Our media relations team can respond quickly to your requests. Please contact director of marketing and communications, Bert Beiswanger via email at or call 317.275.1317, public relations manager, Bryan Corbin via email at or call 317.275.1315 or communications coordinator, Hyacinth Rucker via email at or call 317.275.1388.

Eiteljorg welcomes business and civic leaders to serve as directors and advisors

by | Aug 16, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art recently appointed three business and community leaders to serve on its board of directors:  Christopher Eck, Carla Leppert and Chris Trede.

Eck, an attorney, is senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of the athletic footwear retailer The Finish Line, Inc. Previously he served as general counsel to General Nutrition Centers, Inc. and corporate counsel to Dick’s Sporting Goods, and was a partner in a law firm in Bend, Oregon.

Leppert is retired as a visual arts teacher at Cathedral High School, has served on the board of the Ruth Lilly Health Education Center Inc. and helped start an art therapy program at Riley Hospital for Children, among other community involvements.

Trede is senior vice president of American Funds Service Company and general manager of the Indianapolis American Funds Service facility. He has been with the company for more than 25 years in various capacities and worked in Los Angeles and Indiana.

The Eiteljorg’s 33-member Board of Directors oversees the nonprofit museum’s finances and sets policy.

“The Eiteljorg has been fortunate to be guided by a civic-minded board well-versed in the financial world and nonprofit organizations. Our three new directors with their backgrounds and expertise will serve important roles as the museum launches new exhibitions and projects, and we are pleased to welcome them to the board,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said.

Eck, Leppert and Trede previously served on the museum’s Board of Advisors before their recent elevation to the Board of Directors. Meanwhile, eight community leaders with backgrounds in various fields were recently appointed to the Board of Advisors:

  • Mike Aguirre is a partner at Knall/Cohen Group and develops customized investment strategies.
  • Walter B. Fitzsimmons Jr., CPA, is a corporate finance professional with operating, investment banking and public accounting experience at several companies.
  • Jasmin French, attorney, is an associate in the Employee Benefits Group at Ice Miller LLP.
  • Patricia “Patty” Gibbs is a longtime civic leader and volunteer who worked as office manager at a dental practice and is co-chair of the Eiteljorg’s Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale.
  • Suzanne “Susie” Tardy Maxwell retired last year as the Eiteljorg’s vice president of development; she is a certified fund-raising executive and previously served in development positions at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and Park Tudor School.
  • Robert Shortle is co-founder of investment banking firm Periculum Capital Co. and previously was president of the securities firm Huntington Capital Corp.
  • Judith Thomas is director of convention services at Visit Indy and previously served in positions at Emmis Communications and the National Federation of State High School Associations.
  • Barbara Lewis West is a veteran broadcast journalist on “Inside Indiana Business” who hosted “Sound Medicine” and was a longtime television news anchor.

The 23-member Board of Advisors provides advice and counsel to the museum staff and directors.

The new appointments became effective July 1.

About the Eiteljorg:
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in downtown Indianapolis seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the indigenous peoples of North America. The Eiteljorg is located on the Central Canal in White River State Park, at 500 West Washington St., Indianapolis.


Media Contacts:

Bryan Corbin                                        
Public Relations Manager                       
317.275.1315 or 

Bert Beiswanger
Director of Marketing and Communications
317.275.1317 or

Hyacinth Rucker
Communications Coordinator
317.275.1388 or 


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