Drivers, start your engines! Orr Fellows were in for a wild ride at the last Business Leader Meeting. They had the unique opportunity to tour the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in addition to hearing from CEO, Mark Miles, and recent Vice President of Events, Allison Melangton, for Hulman & Co. Hulman’s portfolio inclues the Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series. Second-year Fellow, Kaleigh Solley, gives her first-hand account of this super-charged BLM.
The drive to this BLM was unlike any other I have had before. Rather than parking in a traditional parking lot, I arrived at this meeting by using the underpass into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A green light guided me to the correct lane as a sense of thrill overtook me. After a series of twists and turns the reality of what I was doing set in; I was driving on the internal road course for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The rare quietness of the track normally flooded with tires screeching and fans cheering, allowed me to reflect on this truly unique opportunity.
Listening to the backgrounds of BLM speakers is always awe inspiring, and this instance was no different. Both Mark Miles and Allison Melangton worked to bring Super Bowl XLVI to Indianapolis and ultimately impacted permanent change for the event and the larger Indianapolis community. They demonstrated to the Super Bowl Committee the expansive ways in which Indianapolis would bring together residents, tourists, and sports enthusiasts. Indianapolis vowed to play its strengths including its history of event planning, strong community spirit, and compact downtown. Super Bowl XLVI brought much more than just a short-lived football game to Indianapolis. It provided a powerful catalyst to advance broader civic goals, providing lasting social and economic value to Indianapolis. Their efforts defied media expectations of Indianapolis, making it a truly an iconic Super Bowl.
Hearing their story mirrored my feelings about Indianapolis in general. With my involvement in the Orr Fellowship and the city of Indianapolis, I feel that the work I do has the ability to positively impact the community. Making a difference is two-fold; I volunteer and lead philanthropic organizations, as well as work for a company that is tirelessly working to improve the status quo of their industry. Indy has a lot of these stellar companies and I feel lucky to have a front row seat to watching these successes. Being an Orr Fellow for the last 18 months has been the perfect way to experience and grow within a new city. The Orr Fellowship has been the primary vehicle for my own personal and professional growth, and I look forward to meeting the next class of Orr Fellows as they embark on this incredible journey.