Indy Style

Get to Know the new President of the Indiana Fever

Get to Know the new President of the Indiana Fever

Get to Know the new President of the Indiana Fever

She’s helping carry the torch and build upon an already proud legacy in sports.

Meet the new President & COO of the Indiana Fever, Allison Barber, and learn more about the “All for Love” campaign. 

About Allison Barber: 

Just the second person to head the Fever franchise, Barber replaces longtime Fever executive Kelly Krauskopf who led the organization since its founding twenty years ago and was named assistant general manager of the Indiana Pacers in December. 

Barber is a native of Schererville, Ind. and graduate of Tennessee Temple University (Ph.D. in Leadership and B.S. in Elementary Education) and Indiana University (M.S. in Elementary Education);Tamika Catchings is a four-time Olympic gold medalist and 16-year WNBA superstar with the Indiana Fever, now named Vice President of Fever Basketball Operations.

Fever General Manager and Head Coach Pokey Chatman says in part, “Bringing Allison to our franchise and watching Tamika step into a larger role has leadership written all over it. Our franchise is fortunate to have the support of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, and I know this will benefit our team as we head into the 2019 season. I’m confident we will land another quality player with the third pick in the upcoming draft, and along with our returning core and growth of last year’s rookie class, we are positioning ourselves to return to the playoffs.”

Get to Know the new President of the Indiana Fever

Barber, currently the president of Western Governors University (WGU) Advancement, the non-profit fundraising arm of WGU Indiana, and Chancellor of WGU Indiana, begins her new role with the Fever on March 18. Under her leadership, WGU Indiana experienced unprecedented growth in helping Hoosiers improve their lives by earning a college degree – growing from 250 students to 5,000 students and enrolling students in all 92 counties of the state. Previously, Barber was president of Sodenta, a strategic communications firm, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and Special Detail to the Office of Global Communications in the White House. A recipient of the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, Barber is as a state lead volunteer for the American Red Cross and serves on the boards of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Techpoint, Indiana Internet and the Elizabeth Dole Hidden Heroes foundation.  

Catchings, previously Director of Player Programs and Franchise Development with Pacers Sports & Entertainment – including the Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever and the Fort Wayne Mad Ants – will be responsible for the coordination of day-to-day basketball operations in her new role. She joined the Indiana franchise in 2001 when she was the club’s first-round draft selection – just one year after the Fever was established. For the past 19 seasons, Catchings has been a constant ambassador and respected representative of the WNBA, NBA and Pacers Sports & Entertainment throughout her career – including her current role as a Co-Chair of the local organizing committee board of directors for the 2021 NBA All-Star in Indianapolis.  

Get to Know the new President of the Indiana Fever

Fever’s 20th Season features a new ‘All For Love’ campaign 

‘All For Love’ campaign celebrates the 20th Anniversary season by honoring the players’ hard work, skill, respect and sacrifice for their love of the game. The upcoming season will also include an extensive calendar of state-wide community events that will be announced at a later date. 

The All For Love campaign surrounds Fever fans and the local community with bold player photography and headlines that speak to values, like ‘Heart is a muscle.’ or ‘Sacrifice should be a stat.’ The expansive campaign will include television, digital, out-of-home, print, in-stadium and community events.
       ■ Visit www.feverbasketball.com for more information on All For Love.
      Single-game tickets for the 2019 Indiana Fever season go on sale Thursday, March 7 at 10:00 a.m. ET. Visit www.bankerslifefieldhouse.com/tickets for more information. 
 

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Hamilton County’s ‘Wellness Unit’ part of nationwide effort to improve mental health among officers

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — An initiative to improve employee well-being at the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is among a spate of efforts across the nation to address mental health concerns among officers.

Sheriff Dennis Quakenbush announced the department’s new “Wellness Unit”  — devoted to the physical, mental and spiritual health of its deputies, correctional officers and civilian employees — Friday in a Facebook post.

“Our guys really care about the public,” he said Monday in an interview with News 8. “When you see somebody who’s injured or victimized, it really impacts us… We’re only human.”

The Wellness Unit launched in January with funding approved by county council members and commissioners.

Appointments are held off-site at undisclosed locations to protect the privacy of employees. Supervisors are not briefed on which employees seek counseling or what they discuss during sessions.

Information gathered during counseling sessions will not be used to demote or discipline employees, and will only be disclosed if required by law, including when somebody poses an immediate danger to themselves or others.

The department’s entire staff will receive training related to suicide prevention, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, critical incidents, addiction, mindfulness and officer wellness, the sheriff said.

Nearly 1 in 4 police officers has thoughts of suicide at some point in their life, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI); the suicide rate for police officers is four times higher than the rate for firefighters.

Years of daily exposure to stress, trauma and tragedy can have other devastating consequences if appropriate coping skills are not developed, according to Susan Sherer-Vincent, a licensed clinical social worker, certified alcoholism counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist involved in launching the Wellness Unit.

“Think of the hurricanes that come in, in Florida, and think of the palm trees where they bend,” she explained. “But then, what happens afterwards? They go back up. That’s called resilience. We want our officers to bend, not break.”

Until approximately 3 to 5 years ago, officers were often conditioned to “pull [themselves] up by the bootstraps and go to the next call” instead of addressing personal struggles, Sherer-Vincent said.

Cultivating resiliency can be difficult within a law enforcement culture that equates mental health challenges with “weakness,” she said.

“[Officers] are trained to have the warrior mentality,” Sherer-Vincent told News 8. “Truly, they would have been made fun of [in the past for seeking counseling].”

She compared strong, silent officers with underdeveloped coping skills to California’s famed redwood trees.

“They’re pretty sturdy. But what would happen if you took an ax and hit those every single day, day after day, for years? They would eventually fall,” she said.

Quakenbush credits his wife, church and non-law enforcement friends with providing “a really good support system.”

“But sometimes, you need a professional,” he said, urging employees to “talk through” negative emotions instead of turning to alcohol and other substances for temporary relief.

Several internal cases that resulted in disciplinary action during his year-long tenure as sheriff may have been prevented with wellness-focused intervention, Quakenbush said.

He was unable to comment on personnel matters. 

Sources within the department indicated some of the cases involved employees with substance abuse issues that had escalated over time, possibly as a result of work-related stress that had gone unaddressed. 

“I wouldn’t say that [disciplinary action] was happening often,” Quakenbush told News 8. “But seeing it happen and knowing that we probably could have done something about it made it impactful and something that we wanted to make a priority.”

Hamilton County announced its Wellness Unit days after New York City police officials revealed plans to hire a team of psychologists to combat a spike in officer suicides.

On Feb. 13, Indianapolis police officials said they planned to swear in the department’s first full-time therapy dog by the end of March.

  • FIND SUPPORT: Learn more about supporting law enforcement wellness on NAMI.org

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