Meet the New Steward of Chaucie’s Place

After the departure of the former executive director, Toby Stark, the board of directors knew that they had the daunting task of filling the large shoes that Stark left for her successor.

Dr. Jack Powell

April 2017

Writer / Janelle Morrison

Chaucie’s Place, a child advocacy organization in Carmel that focuses on preventing child sexual abuse and youth suicide, was under the thoughtful stewardship of Stark until she announced her retirement in 2016. Dr. Jack Powell was named as the new executive director of Chaucie’s Place and began last month.

Dr. Jack Powell, a Carmel resident, was familiar with Chaucie’s Place through his wife, Susan, who is a member of the organization’s board. Powell’s decades of experience in educational administration and nonprofit consulting made him the obvious candidate for the vacancy. Powell holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Malone University, a master’s degree in education from Wheaton College and a doctorate in educational leadership from Western Michigan University.

Powell is a former assistant vice president for Enrollment Management and at Marian University and director of development of Lutheran High School, among other esteemed positions that he has held throughout his career. He is an active member of the community and serves on the board of directors for the Indianapolis School of Ballet and is a member of the development committee for Integrating Woman Leaders Foundation, Inc. and a past board member of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.

“I had earned degrees and worked hard as I climbed the ladder and towards the last quarter of my career, I began to realize my passion to make a difference and to be more involved with organization that have powerful missions,” Powell said. “I want to make a difference for our society and in particular for students and children.”

Powell explained that he was first introduced to Toby Stark and Chaucie’s Place board president, Richard F. Taylor III, through his wife, Susan. He became involved by volunteering his expertise and began to advise the board, pro bono, on its capital campaign.

“As I became more familiar with the mission, I thought, ‘What an impact this organization has in such a critical area.’ Powell stated. “I was at Lutheran High School when the executive director position became available at Chaucie’s Place. Its mission had resonated with me, and since I was already aware of its great need in the fundraising area, I decided to apply and was hired for the position. I am humbled and realize that there is a lot to learn about this organization though I am eager to help in the development of its funding, staff development, and additional program development.”

Powell’s experience in education and executive leadership is key for his effectiveness as a
communicator, especially when working with school districts and their administrators.

“I know how schools operate and their challenges,” Powell expressed. “This opportunity is a good fit for my abilities and my passion allows me to give myself to this organization’s mission. We have an incredibly talented staff at Chaucie’s Place and rather than have only one spokesperson, I want to put several of our staff out there speaking on our behalf because they are all passionate and gifted individuals. I’m in the business of development, it’s in my DNA, and I want Chelsea’s Place to be a leadership engine for the staff and the volunteers that are involved with us. I want the people involved with Chelsea’s Place to accomplish incredible things and have an incredible impact.”

The immediate goals that Powell has identified are to increase the overall awareness, watchfulness, and the feeling of obligation throughout the communities.

“I want to change the thinking that ‘It’s not your problem’ or ‘It’s not their problem’ to ‘It’s my problem, too.’ It’s an unpleasant subject that is a worthy mission to invest one’s dollars. Think about the return of investment from one’s donation to Chaucie’s Place, what that gift means and how it can help to alleviate or at least make a dent in all of this. We will continue to show our donors what we did with their support and how it made a difference.

“There is a modest endowment for Chaucie’s Place and it would be incredible to build that endowment and build our programs. Perhaps, we talk with people about estate planning and having them consider our organization in their estate planning. I’d like to sit down with individuals and couples, talking about our mission and how their support can impact Chaucie’s Place. I am supported by a very engaged and dedicated board led by Rich Taylor. An organization wants work, wealth, and wisdom from its board members and we’re getting all three from this board.”

Powell continued, “I will expand the leadership through our board committees and by inviting non- board members onto those committees to help us with development and with the marketing. We will continue to ensure that the Smart Steps program is evidence-based, and we have reached out to academic and faculty partners who are doing research in that area, including the IUPUI School of Social Work. One of the growth areas that I want to focus on the next couple of years is identifying additional academic partners who will work alongside of us and provide statistical evidence that shows what kind of evidence that we are having so that we can demonstrate to our stockholders, donors, and advocates, the impact that our programs are having within our communities. We will also be able to advance the knowledge that Toby began when she designed and implemented programs such Smart Steps and so her legacy will go on.”

The annual Friends of Chaucie’s Place Breakfast, one of the organization’s two annual fundraisers, will be held on April 26, 2017. This year’s special guest speaker will be Matthew Sandusky, founder and executive director of Peaceful Hearts Foundation. Sandusky was a victim of childhood sexual abuse from the age of 8 to 17 at the hands of his adopted father, Jerry Sandusky. He is working on turning his traumatic personal experience into a mechanism to prevent other children from having to learn how to survive and heal from sexual abuse.

Help to welcome Jack Powell and to support Chaucie’s Place and register for the annual breakfast at www.chauciesplace.org.

Friends of Chaucie’s Place Breakfast

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
7:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Ritz Charles
12156 N. Meridian Street, Carmel, IN
$20 per person/ $250 table sponsor