Staff

ERNEST VARGO II, CFRE: PRESIDENT & CEO

Ernie leads the Foundation in its mission to create relationships with donors, raise funds, engage volunteers and manage resources so that Eskenazi Health may improve the quality of life for patients, including strategic guidance and oversight of the Eskenazi Health capital campaign. Prior to joining the Eskenazi Health Foundation, Ernie was a senior consultant with Johnson, Grossnickle & Associates. He also worked in marketing communications in the nonprofit sector and in law enforcement. Ernie began his career as the director of marketing and communications for Lambda Chi Alpha General Fraternity, then moved to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra as director of development. Ernie is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) with a bachelor’s degree in communications and public relations from University of Akron. Ernie is past president of the Board of Trustees of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School. In his seven years as a trustee, he has also served as chair of the advancement, governance and finance committees. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member at The Lilly School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, has served as the chair of the alumni advisory committee for the Lambda Chi Alpha General Fraternity and is the founder of the Prevention of Child Abuse Foundation.

JULIE L. ROWLAS: CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Julie provides leadership and strategic direction to the operations of the Eskenazi Health Foundation including long-range strategic planning, campaign and sustainable fundraising, human resources and financial operations. She oversees a diverse team which implements all development services including gift and data administration, event and stewardship programming and communications. Prior to joining the Eskenazi Health Foundation, Julie was employed at Indiana University and the Indiana University Foundation for nearly 20 years in student affairs and development. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History and a Master of Science degree in Education from Indiana University. Julie is an active volunteer in the Indianapolis community. She is the immediate past president of the Junior League of Indianapolis and is a member of Women’s Fund of Central Indiana’s OPTIONS Alumnae program.

KERRY DINNEEN: VICE PRESIDENT, MAJOR GIFTS

Kerry provides strategic leadership in the design and implementation of the Foundation’s major gift program. She works to ensure the effectiveness of the major gifts team in their efforts to identify, cultivate and solicit potential and current donors who will provide support to Eskenazi Health and its future operations. Kerry began her career in fundraising at Princeton University where she served as Associate Director for Leadership Gifts. She also has extensive experience in human resources, labor relations and organization development having held various positions at Cummins Engine Company, including Director of Employee Relations and Director of International Human Resources.  Kerry has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Cultural Studies from Princeton University and a Masters in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management. Kerry was President of the Board of the People’s Health Center, a federally funded community health center on Indianapolis’ eastside. She has also served on the boards of the Indiana Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, the Center for Civic Leadership in Princeton, NJ, the Yale School of Organization and Management Alumni Board, the Orchard School and The Writers’ Center of Indiana where she was Interim Executive Director. During her six years on the Orchard Board, she chaired the diversity, governance and advancement committees. Kerry and her husband successfully led Orchard’s most recent capital campaign.

GRAFTON DAY: MANAGER, SPECIAL GIVING AND COMMUNICATIONS

Grafton is responsible for strategically engaging new employees, physicians and community donors to give gifts that support the mission of the Eskenazi Health Foundation and renewing gifts from current non major gift donors. She is also responsible for guiding fundraising efforts for specific programs and projects.  Grafton develops and implements new communications strategies to reach the Foundation’s various constituencies and convey its scope of work.  She also manages the private foundation grants process for Eskenazi Health and Health and Hospital Corporation. Grafton has been fundraising, researching, and serving in various leadership roles for nonprofit organizations for over a decade.  She earned her Master in Public Affairs degree in policy analysis through the Indiana University School of Public & Environmental Affairs at IUPUI, and also completed a Certificate in Nonprofit Management. Grafton received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and international affairs from Vanderbilt University. She has served in business development for TLS by Design custom furniture and completed a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer development VISTA at the American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters in Indianapolis. Grafton has volunteered for several years with The Miracle Foundation based in Austin, Texas. She enjoys serving the community and is currently on the board of the Peace Learning Center in Indianapolis.

MIKE EIKENBERRY: SENIOR GIFT OFFICER

Mike provides strategic leadership in the design and implementation of a major gifts program and works with health system leadership, directors, physicians, volunteers and other Foundation staff to identify, cultivate and solicit prospects, including individuals, corporations and foundations to support the fundraising efforts for Eskenazi Health. Eikenberry previously served as the director of development at the Indiana University School of Informatics coordinating all development activities for the school at the Indianapolis and Bloomington campuses. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Butler University and holds a Master of Science degree in Education from Indiana University. Mike serves as an adjunct faculty member at The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, as Past President for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education – Indiana, member of Butler College LAS Board of Visitors, and as treasurer for AFP Central Indiana.

TREY V. EVERLY: DIRECTOR, FINANCE AND GIFT ADMINISTRATION

Trey is responsible for the accounting functions of the Foundation, including budgeting, financial reporting, and fund administration. Prior to joining the Eskenazi Health Foundation, Trey began his career working for a local small public accounting firm before becoming Controller of Commercial Parts and Service, Inc.  and then Controller of Central Engineering and Construction, a local site development contractor.  Trey earned his CPA designation in 1996 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Miami (OH) University. Trey is a life-long Indianapolis resident who currently is a member of the Indiana CPA Society.


OLLIE HAIRSTON
: MANAGER, DONOR RELATIONS & SPECIAL EVENTS

Ollie is responsible for assisting in the coordination, planning and execution of annual fundraising events. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ollie served as a legislative aide for former United States Senator Evan Bayh. A graduate of Indiana University, he received his Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) and a master’s degree in national security policy and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College. Ollie serves on the Board of Directors for the IU SPEA Alumni Association.

 

STEPHANIE GOODRID LAWSON: GIFT OFFICER

Stephanie LawsonStephanie works with health system leadership, directors, physicians, volunteers and other Foundation staff to identify, engage and solicit potential and current donors to support the Eskenazi Health Foundation and its fundraising efforts for Eskenazi Health. She also spearheads the Foundation’s arts and women’s philanthropy initiatives. Prior to joining the Eskenazi Health Foundation, Stephanie was employed at Indiana University Foundation as a front-line fundraiser on the Leadership Annual Giving team. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in international affairs and political science from George Washington University and a Master of Public Affairs degree in nonprofit management from Indiana University. Stephanie is an active volunteer in the Indianapolis community, currently serving as a member of the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs’ Distinguished Alumni Council, chair of the Center on Philanthropy Alumni Association Executive Committee, the director of IT and social media on the Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis Board of Directors.

RITA LEWIS: SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT/CEO AND FOUNDATION

Rita LewisRita provides administrative and managerial services to the president/CEO and Foundation. Prior to joining Eskenazi Health Foundation, Rita provided more than 15 years of executive-level administrative services and project support for new business branding, customer and media relations, served as corporate event planner and held management accountability for a corporate-sponsored nonprofit educational organization. Rita is a graduate of Wilmington College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration and earned her Master of Business Administration degree from Thomas More College.

JENNIFER R. PATTERSON: MANAGER, DEVELOPMENT SERVICES

Jennifer is responsible for managing development services functions which support the fundraising efforts and programs of the Eskenazi Health Foundation through database management, software training and updating the Foundation’s website. Prior to joining the Foundation, Jennifer served as database supervisor for five years at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and database manager for six years at Edwards Electrical and Mechanical, Inc. Jennifer received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Information Systems from Indiana Wesleyan University.

 

ASHLEY A. SOWDERS: SPECIAL EVENTS AND DONOR RELATIONS COORDINATOR

Ashley is responsible for the implementation and the development of special events and programs that raise awareness of Eskenazi Health, assisting with donor relations activities, and the coordination of facility tours.  As a recent graduate from Indiana University, she received her Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA).