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Board of Directors

Charles Yates, Chair

Charles Yates, Chair

Charles Yates, MD is a Neurotologist working at the Indiana University School of Medicine and IU Health Physicians.  He is a doctor taking care of children and adults with hearing loss and loves the work that he does.  Dr. Yates is originally from the Indianapolis area and professionally educated in the Midwest.  He has a passion for helping kids with hearing loss be kids first.


Justin Allen, Vice Chair

Justin Allen, Vice Chair

Justin is an attorney at the firm of Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP, where he focuses in the areas of commercial litigation, environmental litigation, and insurance recovery.  He is originally from Illinois, but fell in love with Indianapolis three years ago when he moved here for a job.  His significant other is a deaf and hard of hearing teacher in the Indy area, and her passion for education and advocacy in the hearing loss community have motivated Justin to get involved with Hear Indiana.  In his free time, Justin enjoys golfing, cooking and traveling.


Ali Zimmerman, Secretary

Ali Zimmerman, Secretary

Ali is a senior web developer at Blackbaud, specializing in online fundraising.  She lost most of her hearing in her early 20s from autoimmune disease and promptly learned to lip-read and use a hearing aid and other assistive technology.  She is also an accomplished singer and advocates for musicians and performers with hearing loss.  In 2008, she earned a Master's of Nonprofit Management from Regis University in Denver, and moved to Indianapolis in 2010.  At Hear Indiana, she hopes to promote accessibility for hearing impaired individuals and help advocate for communications resources for all who need them.


M. Todd Hargreaves, Treasurer

M. Todd Hargreaves, Treasurer

Todd Hargreaves joined the Hear Indiana board in January 2017, and brings over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry. In his current position at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis (FHLBI), he oversees the daily operations of the bank’s main business line of providing loans, lines of credit, and letters of credit to its 400 member financial institutions in Indiana and Michigan.

Todd earned his MBA with concentrations in finance and marketing from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management and has a bachelor of arts in history from Hamilton College. Todd currently serves on the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis loan committee, as well as volunteers with the Zionsville Little League and Zionsville Youth Soccer Association.


Jonathan Ehlke

Jonathan Ehlke

Program Committee Co-Chair

Jonathan Ehlke is a Development Director at TWG Development, LLC, where he oversees the development of affordable multifamily housing throughout Indiana.  Born with a severe to profound hearing loss, Jonathan mainstreamed at parochial schools in Milwaukee, Wisconsin before graduating from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a degree in Finance, Investments & Banking. 

Jonathan recognizes that his education would not have been possible without the pioneering advocacy efforts of his mother.  He hopes to help Hear Indiana provide the same opportunities to children with similar challenges.

Jonathan also serves on the Housing Committee of Near East Area Renewal.  In his free time, Jonathan enjoys spending time with his wife Heidi, their three daughters and one crazy dog.


Chris Herndon

Chris Herndon

Governance Committee Chair

Chris is senior vice president of community engagement for United Way of Central Indiana, where he leads the marketing, communications and volunteer engagement teams.

Prior to joining United Way, Chris spent 16 years in sports marketing with the Indianapolis Indians baseball team. While there, he led marketing efforts that resulted in the most profitable period in club history.

Always eager to serve his community, Chris has been active in volunteer leadership roles with Downtown Indy, Indiana Sports Corporation, Marian University Cycling & Major Taylor Velodrome, Freewheelin’ Community Bikes and Leadership Indianapolis. He resides in an historic Indianapolis neighborhood with his wife Ashley (and dog Biscuit) and is an avid cyclist and hockey fan.


Laura Bailey Sogard

Laura Bailey Sogard

Fund Development Committee Chair

Laura was born in Austin, Texas, raised in Iowa City, Iowa and received her BBA in Finance from the University of Iowa.  She worked in the insurance industry for 10 years before switching her career path to early childhood education and administration.  She retired in 2006 after her second daughter Annabelle was born with severe to profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss.  Annabelle has been wearing hearing aids and receiving Speech Therapy since she was 5 months old and is mainstreamed in school.

Although Laura is retired from the corporate world she is a very active stay at home mom and professional volunteer.  She has been on the board of The Children’s Museum Guild, Chairman of The Children’s Museum Haunted House, current member of the Board of Trustees and Capital Campaign Committee at Meridian Street United Methodist Church and the Park Tudor School Annual Fund Committee.   She enjoys working in her vegetable garden, cooking, traveling and spending quality time with her husband Chris and daughters Abby and Annabelle.  


Damon Strickland

Damon Strickland

Program Committee Co-Chair

Damon is a Senior Director at Eli Lilly and Company, specializing in Information Security and Ethics & Compliance.  He is  the father of a high school Sophomore who has severe-to-profound hearing loss in both ears.  Originally from Anchorage Alaska, he and his wife Erin came to Indiana after leaving the University of Nebraska where both were members of the Swimming and Diving teams.  Damon finds passion in helping people achieve their purpose and is motivated by hard work over time, having completed two Ironman triathlons and being active on the Zionsville Triathlon and Cycling Team.  Damon looks forward to bringing the perspective of parents of young adults preparing to enter university and the workforce.