The board leader of The Speak Easy in Indianapolis says she sees new opportunities that can build off the strengths of its new leader. The nonprofit coworking organization Monday announced Julie Heath as its executive director and Chairwoman Jenny Vance says The Speak Easy is now poised to pursue more support from foundations and grants. Vance says Heath’s ability to connect with members and experience in the nonprofit world, including time at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia, will be assets to growth.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Heath discussed her vision for the role. "We want to meet the needs of our members," she told Inside INdiana Business. "Because we’re a nonprofit — we’re a 501c3 — we are a community asset and so when we grow this community asset and we can message how we are growing it and the impact we have, if we can quantify the economic impact that we are having with our members and our alumni companies, I think we take that message out to our community partners and we can share that story."
Vance says Heath will help take the mission of The Speak Easy "to the next level." She adds the nonprofit has been "blessed up to this point" that it has experienced growth without tapping too much into support from other nonprofits. Heath says previous partnerships with the state, other spaces like zWORKS in Zionsville and Platform 24 in Carmel and even the for-profit world have helped grow the footprint of The Speak Easy and boost member access. "We are a nonprofit, but the for-profit world is very much the world we serve, so we have to be very intentional about those two worlds colliding in a way — and that’s again, part of why Julie’s background is really profound in the context of what we need to go and accomplish, because we need both."
The Speak Easy has locations in the Board Ripple area and downtown Indianapolis.