By Caitie Deranek Stewart
The ELEVATE Awards depend on a diverse, community-driven panel of judges to help us narrow over 100 nominations down to our finalists. We can’t thank these community leaders enough for their thoughtful insight and commitment to United Way – and for sharing a little background information with us, including their dream travel destination once the pandemic subsides.
Tanorria Askew, the Beachy Chef
Tanorria Askew is the founder and owner of Tanorria’s Table where she serves as a personal chef and TV personality. With her cooking roots originating from Tennessee, Tanorria has fun putting a modern spin on southern American comfort food. A 2016 contestant on MasterChef hosted by Gordon Ramsey, she walked away as the 4th best home cook in America. Tanorria is passionate about diversity and inclusion, speaking to audiences across the country about her career and the courage it takes to chase dreams.
Tanorria is ready to hop on a plane to the beach just as soon as it is safe to do so. She also plans to immerse herself in the history and culture of New Orleans just as soon as she can.
Follow Tanorria on instagram @tanorriastable.
Aaron Hunt, Broadway Stan
Aaron Hurt joined Butler University with the opening of the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts in 2013 and has since been promoted to various roles in the Butler Arts Center up to his current position of Executive Director that he has held since August of 2018. Aaron oversaw the merger of the Butler Arts Center and University Events into one division, the Butler Arts & Events Center, which oversees 1,400 events annually across the university. Through his work, the BAEC has substantially grown its audience reach and improved the quality of productions and artists coming through the venues.
Aaron was named to the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class of 2020, and in 2016, he was named to the International Association of Venue Managers 30 Under 30 class. Aaron is an alum of Butler University’s Arts Administration program.
As you might guess, Aaron is longing to hear music and tap shoes coming together with a trip to the Great White Way. When the pandemic is over, you can expect to find him waiting in the Hamilton lottery or tossing on a top hat on Broadway in New York City.
Follow Aaron and Butler Arts & Events Center on instagram @aaronmhurt and @butlerartscenter.
Sarah Myer, the Live Music & PR Queen
Sarah Myer is Senior Director, Marketing & Communications at Indiana Sports Corp. In this role, Myer is responsible for being a leader within the Operations Division and overseeing a department responsible for the marketing, communications, and brand management for Indiana Sports Corp, its events, and its partner events. Since joining ISC in April 2019, Myer’s largest projects have been marketing Indiana Sports Corp’s fundraisers, Big Ten football and basketball events, and the 2021 NCAA Tournament including March Madness and the Final Four. Prior to joining the ISC team, Myer spent eight years at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra where she served most recently as the Vice President of Marketing, overseeing marketing campaigns and a 66% increase in ticket sales during her tenure.
A 2006 graduate of Butler University, Myer earned her bachelor of arts in journalism. She majored in public relations and received a minor in media arts. Myer currently serves on the boards of IndyHub, Leadership Indianapolis, and Downtown Indy Marketing, is a fitness instructor at the Benjamin Harrison and Irsay YMCAs, and was the 2020 recipient of the United Way Elevate Community Ambassador of the Year Award.
When it is safe to travel again, you’ll find Sarah headed to live music venues, and even traveling all the way to Italy for her dream vacation.
Follow Sarah on instagram @smyerinthecity and Indiana Sports Corp on twitter @IndSportsCorp.
Elliott Patrick, Staycation fan of the city
Elliott Patrick is the chief information officer for the City of Indianapolis and Marion County. A 2008 graduate from the University of Notre Dame, he previously spent the past six years in various roles at the city-county government’s information services agency. As the city and county’s top technology official, Elliott is responsible for supplying IT services to 45 local government agencies and departments. Prior to this role, he served as the chief financial officer and a business services consultant for ISA.
With his office high above the city overlooking Indianapolis, he will happily wait out the pandemic before traveling again.
Follow Elliott on twitter @indy_cio.
Joshua Posley, Summer Madness Life Coach
Joshua Posley is a purpose-driven empowering thought leader whose goal is to uplift, inspire and empower others to learn more, do more and be more. He is the CEO of J. Posley LLC that builds organizations and events to teach others how to increase their quality of life. He is the host and producer of the “Dream Big Think Sharp” podcast and the creator of the “Take Care” Life Coaching Organization.
As soon as he can, Josh will be slipping away to Cancun, Mexico to enjoy some sunshine and relaxation.
Follow Joshua on instagram @jposley_.
Adam Wren, Southern Gentleman Journalist
Adam Wren is a journalist based in the Midwest. He is a contributing editor for POLITICO Magazine and Indianapolis Monthly. His work has been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Longreads.com and Longform.org.
Adam dreams of heading to the Holy City — Charleston, South Carolina, for some good food, beautiful views, and slow times spent with friends.
Follow Adam on twitter @adamwren.
Look for the finalist announcement on February 8, and don’t forget to RSVP for ELEVATE.