“The only way to do great work, is to love what you do.” ~ Steve Jobs
Sarah Myer holds a distinction amongst our ELEVATE finalists. She is the only individual to receive three submissions in 2020 and four submissions in 2019, though not a finalist. Myer is a huge supporter of community partner, IndyHub, serving on their board and as a key stakeholder and connector. She reminded us of IndyHub’s saying, “people make the city.” It’s true. Sarah, you make our city.
Q: What did you think when you found out that you were a United Way ELEVATE 2020 Finalist?
A: To know that people think of me in this light – as a community ambassador – is humbling. I have great respect for the panel of ELEVATE judges. They are community ambassadors in their own right. United Way of Central Indiana is such a staple in our community; making impact on so many lives for over 100 years. To be aligned with ELEVATE in this way and create awareness for homelessness this year is an honor.
Q: What do you think of when you hear the term, “community ambassador.”
A: Investing in your community with your support. Being willing to be connected and make connections. Advocating.
I’m not an Indy native. I’m from the Cleveland region. I moved here to attend Butler for undergrad, and stayed. I’m a true example of how Indianapolis can impact people.
Q: One of your nominators wrote, “Sarah doesn’t just show up she shows the way.” Where does that come from?
Showing up is very important to me. It’s the way that you set your example as a leader. You must show up when and for what you say you will. A lot of people will join something to “join” but what you actually “do” sets you apart.
Q: When were you proud of this community?
A: I was most proud during a very difficult time – when Indiana was under a lot of scrutiny for the Religions Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”). It challenged us to put politics aside and prioritize that we wanted the world to know. We are a welcoming, kind place. We have our arms open to all. Seeing city leaders who I knew were on opposite sides of the fence advocate for us to come together was inspiring and made me want to continue to be here. We can’t just say we have our arms open to all, we have to demonstrate it.
Q: Who in our community do we need to elevate?
A: The next generation. We have fantastic leaders in this community who have worked diligently to put us on the map. We have to find new people who know how to keep making things happen.
When I was looking for opportunities, professionals – very busy people – took time for me. They saw potential in me. I feel like paying that forward is especially important to the next generation of leaders.
Q: Speaking of … tell us a little about your day job – Sr. Director, Marketing and Communications for Indiana Sports Corp.
A. I’m obsessed with my job (laughs). The history of Indiana Sports Corp demonstrates how leadership can have a profound effect on a city. ISC started in 1979 when community leaders recognized how our downtown could be more than”naptown.” A sports strategy was created making us a leading civic organization advancing our community through sports. Look how far we’ve come. Today we’ve hosted the Super Bowl and we’re about to hit our 8th Final Four, in 2021. ISC uses events to lift us up. I’m so proud to be a small part of that. Honestly, the staff and volunteers I work with are true community ambassadors.
Q: What would winning an ELEVATE Award mean to you?
A: I have spent seventeen years in Central Indiana. Every year I’ve grown closer to our community. Promoting Indy, being a part of the city and helping it grow is what makes me happy. I don’t have any family here. But I believe in it that much. If I am honored for what I’ve accomplished will be lovely validation. Honestly, it will motivate me to continue the charge. It will be a reminder to keep looking for ways I cans show up for our city.