonization” about current and upcoming technology to lower the carbon footprint of semi-trucks.


*This speaker accepts donations to their organization

Tony Janko

Real Estate

Tony is one of Indiana's top producing Realtors. He began his real estate career 14 years ago, and rose to the top of his field by exceeding his clients expectations, conducting business in the most professional manners and providing exceptional communication and customer service. Tony is recognized as a leader in the industry, having served on my top agent/broker panels to share his knowledge of the business. Tony believes in the power of a positive attitude how it helps in all aspects of ones life! I would be glad to answer any questions you have about real estate.

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Duston Moore

Digital Marketing

Duston has helped many clients/companies to implement digital marketing strategies in multiple verticles. Empathetically driven marketing and sales is a passion of mine Duston loves helping companies to connect with their customers at a deeper level.

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Tyrone Brown

Sports, Entrepreneurship

Tyrone Brown is an entrepreneur and successful business owner of Information Systems Consultant’s Inc. (ISCI) for over 20 years and the 2023 ABA Champions, Mr. Brown also own Second Chance Staffing LLC, Deka Lash Plainfield Commons, and Kingdom Entrepreneurs to name a few. He also support others in the formation of various different business ventures and ministry. Mr. Brown is a native of Chicago, IL where his love for basketball first began. For many years Mr. Brown played in several basketball tournaments in and around the Chicago area, and later began successfully running and operating his own basketball tournaments. So, when the opportunity was presented, it seemed only logical that Mr. Brown would jump at the opportunity to own the only professional minor league basketball team in Hendricks County the Indiana Lyons. Given the opportunity to give families an opportunity to come together and be involved in a community activity that everyone can enjoy is very exciting to Mr. Brown

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Joe Wilson

Our small Danville Company is the world leader in Aquamation Systems that perform cremations by using water instead of fire; for pets and for humans. Not long ago Archbishop Desmond Tutu chose our system in Cape Town, South Africa for his own disposition citing his love for the environment. Learn more about growing company and its amazing technology that is headquartered in Danville and has systems located world-wide.

Cremation by water

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Amy Maharas

Family Travel

Amy is a former teacher who became a travel agent with Hi Ho Vacations in order to help families plan magical vacations. She has always loved to travel, and she has a passion for all things Disney. Amy loves to share tips and tricks for travel with kids of all ages and multi-generational trips.

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Kathryn Ransburg

Landlord/Tenant Issues 

Kathryn has been representing landlords and property management companies for over a decade and understands the complexities of the rental housing market in Hendricks County and central Indiana. She's a great resource for learning more about this very volitale real estate market.


Political Activism

In 2016, Kathryn decided to become more politically active beyond just showing up to vote. Over the last 6 years, she has gone from being someone who only showed up once every four years to a person who is now proud to be serving her community as a part of Avon town government. She'd love to share her story with aspiring activists.

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Community Outreach

Sharon Dunlevy

Foster Care, Childhood Trauma, Positive Behavior Supports

Sharon has a passion for working with vulnerable children. Her lifelong study of children with special needs brought her to the world of foster care, where she now trains foster parents in the best practices for handling children with trauma-based difficulties. She is especially passionate about teaching positive behavior management techniques as traditional discipline practices can trigger trauma responses. She can also speak on what it takes to be a foster parent and how to get licensed in the state of Indiana.

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Kristi Kerr

Mary Lee Maier Community Pantry

Kristi serves as the Pantry Coordinator for the Mary Lee Maier Community Pantry. The MLMCP serves Avon Community School Corporation school families and employees. Kristi has been involved with the pantry since 2016. She would love to talk with you about the pantry's operations and food insecurity in Hendricks County.

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*This speaker will accept donations to their organization

Suzanne Stanis

Stories Buildings Tell
Have you ever heard the saying, "If these walls could talk"? If you know how to look at a building it will tell you many fascinating stories from long ago. Join Suzanne Stanis,
Indiana Landmarks director of heritage education, as she leads the audience on a virtual


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tour of historic architecture. Learn to see details in buildings that give clues to the past and the people who occupied them. We guarantee you will never look at old buildings the
same way again.

Great Landmarks of Indiana
Join Suzanne Stanis, director of Heritage Education for Indiana Landmarks, on an
armchair tour across the state, stopping to look at landmarks from the breathtaking West Baden Springs Hotel to the Wallace Circus barns in Peru. Along the way we’ll discuss
what makes a building a landmark as we view architecture that enriches community life.


Hidden Gems of Indiana
Indiana Landmarks uses insider knowledge to highlight historic places worth a visit, from the quirky to the sublime: small towns, neighborhoods, restaurants, shops, parks,
cemeteries, scenic drives, museums -- you get the idea. Join Suzanne Stanis for a look at Indiana’s favorite hidden gems from the shell-covered St. Anne Chapel at St. Mary-of-
the-Woods in Terre Haute, to Evansville’s 9 ½ foot tall Vulcan statue.

Landmarks of Justice: Preserving Indiana’s County Courthouses

Every Indiana county has one. Some date back to the mid-1800s, while others have only stood for a little over thirty years. The legacy of Indiana’s county courthouses remains
strong as county commissioners and communities realize the aesthetic, architectural, and historical significance of these houses of justice. “Landmarks of Justice” highlights what
makes Indiana’s county courthouses special and irreplaceable. Discover how one Indiana county nearly lost its courthouse and the inspiring campaign that led local senior citizens to become “calendar girls” in the name of justice!


Rescued and Restored
Based upon a new book by Indiana Landmarks, Rescued and Restored, features over 50 historic places across Indiana snatched from the wrecking ball or lifted from decades of neglect and restored with help from Indiana Landmarks. Dramatic before-and-after photographs and inspirational comeback stories show the remarkable turnaround of endangered places as diverse as the oldest house in Wabash to the West Baden Springs Hotel which rose from a ruinous collapse to fairy-tale castle, lifting an entire regional

Indiana Architectural Styles 1800-1900
Have you ever wondered what makes a house "Victorian";or how our political, social and economic climates affected architectural styles? Take a virtual tour through Indiana stopping to see a variety of styles from log to Queen Anne along the way. By the end of the program, novices of all ages will know architectural terminology and the difference between Greek Revival and Gothic Revival.

Barbarann Wheeler

Empowering Women, Personal Development, Inspiring the next gen of young women. Barbarann has spent decades training candidates for Miss America and other pageant programs. She has also been a small business owner with a diverse range of successful ventures. Barbarann would like to share some stories to inspire young ladies and women to live a life of courage and full of adventure.

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*This speaker accepts donations to their organization

Renee Harlor

As a young child I suffered from severe anxiety. I found tremendous comfort in the presence of animals and dreamed of helping them, as they had so often helped me. In 2011 my dream became a reality when I co-founded Misty Eyes Animal Center. We rehabilitate and re-home animals, offer educational programs and provide outreach. We teach responsible pet ownership and kindness toward all. I enjoy sharing how my anxious childhood was the catalyst to make a difference. There is always good to be found.

Animal Rescue & Perseverance

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Basharat Saleem

ISNA Executive Director

Basharat Saleem is the Executive Director of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). ISNA, based in Plainfield, Indiana, is a national, non-

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profit organization providing many services for the community for the last 58 years, including youth programs, chaplaincy endorsements, Green Initiative programs, interfaith services and partnerships, conventions, conferences, and more. I look forward to learning and networking with others here in Hendricks county. I am happy to address a topic beneficial in bringing our community together.

Tanya Shelburne

Tobacco Prevention and Cessation, Secondhand Smoke, and Vaping

Tanya has been working in Public Health in Indiana for nearly 25 years, including extensive work in the area of tobacco control. Tanya enjoys speaking to adults as well as youth about this sensitive topic and does so in a non-judgemental way. She can discuss the dangers of tobacco, protecting children from secondhand smoke, tobacco marketing tactics, quit resources for those who are ready, and the vaping epidemic. 

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*This speaker will accept donations to their organization

Rashad Cunningham

Breaking Barriers, Building Common Unity (Community)

Rashad has a passion for helping people find each other in the midst of their differences (Breaking Barriers) and then helping people discover the Common Unity (Community) that exists within our natural proximities, daily rhythms and common interests. Rashad would love share his heart with others to help them develop a heart for breaking their barriers and building common unity in their part of Hendricks County.

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Theresa Brandon

Theresa has always been driven to make a difference and standup for those in need.  She has served as an US Marine, worked in the Department of Labor, and enjoyed several years of service on various non-profit Boards of Directors, two of which she founded. Currently, Theresa serves as a member of the Hendrick’s County Sheriff’s Merit Board, as the Chair and co-founder of the Central Indiana K9 Association, Inc, and the President of the  Board of Directors for the National Service Animals Monument.


Central Indiana K9 Association

As the co-founder of the Central Indiana K9 Association, Theresa frequently speak to groups about this organization which was founded initially in Hendricks County three years ago, and covers 9 counties in Central Indiana. Most people love to hear about the working dogs (K9s).


National Service Animal's Monument

Another organization that Theresa is deeply involved is the National Service Animal's Monument, Inc (NSAM) of which she serves as the President. They currently have a bill working its way though Congress and expect passage in the coming months which includes the receipt of land in Washington, DC or its environs on which to build our memorial. Working in tandem with world-renowned artist Susan Bahary who recruited her in May 2021 to join the Board of Directors, Theresa will be able to share the various stages that this project will run its course with the end result of a national memorial for service animals and their handlers.


Cedar Hill Pet Memorial Park

Lastly, Theresa has a longer program (approx 1 hour) that she presents on the historical Cedar Hill Pet Memorial Park in Texas. She founded the non-profit down there in order to save the pet cemetery from a public auction. People who are interested in history, animals, and a good-feel story will want to hear the story about the little group of citizens who went against the odds with help from Mr. Anonymous and saved the little piece of land.

*This speaker accepts donations to their organization

Avon High School Speech and Debate

Students compete in a wide variety of speaking events such as humorous and dramatic interp, duo, poetry, persuasive speaking, informative speaking, and impromptu. Please contact Linda Langford and request what type of event your group would enjoy. Each speaker’s event last about 10 minutes and you can request up to three individual speakers.

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*This speaker accepts donations to their organization

Katherine Langford

Hendricks County Speakers Bureau

In 2021, Katherine started HCSB to build connections and increase community in Hendricks County.  She would love to share more about how the organization got started, continues to grow, and its future goals.


Rise: Empowering Girls through Reading

Perhaps no one is better suited to mentor and encourage others than someone who knows what it's like, who has endured the difficulties and survived.  A person who has been where you are and who has developed resilience, character, and strength is someone you can trust help you take important steps forward.

That's the idea behind Rise, a reading and mentorship group for 6th-grade girls, created by Katherine Langford. The program will begin its fifth year at Avon and is quickly spreading to area school corporations.

A lover of books and someone who has walked a mile in the shoes of the 6th grade girls in the group, Langford is passionate about the mission of Rise: "By creating trust through a mentorship program, Rise inspires girls to see their worth and to lift each other up. Rise uses literature as a springboard for young women to not only see the strength in others but also for them to see that strength in themselves."

Katherine would love to share about the creation of the program, her research into girls mental health, and personal stories of change.


*This speaker accepts donations to their organization


Jodi Bondy

Photo Organization

Jodi has been educating people in various fields all her life, but now her focus is on passing on the history and memories from one generation to the next. As our world shifts to less stuff, we often lose the items that help define who we are and why that is important. As a wife, mother, and grandmother, Jodi would love to help you bring your family a sense of connectedness and calm.

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Beverley Stafford

Cancer, planned giving

Bev is a passionate cancer fighter who has been involved in several fundraising events across Hendricks County and Indiana. In her current role, she is focused on helping others define their legacy through planned giving through wills and estate planning.

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Jeff Nilsson

American History & the Saturday Evening Post

As the Post's archivist for the past 13 years, I've been writing and speaking on American history as reflected in our 200 years of publishing. I especially enjoy presenting the past as average Americans experienced it, drawing on articles, stories, artwork, and advertising from the Post that capture the spirit of former times. I have frequently spoken on the magazine's history, but I have also given presentations on specific events in our country's past.

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