Spark!ng Creativity in Suburban Housing Speaker Bios

Andrew Bradley is Policy Director for Prosperity Indiana, the statewide association for community economic development. Andrew works to craft and advance Prosperity Indiana’s policy agenda in coordination with its members. He is responsible for producing advocacy tools, building relationships with policymakers, and assisting in leading member convening activities for a more equitable and resilient Indiana. Previously, Andrew served as State Network Director for the National Skills Coalition where he led a team to develop, launch, and grow SkillSPAN, a nationwide network of state advocacy coalitions. He has also served as Senior Policy Analyst with the Indiana Institute for Working Families and as a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Senate. Andrew earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Indiana University Bloomington and his Master of Arts in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago.

Brad Coffing is a Research Analyst with the MIBOR REALTOR® Association. In his role, Brad provides original research for the association and collaborative research with community partners. He also manages multiple research projects for the association and leads the economic and community development initiatives. A native Hoosier, Brad earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Indianapolis and his Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University – Indianapolis.

Dr. Teresa Jeter is the Chief Operations Officer at Engaging Solutions LLC in Indianapolis, Indiana. Prior to this role, she was an assistant teaching professor in the College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State University, where she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in neighborhood planning, housing needs assessments, community development, and grant proposal writing. Before joining Ball State, she was a Senior Multifamily Mortgage Credit Analyst and Program Analyst in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Her responsibilities included serving on HUD’s Region V loan review board, performing credit analyses of housing developers in six states, underwriting, and all financial functions involved in HUD’s multifamily housing programs. In addition, she provided technical support, performance oversight, and performance assessment of Indiana’s public housing programs. Prior to joining HUD, Dr. Jeter was the deputy director of Community Development in Muncie, Indiana, where she supervised staff, and was responsible for facilitating and developing the city’s first Consolidated Plan. During her tenure, she wrote a grant that garnered the largest Continuum of Care award, $2.7 million, of any Indiana community. After this role, she served as the executive director for the Anderson, Indiana, Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Commission, a faith-based organization where she conducted a housing needs assessment and developed and implemented a single-family new housing construction program for first-time homebuyers in an urban neighborhood. She also created a rehabilitation revolving loan program for homeowners who couldn’t meet standard banking qualifications. Jeter received her Doctorate degree in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University, a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Ball State University, and a Bachelor’s in Public and Environmental Health from IUPUI. To further her education in government executive training, she attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She has authored two research studies focusing on land use, transportation, and air quality in the Great Lakes Region. Dr. Jeter has been honored with many awards of achievement for her community service. She was appointed as Commissioner to the Indiana Commission for Women and recognized as a “Distinguished Hoosier” by two Indiana governors. She currently serves as the President of Ball State’s Alumni Constituent Society Board, a member of Ball State’s Alumni Council, and an appointee by Ball State’s president to the Advisory Board for Inclusive Excellence and to the Diverse Boards and Councils Advisory Committee. Dr. Jeter is also the founder and CEO of the Midwest Women’s Empowerment Summit, a nonprofit organization that inspires and empowers women to Stir Up Their Gifts by living fulfilled, productive, and purposeful lives.

Kathleen Lara is the Executive Director of the Inclusivity Institute, working to reduce intense residential segregation and barriers to economic opportunity in American markets. She came to the Institute after working to advance federal, state, and local legislative priorities related to housing and economic security for a statewide community development association. Prior to that, Kathleen served as the Senior Policy Advisor for two members of Congress, advising on the House Financial Services Committee portfolio (housing, banking, and insurance). She encourages interested practitioners, policymakers, or advocates to reach out anytime to ask about the Institute’s work or explore potential collaboration.

Jim Morris is husband to Shantel (24 years), father to Dylan (18) and Kyla (15) and the President & CEO of Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity.  Jim is in his 10th year leading Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity.  He has a total of 31 years’ experience in both the profit and non-profit sectors.  He has spent his last 23 years in the non-profit sector with direct experience in affordable housing, arts & culture and comprehensive community & economic development. In his eight years in the for-profit sector, he primarily worked in the residential building and construction industry. He completed his MBA in 2008 after being awarded the Martin Bell Scholarship, a full-ride scholarship to the executive MBA at Rollins College in Orlando, Florida.  The Martin Bell Scholarship is awarded annually to a senior nonprofit executive who demonstrates outstanding leadership in their nonprofit field.  Jim is also a published writer, having written for several magazines. He is an Indiana native, born and raised in Michigan City and finished his undergraduate work at Ball State University with a degree in Journalism & Marketing.  He attends Common Ground Church.

Brenda Myers is President and CEO of Hamilton County Tourism, Inc., where she oversees destination and tourism economic development for one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation. Myers with her amazing staff  have created a nationally accredited, fully integrated marketing and product development program that focuses on business intelligence, community and destination management, as well as innovative promotions. In 2019, the HCT marketing team was awarded the prestigious Destiny Award for the US Travel Association for its Chicagoland campaign. Myers has more than 35 years of experience in tourism development, working in cultural attractions management as well as in tourism development for the state of Indiana. She has spearheaded the Hamilton County work on the White River Vision Plan, worked with her team to develop Nickel Plate Arts and the Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad. She also serves as the regional representative to the Capital Improvement Board of Managers for Marion County.

Michael Osborne was born and raised in northern Indiana, where he began his 40-year professional career as a member of the family real estate brokerage and development business.  After earning dual master’s degrees in Urban Planning and Economic Geography, Michael spent a decade and a half in senior city government positions responsible for creating and leading a breadth of community and economic development initiatives.  Since 2007, Michael has served as President of Near North Development Corporation, a community-based non-profit working in urban Indianapolis. In that capacity he has led the organization’s involvement in more than $40 million of affordable housing and mixed-use development projects on the near north side of the city, recently forging a long-term strategic collaboration with Indiana University Health for the new, innovative Health District initiative aimed at increasing investment, housing and economic opportunity, and quality of life in the neighborhoods surrounding Methodist Hospital.

Jamal Smith is Director of Strategic Partnerships, Government Affairs, at Indiana University Health, is the largest and most comprehensive healthcare system in the state of Indiana. Mr. Smith is tasked with helping to strategically align the guiding principles of IU Health with the growing needs of our city and communities.  Mr. Smith is also the founder of The Lead Change Project (LCP), a 501(c)(3) sports management-based non-profit that partners with urban schools and school districts to engage more youth in sport and extra-curricular activity.  Mr. Smith also served the State of Indiana as Executive Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, transitioning from his role as Governor Mitch Daniels’ Senior Advisor. Mr. Smith graduated from Wright State University in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in History. His undergraduate tenure includes a successful career as an intercollegiate basketball player. Mr. Smith went on to continue his education at Purdue University where he graduated in 2002 with an MS Degree in Sports Management & Athletic Administration.

Jeremy Stewart, RA, RID, LEED AT, BD+C, is a Manager with experience in a range of project types and scales including; master plan neighborhood revitalization, single family residences, multi-family residential, senior housing, mixed use and many other commercial types. Jeremy gets satisfaction from taking a project start to finish and working side-by-side with clients from concept to construction. His solid background in both architecture and interior design means he can find creative solutions and meets client needs in cost-effective ways. Jeremy is has invested in his community, serving on the Indianapolis City Market Corporation Board, as VP of finance for the Interior Design Coalition of Indiana, and was a founding member of the Midtown Economic Council.

Samantha Spergel is the Director of Real Estate Strategic Initiatives and Engagement and the Director of Operations for the Indiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program at the Indiana Housing and Community Development  Authority. Samantha provides policy oversight on numerous HUD capital programs which fund and support affordable housing production and preservation across the state of Indiana, manages technical assistance and capacity building efforts for local units of government and non-profits, oversees the Agency’s workforce housing and healthy homes programs, and co-manages the state’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Samantha holds a Bachelor of the Arts in Political Science from The College of Wooster, and a Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University.

Danielle Carey Tolan serves as Westfield Washington Township Trustee.  In this elected position which she has held since 2015, Danielle works tirelessly to advance and improve township government services ranging from public assistance to fire protection to parks. Her collaborative approach is focused on streamlining and continuous improvement, as illustrated by efforts such as modernized software and communications with the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Her team operates under the mission statement of “We Assist, We Protect, We Impact, We Connect, We Grow.”  An advocate for agriculture, Danielle is part of a fifth-generation farm family and is involved with many rural organizations such as the Indiana Rural Caucus, AgrIInstitute, and Indiana Women in Agriculture.  She volunteers in a variety of ways including serving as president and founder of Women of Westfield, as well as being a member of the Westfield Youth Assistance Program board, the Westfield Economic Development Foundation and the Hamilton County GOP organization. She and her husband enjoy the activities of their high school-aged son and can be found many weekends at shooting sports competitions, football games, or watching a livestock show.

Katie Wertz is a Senior Associate with Greenstreet, a strategic planning and real estate practice. She leads the firm’s work in affordable and equitable housing as well as implementation of the firm’s anchor institution strategies with a particular focus on the social determinants of health. With experience in consulting, community development, and real estate development, Ms. Wertz brings a unique perspective to the planning process; one that integrates master planning with market-based strategies that foster visionary and actionable plans to be implemented. Ms. Wertz has managed numerous planning and redevelopment efforts across the country, ranging from small rural towns to some of the nation’s fastest growing metropolitan areas.