Chief Executive Officer
James Taylor graduated from Ball State University in 1987 with a double major in Social Work and Psychology and received his Master’s Degree in Social Work with “Highest Distinction” from Indiana University in 1991. He spent two years as program director for Wayne County OIC, Inc. directing programs for at-risk youth. Following this, he moved to Indianapolis where he served for nine years as Vice-President of Operations for the Indiana OIC State Council, Inc. In 1998 he became Executive Director of the John H. Boner Community Center. In September 2008, he was elevated to the new position of Chief Executive Officer of the Center to focus his time on the Near Eastside Super Bowl Legacy Project and other initiatives contained in the neighborhood’s recently completed Quality of Life Plan. James is married to Lana Taylor and they have two sons. He enjoys traveling with his family, reading, cooking and spending time backpacking and canoeing in a variety of wilderness settings.
Director of Marketing
Director of Technology
Matt Belsaas graduated from Ball State University in 2005 with a degree in Telecommunications, Multimedia Production. He then obtained a Masters in Telecommunications from Ball State in 2007 from the Digital Storytelling program. Matt took an indirect route into Information Technology and spent three years working his way up the ladder at an outsourced consulting firm. In 2012, Matt joined the team here at the John H Boner Community Center as the Director of Technology. A Near Eastside resident, Matt is married to Desma and they have a son named Odin.
Chief Operating Officer
Terri started working at the John H. Boner Community Center in 1996 as Senior Wellness Coordinator, changing roles twice since then from Director of Senior Services and Transportation to her current role as Deputy Executive Director and then Chief Operating Officer. She completed her undergraduate degree with a B.S. in Exercise Science with a minor in Counseling Psychology from Ball State University. Terri really enjoys managing the day to day operations, programs, and services while ensuring all are in line with the Center’s mission. She is a huge Colts fan and loves to tailgate with her husband and friends in the Indy Blue Crew Lot.
Victoria Petersen-Elia, CFRE
Director of Philanthropy & Communications
Victoria comes to the Center with more than 11 years of resource development experience and has worked at Gleaners Food Bank, St. Mary’s Child Center and Damien Center. In each of these roles she was charged with major gifts, event planning, marketing, and donor cultivation. Originally born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Victoria received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Florida State University and became a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) in 2007. She is married to Jason and they have 2 cats, Nefertiti and Jasmine.
Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center
Children & Youth Services
Parent and Community Coordinator at Theodore Potter Elementary Spanish Immersion Magnet
Prior to arriving at the John H Boner Community Center in the summer of 2005, Abby was an Art Teacher for Indianapolis Public Schools. She began work at the Center as a Camp Counselor and shortly after she took the position of After School/Summer Coordinator. From there she became the Education Specialist for the Supplemental Education Services program. In the fall of 2009, Abby began serving in her current position as Parent and Community Coordinator for IPS #74. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Herron School of Art in 2001 and her Masters in The Art of Teaching in 2005 from the University of Indianapolis. She enjoys working with children and helping them have positive experiences in school and in the community. In her spare time she enjoys painting and traveling.
Before joining the Boner Youth and Children’s team, Aimee had various positions in township schools in Indianapolis. She graduated from the Indiana University School of Education in December 2008. She loves working with the Afterschool programs and enjoys serving the children and families of the Near Eastside. She believes all of our efforts make a worthwhile difference in the neighborhood. Aimee loves to read and spending her free time with her dog, Ringo. She also enjoys being outside, especially when there is a body of water involved.
Director of Children and Youth
Brittany began her journey at the John H. Boner Community Center as an intern for her undergraduate social work program at the University of Indianapolis. Upon completion of her internship, she was hired as a summer camp assistant and has been employed by the Center working with youth on the Near Eastside in some capacity ever since. She went on to obtain her graduate degree in Social Work through Indiana University in 2008. She sincerely enjoys working in this community, and specifically the schools here on the Near Eastside. It is amazing to see the children we work with grow into productive and successful young adults. After work and on the weekends, Brittany and her husband are busy trying to keep up with their young son, Carson, or spending time with all of their nieces, nephews, and the rest of the family.
Community Engagement Coordinator, Harshman Magnet Middle School and Arsenal Technical High School
Crystal has been with the John H Boner Community Center over thirteen years. She has a wide range of experience working with youth as well as young adults. Her greatest strength is her passion for the youth and the work that she does. She takes pride and cares deeply for the young people she works with, as well as the community. One of her greatest strengths she possess is her way of building strong, trustworthy relationships with the people she works with. Crystal loves being a part of the John H Boner Community Center family because she knows she can make a difference by breaking down barriers of at risk youth and helping them recognize that they can do anything and that someone does believe in them. She understands the barriers she had to overcome, and had it not been for someone who believed in her and told her she could do anything she put her mind to she would not be where she is today. Outside of work, Crystal spends most of her time with her four children. She has three sons 17, 14, 11 and a 10 year old daughter, all of which are very athletic. Most of her time is spent at one of their sporting events. She takes pride in family and enjoys every moment she can spend with them.
Academic Coordinator, Arsenal Technical High School
As a graduate from Tech HS, Debbie went on to earn her BS in Education from Indiana University, Bloomington. She began her teaching career in the Indianapolis Public School system and has taught in grades 5-8. While working in IPS for eight years, she became the Math/Science Lead Teacher at Daniel Webster Family Academy School #346 and the Science Bound Engineering Afterschool Club Sponsor. Debbie really enjoys being back on Tech’s beautiful campus serving the students in the afterschool program and encouraging them to try something new. In her free time, Debbie enjoys spending time at the zoo, park, and Children’s Museum with her husband and two children. She also enjoys golfing, camping, and being outdoors.
Community School Coordinator for Washington Irving Elementary
Before coming to the Boner Center, Josette completed her BSW at IUPUI. She worked in HIV/STD prevention, in the LGBT community working with Indiana Youth Group, and prenatal care coordination with Better Indy Babies. However, her passion has been working in the Near Eastside at School #14. Her family has been residing in Holy Cross Neighborhood and Willard Neighborhood for four generations and three generations have attended School #14. When not at work, you will find Josette on the football field. She played Woman’s Full Contact Football for 4 years and now coaches for the Indy Crash Women’s Football Team. Go Crash!
Community School Coordinator for Brookside Elementary
Shelia graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and has worked with youth and families in since. Currently, she is the Community School Coordinator for Brookside Elementary/IPS 54 on the Near Eastside. Shelia coordinates over 40 community partners and resources to provide a variety of services to the student body and their families. She hosts a Community Council once a month to update and network with existing and new partners, parents, teachers, school staff, and volunteers. She has a 15 year old daughter who is a cheerleader and about to start driving soon. Her time is generally spent at high school sporting events or playing taxi driver for her daughter’s social life.
Continuum of Care Housing Services
Housing Support Coordinator
Facility and Maintenance Manager
Assistant Property Manager
Front Desk Support
Amy’s passions for finance, education and counseling have led her to her dream job at the John H. Boner Community Center. While she was in the banking industry she saw the need to provide financial education to consumers and to work with them one on one to resolve financial issues. She enjoys facilitating group financial education seminars and working with individuals one on one to develop their personal spending plans and to set and achieve their financial goals. Diverse interests, backed by a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from Purdue University and a Master of Business Administration from Butler University, led her to a variety of criminal and civil law, administrative and retail positions. Since coming to the Boner Center Amy has obtained her Accredited Financial Counselor certification through the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education. Amy co-hosts the radio show “It’s All About Your Credit” which can be heard on 1310 AM the first three Mondays of the month from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and covers a variety of topics related to credit. When she is not working she enjoys spending time with her family and baking.
Asset Development Coordinator
Front Desk Support
Director of Financial Foundations
Dean has worked for the Center for a total of eight years and brings fifteen years of educational and social service experience to the department. Dean is responsible for providing comprehensive and strategic planning, development, administrative decision-making and implementation for the major program components of Financial Foundations, which include the core services of Employment, Income Supports and Financial and Asset Development. Dean is committed to assisting people and organizations achieve their greatest potential through critical analysis, planning, implementation, and ongoing evaluation. She continues to identify partnership opportunities, program development and evaluation. Dean’s passions drive her ongoing commitment to improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and community. Dean has a Bachelor’s Degree from University of Arizona, in Sociology and Family Studies and her Master’s Degree from Indiana Wesleyan University in Management.
Front Desk Support
Felecia has been with the center for 10 ½ years. During her tenure, she has gained substantial knowledge about the social service industry. In her new role as Income Support Specialist, Felecia works with customers to become aware of, gain access to, and navigate the public benefit systems; and access emergency assistance dollars for rent or utility concerns. Felecia also assists customers gain access to other services within the Boner Center and the greater Indianapolis community. In her spare time Felecia enjoys expanding her butterfly collection.
Information Systems Manager
Sharon is a seasoned financial expert with over 20 years professional experience managing programs that provides financial training, education, and counseling services. Ms. Brashears teach and created the curriculum for her educational classes, Path Ways to Your Financial Destination and Make your Money Work. Serving as the co-host for the financial radio talk show entitled, Its All About Your Credit, Ms. Brashears keeps the Indianapolis community educated on federal changes to credit law that may impact financial independence.
Ms. Brashears’ financial counseling experience has focused on training individuals in personal budgeting, building and maintaining savings, and interpreting credit history and risks. Ms. Brashears training includes reinforcement of expense tracking, credit report analysis, and income management. Ms. Brashears has extensive experience facilitating financial educational workshops, classes as well as customized courses for smaller groups.
Senior Services and Transportation
Before coming to the Boner Center, Bernice was retired after 30 years of factory work. She graduated from high school and Beauty College with honors and attended two years of college. She has compassion for and enjoys working with the elderly. In her leisure time she enjoys church, jazz music and traveling.
Senior Wellness Coordinator
Director of Senior Services and Transportation
Director of Senior Services and Transportation
Lovie has been employed by the John H. Boner Community Center since April 2, 2001. She has worked in various positions including case manager, customer relations manager and her current position, Director of Senior Services. Prior to coming to the Boner Center she worked at Pleasant Run Inc. from 1990-2001 as a direct care worker, supervisor and community based case manager (as you can see she likes to hang around for a while). Lovie is passionate about serve children, families and older adults here in Indianapolis. When she is not working she enjoys reading, hanging out with her grandson, attending her daughters’ basketball games, attending sporting events and just enjoying family!
Rosie retired from the Indianapolis Public Schools after 29 years as a classroom assistant/reading tutor. Before coming to work here, she volunteered as a reading tutor with the Read-Up Program. Her husband was a participant in the Elder Program and she saw first hand the genuine and loving care that was given to her husband and that motivated her to want to work at The Boner Center. Rosie has five children, eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. She spends a lot of time at her church and regularly visits local nursing homes and youth at the Juvenile Center to offer words of encouragement. She loves to read, walk, do aerobics and any form of exercise. Rosie simply loves life!
Before joining the John H. Boner Community Center Sharon spent several years with the Mental Health Association of Marion County working with their group homes. Graduating with a psychology degree from Indiana University prepared her to work with the wonderful participants at Elder, with the goal of prolonging the “golden” aspect of the golden ages. Most importantly, the Colts mean nothing to her. Go Baltimore!