Carmel in brief — May 18, 2021


Correction — In the May 11 edition of Current in Carmel an article about a Carmel Clay Schools bus driver who previously served as a pilot for Air Force Two stated the incorrect name in the photo caption. The bus driver is Jim White.

Presidential scholar — Carmel High School senior Zoe Edwards has been named a U.S. Presidential Scholar. The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Learn more at

Donate disaster relief kits — Families, neighbors and faith congregations are invited to assemble and donate relief kits to be distributed to victims of hurricanes, tornados, wildfires or other unexpected disasters. Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N. Meridian St. in Indianapolis, is a collection depot for the kits through May 29. The church partners with Church World Service, which maintains warehouses across the country and distributes supplies quickly and efficiently when disaster strikes. Learn how to make and donate a kit at

Eleanor Thompson of Carmel, Indiana, was recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. Thompson was initiated at University of North Alabama.

Thompson is among approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation only and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10 percent of the number of candidates for graduate degrees may also qualify, as do faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.

Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 under the leadership of undergraduate student Marcus L. Urann who had a desire to create a different kind of honor society: one that recognized excellence in all academic disciplines. Today, the Society has chapters on more than 325 campuses in the United States and the Philippines. Its mission is “To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.”

Summer service — The Kiwanis Club of Carmel is sponsoring a summer community service program from June 7 to July 25 for youth age 10 to 18 and their families. Program participants will receive a package at the beginning of the summer with supplies needed to complete various service projects at home. Cost is $25 or $35 to include a T-shirt. Register at

Pedal Perks — Hamilton County Tourism’s Pedal Perks promotion returned this month for its fourth year. The goal is to incentivize locals and visitors to explore Hamilton County by bicycle. From May 1 through Oct. 31, more than 30 participating Hamilton County businesses are offering deals and discounts redeemable on a smartphone. Visit to learn more and register.

CEF receives grant –– The Carmel Education Foundation has received a grant from The Duke Energy Foundation to support the Carmel Clay Schools summer school program for rising second grade students who have had significant disruptions in their learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The $20,000 award will provide decodable text resources, which focus on phonic skills to assure students are at the appropriate reading level when they begin school in the fall.

Bike month challenge — Local companies and individuals from across Carmel are signing up on the Love to Ride website to show support for bicycling as part of this May’s Bike Month Challenge. The regional campaign seeks to encourage bicycling, foster friendly competition and inform future decisions around bicycle infrastructure. Businesses and organizations will compete against each other by earning points based on various criteria. Those who log a ride of at least 10 minutes will be eligible to win one of nearly 50 gift cards totaling $1,500 from local Carmel businesses. Learn more at

Broadband connectivity survey — Hamilton County has created a Broadband Task Force, led by the Hamilton County Economic Development Corp., to explore connectivity issues within the county. It is asking for the public’s help in identifying areas where broadband connections are weak or nonexistent. Residents are encouraged to fill out the survey at It will be open through mid-May.

Host families needed — ASSE International Student Exchange Programs is looking for local families to host students age 15 to 18 for the next academic year. Students come from all over the world and have received scholarships to study in the U.S. To learn more or fill out an application to become a host family, call 1-800-736-1760 or visit

HCSWCD photo contest — The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District is accepting submissions for the seventh annual photography contest from amateur photographers throughout Hamilton County in youth and adult categories. Each participant can submit up to five entries showcasing the contest theme – Nature’s Renewal. Digital files and entry forms must be submitted by June 29. New this year, People’s Choice Award winners in each of the categories will receive a $50 prize. A panel of judges will choose additional winners for a total of four winners to be honored. Photo entries will be showcased at the Hamilton County 4-H Fair July 15 to 19. Learn more at

HCLA accepting applications — Applications are being accepted for the Hamilton County Leadership Academy Class of 2022. HCLA is a 10-month program designed to connect leaders to their communities by helping them build a better understanding of Hamilton County. Applications are due by May 31. Learn more at

Weed Wranglers — The Hamilton County Invasive Species Partnership will debut Weed Wranglers events this year to remove invasive species at various locations. Volunteers will learn how to manage a targeted invasive species and work as part of a collaborative effort to improve a natural area. Learn more at Registration is required.

Seller’s market continues — The strong seller’s market continued in Carmel for April, with homes selling very quickly and prices increasing. According to F.C. Tucker Company, the average sale price for a Carmel home was $507,671, an increase of 22.3 percent compared to April 2020. Carmel homes also sold quickly, leaving the market 25 days, or 59.5 percent, faster than this time last year. The average price per square foot for a home in Carmel also increased, up 20 percent to $180.61.

Top workplace — The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has ranked Centier Bank as No. 2 on the “Best Places To Work in Indiana” listing. The annual awards honored a total of 125 companies from across the state at the annual celebration held at the Indiana Convention Center. Rankings are determined through employer reports and anonymous, comprehensive employee surveys. Learn more at

HCEDC hire — A leader actively engaged in Indiana’s workforce development will direct strategy for Hamilton County Economic Development Corporation beginning in May. Mike Thibideau will assume the role of vice president for workforce strategy for the Invest! Hamilton County brand, replacing Carol Sergi, who retires next month. Thibideau comes to HCEDC from his current role as director of Indiana workforce recovery for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Rising 30 honoree — Patrick Bowman, Americas region logistics and distribution manager at Carmel-based Allegion, has been named to the Conexus Indiana Rising 30 list, which recognizes professionals younger than 30 in the advanced manufacturing and logistics industries. Bowman joined Allegion in 2019 and is responsible for managing relationships with plants throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Learn more at

Performing arts promotions — The nonprofit Center for the Performing Arts has announced several promotions on its staff. Jeff Steeg has been promoted to vice president of finance and operations, Tim Todd to vice president of event production, Lisa Posson to director of production, Cynthia Ille to director of finance and controller, Sheila Delaney to director of development strategy and Maryan Douglas to executive assistant and board liaison.

Board appointment — Carmel native Stephen Sothmann has been appointed to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board, which is responsible for guiding the national Beef Checkoff Program. Sothmann is the executive director of the Meat Import Council of America based in Washington, D.C., where he represents and promotes the interests of the imported meat industry to a wide range of stakeholders. He is also the president of the Leather & Hide Council of America. Learn more at

MJ Insurance hires — Carmel-based MJ Insurance has hired Leea Ashfeld-Schwarz to its benefits consulting team, Michael Parent as surety consultant, Adam Adler as risk management client executive and Michelle North as personal insurance account manager.

Vaccine cancellation hotline — The Hamilton County Health Dept. has noticed a sharp increase in the number of people not showing up for their COVID-19 vaccinations. As more clinics open, people are finding ways to get their vaccine sooner. Unfortunately, the only way to cancel an appointment is by calling 2-1-1, which can lead to long wait times. As a result, volunteers for the health department have taken to calling those on the schedule each day to confirm their appointments, but that has proven time consuming.  Clients should expect a call from 317-776-2585 or a text from 78015 the week prior to their appointment. If they need to talk to a person, they can leave a voicemail with their name, date of birth, phone number, and appointment date at 317-776-8566.

Stroke support group — Franciscan Health Stroke Center is hosting virtual group Zoom meetings from 4 to 5 p.m. for people recovering from a stroke or caring for someone who has survived a stroke. Sessions are June 9 (all-inclusive care), July 14 (cardiac care) and Aug. 11 (anxiety, depression and stress management). To register and receive a Zoom invite, contact Lindsay Buck at 317-528-2066 or [email protected].