Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis (IIB Photo)

Finalists for the 18th annual Indy’s Best and Brightest event have been announced. Junior Achievement of Central Indiana says the event honors 100 of the region’s most outstanding young professionals in 10 industries.

The awards program and reception is set to take place on March 24 at the Hilbert Circle Theatre in downtown Indianapolis. The nonprofit says winners in each industry will be announced during the event.

“KPMG is proud to serve as the presenting sponsor for this noteworthy event for the 18th consecutive year,” said Eric Sutphin, KPMG Indianapolis managing partner. “We understand the importance of honoring these young professionals, who also serve as outstanding role models and mentors for the youth of our community.”

The nonprofit says finalists are judged on professional accomplishments, civic contributions, character, and leadership qualities.

The finalists are listed below:


  • Claire Baker, Dauby O’Connor and Zaleski LLC
  • ZeNai Brooks, Cummins
  • Jeffrey A. Garfield, KPMG LLP
  • Christie Hornberger, Tempur Sealy
  • Bernice Osei, Anthem
  • David Rabb, BKD LLP
  • Alvaro Ramirez Davila, Republic Airways
  • JoAnna Simek, BKD LLP
  • Kevin Umberger, Blue & Co. LLC
  • Mike Wipper, Katz, Sapper & Miller

Banking & Financial Services

  • Zainab Bass, Periculum Capital Co.
  • Nicholas Candis, JPMorgan Chase
  • Anthony Hornbach, PNC Business Credit
  • Kelley Maguire, CRPC, APMA, Ameriprise Financial Services LLC
  • Josh McKenney, First Merchants
  • Shaneka Pedersen, Elements Financial
  • Amanda Rubeck, STAR Financial Bank
  • Julie Sharp , Merchants Capital
  • Will Turner, Merrill – Bank of America
  • Nate Young, Capital Group

Education & Nonprofit

  • Samirah Bongiovanni, Center for Leadership Development
  • UnoBlessed Coons, Indiana State AFL-CIO
  • Emily Hitchcock, TeenWorks
  • Matt Impink, EmployIndy
  • Laura Merrifield Wilson, University of Indianapolis
  • Daniel Poynter, Carbon Neutral Indiana
  • Dolly Serrant Ayes, Indy Chamber
  • Mee Hee Smith, Ivy Tech Community College-Hamilton County
  • Keeanna Warren, Purdue Polytechnic High Schools
  • Fabio Yataco, Central Indiana Community Foundation


  • Portia Bailey Bernard, Indy Chamber
  • Luke Bosso, Katz, Sapper & Miller
  • Alexis Gonzalez, State of Indiana
  • Rachel Johnson-Yates, MA, LMHC, LAC, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
  • Elise Locke, Indiana Department of Education
  • Andrew Merkley, City of Indianapolis Office of Public Health and Safety
  • RaeVen Ridgell, Indiana House Democratic Caucus
  • Brad Schelle, CPA, Crowe LLP
  • Hannah Thomas, City of Indianapolis, Department of Metropolitan Development
  • Andre’ Zhang Sonera, City of Indianapolis

Health & Life Sciences

  • Chris Beaman, Sigma Foundation for Nursing
  • Pilar Cuadra, August Mack Environmental Inc.
  • Victoria Garcia Wilburn, School of Health and Human Sciences Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Katie Kennedy, MSN, APRN, NP-C, CCRN, PCCN, Community Health Network, Community Heart and Vascular East
  • Danielle Lawson, Medxcel
  • Jason Mazeika, Zotec Partners LLC
  • Natraj Reddy Ammakkanavar MD, Community Hospitals Oncology Physicians and Community Health Network Precision Genomics Program
  • Kristen Sherman, Eli Lilly & Co.
  • Alexandra Simonton, IU Health Foundation
  • Ninad Thanawala, Roche


  • Neal Brackett, Barnes & Thornburg LLP
  • Kayla Britton, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Andrea Ciobanu, MPA, JD, Ciobanu Law P.C.
  • Reginald Denny Cloyd III, Commercial Litigation Attorney
  • Dominique N. Nelson, Kopka Pinkus Dolin PC
  • Barath S. Raman, Lewis Wagner LLP
  • Aaron Snellenbarger, Taft
  • Carly J. Tebelman, Frost Brown Todd LLC
  • Jonathon Wright, Hurco Companies Inc.
  • Annie Xie, Ice Miller LLP

Manufacturing, Retail & Services

  • Treveon Alexander, TrendyMinds
  • Nick Carter, Market Wagon
  • Grant Church, DairyChem
  • Megan Custodio, Dittoe Public Relations
  • Karina Gonzalez Rodriguez, Honda Development & Manufacturing of America
  • Allison Marchesani Ackerman, Cortland Consulting
  • Dave Neff, Prolific
  • Eric Odmark, IMH Products
  • Kate Onuska, Let Kate Cook
  • Paul Smith, MA, Just 4resh Dezigns LLC

Media, Entertainment & Sports

  • Leslie Bailey, Indy Maven
  • Meaghan Banks, Pacers Sports & Entertainment
  • Arianna Cruz, MORE Magazine
  • Morgan Lucas, Lucas Oil Products
  • Mel McMahon Stone, Indiana Owned and Indiana Gifts
  • Rasheda Randle, Circle City Film Festival
  • Cheyne Reiter, Indianapolis Indians
  • Paul Swartz, Hoosier Shooting Academy
  • Jeremy Thorpe, Indianapolis Colts
  • Andrew Wahl, TopShot Aerial Photography LLC

Real Estate, Development & Construction

  • Bonnie Alexander, A&F Engineering
  • Emily Bowman, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Indiana Realty
  • Kaitlyn Currie, American Structurepoint Inc.
  • Mitch Doner, Bradley Company
  • Hannah Fleck, JQOL – Quality of Life
  • Stephen Lindley, Ambrose Property Group
  • Tony McMichael, A.A.E., Indianapolis Airport Authority
  • Benjamin Ross, Pepper Construction
  • Adrian Russell, Shiel Sexton Co.
  • Andrew Urban, Colliers


  • Samuel Campbell, Code Black Indy Inc.
  • Ariel Crawley, Indy Women in Tech
  • Casey Crouse, GadellNet Consulting Services
  • Keegan Jiles, Powderkeg
  • Kate Maxwell, Microsoft
  • Mike Pirtle, Enthrall
  • Justin Sufan, The AES Corp.
  • Joy Targgart, BCforward
  • Courtney Walsh, Salesforce
  • Lujia Zhang, Resultant