Complete event schedule and panel members/workshop presenters announced below.


BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus is hosting its 11th annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service ( from April 23- 25. The fundraising dinner on April 24 with General Colin Powell, USA (ret.) is sold out, but seats are still available for Friday, April 25.

On Friday, a full day of panel discussions, workshops, and closing conversation will focus on this year’s theme, Cultivating Leadership: Food for Thought. Panels will address becoming locally involved and the politics surrounding food supply.

Educational workshops are new this year to the Institute and will cover topics such as informed consumers, canning, gardening 101, and backyard beekeeping. Workshops will take place during lunch, which is being served as a sack lunch at this year’s Institute.

The day will close with a final conversation with Chancellor Emeritus and Deputy Mayor of Bloomington, John R. Whikehart, and Bob Zaltsberg, Editor, The Herald-Times. Zaltsberg will talk with Whikehart about his own philosophy and modeling of leadership and civic involvement.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and light refreshments will be available. Opening remarks and the Institute kick-off by Former Indiana First Lady, Judy O’Bannon, begin at 9 a.m.

Friday event schedule and panel member listing:

Registration: 8:30 a.m. (Refreshments)

Welcome Remarks: 9 a.m.

Institute Kick-Off (Former Indiana First Lady Judy O’Bannon): 9:30 a.m.

Panel One: Do Something Personally, Do Something Locally: 10:15 a.m.
Julio Alonso 
Executive Director and CEO, Hoosier Hills Food Bank

Phillip Anderson Servant Leadership Consultant and Founder of ReThink!, Specializing in Community and Leadership Development

James Farmer, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies, Indiana University

Katharine Hibler Ivy Tech student, AmeriCorps volunteer for FEMA disaster relief

Ellen Michel Served on boards of Bloomingfoods, Local Growers Guild, and recently involved in My Local Indiana food project

Moderator: Ken Owen Executive Director of Media Relations, DePauw University

Workshops (Lunch served): 11:15 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Informed Consumer

Jean Kautt,Bloomingfoods Member Services Coordinator, Founding Organizer for Bloomington’s Food Policy Council
Gardening 101
Michael Simmons, Ph.D., Co-founder for Monroe County Master Gardener Association

Sally Hegeman, Ph.D., Gardener with more than 40 years expertise

Backyard Beekeeping
George Hegeman, Ph.D., beekeeping educator, a founding member of Bloomington Farmer’s Market

Panel Two: The Politics of Food: 1:15 p.m.

Dave Fischer Owner, Fischer Farms Natural Foods in Jasper, Ind.

Jeff Holland President of National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, National Distinguished Service Award recipient

Jean Kautt Bloomingfoods Member Services Coordinator, Founding Organizer for Bloomington’s Food Policy Council
Lynn Schwartzberg Food Columnist, The Herald-Times, General Manager, One World Catering, and Culinary Arts Instructor

Kent Yeager Senator Joe Donnelly’s Southeast Indiana Regional Director and Agriculture Liaison, Former Executive Director, U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency

Moderator: Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, Lawyer, WRTV Commentator, Publisher of, Host of “Abdul at Large” on WIBC-FM

Closing Conversation (Chancellor Emeritus John R. Whikehart and The Herald-Times Editor Bob Zaltsberg): 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

The Institute takes place on Ivy Tech-Bloomington’s main campus at the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building in the Hoosier Times Student Commons. Ivy Tech-Bloomington is located at 200 Daniels Way on the west side.

Admission for panel discussions, educational workshops, and closing conversation is with two canned goods or a free-will monetary donation made at the door for Hoosier Hills Food Bank.

Morning refreshments and a sack lunch are included in the day, but reservations are required to attend. To make a reservation, log onto, contact Tina Phelps at (812) 330-6001, or

Event sponsors include: American Structurepoint, Bloomington Economic Development Corporation, Bloomington Ford, Inc., CFC Properties, City of Bloomington, Cook Medical, The Herald-Times, Inc., The Hogan Group, Inc., IU Credit Union, Markey’s Rental and Staging, Schmidt Associates, Jefferson Shreve, Smithville, and Linda and John Whikehart.

About the O’Bannon Institute for Community Service

The O’Bannon Institute for Community Service ( was launched 11 years ago by Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus as an annual opportunity for the community to come together to discuss topics related to nonprofits, education and political and civic service. Previous speakers at the Institute have included former U.S. Senators, Pulitzer prize-winning authors, Governors, political advisers and columnists, and Laura W. Bush, former First Lady of the United States.



About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.