Meet the outstanding volunteers who serve on our Board of Directors and lead our Chapter:
|Chair Carla Day|
Carla has been volunteering and serving the LFA, Indiana Chapter since 2010. In 2013 she was named our Chapter Volunteer of the Year, in 2015 was inducted into our Volunteer Hall of Fame, in 2016 was honored to be named the national LFA Volunteer of the Year, and in 2018 was elected as LFA, Indiana Chapter Board Chair! Carla is the facilitator for the Indy East Support Group, and is the visionary for the Faces of Lupus fashion show and P.A.T.H. program. She serves on the planning committee for the annual 'In the Loop - Healthy Living with Lupus' educational symposium. She was diagnosed with lupus in 1988, and having struggled and persevered over the disease for more than twenty years, she is an exemplary role model for others who are trying to do the same. Carla is married to Happy Day, who is also an avid LFA, Indiana Chapter supporter and volunteer. Carla currently serves as the Nurse’s Guild president at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, where she has been a member for more than 30 years. She enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with family.
|Treasurer Robin Miner |
After a career focused on process improvement working for Eli Lilly and Company and Dow Agrosciences, Robin Miner retired to work with not-for-profits to streamline their processes and help people achieve their full potential by assisting non-profit organizations achieve their mission. She has done projects with the Julian Center, Gleaners Food Bank, Wheeler Mission, Shepherd Community Center and others. Robin has degrees in statistics and computer science, industrial engineering, and business. Robin is married and has two adult children.
|Secretary Michelle Polanco|
Currently the Outreach and Education Specialist at the Indiana Latino Institute, Michelle-Marie Polanco holds a BA in International Affairs with a concentration in Contemporary Cultures and Societies from the George Washington University. Prior to attending college in Washington, DC, Ms. Polanco earned her international baccalaureate from the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales, UK. Having experienced up close the effects of autoimmune conditions, Ms. Polanco sought the opportunity to participate in programs of advocacy, awareness, and education benefitting those who struggle with lupus and similar autoimmune diseases. Given that lupus affects a large segment of the Latino population, Ms. Polanco especially hopes to make a difference in her community.
Crystal Bradley has been in her fight against lupus since 2006. Since 2019 she has served as the Development Event Planner at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Prior to that she was employed with the Kroger Company Central Division office as a marketing assistant, coordinating store grand openings, plans and executing large-scale company meetings and events, and handling major sponsorships. Having been involved with our Chapter for several years as a support group member, volunteer, and Walk to End Lupus Now planning committee member, Crystal has seen the Chapter grow and evolve, making an impact on the community. She believes it’s important as a lupus patient to help other patients, be a part of the continued growth, increase financial contributions and build ongoing successful relationships. She is excited to bring her skills and knowledge to help spread awareness about the disease she fights daily.
Tawanna is a graduate of Indiana University/Purdue University. She has worked in healthcare over the last 19 years and is currently employed with Managed Health Services (MHS). At MHS she holds the title of Provider Partnership Associate. As a healthcare professional, she is excited about enlightening the community on lupus and providing educational resources for the underserved population. She plans to join communities where she can use her existing public relations and healthcare experience to bring in new ideas. Tawanna is married and has one daughter who attends St John’s University in New York. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and traveling.
Karen Deno is a former LFA, Indiana Chapter Board member and chair, retiring in 2016. Karen also served as a support group facilitator for our Chapter and was a long-time Walk to End Lupus Now planning committee member. She serves on the planning committee for the annual 'In the Loop - Healthy Living with Lupus' educational symposium. Since her daughter was diagnosed with lupus in 2007 at the age of 17, Karen has worked hard to understand the disease and how it affects the patient. Since it is unpredictable and there isn’t a cure, Karen continues her journey for her and all those affected by lupus. Karen is a realtor for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Hancock County and in 2017 received the Berkshire Hathaway Indiana Community Service Award. We are excited to have Karen returning as a Board member and look forward to her continued involvement with our Chapter.
Allyson is an attorney practicing corporate litigation in Indianapolis. She obtained an undergraduate degree from Butler University, and a law degree from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. Allyson has served on the event committee for LFA’s A Tasteful Affair for the past three years and is excited to become further involved with the LFA community by joining the Board of Directors in 2018.
Kelly French has been fighting lupus since 2004 and is a mother of three. Born in Indianapolis, Kelly attended Indiana University and is a registered nurse. She has volunteered at the Walk to End Lupus Now in the past and the past several years at the Indiana Black Expo Health Fair. She serves on the planning committee for the annual 'In the Loop - Healthy Living with Lupus' educational symposium. Kelly strongly believes in educating other lupus patients as well as healthcare professionals about lupus and looks forward to getting involved with advocacy work on behalf of lupus patients.
Lindsey Monroe is a meteorologist at WTHR Channel 13 in Indianapolis. She also served as a morning show meteorologist in Memphis, Tennessee after spending four years forecasting the weather at WTHI-TV in Terre Haute, Indiana working as chief meteorologist on the morning show. Lindsey is from Cambridge City, Indiana and is a graduate of Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology and Climatology with a minor in Telecommunications. She earned her first Emmy award in 2019 for severe weather coverage at Channel 13. Lindsey became interested in weather by growing up in a drag racing family. She learned early on how to interpret weather instruments and implement the atmospheric conditions into how the car would run. It’s the way the weather has an impact on everything around us that she finds fascinating. When not forecasting the weather, Lindsey enjoys golf, gardening, and participating in volunteer and community service efforts. She has been a proud supporter of the Lupus Foundation of America ever since she was diagnosed with lupus in 2004.
|Dr. Kathleen Thomas|
Kathleen Thomas DO is a Rheumatologist with Community Health Network. She has practiced in Noblesville since 2006. She is passionate about caring for patients and has deep respect for the challenges of patients living with chronic rheumatic diseases. Ever the optimist, Kathleen believes we will find a cure. She is daily humbled and inspired by her patients. In her spare time she enjoys exercise, reading and cheering on the Steelers.