Newfields Debuts New Board Model

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Gary Butkus and Lily Pai Gary Butkus and Lily Pai

Newfields has announced a new board model introducing the addition of an associate board called the board of governors. The board of governors is comprised of 10 community leaders from diverse backgrounds who have served for the past year on a task force to create this board model. These leaders were carefully selected by the board of trustees for their high levels of community leadership and engagement.

After a year’s service, the task force presented formal recommendations resulting in the creation of an associate board that will function as a pipeline and deepen the pool of prospective leaders for the Board of Trustees and other board committees. The Board of Governors will enhance Newfields’ ability to make strategic connections within the civic and corporate community, and build a new model for engagement and volunteerism for Indianapolis leaders.

Many museums have junior boards, but very few have boards that work in formal collaboration with the Trustees to achieve strategic institutional goals. This collaboration and scope of work has been added to the official Newfields bylaws that were approved by the trustees in May. Similar structures can be found in museums like The Speed Art Museum and The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, but Newfields’ model is unique in Indiana. Kathryn Betley was elected its chairwoman.

The 2019 board of governors members include:

Chairman: Gary Butkus. He became a Newfields member in 2013. Butkus graduated from Butler University with a B.S. in Pharmacy in 1988. He also received a Certification in Corporate Citizenship from Boston College in 2002, and an Intermediate Spanish Immersion degree from the Universidad International in 2003. Butkus is currently director of alliance management at Eli Lilly and Co., where he has spent the majority of his career. He serves on the board of trustees at Butler University. In addition, Butkus serves on the Institute for Study Abroad Board of Trustees and Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals Midwest Chapter Board of Directors. He previously served on the boards of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan Opera Theater Young Professionals, and Nova Southeastern College of Pharmacy.

Vice Chairwoman: Lily Pai. She is a chartered architect and a small business owner with an international portfolio, who believes in creating elegant lifestyles through simplicity, comfort and individuality. Before moving to Indiana, Pai lived and worked in India and the UK. She is the mother of two children, an active community volunteer, and also serves on the Advisory Board of Sycamore School, Indianapolis.

Helmi Banta became a Newfields member in 1995, and served on the Institutional Advancement Committee in 2009, as well as the Flapper Gala Committee in 2011. She was born and raised in the Republic of Panama. Banta lived in the Dominican Republic for seven years, and has called Indianapolis home for 32 years. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Stetson University in 1973. Her professional experience includes eight years at GTE and 25 years at Ronald L. Banta DPM. Helmi retired in 2016. She has served on the boards of The Indianapolis Opera, the guild of Ballet International, Oaks Academy, and currently serves on the Phoenix Theatre and Scientech Club boards. Additionally, her committee participation includes St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, the Second Century Society Steering Committee, and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra North Group.

Trent Cowles became a Newfields member in 2002, and currently serves on the Finance Committee for the board of trustees. He has spent his entire career at Merrill Lynch since graduating from Indiana University in 1992 with a B.A. in Economics Phi Beta Kappa. As a senior vice president and wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch, Cowles earned certifications as a Certified Investment Management Analyst and Certified Portfolio Manager. He graduated from class XXXVII of the Stanley K. Lacy leadership program and also serves on the boards of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Harrison Center for the Arts..

Malina (Mali) Simone Jeffers started her career organizing performance based public events for underserved communities. As arts services manager at the Arts Council of Indianapolis, she managed Art & Soul and coordinated downtown public art exhibitions. In 2010, Jeffers transitioned into the Director of Marketing and Programs at the Madame Walker Theatre Center. She was Love Indy Project Manager for Plan 2020, Indianapolis’ bicentennial planning agenda. Other projects include managing the art component of the Julia M. Carson Transit Center and managing Ben Franklin Funds at Central Indiana Community Foundation. Jeffers also leads marketing and neighborhood initiatives for Ambrose Property Group at the former GM Stamping Plant. She sits on the Board of Directors for Indiana Humanities, Big Car, INHP and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Jeffers also serves on The Exchange Indianapolis Urban League, is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., a graduate of the Stanley K. Lacy Leadership Series, class XXXIX and a 2015 TedX speaker.

Greta Krueger is a native of Indianapolis, and a graduate of Indiana University, with degrees in Psychology and French. She became a Newfields member in 2005. Krueger spent 10 years in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, as director of a fine art gallery, and owner of a decorative painting company. She spent a summer studying gilding at Oro e Colore in Florence, Italy. After returning to Indianapolis, Krueger continued her business, focusing on decorative finishes and restoration of period furniture and objects.

Brent Mather became a Newfields member in 2001. He graduated with a BS in Architecture from the University of Illinois and has spent the last 15 years working with communities restoring their historic infrastructure. Mather helps to envision holistic reservation plans, revitalize brown-field and downtown sites, strengthen small businesses as an economic base, and adapt existing structures (historic and non-historic) to new sustainable, environmentally “green” uses. He is listed with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources as an historic preservationist. Many of Brent’s successful projects have combined state funding mechanisms with LIHTC, New Market Tax Credits, ARRA Energy funding, TIF districts, local economic development corporations’ low interest loans, Indiana Landmarks, and private funding/financing. Brent coordinates the unique requirements and needs of each funding partner to produce a single cohesive project, even when the construction is multi-phased, multi-site, fast-tracked and design-build. 

Joanna Nixon became a Newfields member in 2005, and was a member of the Contemporary Art Society. She is the owner of Nixon Consulting, a philanthropic advising and nonprofit strategy firm. In this role, Nixon is the primary advisor to the Efroymson Family Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation. Prior to opening her consulting firm in 2010, she worked for 10 years at CICF and served as vice president for grant making and also as a community investment officer, managing the arts and culture grant making portfolio. Nixon has served in a number of community leadership roles, and is currently on the board of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, a member of the Cultural Investment Advisory Council for the City of Indianapolis, and a committee co-chair for the IndyEast Promise  Zone. Previous board and committee involvement include Herron School of Art & Design, Spirit & Place, Drum Corp International, Primary Colours, and the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana. 

Jason Noyan is a native of Omaha, Nebraska, and graduated from Indiana University. He is a vice president and investment advisor for J.P. Morgan Private Bank. Noyan is also a member of the Association for Corporate Growth, The Exchange-Indianapolis Urban League, The Penrod Society, and 100 Black Men of Indianapolis.

Barry Wormser is principal attorney of Wormser Legal, a boutique transactional law firm located in Indianapolis. He works with clients on a variety of business and real estate matters, including entrepreneurial and venture capital services, buying, selling and leasing real estate, and drafting and negotiating contracts. In addition to his work at Newfields, Wormser serves on a number of nonprofit and civic boards, including Pattern Inc., the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis, Creative Mornings, and The Penrod Society, where he also served as fair chairman for this year's 52nd annual Penrod Arts Fair. 

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