Ascend Indiana’s Co-Founder Stephanie Bothun Named to IBJ’s Forty Under 40 List

February 7, 2020

It is with great honor that we announce Ascend Indiana’s Co-Founder and Vice President of Strategy Stephanie Bothun has been named to the Indianapolis Business Journal’s (IBJ) prestigious Forty Under 40 list.

Stephanie co-founded Ascend Indiana along with Ascend President and CEO Jason Kloth in 2015 where the two spent 16 months with an incredible team and board creating what is now the sixth initiative of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) and is focused on talent and workforce development. In her role, Stephanie oversees the Ascend Services team, a consulting practice that serves as an intermediary between employers and education to address labor market and talent development gaps in Indiana. Ascend Services helps high-growth companies identify, evaluate, and secure education partners to build their custom talent pipelines. To this end, Stephanie and her talented team have built and launched three workforce academies: the Community Health Network Nursing Academy, Community Health Behavioral Health Academy, and the Roche Academy for Roche Diagnostics. Ascend Services also works alongside organizations to develop talent- or education-focused strategic plans. Over the past 18 months, Stephanie and her team, in partnership with Ivy Tech Community College, had the great privilege of redesigning the Career Development function for Ivy Tech, which upon full implementation will ultimately help improve the career outcomes for nearly 100,000 students across the state.

Stephanie’s career has always been focused on creating opportunity for other people, particularly students. Prior to joining Ascend, Stephanie served as Director of Education Initiatives for the City of Indianapolis’ Office of Education Innovation under then Mayor Greg Ballard where she supported the development of a program that enabled thousands of children from low-income families to attend a high-quality preschool. She has served as a human capital analyst for Deloitte Consulting LLP and as an 8th grade teacher in Indianapolis Public Schools through Teach For America’s Charter Indianapolis Corps, where she won the regional nomination for the Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award, the most prestigious accolade among Teach For America teachers.

Recently, Stephanie was selected as a 2019-2020 Mitch Daniels Leadership Fellow based on her ideas and vision to drive change and help lift the arc of progress in Indiana. In addition, she was chosen to participate in a cohort of eight Indiana thought leaders that attended the Institute on Economic Policy Development Research Program for Education Reform Leaders in Zurich, Switzerland.

At the same time, Stephanie is dedicated to taking on roles in the community to level the playing field for children. She has held several community and volunteer positions, including serving as a board member for the Faith, Hope, and Love missional food pantry, board member for the City Robotics Championship, and leading and mentoring young students through her church. Her most recent passion project is serving as founding board member for a unique charter school model, Rooted Indy that aims to provide high school students pathways to financial freedom. Stephanie, alongside a dedicated board and school leader, has initiated the process in bringing this successful charter school model from New Orleans to Indianapolis.

Stephanie joins others in the CICP family who have received the IBJ’s Forty Under 40 award: Ascend Indiana President and CEO Jason Kloth (2017), TechPoint President and CEO Mike Langellier (2013), and Energy Systems Network President and CEO Paul Mitchell (2012).