your visit

Lifelong learning requires real leadership.


At Conner Prairie, every guest has the opportunity to pursue knowledge and fun in a way that is tailored to them. This pursuit requires strong, dedicated leadership. Our board of directors oversees operations and engages community members in supporting the museum. Conner Prairie thanks these individuals who contribute their time and expertise.

2017 Board of Directors

Conner Prairie Museum 

The Conner Prairie Museum board of directors oversees operations and engages community members in supporting the museum.

Norman BurnsNorman Burns
President & CEO, Conner Prairie Museum

Norman Burns is the President & CEO of Conner Prairie. Burns has more than 28 years of experience in various leadership capacities at historical institutions, most recently as executive director at Maymont, a 100-acre property in Richmond, Va. Prior to joining Maymont, he served as executive director of four Tennessee museums from 1987 to 2001, including Belle Meade Plantation, Chattanooga Regional History Museum, Rocky Mount Museum and Sam Davis Historical Site and Museum. Burns is active in the museum field nationally. He serves as treasurer and council member for the American Association of State and Local History. Burns earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in history from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. He and wife Sandy have three grown sons.

Jay RickerJay Ricker
Chair, Conner Prairie Museum
Chairman, Ricker Oil Company

Jay Ricker is Chairman of Ricker's Oil Company. He is past chair of the National Association of Convenience Stores and the BP Amoco Marketers Association. He is chair of the Fuel Institute in Alexandria, Va. Ricker earned a bachelor's degree from the Krannert School at Purdue University. He is or has been active in a number of community groups, including Community Hospital of Anderson and the Salvation Army Indiana Division. He and his wife Nancy have two adult children.

Richard ThrappRich Thrapp
Vice Chair, Conner Prairie Museum
Partner, Ice Miller

Rich Thrapp is a partner at Ice Miller. He was appointed to serve on the Indiana Business Law Survey Commission and elected as its chairman in 2006. He was a member of the drafting committee for Indiana's Limited Liability Company Act and served on the drafting committee for the Indiana Nonprofit Corporation Act. Thrapp serves on the boards of the Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Indiana Bar Foundation and the Oakwood Foundation. Thrapp received the Sagamore of the Wabash award in 2016. He earned a bachelor’s degree from DePauw University and earned his juris doctor from Indiana University School of Law. He and wife, Linda, reside in Indianapolis.

Mary Ayers
Secretary, Conner Prairie Museum
Finance Director, Dow DuPont Merger Project
at Dow AgroSciences

Mary Ayers is Finance Director – Dow DuPont Merger Project at Dow AgroSciences. She has previously held various financial roles with Dow AgroSciences. Ayers is a CPA and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Ball State University. She also is on the Board of Trustees of the Indiana chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She and husband, Randy, reside in Fishers.

Alan CohenAlan H. Cohen
Treasurer, Conner Prairie Museum
CEO & Chairman of the Board (retired), Finish Line

Alan H. Cohen is the retired CEO and chairman of the board of Finish Line. He retired as CEO in 2008 and as chairman of the board in 2010. Cohen is currently a member of the board of directors for Duke Realty and the Indianapolis Zoo. He also serves as a member of the dean’s advisory council at Indiana University School of Business. He was named a Sagamore of the Wabash by former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2012. Cohen and wife Linda live in Indianapolis.


Cristine AltmanChristine Altman
Hamilton County Commissioner

Christine Altman is a Hamilton County commissioner, promoting regional cooperation in areas ranging from transportation to security. She has also practiced law for 30 years, concentrating on business, probate, real estate and commercial law. Altman earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Indiana University of School of Business and a juris doctor from the Indiana University School of Law. She is a member of the United Way Advisory Board in Hamilton County, former president of the Hamilton County Leadership Academy and a former director of the Carmel Clay Chamber of Commerce. Altman is a member of the Indiana Commission for Women and former chair. She and husband John Dicklin reside in Carmel.

William BattWilliam G. Batt
Director, Executive Vice President & Trust Officer (retired), First of America Bank

William G. Batt is the retired director, executive vice president and trust officer of First of America Bank (now part of PNC) in Indianapolis. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and both the Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business graduate schools. He serves as a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Indianapolis and past district governor of Rotary International in central Indiana. He is a member of the board, assistant treasurer and past president of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. He is a winner of the Arts Council of Indianapolis ARTI Award for outstanding contributions to the arts. He has served as past board member of the Indianapolis Civic Theatre, Community Hospitals Foundation and Earlham College Foundation. He and wife Martha Sue, who are both active in the media ministry outreach of Tabernacle Presbyterian Church, have two grown children and two grandchildren.

Michael BerryMichael Berry
Vice President of Compensation, Anthem

Michael Berry is vice president of compensation at Anthem. He is a successful human resources senior leader with extensive experience across multiple human resource disciplines within the health care industry. Berry earned a bachelor’s degree in business and accounting from Indiana University. He and wife Cindi live in McCordsville with their two sons.



Marvin BladeMarvin Blade
Vice President of Indiana Community Relations & Economic Development, Duke Energy

Marvin Blade is the vice president of Indiana Community Relations & Economic Development for Duke Energy. He has more than 25 years of experience with Duke Energy in customer service, account management, economic development, and community relations. Blade earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Indiana State University and a master’s in marketing from University of Phoenix. He currently serves on the board of Indy Chamber and the executive committee with the Japan American Society of Indiana. Blade and his wife Jerrie reside in Plainfield.


William BryanWilliam H. Bryan
Assurance Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Will Bryan serves as assurance partner for PricewaterhouseCoopers and works with large multinational clients primarily in the automotive and industrial products industries. In addition to leading the audits of his clients, his areas of expertise include assisting companies with initial common stock and debt offerings, business combinations, and divestiture services. Bryan earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Brigham Young University. He and his family reside in Fishers.


Bruce BryantBruce Bryant
President & Creative Director, Promotus Advertising

Bruce Bryant launched Promotus Advertising in 1983 and has built one of the most respected advertising agencies in Indiana. The agency was selected as a Blue Chip Community Business Award winner in 2002. Indiana Federation of Advertising Agencies named Bryant its Ad Person of the Year in 1998-1999 and again in 2002-2003. He is the first African American to be named Ad Person of the Year and one of only three people to win the award twice. Bryant has served on the Better Business Bureau's Local Advertising Review Board and on boards of the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership, American Advertising Federation in Indianapolis and the Cancer Support Community. He resides in Indianapolis.


J. Chris Cooke
Partner, Senior Institutional Consultant, Cooke Financial Group at Noyes

J. Chris Cooke has provided professional investment guidance with personal service since 1990. He is a non-practicing CPA and attorney and a member of the Indiana Bar Association specializing in estate, tax and cash-flow planning and fiduciary liability with Cooke Financial Group. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and has a juris doctor degree from the Indiana University Law School-Indianapolis. He is active in the community and currently serves on St. Vincent Fishers Hospital board of directors, is a member of the Penrod Society, and belongs to Holy Spirit at Geist Catholic Church. Cooke has also served as past chair of the Conner Prairie board of directors and is currently serving as chair of the Conner Prairie Foundation board of directors. Cooke and wife Elizabeth have three children and reside in Fishers. 

Dave Cox
CEO, W. Hare & Son

Dave Cox is CEO of W. Hare & Son in Noblesville. He represents Indiana's franchised new automobile dealers on the National Automobile Dealers Association board of directors. He studied industrial management at Purdue University. Cox and wife Jackie reside in Noblesville and have two daughters. He has been active on several community not-for-profit boards.


David DayDavid Day
Attorney, Church, Church, Hittle and Antrim

David Day is an attorney with Church Church Hittle and Antrim where he represents family businesses and public schools. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University and his juris doctor from Harvard Law School. He has been involved in many community activities, including the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce and the Hamilton Southeastern School Board. He and wife Brenda live in Noblesville and have three children and six grandchildren.


Gay DwyerGay Dwyer
Former Conner Prairie board of directors Chair, Civic Volunteer

Gay Dwyer has a long history of civic involvement and currently serves on the boards of the Indianapolis Garden Club, National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the state of Indiana and the Woodstock Club. She is a past regional director of chapters for Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity and a former chairwoman of Conner Prairie’s board of directors. Dwyer and husband Terry reside in Fishers and are the parents of son, Michael.



Mark FerraraMark Ferrara
Vice President of Human Resources, Eli Lilly

Mark Ferrara is vice president of human resources, responsible for talent management at Eli Lilly and Company. Ferrara’s responsibilities include global employee recruiting, assessment, learning and development, staffing (including succession management), diversity, and HR research. He also has responsibility for the company’s archives. Ferrara is a Purdue graduate and currently serves on the boards of Young Life in Indiana and Kentucky and the Indiana Historical Society. He and his wife Nancy live in Indianapolis and have three daughters.

Keith GembrelKeith Gambrel
CPA and Partner, Katz, Sapper & Miller

Keith Gambrel is a CPA and partner at Katz Sapper and Miller, leading the firm’s audit and assurance services department. Prior to joining the firm in 1990, he spent 13 years with a national accounting firm in Chicago. Gambrel co-chairs the firm’s not-for-profit and governmental services group and its real estate services group. Since 2001, he has served as one of two members of the firm’s executive committee, sharing in the strategic growth, vision and success of the firm. He and wife Carol live in Zionsville.


Jill GrossmanJill Grossman
Vice President, Wealth Management Division, Morgan Stanley

Jill Grossman has worked in the financial services industry for 32 years and joined MorganStanley in 2012 where she is a vice president and senior partner of the Grossman Wealth Advisor Group. Grossman attended Indiana University. She is active in efforts to empower women to overcome challenges and gain skills to provide for themselves and their families. She is a member of the board of directors of Dress for Success, a Corporate Partner of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and an officer of the Indianapolis Alum Club of Pi Beta Phi. She and her husband, Allan Karlander, live in Carmel.


Jeff HagermanJeff Hagerman
Chairman, The Hagerman Group

Jeff Hagerman is chairman of The Hagerman Group, and is the fourth generation of the Hagerman family to lead the commercial construction company. Hagerman became president of The Hagerman Group in 2008 and assumed the chairman role in January 2014. He focuses on new business development, client relationships, corporate citizenship and corporate strategic planning. Hagerman earned a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering and management from Purdue University. He enjoys spending time with his children Drake and Stella, traveling the world, and following Purdue sports.



Jay LoveJay B. Love
CEO and Co-Founder, Bloomerang

Jay B. Love currently serves as CEO and co-founder of Bloomerang. Prior to Bloomerang, he was CEO and co-founder of eTapestry. He has served the nonprofit world for 32 years. He received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Butler University. He and wife Christie have three grown children and five grandchildren.




Rita_McCluskey-(1).jpgRita McCluskey
Senior Vice President – Wealth Management, Merrill Lynch

Rita McCluskey is senior vice president, wealth management services for Merrill Lynch, Pierce Fenner & Smith. She joined Merrill Lynch in 1993, currently a partner of the The McCluskey Group. She focuses on investments, cash management, estate and insurance, and retirement planning. She earned her certified financial planner designation from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and graduated from Marian University with a degree in business administration. She and husband Roger reside in Brownsburg with their three children.

Fred MedleyFred Medley
Commissioner, Indiana Parole Board

Fred Medley was appointed by Indiana Governor Mike Pence as a commissioner for the Indiana Parole Board in October, 2014. He has more than 20 years of experience managing and developing multi-million dollar accounts for national organizations ranging from banking, to insurance providers, while focusing on market trends and economic conditions. While serving as a U.S. Marine, Medley was selected to serve at the White House to protect two different presidents and other dignitaries. Medley earned bachelor’s degrees in business management and political science from Central Texas University and Indiana Wesleyan. He is active in the community on numerous boards and committees including the Lawrence Township Schools Education Foundation, Business Ownership Initiative of Indiana, 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee, Indiana Sports Corporation and the Indianapolis Abandoned Housing Task Force. He also serves as a coach for middle and high school football. He and wife Carolene Mays and their family reside in Indianapolis.

Owen MeltonOwen B. "Bud" Melton
President and CEO (retired), First Indiana Bank

Owen B. “Bud” Melton retired as president and CEO of First Indiana Bank. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Indiana University and completed the graduate program of the Graduate School of Savings and Loan. He currently serves as a member of the board of trustees for the Indiana Finance Authority and serves as chairman of the compensation committee at Goodwill Industries. He also serves on the boards of Star Financial Bank and Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Va. Melton and wife Christine reside in Carmel and have two sons and a daughter.

David-MillsDavid Mills
CEO & Founder of Tenent Ventures

David Mills is the CEO & Founder of Tenent Ventures, a computer software company. Prior to that, Mills served as senior vice president of R&D for Blackboard and CTO of Moodlerooms, Inc. He was the chief architect and associate director of the IUPUI Cyber Lab, where Angel Learning was created. This led to him co-founding Angel Learning, Inc. where he served as the chief technology officer and vice president. Mills earned a bachelor’s degree in computer technology from Purdue. He is widely recognized as a visionary in the field of education technology. Mills, his wife Jennifer and their family reside in Zionsville.



JP PattersonJP Patterson
Sales & Reporting, Elanco Animal Health
President, Conner Prairie Horizon Council

Jon Paul ‘JP’ Patterson works in the sales and reporting department at Elanco Animal Health where he constructs data infrastructure and creates insightful reporting that drives business decisions. Patterson has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wabash College and a master’s degree from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. In his free time, he is a college and high school football official and has been a member of the Conner Prairie Horizon Council for six years. The Horizon Council is a young professionals group comprised of volunteers. Patterson and his wife, Samantha, reside in Geist with their son and two dogs.



Michael C. RechinMichael C. Rechin
President and CEO, First Merchants Corporation

Michael C. Rechin is president and CEO of First Merchants Corporation, a $5.8 billion financial holding company headquartered in Muncie, Indiana, with banking operations in Central Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. Rechin is a graduate of Miami University with a bachelor's degree in English and an MBA in finance. As an active leader in the central Indiana community, he is a director of the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce, a director of Lynx Capital Corporation, a director of OneZone Chamber, a director of The Center for the Performing Arts, and a director of the Sheehan Family Foundation. He and his wife Debbie have three children and reside in Carmel.



Dick RistineDick Ristine
Program Officer of the Community Development Division (retired), Lilly Endowment

Dick Ristine recently retired as program director in the Community Development division of Lilly Endowment. He has served on several boards, including WFYI, Indy Jazz Fest, YMCA Camp Tecumseh, Arts Council of Indianapolis, Society of Indiana Pioneers, Second Presbyterian Church and Friends of Holliday Park. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin’s Graduate School of Banking. He and wife Karen have one son and reside in Indianapolis.


John SauderJohn Sauder
CPA and Managing Principal (retired), CliftonLarsonAllen

John Sauder retired as CPA and managing principal of the Indianapolis office of CliftonLarsonAllen, one of the nation’s top 10 accounting firms. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Illinois Wesleyan University. He and wife Peg reside in Carmel.


Philip ScarpinoPhilip Scarpino, Ph.D.
Professor of Public History and Director of Public History, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis

Philip Scarpino, Ph.D. is a professor of public history and director of public history at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. He is also director of oral history for Indiana University's Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence. He is the author of “Great River: An Environmental History of the Upper Mississippi River,” and co-editor of "Public History and the Environment." He has written, spoken and consulted widely on public and environmental history. In 2010, he completed a book-length analysis of cultural resources on Isle Royale National Park for the National Park Service. Scarpino served as historical advisor on Conner Prairie's recently installed Nature Walk and 1863 Civil War Journey. He teaches American history, environmental history, historic preservation, and public history and also leads oral history projects for the Tobias Center and other organizations. Scarpino earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana and a both a master’s and doctorate degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Jenny SchalliolJenny Schalliol
Civic Volunteer

Jenny Schalliol is an active civic leader and volunteer with a strong focus on children and education. She is a former PTO president at Carmel High School. Schalliol has also served on the board of directors for Fletcher Place Community Center, Stansfield Circle and the Assistance League of Indianapolis. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Indiana University and a master’s degree in education and library science from Butler University. She and husband Charles reside in Carmel.


Shawn SmithShawn A. Smith, Ph.D.
Superintendent, Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township

Shawn A. Smith, Ph.D., is superintendent of the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Benjamin Harrison YMCA Board and the Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis Library Board. He earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s degree in education from Indiana University. He earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Indiana State University. He and wife Tabetha reside in Indianapolis with their three children.


Linda TylerLinda Tyler
President, Conner Prairie Alliance

Linda Tyler is the 2017 Conner Prairie Alliance president, and has been a member of the alliance since 2012. In 2011, Linda juried into the Hamilton County Artist’s Association and has had numerous positions with that organization, including president in 2016. She began painting watercolor in 1990 and turned it into a full-time activity in 2010. She retired from the Girl Scouts Organization after a 21 year career as a membership specialist and later as the director of program development. She is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a bachelor of fine arts degree in design.


Randy WilsonRandy Wilson
Chairman of the Board (retired), Maingate, Inc.

Randy Wilson is currently retired after participating in a wide variety of professions for more than 45 years. Wilson is a life-long resident of Indianapolis and graduate of Indiana University. He received his law degree from University of Denver in 1972. From 1967 thru 1970, he served on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps and was discharged with the rank of Captain. Wilson and his wife, Rae, have been married more than 50 years and have 6 children and 21 grandchildren.


Matthew WyattMatthew W. Wyatt
Founder and CEO, Recovery Force

Matthew W. Wyatt is founder and CEO of Recovery Force, a company that designs, develops and markets On-Body active compression gear to endurance athletes, and U.S. military and medical device markets. He has 17 years of executive leadership and entrepreneurial experience in the medical device industry. His operational experience includes capital raises, operations/manufacturing, business development, sales, marketing and building strategic partnerships with key industry thought leaders and investors. He and wife Kristin attend Holy Spirit at Geist and have two daughters.


Conner Prairie Foundation 

The Conner Prairie Foundation board of directors oversees the management of the museum's endowment and the land and structures of the museum including the William Conner House.

Chris CookeJ. Chris Cooke
Chair, Conner Prairie Foundation
Partner, Senior Institutional Consultant, Cooke Financial Group at Noyes

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William BattWilliam G. Batt
Vice Chair, Conner Prairie Foundation
Director, Executive Vice President & Trust Officer (retired), First of America Bank

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Hilary Stout SalatichHilary Stout Salatich
Secretary, Conner Prairie Foundation
Owner and CEO, Salatich Associates

Hilary Stout Salatich is owner and CEO of Salatich Associates, an independent investment marketing firm. She is a former senior vice president of Conseco Capital Management and Phoenix Investments Partners. She is an honorary trustee of the Indianapolis Civic Theatre and currently a member of the Crown Hill Board of Corporators, Eiteljorg Museum’s advisory board and Indianapolis Garden Club board. She is a past board member of several organizations, including Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis Humane Society and Easter Seals Crossroads. She and husband Ron reside in Indianapolis.

Owen MeltonOwen B. "Bud" Melton
Treasurer, Conner Prairie Foundation
President and CEO (retired), First Indiana Bank

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Jay RickerJay Ricker
Chairman, Ricker Oil Co.

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Kevin SchmidtKevin Schmidt
Vice President and Financial Advisor with the Private Client Group, City Securities Corporation

Kevin W. Schmidt is vice president and financial advisor with the Private Client Group for Indianapolis-based City Securities Corporation. Schmidt is affiliated with board service for The Villages of Indiana, The Indiana Council for Economic Education, Habitat for Humanity of Boone County and is an active member of the Zionsville Presbyterian Church. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Greenville College in Greenville, Ill., and holds many industry specific designations. He resides in Zionsville with his wife Melissa. He has five grown children and six grandchildren.

Richard ThrappRich Thrapp
Partner, Ice Miller

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Directors Emeriti

Douglas ChurchDouglas D. (Doug) Church
Senior Partner, Church Church Hittle & Antrim

Doug Church is the senior partner in the Church Church Hittle & Antrim law firm and has served as a member of the Conner Prairie Museum and Conner Prairie Foundation boards of director. He has been active in professional associations having served as president of the Indiana State Bar Association and president of the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum. He and his wife, Kathy, reside in Noblesville and are the parents of two children and the grandparents of four.



Berkley DuckBerkley Duck
Managing Partner (retired), Ice Miller

Berkley Duck retired from Ice Miller, an Indianapolis-based law firm, in 2001, at which time he was one of the firm’s managing partners. He joined the Conner Prairie board of directors in 1996 and was its chairman at the time of the board’s removal by Earlham College in June 2003. As chairman of the advocacy group Save the Prairie, Inc., Duck led the effort in support of Conner Prairie’s independence from Earlham. Following independence in 2006, he served as the chairman of the board of directors of both the museum and Conner Prairie Foundation. Duck is a graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School. He and his wife, Nancy, reside in Leland, Mich.

Pat-RooneyPat Garrett Rooney
Former Conner Prairie Interim Executive Director

Pat Garrett Rooney joined the Conner Prairie "family" in the 1970s as a volunteer teacher in the old trader's cabin, located now in the Lenape Village. She remained connected to Conner Prairie as a friend when she was appointed as the interim executive director position in the late 1980s. When John Herbst became president, she joined the board of directors, serving three terms on various committees. As a current enthusiastic supporter, she cherishes that her daughter was an employee at one time and her granddaughter is now a youth interpreter.


Stan HurtStan Hurt
Chairman (retired), Supply Corporation

Stan Hurt joined Indiana Supply Corporation in 1965 and retired as its chairman of the board in 1995. During his retirement, he has been serving on the boards of Conner Prairie, the Eiteljorg Museum, the Indianapolis Art Center, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Carmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, Crossroads Boy Scout Council and the Downtown Rotary Club. Following his graduation from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in business in 1961, he joined the U.S. Navy Reserve and attained the rank of lieutenant commander. He and his wife, Sandy, live in Carmel.