David Speicher, Senior Director, Information Systems was recognized on August 17th at the Indianapolis Business Journal & Techpoint Chief Technology Officer of the Year Ceremony, as an honoree for the award in the Not-For-Profit/Government category. David was one of 3 honorees for this award, and was recognized for his leadership and direction since assuming the role of Senior Director, Information Systems in February of 2015.

David was lauded not only for his technical achievements and technological evolution that he has overseen at Aspire, but the cultural one as well. In addition to the tangible changes (cloud based resources and programs, becoming “device agnostic”, and a shift towards a mobile friendly workspace), David has been instrumental in changing the philosophy of how we do our work. David has worked to make Aspire safer not through more firewalls, but more current and responsive security methods. He has helped our organization be more connected through the implementation of Google Hangouts, while saving on employee time and mileage expenses. We are now able to work more efficiently, less tied to a physical location than ever before.

In less than two years, Aspire Indiana looks and works drastically different than before, and the industry is taking notice. Burdened with extensive red tape and a traditionally rigid IT philosophies, David has shown the healthcare industry that it can embrace technology and adapt to the modern workforce while reducing, not increasing, the security risks that have to be accounted for. Recently, David was selected to lead an education session for the Spring quarterly meeting of the Mental Health Corporation, considered to be the most progressive mental health organizations in the nation. After presenting on the changes happening at Aspire, David received the following feedback:

- “Should make everyone in the audience run back to their shop and look intensively for IT vulnerabilities”
- “Brought up revolutionary ideas”
- “David is a wonderful presenter - I loved his enthusiasm about the topic, so nice to be challenged”

To read the article from IBJ on David, and the Chief Technology Officer of the year award, follow the link below. We hope you will join us in congratulating David for this well deserved award, and in thanking him for his tremendous service to Aspire. We look forward to the future as David moves us in the direction of his BHAG, 100 in 3: 100% cloud based in 3 years.


Aspire Indiana’s Jim Ward Selected for UWCI Volunteer Award

Aspire Indiana is pleased to announce and congratulate long time Board Member Jim Ward on his selection for the United Way of Central Indiana’s 2016 LIVE UNITED Basic Needs Volunteer Award.

Jim Ward, retired owner of Ward’s Awning Co., was selected for this award for his long time service on the Center for Mental Health and Aspire Indiana board of directors and committees for 28 years, as well as the tremendous leadership and volunteerism he displayed in the development and growth of Aspire’s housing programs. Under his leadership, the housing program at Aspire Indiana has become the largest housing program of any community mental health center in the state, and Aspire Indiana is now serving over 12,000 patients annually, thanks to the merger of the Center for Mental Health and Behavior Corp. Jim’s volunteerism and expertise made substantial impacts as he assisted in the refinancing of several properties, resulting in thousands of dollars saved annually. Most recently, Jim has been involved in the soon to open “Aspire Manor” a 12unit housing complex in Lebanon for the homeless and individuals with serious mental illnesses.

An Anderson Native, Jim graduated from Madison Heights High School in 1958 and received a Mechanical Engineering Degree from TriState College, while volunteering and serving with the US Army. After a few years in Michigan, Jim returned and purchased Ward’s Awning Co. and worked there until his retirement in 2007. In addition to his service with Aspire Indiana, Jim has been active with the Noon Kiwanis Club, St. Mary’s Church Parish Council, Anderson City Human Relations Commission, MidAmerica Canvas Products Association, and Anderson Young Life Committee.

Eli Lilly Donates Artwork to Aspire Indiana

A letter from Celeste A. Stanley, MBA, Global Corporate Reputation and Branding at Eli Lilly and Company

Thank you for providing the tour and sharing more about Aspire Indiana with me yesterday. It was wonderful to see the Periwinkles painting adding color at your clinic. It is amazing how your organization helps so many people across multiple counties improve their health and well-being through primary care, behavioral health and even jobs on an organic farm! Wow…
We enjoyed partnering with the Foundation for Hospital Art to create this custom piece featuring periwinkle flowers. As I mentioned when we spoke last night, Colonel Eli Lilly, who founded his namesake company in 1876, would often drive around Indianapolis after church on Sundays in his carriage searching for herbs and plants with medicinal properties. His lasting legacy encourages Lilly employees to “take what you find here and make it better and better.”
In May Lilly celebrated 140 years of caring and discovery through medicines and partnering with others around the world to make life better. The periwinkle was a meaningful part of our 140-year history because two medicines, vancomycin, an anti-infective, and Oncovin, a cancer medicine, are both still used today:

  1. Vancomycin was first isolated in 1953 by Edmund Kornfeld working at Eli Lilly from a soil sample collected from the interior jungles of Borneo by a missionary. It was important at the time to help treat bacterial infections resistant to penicillin.
  2. Vincristine, better known as Oncovin, emerged as an effective chemotherapy after failing in diabetes trials. Oncovin was approved by the FDA in 1963 and is still used today as an option in modern cancer treatment.

To commemorate its 140th, Lilly hosted a TEDx event for employees. Attendees could take an “art therapy” break in the lobby during the event to help complete this periwinkle painting. Attached are a few photos. We are delighted to know these flowers, or “Powerful Periwinkles” as we’ve dubbed them, help people live healthier, more active lives all over the world. We hope the painting on display brings joy and hope for those visiting Aspire Indiana.

Aspire Indiana Selects Esther Lakes for the 2016 Aspiring Person Award

Aspire Indiana is pleased to announce the selection of Esther Lakes as the recipient of the 2016 Aspiring Person Award. This annual award, now in its sixth year, recognizes individuals associated with Aspire Indiana who:

  • help Aspire clients achieve their goals through innovative, compassionate, and motivational means
  • Are roles models for others in the community
  • Demonstrate character and qualities to which we all should aspire

Esther is the co-owner of Smith’s Jewelers in Noblesville, a role she has held since 1970. She is also serving as the Board Chair for the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce, as a board member for the Riverview Health Foundation, as well as Prevail, Inc. Esther’s impact is felt in profound ways through her leadership and philanthropic efforts with the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville. She has been active in serving with their Auxiliary Auction and basketball league, and her generosity and dedication to their mission is evident to all who meet her.

While Esther’s remarkable service has not been directly tied to Aspire Indiana previously, Esther is most deserving for this award because of the impact she has had on our clients, young and old. She is helping foster a spirit of compassion and selflessness in Noblesville and our clients are impacted every day by the organizations she helps guide, the programs she makes possible, and the vision she has for a close knit community.



Paula is so respectful to our clients!
- Jennifer Olston
Words cannot describe how helpful and kind she is. I have seen her interacting with consumers and she truly treats them with respect and does all she can to meet their needs. I have been coming to the Willowbrook office over the past couple of months to do interviews for Questend. She has assisted me in getting papers I needed when the printer back in the office didn't work, has acted as my secretary in letting me know when people are here, lets me in even if I ask several times in a short period of time. She does all of this without compliant or any kind of negative attitude.  I really appreciate her and her work ethic along with her kind personality.
– Tom Harris



She is creative and makes our office environment fun.
– Heather Moody

Lori is very organized, professional and proficient at everything she does here.
-– Barb Borders

She has a relaxed confidence that makes staff and clients comfortable
– Linda Chambers

Lori goes above and beyond with everything she does.
– Susan Cantin

She makes my job as an intake therapist so much easier by how helpful she is.
– Kristy Hadfield

Welcome New Employees!

  • Mimi Adams, Behavioral Specialist - Indiana School for the Deaf    
  • Shelby Barbee, SPSP Tester - Lafayette
  • Adrienne Brown, Licensed Clinical Social Worker - Brown Street 
  • Heather Brown, Care Coordinator/LSI Home-Based - Noblesville OP 
  • Julie Coon, Child Prevention Coordinator - Child Advocacy Center  
  • Angunae Dodson-Wade, Life Skills Coach - Questend Group Home
  • Jahan Farzam, Care Coordinator/LSI - Deaf Services
  • Elizabeth (Beth) Fenney, Care Coordinator/LSI Home-Based - Willowbrook OP    
  • Jessica (Jess) Frayer, Life Skills Instructor - Willowbrook RST  
  • Margo (Stephanie) Hart, Addictions Therapist - Carmel OP     
  • Kelly Herr, School Based Therapist - Noblesville OP
  • Gwenetta Hill, Care Coordinator - Willowbrook RST
  • Kathy Hill, School Based Therapist - Noblesville OP     
  • Brandy Higgins-Stafford, Life Skills Coach-SGL - May House     
  • Karen Johnson, Access Engagement Specialist - Carmel OP
  • Rachel Knopp, Life Skills Coach - Hudson Group Home 
  • Michelle Krontz, Care Coordinator - Chase RST
  • Brittany Madison, School Based Therapist - Noblesville OP
  • Ann Mallory, Life Skills Coach-SGL - Questend Group Home     
  • Anna Marhoefer, Supervisor, Supported Living - Hartung Group Home
  • Mona Mehas, Payee Assistant - Administration
  • George Milsap, Life Skills Instructor - Willowbrook RST    
  • Stephanie Potts, Wraparound Facilitator - Carmel OP
  • Sarah Richardson, Licensed Mental Health Counselor - Carmel OP
  • Richard (Rick) Rickert, Housekeeper--Social Enterprises  
  • Kristopher (Kris) Schneider, Sales Representative/Service Technician - Social Enterprises
  • Erin Smith, School Based Therapist - Noblesville OP 
  • Hannah Smith, Care Coordinator/LSI Home-Based - Willowbrook OP  
  • Katie Smith, Senior Computer Technician - Administration
  • Holly Vavlas, SPSP Supportive Care Specialist - Lafayette 
  • Juana (Jenniez) White, Care Coordinator/LSI Home Based - Noblesville OP
  • Erika Wooldridge, Accounts Receivable Representative - Admin

Hey all you story-tellers, video-recording, I-Love-YouTube viewers!  Here's your chance to shine!  Aspire is holding a video contest!  We want you to tell us a story that tells the world how awesome Aspire Indiana is!  It can be an experience you've had, the people you work with, or anything else that shines a spotlight on Aspire.  The winning prize of this contest is $2,500!  For rules and entry forms go to,  

Sometimes when you get too close to something, it’s hard to get the full picture. That's why were holding a video contest for you to help tell our story and give our audience a fresh perspective on Aspire Indiana. Take some time to read the rules and fill out the entry form. Then go through our website or visit the following social media platforms and start filming. Good luck!

Volunteers are Needed!
We need volunteers on Saturday, October 22nd from 9:00 AM to 12 noon at Harvestland to help with maintenance of the Harvestland Farm Trail. If you have any tools like rakes, shovels and wheelbarrows, please bring them with you. We'll provide donuts, coffee and cider so come out and be a part of a great community for a great cause. Watch for more detailed information soon. We hope to see you there! Harvestland Farm is located at 6775 SR 32 in Anderson, IN.