Client Watch: Global Leadership Summit coming to downtown Indy

Client Watch

A leadership conference that reaches more than 400,000 people at more than 600 satellite locations across world is coming to downtown Indy.

Created 20 years ago by Willow Creek Church in suburban Chicago, the Global Leadership Summit is a values-based two-day event that is telecast live from Willow’s campus every August and features a smorgasbord of high-powered speakers such as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Good to Great author Jim Collins, U2’s Bono, New York Times bestselling author Patrick Lencioni and countless others.

The result is a virtual master’s class that equips people to make a difference wherever they lead.

“We believe that when a leader gets better, everyone wins,” said Kelly Byrd, executive director of Indy Global Leadership Summit. “So when Indy’s leaders – whether they’re corporate leaders, nonprofit chiefs, coaches, teachers, ministers or parents – get better, Indy wins.”

While a half-dozen Indy-area churches have simulcast the summit in recent years, this year the Global Leadership Summit is adding a location at downtown’s Old National Centre to engage even more people, including those who may have been reluctant to attend a church-based event. The goal is to attract more people to all Indy-area locations.

The summit, Aug. 9 and 10 at the Old National Centre, will be broadcast in HD, live from Willow Creek’s Chicago campus. Speakers will include Angela Ahrendts, a native Hoosier who is now senior vice president of retail at Apple; Simon Sinek, best-selling author and founder of Start with Why; Bill Hybels, founder and senior pastor of Willow Creek Church; and actor, director and producer Denzel Washington. For a full lineup of speakers, visit

Angela Braly, former CEO of Wellpoint and co-founder of The Policy Circle, has attended the Global Leadership Summit with her husband, Doug, an entrepreneur, for four years. When the couple learned that, of the 700 satellite locations around the world, the site with the highest attendance was in Fort Wayne, they decided Indianapolis could surpass Fort Wayne’s attendance with a downtown event. Approximately 4,000 people attended the summit at the Grand Wayne Center last year.

“We’ve attended a lot of leadership and professional development programs, and the Global Leadership Summit is the best,” Angela Braly said. “Every year, we come away feeling inspired and with new practical skills. It’s a great experience to attend as an individual, and even more powerful with a team.”

The Indy GLS team is holding a launch event at 6 p.m. tonight at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. It will include a 20-minute teaser from one of the most highly reviewed speakers from previous summits, Juliet Funt. The CEO of Whitespace at Work, Funt shows leaders and employees how they can flip the norms and reclaim their creativity, productivity and engagement. The daughter of Candid Camera’s Allen Funt, Juliet Funt engages audiences by helping them crack the code of what she calls the “Age of Overwhelm” – where nothing we do is ever enough.

  • WHAT: Indy Global Leadership Summit (GLS)
  • WHEN: Aug. 9 and 10
  • WHERE: Old National Centre, 502 N. New Jersey St., Indianapolis
  • COST: Tickets range from $189 to $209 depending on how early they are purchased
  • INFO:

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MEDIA CONTACT:  Jen Thomas, JTPR, 317-441-2487,

Client Watch: Brandywine Creek Farms opening agri-park in Fishers

Client Watch

A city that’s emerging as a high-tech hub, is turning to farming for its newest park, Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness announced during his State-of-City address on Wednesday. Fishers chose Brandywine Creek Farms, the nonprofit organization working to eliminate hunger by providing locally raised produce to Central Indiana food pantries, to operate the 30-acre park to be called Fishers AgriPark.

The park features crop fields, some livestock, aquaponics, an outdoor classroom, farmers market and eating area, as well as beehives and honey production.

While urban farming has gained popularity in recent years, the Fishers AgriPark will be the largest park in the country that’s dedicated solely to a working farm. It also will fill a need for the Fishers community.

"Fishers AgriPark will be a new educational and environmental amenity for Fishers, enhancing our quality of life and helping to reduce hunger in our city," said Mayor Fadness. "It also will provide opportunities for volunteers to get their hands dirty and help grow food that will be donated to local food pantries. It's an asset unlike anything we have."

Volunteers will help to plant and harvest produce.

“We see Fishers AgriPark as an extension of our efforts to educate people and engage visitors in agriculture,” said Jonathan Lawler, executive director of Brandywine Creek Farms. “Many Hoosiers are several generations removed from farming and give little thought to where their food comes from. This will be a very approachable place to reconnect with the land and to get involved in efforts to end hunger in our communities.”

Located at 113th Street and Florida Road, the AgriPark will feature wildflower plantings at the entrance and a parking lot. It will be open dawn to dusk during the growing season and offer day camps and field trips.  

Groups, companies and individuals can register to become volunteers at Volunteers will be needed beginning in early May for planting season and throughout the summer and fall.


Fishers AgriPark

The Fishers AgriPark is operated by Brandywine Creek Farms, a nonprofit that grows and provides healthy, affordable food to people living in Central Indiana food deserts. The largest park dedicated to a working farm in the U.S., the Fishers AgriPark will be an educational and environmental amenity for Fishers, allowing visitors to interact with and learn about agriculture, including crops, livestock, aquaponics, beehives and honey production.


About Brandywine Creek Farms

Brandywine Creek Farms is a nonprofit organization on a mission to eliminate hunger and food insecurity in Central Indiana and to set an example for farms across the country. Starting as a 77-acre farm in Greenfield, Brandywine Creek Farms has expanded to 140 total acres and includes an urban farm at Flanner House, 7 acres at the Finish Line headquarters on Indianapolis’ east side, several growing-only locations and the 30-acre Fishers AgriPark. Produce is donated to food pantries and sold at affordable prices through Brandywine Creek’s Rolling Harvest mobile farm market in the summer and early fall. Info on volunteering, sponsorship opportunities and charitable giving is at


Brandywine Creek Farms sponsors include Community Health, Hancock Regional Health, AARP Indiana, Finish Line, Indiana Grand Casino and Patriot Insurance.


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MEDIA CONTACT:  Jonathan Lawler, 317-246-8640,

Jen Thomas, JTPR, 317-441-2498,

Depicting an evolution

Inside JTPR

Sometimes marketing types talk about brands and identity like they’re talking about alchemy. Or top-secret missile codes. Or Col. Sanders’ seven herbs and spices.

We tend to think of it more plainly than that. A brand should simply be a reflection of an organization or product. And as that organization or product evolves, that brand and the way it is communicated – through a graphic identity, a tagline or whatever – should evolve, too.

That’s why you’re seeing a new logo for JTPR. We’ve evolved, and it’s time for the way we present ourselves to evolve, too.

Of course, we started out as Jen Thomas PR, a one-woman show that quite simply got the job done.

We grew into JTPR, a two-JT firm that offered solid, clear-cut skills and expertise.

And now we think of ourselves a little differently. We still offer those same services, but we put an increasing emphasis on the power of the well-chosen word, straightforward counsel and the right action at the right time. It’s what our clients say they expect from us … what we do best.

So now we describe ourselves like this: JTPR gets people talking about things worth talking about in order to move people to action. With expert counsel, the right words and hands-on execution, we help organizations reach the right audiences, say the right things and get the results they want.

This fits nicely with our business plan, which we sum up by saying, “Work with nice people, and have fun doing it.”

When we discussed this vision of our business with our friend (and designer extraordinaire) Lindsey Hadley, she brought back a new logo for JTPR that we think captures wonderfully who we aspire to be: It’s sturdy and solid, with a dash of color and whimsy. It gets the job done with a bit of flair and fun.

That might not be as impressive as alchemy, or as intriguing as missile codes, or as “spicy” as a secret chicken recipe. But it’s who we are. 


We are Doers

Inside JTPR

During our firm’s recent rebrand, we spent a lot of time pondering the right words to describe what we do best.

We settled on Advisors. Writers. Doers.

Since the core of our work involves writing, Writers was a no-brainer.

Advisors was pretty easy, too. At this stage of our careers, we’re confident in our recommendations and the advice we provide clients.

The last word, though, was harder. We ended up with Doers.

We hesitated about that at first, worried that it sounded too tactical, too elementary, too lightweight. “Doers” are often seen as the “lowest rung” on the ladder, and we didn’t want people to think of us as a “low-rung” organization.

On the other hand, one of the reasons we opened our shop is that we wanted to provide advice to our clients and then actually see it through to fruition. To DO the work. We like what we do, and we plan to stay small – just the two of us – so we are, by design, the doers.

Of course, we also believe that serves our clients well. When they choose us, they get veterans doing the work. We’re not cooking up big ideas and handing them off to junior staffers. We’re not promising expertise and delivering rookie execution. We’re following through. Putting our experience to work. Making sure the job gets done.

And when we do need help? We reach out to the best partners and subcontractors in the business – people who we know value good work as much as we do – and continue to be engaged so that the job is done right.

Yep: We’re doers. And we feel good about that.

John and Jen

© JTPR, INC. 2018