Home > Leadership Team

Current Executive Board

Starla Trigg
President
Starla is a lifetime member of the organization. She has been an active member of the Chapter since joining as a student member. Starla is a past local scholarship recipient. She's held various Chapter leadership positions including: VP of Administration, VP of Operations, 2012 National Conference Planning Team - Education Chair, Director of Membership and Board Member-at-Large. Starla works hard to ensure Chapter goals are achieved & new strategies are implemented to benefit members and partners. She is a business leader, with a diverse background in education, Human Resources, retail and consumer products. Starla is passionate about diversity & inclusion, training and helping others reach their full potential. Starla holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Hampton University and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Indiana Wesleyan University. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. - Alpha Mu Omega Chapter. Other affiliations include: Diversity Roundtable of Central Indiana and IndySHRM. Starla loves listening to music, playing tennis and golf, traveling, reading and professional development. Becoming a voiceover actor is on her bucket list. Feel free to contact Starla at president@nbmbaa-Indy.org.
Catrina Thompson
VP of Administration
Catrina M. Thompson came to the Indianapolis Chapter by way of Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has been an active member of the Indianapolis Chapter for over 16 years. Catrina has served on the Indianapolis Chapter’s Board for approximately 12 years serving as Treasurer, Director of Activities and now as VP of Operations. She looks forward to serving on the Board in other positions in the future. Catrina has over 20 years of experience in the accounting field and 16 years as an independent tax preparer for individuals and small and large companies. She is currently employed by DFAS as a Senior Accountant in Financial Reporting. Catrina strives to be the best that she can be in her professional career. She is pursuing her license as an Enrolled Agent so that she can represent anyone regarding tax issues before the IRS. Catrina holds a Master of Business degree with concentrations in Accounting and Human Resources and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She is married to Michael and they have one son, Justin who is a high school senior.
John Burt
VP of Operations
A native of Indiana, John T. Burt, Jr. graduated with a degree in finance from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business and later attained an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Burt's 10 year experiences in management consulting includes post-merger integration with HP, generalist scope as an associate with Booz Allen Hamilton, and Director of Diversity for North America at the Boston Consulting Group. Burt's corporate career includes 10 years of progressing responsibility experiences with Eli Lilly in the finance function including import/export compliance, business function CFO, international treasury, corporate financial planning, and internal controls. As a co-founder of the JumpStart Advisory Group, he is proud of the impact the organization has made to best prepare our network of 30k of next generation leaders from a career progression and professional development standpoint since 2004. JumpStart corporate and academic clientele represent top tier organizations across several industries representing several functions. As the founder of Stevenson, Burt & Associates, Burt advises leaders on their business strategy or execution and assesses investment opportunities for his family. In the community, he currently serves as an advisory on the Dean's Council at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, Ron Brown Scholar Advisory Board, the Oaks Academy, and Sway Brands (a tech start-up). Burt has been an Adjunct Professor leading courses in finance, accounting, and business strategy. Additionally, he has continued to assist individuals on personal finance Debt Reduction in role as a team coordinator at Traders Point Church. Previously he served as Treasurer and Board Member for Fletcher Place Community Center and Forest Manor Multi-Service Center and on an advisory board of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Burt has also been the keynote speaker at several career focused venues, panelist on various career, diversity, or professional development sessions, and featured in national publications. He has been recognized for the Alumni of the Year twice by the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Additionally, he was recognized on views about leadership at the annual gala hosted by the Executive Leadership Council. Burt has lived or worked in New York City (New York), Boston (Massachusetts), Palo Alto (California), Chicago (Illinois), and Indianapolis (Indiana). He currently resides in Indianapolis with his wife and three children. The Burt family actively engages in attending, learning, and serving at the Traders Point Christian Church and Oaks Academy
Shanta Thomas
VP of Finance
As the newly elected VP of Finance (early 2020), Shanta Thomas joined the Indianapolis Chapter of the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) in 2019. She’s an innovative and driven accounting professional with over 20 years’ experience. Her knowledge in corporate finance is key to the chapter by taking on the responsibility in collecting funds and maintaining financial records. Alongside the Chapter President, Shanta will also assist in establishing a sustainable financial reporting framework and coordinate the development of the Indianapolis chapter budget. Shanta strives in taking on challenges, recently promoted to the Giftcard Financial Fraud Analyst with Simon Property Group, whom she’s been employed with for 17 years, in this capacity she combines her expertise to mitigate internal and external fraud associated with the giftcard program. She is vital in assisting the program reconcile over a billion dollar in sales as the Giftcard Senior Bookkeeper a role she maintains in unison with her promotion. Shanta, an Indiana native, was raised in Noblesville during her early childhood, her family’s legacy Roberts Settlement.org remains one of the oldest historically black rural communities in Hamilton County, north of Indianapolis, where she currently resides. Shanta has a BA from The University of Indianapolis and is currently attending Florida Atlantic University pursuing her MBA in Forensic Accounting. A member of Eastern Star Church for 23 years, Shanta has volunteered her time with the Rock Fresh Market. Shanta is the proud mother of two sons Antonio who attends Prairie View A&M and Franklin attends Eastern Kentucky. In her downtime, Shanta enjoys to fellowship, cook, and travel with family and friends.
JoWanna Jefferson
VP of Records
As the newly elected VP of Records JoWanna joined the Indianapolis Chapter of the NBMBAA in 2018. She was born and raised in Indiana. She is currently a healthcare professional at Anthem. Her main job responsibility requires her to provide much needed healthcare services for insurance members for the state of Wisconsin. While she currently works in the field of healthcare, she also has experience in the fields of finance and education. She is also currently a tutor for the Department of Child Services. She attended IUPUI where she earned her BA in Communication and then went on to earn her MBA in Healthcare Management at Indiana Wesleyan University. JoWanna is also a highly active mentor member of the NBMBAA Leaders of Tomorrow program. She enjoys having the opportunity to provide guidance to the youth of the community and providing them with assistance on entering college and or life after high school. This is a passion that she holds dear. Her capacity to the Indianapolis Chapter of the NBMBAA is to help provide safeguarding a copy of all legal documents and reports pertaining to the Chapter. JoWanna enjoys travelling and spending quality time with her goddaughter Morgan.
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VP of Education
Rita Rogers
Immediate Past President
Serve as a consultant to the President; Serve as a member of the local chapter's advisory board; Serve as liaison with the business community and perform special projects as identified by the President. Rita M. Rogers is the immediate past President of the National Black MBA Association – Indianapolis Chapter. She is excited about working to ensure that the Indianapolis chapter is a premier organization beneficially serving its members, partners and the local community. Rita worked for 20+ years in the pharmaceutical industry in Finance and IT roles. She holds Project Management Professional certification and is currently a Sr. Project Manager consultant at the Indiana Office of Technology. Rita graduated in December 2013 from the I. U. School of Informatics with a Masters in Health Information Technology. Additionally, she has an M.B.A. from Indiana Wesleyan University, a B.S. in Business (Finance major) from the I. U. Kelly School of Business and a B.S. in Religious Studies from Aenon Bible College. Rita is a graduate of the United Way Diversity Leadership program and has served locally on various professional, community and church committees and boards. She is a member of Overcoming Church where she volunteers with various committees. Rita is married to Harold and they are blessed with 2 grown sons and 6 grandchildren. She is a lifetime member of the National Black MBA Association.

Current Committee Directors

Michael Florence
Director, Corporate Partners
As Corporate Partnership Development Director, Michael (and his committee) is charged with retaining current corporate partners, developing new corporate partners and attempt to re-capture partners who have fallen by the wayside. He has held a number of positions within the chapter during his 20 year membership, such as: board member at-large, fundraising committee chair, activities committee chair, secretary, newsletter and website editor, chapter president and immediate past president. He has chaired the “Leaders of Tomorrow” Golf Outing for the chapter in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014 – 2016; and most recently in 2017, the “Diversity Golf Classic.” Michael has also chaired the “Corporate Reception” committee and has also led the committee charged with executing a chapter signature event called “A View from the Top.” Michael is a Lease Accounting Specialist for Simon Property Group, where he has worked for eighteen years. In this position, he monitors and maintains the scanning of Real Estate Tax, Insurance and Common Area Maintenance (CAM) files; as well as processing and scanning of documents and acts as a liaison between the Financial Operations departments within Simon Property Group. Previously, for over ten years, Michael was the Central Files/Copy Center Manager where he was charged with overseeing the day-to-day operations of both areas and any affected areas within Simon Property Group. He also served two terms as president of the Simon Employee Association. An internal organization within Simon, that puts on events and programs for the employees. Michael received his Associate’s degree in accounting from Ivy Tech in 1983; his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University in 1993 and Masters Degree in Business Administration degree in 1997 from Indiana Wesleyan University. A native of Indianapolis, Indiana; Michael attends St. Joan of Arc Church, is an avid photographer, who shoots weddings, portraits and other special events. He is also the proud father of a son Richard 30, a daughter Danielle 27 and “youthful” grandfather to 10 year old, Nyla Renee Florence, 8 year old Victoria Amari Florence and 2 month old Olivia Danielle Florence.
Sharetha Marshall
Director, Professional Development
Sharetha Marshall earned her Bachelor of Science in Retail Management from Purdue University and her Masters of Science in Management at Indiana Wesleyan. Sharetha will also begin her PhD journey at Walden University in August 2021, pursuing a Doctorate of Business Administration with a concentration on Entrepreneurship. Currently Sharetha is Assistant Director Alumni Outreach for the Purdue Alumni Association. She is responsible for managing the East Coast Alumni clubs, Purdue Black Alumni Organization, LGBTQ Organization and many more. Sharetha also works with the Business Development group at Alumni Association in helping to get minority businesses to become business members of association. Formerly an Academic Advisor to Technical students at Ivy Tech Community College and an Adjunct Instructor where she taught Marketing, International Business, Introduction to Business, Business Law and Logistics. Sharetha truly enjoys helping students discover their journey of life. Sharetha also has served as Purdue Black Alumni Vice President. This has given her the opportunity to work with the University Staff and Black Alumni of Purdue for over 10 years. She has helped plan homecoming events, business retreats, national networking events and a host of other events for PBAO. In addition, she has been very involved in the local Indianapolis community planning and organizing events such as conferences, seminars, fundraisers, NCAA Final Four Team Lead, and many other events.
Gina Burks
Director of Marketing
I officially joined the Indianapolis NBMBAA chapter in 2017. I was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. I am a 2007 IU Kelley School of Business graduate with a BS in Marketing and Business Management. I later received my MBA from Indiana Wesleyan in 2014 in Accounting. I have been working in the financial industry since 2004. I worked in various roles including Senior Banker, Loan Analyst, and as an Insurance Agent. I currently work as a loan analyst. I am married with two children. I enjoy volunteering in my community and working with the youth. I look forward to helping grow the awareness of the NBMBAA Indianapolis Chapter.
Michael Washington
Director, Membership and Director, Technology
Michael’s professional career has been extensively within the information technology arena. He has provided technological solutions for higher/secondary education, health care, law firms and the United States government. He has held positions as a district manager, senior systems analyst and database administrator. His skills are extremely vast, differentiated and encompass various levels in the technology realm. He joined the Indianapolis chapter of the National Black MBA Association in 2012 as a means to connect with other professionals outside of the technology field. In that time, he has provided website maintenance and updates since 2011, and he has accepted the responsibilities of the membership and the technology director positions for the local chapter. Educationally, he has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and an MBA with concentrations in management and health care management. He is a lifetime learner and his passion is financial education and literacy, particularly for communities that are underserved by mainstream financial institutions. Hence, he has attained a life insurance license and is a life insurance producer. His goal is to inform minority populations of the importance of obtaining term life insurance outside of their employer’s life insurance policy. He is married and enjoys spending family time together.
Dawn Evans-Casey
Director, Entrepreneurship
Dawn Evans-Casey is excited to fill the role of Director of Entrepreneurship. In this capacity, she shares her enthusiasm for turning dreams to reality. She actively leads the planning and direction of entrepreneurial education and economic progress initiatives while also developing and maintaining close working relationships with statewide entrepreneurship and professional organizations. Dawn is the Owner/Certified Agent of SPA Travel and Wellness, a full service travel agency. She is also the President of Collaborating Connections, a local professional development and networking group for small businesses. She is a full-time Senior Auditor with a local insurance company, and the Founder of Claiming Your Roots, a genealogy and family history educational outreach nonprofit. She is a HBCU graduate of Talladega College and holds a Master’s of Science in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University. Dawn is a long time member of the Indianapolis chapter of NBMBAA and has held several leadership positions including Director of Activities and VP of Finance. Dawn’s philosophies are “Enjoy What You Do” and “Make a Positive Difference”. She is an active member of various professional and community orgaanizations. She is married with 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren. Dawn grew up in Detroit Michigan but has called Indiana home for many years.
Mia Baird
DIRECTOR, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Mia Baird proudly serves as the Director of Community Engagement for the Indianapolis Chapter of the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA). A relentless champion of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) ! She is adept in administering corporate, state, and local government human resource initiatives. Her Human Resources career spans more than 10 wonderful years. Focused in the following areas: benefits administration, talent acquisition, organizational development with lean fundamentals, employee relations, management training and diversity, equity and inclusion. Coming from a family of servant leaders, she eagerly grabbed the baton. She flourishes in being hands on in her community and surrounding areas. By volunteering in DEI initiatives and bringing awareness to some of her favored topics education, voter awareness, food accessibility, housing and urban development. In her personal and professional life there is a continuous alignment of advocating for the unheard, underserved and overlooked. Her mission is engrossed in amplifying black and brown voices for obtainment of equitable career advancement opportunities and pay. In this role she plans to extend the reach of the NBMBAA brand awareness in the community through volunteering, new partnerships and collaborative events with other minority organizations to name a few. With several major University's located in Indianapolis, another goal is to be intentional in seeking the opportunity to increase the reach to young professionals and this initiative looks promising. Mia was conferred with her Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU), adding to a Bachelor of Science in Management and Associate of Science in Business Administration also from IWU. As an unremitting learner, she also obtained an IN Real Estate Broker license and IN Cosmetology license. Graduating from Tucker Real Estate school and Aveda Fredric’s’ Institute. A graduate of the Inaugural (Indianapolis Cohort) Walker Legacy Business Accelerator for Ambitious Women. Walking in her purpose, she is the Founder/Owner of Eminent Advising Solutions LLC. A full-service HR consulting firm fully dedicated to removing barriers for amplification of minority career opportunities in an inclusive and cohesive work environment and equitable pay. Devoted to helping organizations articulate their collective perspective of company culture, identity and values to organize and generate commitment for a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy and implementation.
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Director, LOT Program
Since its inception in 1991, the NBMBAA® Leaders of Tomorrow® Program has mentored more than 8,000 talented youth aspiring to leadership roles in professional fields. The LOT® Program is a comprehensive programmatic approach for providing leadership development to high school students. The program is driven by mentoring across five developmental areas: Leadership, Financial Literacy, College Preparation, Career Preparation and Life Skills. The program offers participants resources, knowledge and opportunities in the way of mentoring relationships, scholarships, and internships.
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Director, Scholarship
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Director, Activities
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Director, Collegiate Relations