2024 Women to Watch

2024 will hopefully be a great year to remember, and here at Indy Maven, we believe these amazing changemakers are all women to watch.
Women to Watch 2024

Indy Maven likes to keep a finger on the pulse. Our former Women to Watch lists are proof positive that Indy is filled with inspiring females (check them out here: 2023, 2022, and 2021). This year’s list is no different. Wearing many hats, it’s filled with wildly capable and impressive Hoosiers. From marketing Mavens to yogis (we love to breathe), attorneys to musicians, authors to nonprofit powerhouses, and a couple of CEOs, it’s easy to lift these women up. Is this list exhaustive? Of course not! But it sure is impressive. Read on to celebrate, champion, and watch our 2024 Women to Watch.

Melanie Allen

Melanie AllenMelanie Allen is the co-founder and CEO of Green Loop Marketing. She brings over 15 years of marketing leadership experience to the team, including work elevating some of Indianapolis’ most exciting start-ups, nonprofits, and small to medium-sized businesses. In addition to managing Green Loop’s day-to-day operations, Melanie acts as the account lead for all Green Loop clients. She is passionate about building collaborative partnerships with our clients that make a positive impact on their organization and the community. A native of “the region” of Northern Indiana, Melanie is proud to have called Indianapolis home since her time at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis where she received a B.A. in Communication Studies. Since then, she’s been involved with numerous organizations in the city, currently serving on the Board of Directors for PATTERN, on the Indiana Sports Corp’s 2024 Olympic Swimming Trials Committee, and as an Advisor for Create. Connect. Collab.

Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family (her husband, two sons, and rescue dog, Freddie), exploring all of the amazing arts and culture Indianapolis has to offer, and reading in her hammock on the front porch.

In 2024, Melanie’s key focus is growing Green Loop in a thoughtful and intentional way while hanging on to what makes them special. She’s also excited about supporting central Indiana’s creative economy through her work as a PATTERN board member. This summer, the Olympic Swimming Trials will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium, and Melanie will be on the local organizing committee to make that happen!

Trezanay M. Atkins, Esq

Trezanay AtkinsTrezanay Atkins got her start working in the business and legal affairs department at one of the world’s largest intellectual property rights organizations, protecting and defending many of the world’s greatest brands. She was then recruited to practice at two international law firms in their trial litigation groups, cutting her teeth in the courtroom defending multi-million dollar businesses and brands. Since then, she has made it her mission to provide this exceptional legal acumen to brands in industries and markets that aren’t necessarily understood (or catered to) by large law firms. Enter tmalaw™. Trezanay’s brand protection firm helps to build strong brands using intellectual property ownership and market research. They serve founders/CEOs, and small to medium enterprises by providing ongoing strategy and advice, brand protection, identity development, and brand management. She is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., a mother of two, and an active member of her local church in music ministry and in teaching ministry at her local juvenile detention center. Trezanay is also a licensed mathematics teacher.

This year will mark the fifth anniversary of tmalaw™, and Trezanay expects it will be the biggest in terms of business growth. Personally, 2024 has greater room for self-care than the last few years. She looks forward to being an even better version of herself in 2024. 

Amanda L Bonilla

Amanda BonillaAmanda Bonilla (bo-nee-ya) is an equity-minded professional rooted in storytelling who works tirelessly to create and advocate for more inclusive learning environments in higher education. Currently, Amanda serves as the Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Community Engagement for the Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis service area. Through her role, she provides leadership, management, and strategic planning for inclusion and belonging initiatives. Amanda is a proud life-long Hoosier and a graduate of both IUPUI and Indiana University Bloomington. Her work in creating inclusive learning opportunities through programming led her to receive many accolades, including the ACUI Joseph H. Benedict Social Change Award for Racial Justice and the IUPUI Women’s Leadership Award. In 2021, she was the recipient of the Advocacy in the Latino Community Award by the Indy Chamber. Outside of Ivy Tech, Amanda owns and operates the Inclusion Consultant Network, a minority-women-owned business focused on increasing cultural competency through discussion and dialogue for optimal work and learning environments. She has provided countless hours of training and keynote speeches over the years and worked with everyone from Division II student-athletes to Fortune 500 executives. Her most recent venture aims to advance equity for all women in Central Indiana. The Women’s Equity Brunch (WE Brunch), co-founded in 2021, has brought together over 1,000 diverse women to network and discuss critical topics in fun environments. Amanda is engaged in the Indianapolis community and serves on several boards, including United Way of Central Indiana and Indiana United Way. Amanda identifies as a lifelong learner and is an alumna of the Indiana Latino Institute Leadership Circle program and the National Social Justice Training Institute.

2024 promises to be another exciting year for women’s initiatives! At Ivy Tech, Amanda’s work will involve partnering with Pass the Torch to work with 25 female students and connect them with resources and mentors. She’s excited to see how that program, the Indy Women’s Initiative, evolves. WE Brunch will host two brunches (March 3 and October 6) and a happy hour full of women-owned vendors and a few other surprises.

Tiffany Dinwiddie

Tiffany has been a Yoga teacher in Indianapolis at The Yoga Studio for nearly 14 years. We can tell—her classes often have a waitlist, so be sure to reserve your spot in advance. She found her yoga home when she moved to Indianapolis from Florida and was certified in one of the early trainings held at The Yoga Studio. Teaching yoga was just a side hustle for Tiffany for many years until the birth of her daughter in the fall of 2019. Knowing that she had always wanted to make yoga her primary job, she made the very hard decision at that time to step away from her full-time day job and immerse herself fully in yoga. Aside from teaching full-time, she is a facilitator of TYS’s 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training programs with the founder of The Yoga Studio, Karen Fox, as well as the Community Outreach Coordinator. Karen has been a great teacher, mentor, and friend to Tiffany throughout her yoga journey, and in 2023, Karen offered Tiffany to become a partner at The Yoga Studio alongside Karen and her two daughters, a dream that has become the best reality. 

Outside of her professional life, Tiffany finds immense joy in her role as a wife and mother. She has been happily married to her husband, Alex, an Indy native since 2017. They are proud parents to their vibrant 4-year-old daughter, who keeps them on their toes daily and is their greatest teacher. In her downtime, you can find Tiffany diving deeper into her own personal Yoga practice. Committed to continual growth, Tiffany is an avid reader, documentary lover, and nature seeker. Traveling to Sarasota, Florida where she was raised to visit her parents and sister is a must for Tiffany, it brings her such inspiration which she continues to use in her yoga classes. 

In 2024, Tiffany will continue spreading the love of yoga to as many humans as possible, tap into another yoga training program, travel somewhere new, and, most importantly, be present for her family.

Krystle Ford

Krystle FordKrystle Ford is a contemporary violinist and Indianapolis native. She is the director and alumnus of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, a youth and family development program of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.  Krystle, who holds a music degree from Butler University,  has always had a love for mentoring children and has been a violin and orchestra teacher for over 20 years.  She lived in NYC for nearly ten years and taught in the public schools in Brooklyn while serving as the Artistic Director for the Noel Pointer Foundation. In 2015, she moved back to Indianapolis to carry out the vision of MYO founder and her former orchestra director and mentor, Betty Perry.  In her spare time, she enjoys sewing handbags, home renovation projects, managing her Airbnb properties, and playing in her band with friends who make up the Trap Orchestra. She resides on the northwest side with her husband Quinton and her 5-year-old daughter Zoe (who also plays the violin and piano).

Krystle is keeping it simple in 2024 and focusing on what matters most: relaxation, travel, and family time. But she’s kicking off the year with all seven orchestras performing at the Hilbert Circle Theatre, so maybe keeping it simple means different things to different Mavens!

Lesley Gordon

Lesley GordonLesley Gordon is the Chief Public Affairs Officer for IndyGo, Indianapolis’ mass transit provider. (We highly recommend following them on Instagram to up the happiness and delight quotient in your day-to-day scrolling. You’re welcome.) Gordon has spent the majority of her career in the public sector working for agencies such as the Department of Public Works, Indianapolis Parks Department, Indiana Civil Rights Commission, and the Attorney General’s office. Gordon has focused on finding strategic and grassroots communication efforts to inform the public of key initiatives for these essential agencies and implementing crisis communication strategies. Gordon is also committed to giving back to the community and currently serves on the IndyHub, The Parks Alliance of Indianapolis, and the GANGGANG board of directors. During her career, Gordon has been an integral part of strategic communications campaigns during times of severe weather, a pandemic, and city-wide infrastructure projects. Her ability to craft inclusive messaging while increasing the awareness of the brand continues to set her apart in the industry. Gordon was recently named 2023 Mass Transit’s 40 Under 40 and winner of the WTS (Women in Transportation Symposium) Innovative Transportation Solutions award winner. Born and raised in Indianapolis, she considers herself an Indy enthusiast who takes pride in living, working, and playing in her native city with her family, husband Colin, and children, Greyson and Olivia. 

In 2024, Lesley looks forward to more intentional time with family, the NBA All-Star game, and transportation planning, namely, the Purple Line Grand Opening.

Casey Harrison

Casey HarrisonIn June 2023, Casey launched Polished Strategic Communications, a global communications company. Through this venture, she strives to make a positive impact on brands, communities, and individuals alike. She’s committed to helping diverse businesses thrive in a global marketplace.

Her clients span industries that include post-secondary and online education, economic development, and community development. With personal and business values that align around equity and access, education, and community, she finds herself on a mission to help end cycles of systemic oppression by partnering with equity organizations and initiatives, including Women’s Equity (WE) Brunch Indianapolis, Katara McCarty and the Exhale App, the Indianapolis Recorder and Minority Business Review, and the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council.

Off the clock, Casey’s adventurous spirit shines. She’s always on the lookout for the newest public art installations and loves exploring new destinations through travel. At home, she cherishes moments spent with her son, husband, and their bow-tie-wearing rescue dog, Einstein. Casey’s life is a testament to her unwavering commitment to advancing communication, equity, and the well-being of her community.

Casey intends for 2024 to be the year of great growth for Polished Strategic Communications, including some very exciting project announcements within the next six months. Beyond work, she intends the year to be filled with opportunities to champion greater equity, community, and impact—both as a business owner and a community member by lending her time, talents, and treasures to groups championing women, diversity, and education.

Luisa Macer

Luisa MacerLuisa Macer was named Community Outreach and Fan Engagement Manager for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in January 2021. Macer has executed many programs that have helped grow the brand of one of the world’s most famous sporting venues and further immerse it into the Indianapolis community. Most notably, Macer led the planning and execution of a naturalization ceremony at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the 2022 Month of May, in which 33 individuals from around the world were inducted as United States citizens at IMS. It was the first event of its kind to happen at the 113-year-old racetrack, and its positive impact on the community helped Penske Entertainment’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts soar to new heights.

Luisa is a proud immigrant from Mexico City and has dedicated her professional and personal life to building a more welcoming Indianapolis community for all Hoosiers. With this goal in mind, her career has included roles in community outreach, marketing, and public relations. Macer has represented her local community by serving on the Board of Directors at the American Red Cross, the Immigrant Welcome Center, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana. Macer also serves on Indy Chamber’s Hispanic Business Council and Newfields Board of Governors. Luisa is a graduate of IUPUI with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a minor in Latino Studies. Luisa and her husband, Cole, reside in Fishers with their two yorkies. 

In 2024, Macer is looking forward to doing a lot more travel, exploring hidden foodie gems around the state, and knocking out 1-2 new countries, as well as a goal to read 100 books. On the professional side, she’s excited for the upcoming All-Star Game, Solar Eclipse, and the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500. At IMS, we will also have a unique opportunity to host a once-in-a-lifetime experience for fans to view the Total Solar Eclipse and work with our partners at NASA. 

Ruba Marshood

Ruba MarshoodRuba Marshood, CEO of Indy Reads, oversees the $1.6M+ organization’s programs, brand, and growth to advance social equity through literacy and community building. A social justice leader, Ruba came to adult literacy and education after a decade of international community development work in Kenya, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, and other parts of the world. She returned to the US with an eye on local impact and brought her international perspective to the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia (now EEC), where she launched their trademark Destination Workforce program, emphasizing the power of collaboration to create meaningful, student-centered transformation. An alumna of the Princeton AlumniCorps’ Emerging Leaders program, Ruba received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland and her Master of Environmental Management and International Development from Duke University. She proudly serves on the Board of Directors of the Museum of the Palestinian People, the first of its kind in the nation’s capital. A first-generation American who grew up in New Jersey, Ruba is fluent in Arabic and a published photographer and photo editor. She moved to Indy to become a Hoosier and embrace her role at Indy Reads in the summer of 2022. She enjoys exploring the city with her kids, dancing, and good food with great company. 

2024 is going to be a big year for Marshood. Indy Reads recently adopted its new strategic plan, and as it leans further into its commitment to Literacy for All, the programming is expanding and growing. Demand for their foundations, English language learner, High School Equivalency, and workforce courses are on the rise. They are already set to serve more adult language and literacy learners than ever before this program year. Plus they will be launching brand new programs to support our 300+ learners to tap into their own power to write new chapters of opportunity and engagement for themselves and their families. More immediately, their learners are helping to shape the family programming in the community bookstore. Ruba is most excited to see Indy Reads students sharing their voices, cultures, and stories with all of us. You never know who you’ll get to meet and learn from at our upcoming Open Mic Nights, Big Chair Story Times, and other events.

Despi Mayes

Despi Mayes Despi Mayes is a master of the mid-life crisis. Hers hit in her late thirties and left her feeling lost, unmotivated, and depressed. As she made her own way through the murkiness, Despi started interviewing dozens of other women about the challenges of finding satisfaction in midlife. That deep dive resulted in a set of tools that became the basis for her upcoming book, The Big Little Question, and an online course called The You Era. 

Mayes is so excited to share The Big Little Question on January 24, 2024. This book is the culmination of three years worth of research, experimentation, and 1:1 coaching work. It is packed with practical exercises to support women in cultivating a foundation of worthiness, discovering what they find satisfying, and redefining success in a uniquely personal way. Plus, her new course, The You Era, will offer a self-paced curriculum for women who are experiencing the disorientation of a mid-life crisis. Based on positive psychology principles, it includes twelve research-backed modules with over 30 lessons to get energized, rediscover motivation, and find clarity. Everything you need to step into a new era that feels like the most authentic version of YOU.

Timea Morgan

Timea J BondTimea Morgan is the creator of Timmychews, a destination lifestyle and food blog for people located in Indianapolis. Timmychews was created to provide a voice for Timea’s passion for food, cocktails, and social experiences focused on romanticizing Indy life. (Guess what? We at Indy Maven are here for it.) Timea is a social media marketer at Eli Lilly by day and content creator by night. In December of 2021, Timea turned her passion for Indianapolis into content creation, and the Indianapolis Lifestyle Blog Timmychews was born. In two short years, her Instagram has grown to almost 23,000 followers. She credits her passion for social media content creation as a creative outlet and passion project. “I’ve always loved getting dressed up and exploring. I love Indianapolis, and it has so many fun things to do that people always forget about. I wanted to change the narrative that Indianapolis is boring.. because it’s not! There’s so much to explore.”  Over the last year, Timea has curated events entitled “Sips in the City”. These unique pop events focus on bringing people together to experience a unique pop-up cocktail menu with local Indianapolis businesses. She partnered with multiple of her fave local DJs to help curate a vibe with music that captures 2000’s R&B and Pop and recent R&B out of a personal desire to go to a place that plays good music and creates great cocktails. Want to see what Timea is up to next? Be sure to follow her along on Instagram and tiktok @timmychews

Timea’s plans for 2024 involve partnering with more establishments to house sips in the city. She’d love to branch out into curating cocktail pairings at Sips in the City next year. She’s also looking forward to creating fun recipes. 

Erin Polley

Erin PolleyErin Polley (she/her) is a community organizer, yoga teacher, and healer dedicated to fostering healing and empowerment within communities to change the world. She serves as the host of the podcast “Self Care Level 1000”, CEO of Rising Collective, and Global Retreats Leader at The Hot Room.

Erin’s organization, Rising Collective, specializes in providing essential training programs such as De-Escalation, Mental Health First Aid, Bystander Intervention, and Direct Action. These training sessions are tailored for healthcare workers, educators, service industry professionals, retail workers, and anyone committed to engaging with the world compassionately and effectively.

Erin is a seasoned yoga teacher and leads global retreats through The Hot Room. Her retreats span various locations worldwide, including Bali, Portugal, Costa Rica, Mexico, and the United States. Through these retreats, Erin creates nurturing spaces for individuals to explore self-care, wellness, personal growth, and collective well-being. 

Erin has plans in 2024. In fact, she’s obsessed with planning tools and is in the process of creating her own self-care planner to help individuals identify their game-changer goals and the practices they need to do to sustain themselves in realizing those goals. She’ll then lead retreats for the early adopters of this planner and support them in their journey to total mind and body wellness so they can do the good work they are meant to do. Her business, Rising Collective, will continue to support non-profit, hospitality, and healthcare workers in bridging the gap between wanting to help and knowing how to through training and consultation. And she’s excited to lead yoga retreats in Central America, Europe, and India, providing space for people to connect with themselves, each other, and the world.

Maura Malloy is a writer, TEDx Talker, and sentimental minimalist on a mission to help people ditch digital clutter and make memories last.

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