Indiana University East honored six individuals for their service to the university and within the community during the Chancellor’s Medallion Dinner held November 6 at Forest Hills Country Club. The Chancellor’s Medallion Dinner is one of many events scheduled during IU East’s 2015 Homecoming Week, November 2-6.
Chancellor’s Medallion Honorees
The Chancellor’s Medallion honors individuals who have rendered distinguished service to IU East. Honorees include Garry Kleer, John McBride and Donna Spears.
Kleer, of Richmond, Ind., is president of First Bank Richmond. He first joined First Bank Richmond in 1994 as vice president of commercial lending. In 2001, Kleer was promoted to president and CEO of First Bank Richmond and the holding companies of First Mutual of Richmond, Inc. and Richmond Mutual Bancorporation. Since he joined First Bank, the organization has added five new branches in Wayne County and has expanded to Shelbyville, Ind., and Sidney, Ohio.
The number of full-time employees has increased to over 150, which includes several IU East alumni, and First Bank continues to have the largest market share of any financial institution in both Richmond and Wayne County.
Kleer supports the community by volunteering with many non-profit organizations including the Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Wayne County Revolving Loan Fund, Reid Hospital Foundation, Dunn Center/ Centerstone Foundation, and Forest Hills Country Club. He encourages his employees to participate in the community as well through volunteering and serving on boards and advisory councils.
In addition, Kleer has offered his support and leadership to IU East over the past several years. Most recently, he organized First Bank Richmond’s gift to the campus in support of the Wellness Center.
McBride, of Richmond, Ind., is chairman of the board for West End Bank. Previously, he served West End Bank as president and CEO from 2003 to 2014.
During McBride’s time at West End Bank, great effort was made to increase the number of IU East alumni working for the bank, including members of the senior leadership team.
McBride is active in civic and charitable organizations including Reid Health, Wayne County Foundation, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County, Forest Hills Country Club and Wayne County Economic Development Commission.
McBride was instrumental in establishing the West End Bank Charitable Foundation, which provided one of its largest contributions to IU East’s fifth building, the new Student Events and Activities Center.
Spears, of Richmond, Ind., is an associate broker and realtor with Lingle Real Estate. She is an active member of the Indiana University Alumni Association and IU East Alumni Association, giving of her time, talent and leadership. Spears has also been a long-time member of IU East’s Advisory Board.
As an alumna, Spears is one of the founding members of The Women’s Philanthropy Council at IU. She is also a member of the Steering Committee for the 2016 IU Women’s Colloquium and will serve as the Co-Chair of the event in 2018. The Colloquium is IU’s premier event for women alumni and donors.
Spears is also active in the community through many organizations including the Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County, Richmond Art Museum, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Economic Development Corporation, Indiana Youth Institute, Art to Heart and Girls, Inc.
Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees
During the Chancellor’s Medallion Dinner, new inductees to the IU East Alumni Hall of Fame. Anthony L. (Tony) Foster II, Rachel Mullen, and Valerie Shaffer were honored.
Foster, Mullen and Shaffer were inducted in recognition and celebration as outstanding alumni of IU East. Inductees to the Hall of Fame are alumni who have typified the IU East tradition of excellence and brought credit to the campus through their personal accomplishments, professional achievement and leadership and humanitarian service and citizenship.
Foster, of Richmond, Ind., graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He is the executive director of the Department of Metropolitan Development for the City of Richmond and he is a member of the Board of Public Works and Safety and Richmond Council on Economic Vitality. Previously with the city, Foster was the director of the Department of Community Development and the grants administrator/business development coordinator.
Before joining the City of Richmond, Foster was director of membership services with the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce.
Through his work with the city, Foster led Richmond’s 2013 Indiana Stellar Community Award which received over $10 million in new funding for community and economic development projects. He also is a liaison on many of the city’s economic development projects.
Mullen is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She currently resides in Spring, Texas. Mullen received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 2002 from IU East, where she also completed a minor in chemistry. While a student at IU East, she worked as lab foreman for Smith Dairy.
She went on to work as a quality control chemist for Gilchrist & Soames in Indianapolis and applied to graduate school at IUPUI. Mullen went on to receive her Graduate Certificate in Biotechnology and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. While working on her Ph.D., Mullen worked as a research technician in the department of cellular and integrative physiology.
Currently, Mullen conducts research in the laboratories at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She has been the recipient of several awards during her time at the IU School of Medicine, she has published numerous papers, and she has been invited to talk at the Seventh International Symposium on the Biology of Vertebrate Sex Determination in April 2015.
Shaffer received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from IU East in 2005. Shaffer, also of Richmond, Ind., is the president at the Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County.
Following her time at IU East, Shaffer was the senior project manager at Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the vice president of Business Development at Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County.
At the EDC, Shaffer hosts site visits conducted research, coordinated plant tours and company visits and developed industrial parks. Shaffer also worked as the senior project Manager for the Economic Development Corporation for the State of Indiana before returning to Wayne County in 2013 as president of the EDC.
Shaffer also volunteers in the community. She is the president of Girls, Inc., and received the organization’s Bold Award in 2014.