INDIANAPOLIS - The Indianapolis-based 500 Festival has elected officers for its 2018-2019 board of directors. The nonprofit says Mike Strohl, chief customer officer for Citizens Energy Group, will serve as chairman of the board.

Strohl previously served as vice chairman of the board for the 500 Festival. Chief Executive Officer Bob Bryant says Strohl's leadership and relational approach to the nonprofit's mission has been "exemplary."

"Mike’s team at Citizens Energy Group is the proud sponsor of the 500 Festival Volunteer Program, which brings together a network of over 7,000 volunteers each May that we couldn’t do without," said Bryant. "I’m looking forward to working closely with Mike throughout his term as chairman. There’s no doubt he will continue to enhance and build upon the mission of the 500 Festival and its impact here in Indiana."

The remaining officers for 2018-2019 include: 

  • Vice Chairman of the Board: Rob Pruitt, regional managing partner, BKD, LLP
  • Secretary: James Poore, owner, operator, MATCH Corp., McDonald’s
  • Treasurer: Melissa Proffitt, office managing partner, Ice Miller, LLP

Additionally, the 500 Festival named six new members to the board of directors. They include: 

  • Dr. Jim Callaghan, President and CEO, Franciscan Health Central Indiana
  • Juan Gonzalez, Market President, KeyBank
  • Syam Nair, Senior Vice President, Engineering, Salesforce
  • Jonathan Nalli, CEO, St. Vincent – Indiana
  • Nasser Paydar, Chancellor, IUPUI
  • Tanya Sovinski, Director of Community Relations, IPL

"The 500 Festival is excited to welcome these six individuals to our board of directors," said Bryant. "This is a wonderful group of community leaders who will be important to the success of the 500 Festival’s events and programs in the coming years. Their unique backgrounds and experiences will only enhance the board’s vision and perspective for the future. We can’t wait to welcome them and start planning for May 2019."

The 500 Festival Board of Directors consists of 33 civic, business, and community leaders.