SYF Staff

J. Michael Durnil
SYF President and CEO

Originally from Decatur, Illinois, Durnil took the helm at SYF in 2010. A longtime educator, his professional career includes experience as a university professor and administrator as well as executive positions at other national non-profit organizations. He holds a PhD in educational leadership and policy studies from Loyola University-Chicago and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Illinois State University.

Phone: (317) 263-2361

Jo Bender
SYF Assistant Director, Advancement and Community Engagement

Charged with increasing awareness and ongoing sustainability through fundraising in communities SYF impacts. Jo joined SYF in 2015. Her professional career started as an AmeriCorps member in San Jose, Calif., and includes both local and national fundraising, volunteer development, and event management for multiple national non-profit organizations. She holds a bachelor of arts of degree in cultural anthropology.

Phone: (317) 263-2256

Jay Kenworthy
SYF Communications Manager

Directing internal and external communications efforts for the Foundation. After starting out as a newspaper reporter, Jay has spent more than a decade in marketing and public relations in Indiana, specializing in non-profit and political work. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University.

Phone: (317) 656-3272

Adjei Nortey
SYF Advancement Associate

Providing targeted research to guide the Foundation’s fundraising efforts as well as digital and print collateral design services. A native of Accra, Ghana, Adjei joined SYF in 2008. His professional experience includes 12 years of marketing and communication design as well as positions in the entertainment industries. Adjei holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism graphics from Ball State University.

Phone: (317) 263-7639

Kimb Stewart
SYF Program Coordinator

Kimb Stewart comes to Simon Youth Foundation from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, where she worked on school safety and emergency management. She also served at the Indiana Department of Education on a wide variety of programs including student services, charter schools, and alternative education.  Kimb is an alumna of the University of Evansville.

Phone: (317) 263-7716

Malika Stultz

Malika is working part-time as SYF’s bookkeeper while completing a double major at IUPUI in Accounting and Finance. She served in the United States Marine Corps from 2007-2011, including two overseas deployments. Malika currently holds an Associate’s degree in Hospitality Management from Valencia College in Orlando, FLa.

Phone: (317) 263-2371

John E. Suter
SYF Program Coordinator

Responsible for coordination of design and construction activities at the Foundation’s academies. John is a lifelong Hoosier who has designed many complex, highly customized residential, commercial, corporate and educational projects. He has a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Ball State University.

Phone: (317) 263-2423

Amy Updike
SYF Vice President of Finance and Administration

Serving as the Foundation’s chief financial officer and human relations director for the Foundation. Originally from Indiana, Amy joined SYF in 2001. Her professional experience spans a variety of industries including retailing, insurance and hospitality. Amy holds an MBA with an accounting option from California State University-Hayward and a bachelor’s degree in home economics-fashion merchandising from Indiana University-Bloomington.

Phone: (317) 263-2361

Sarah Woodmansee
SYF Advancement Administrative Assistant

Supporting all aspects of the Foundation’s fundraising. A native of Indianapolis, Sarah joined SYF in 2012. Her professional experience includes a decade in television and radio broadcasting. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.

Phone: (317) 263-2481

Tamra O. Wright
SYF Vice President for Programs

Serving as the Foundation’s chief program officer providing support to SYF academies and facilitating partnerships with key stakeholders including public school districts. A New York native, Tamra joined SYF in 2015. Her professional experience includes extensive work in secondary and post-secondary education leading support programs. Tamra holds two master’s degrees, a master’s in public administration and a master’s in criminal justice as well as a bachelor’s in speech communication from the University of Georgia.

Phone: (317) 263-7648

Brandi Young
SYF Vice President, Advancement

Serving as chief liaison to the Foundation’s corporate donors, including Simon Property Group, and facilitating a wide-range of nationwide fundraising events each year. A native of the Hoosier state, Brandi joined SYF in 2004. Her professional experience includes retail marketing and management with Simon Malls throughout the U.S. Midwest. Brandi holds a bachelor’s degree in sports marketing from Indiana University-Bloomington.

Phone: (317) 263-7694

Board of Directors

Deborah J. Simon, Chairperson

Lena Barkley
Workforce Initiatives Manager
CVS Caremark

Michelle J. Bellej, Secretary
Vice President Marketing/WPG Properties
Simon Property Group

Sandra Cath
Cath Consulting

Darin L. Etchison, CFM
First Vice President, Investments
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
GME McCluskey Group

Leslie Fatum, DVM
Assistant Director of College and Career Readiness
Indiana Department of Education

Beth Fortune
Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs
Vanderbilt University

Haley Glover
Strategy Director
Lumina Foundation

Shari Simon Greenberg
Senior Vice President, Corporate Marketing
Simon Property Group

Kim Johnson, Treasurer
Melvin Simon & Associates

Steve E. Kingsley
Senior Vice President of Operations and Procurement
Simon Property Group

Richard O. Kissel, II
Taft Law

Jeff Kucer
Senior Vice President – Client and Community Relations Director
PNC Financial Services Group

Susan Massela
Vice President, Human Resources
Simon Property Group

Michael E. McCarty
Executive Vice President,
Development Operations
Simon Property Group

Jeffrey H. Patchen, D.M.E.
President and Chief Executive Officer
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

William N. Salin, II
President and Chief Executive Officer
Salin Bank

Collin L. Sam, CPA
Corporate Controller
Dreamworks Animation

Anita Silverman, Ed.D.
Director of Education
Transitions Academy of Indiana

Stephen H. Simon
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Simon Equity Partners, LLC

Scott Wolfrum
Managing Director
Wolfrum Capital Management Group a David A Noyes & Company Family Officean affiliate of David A Noyes & Company

Honorary Board Members
David Simon
Herbert Simon
Melvin Simon (1926-2009)

Board Members Emeritus
Ron Hanson
Stephen A. Stitle

Relationship to Simon

Simon Youth Foundation was founded by a small group of enterprising Simon Property Group employees, and SYF has been Simon’s “charity of choice” since 1998 when the Foundation was formed.

SYF is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, but Simon is our largest corporate donor. Simon employees raise more than $500,000 annually through an Employee Contribution Campaign. Additionally, Simon Malls®, The Mills® Premium Outlets®, and WP Glimcher host local fundraising and grassroots events in nearly ever state.

While Simon is a crucial supporter, no one company can solely support SYF programs. This is why SYF seeks sponsors and partners in every community of service. Whether a donation of treasure, time or talent, all gifts to SYF are of great value and deeply appreciated. Contact us to partner with SYF.


We value the support of Simon Youth Foundation’s individual donors. Their gifts of personal treasure to benefit at-risk students in Simon Youth Academies and would-be first-generation college students who qualify for Simon Youth Scholarships are crucial to the success of these programs.

Click to view a listing of 2014 SYF donors.

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