team & donors.
J. Michael Durnil
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, including more than 15 years at Roosevelt University, where he ultimately served as CEO of the Schaumburg Campus. Upon leaving higher ed, Durnil served as Senior Vice President and later Interim President at GLAAD. He holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies from Loyola University-Chicago, master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Illinois State University, and a post-doctoral certificate in Educational Management from Harvard University. Durnil was named a Fellow of the American Council on Education in 2004.
Phone: (317) 263-2341
In his role, Tim is responsible for the development of new Simon Youth Academy partnerships. He most recently served on staff with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, working primarily with Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars Program. He has also served as Outreach Manager at the Indiana Youth Institute and in multiple program capacities at the NCAA. He is currently the head coach for the
Phone: (317) 263-7648
Assistant Director of Programs
Supporting annual campaigns and community engagement, Kate’s role at SYF is to advance the important work of our Simon Youth Academy teachers and students. Kate holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Management from IUPUI and a master’s degree in Leadership from Grand Canyon University. Prior to joining SYF, she managed annual advancement work for a national youth leadership organization. In her spare time, Kate volunteers for organizations that support access to autism resources for families in Indiana.
Phone: (317) 263-8149
Director of Finance & Administration
In her role, Sherri leads annual budget planning in conjunction with the CEO, manages organizational cash flow and forecasting, and oversees various finance, accounting and administrative functions. She brings over 25 years of experience in the financial industry, the majority of which was spent in the nonprofit sector. She comes to SYF from the American Legion’s National Headquarters, and previously held finance and accounting positions with several organizations. Originally from Maryland, Sherri received her Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Maryland. She has been an Indiana resident for 12 years. Scrogham is happily married with a blended family of five children. In her free time, she enjoys her English Mastiffs, gardening and working on home improvement projects.
Phone: (317) 263-2256
Lauren B. Rapp
Assistant to the President, Strategy and Special Projects
In her role, Lauren supports the President and CEO on strategic initiatives designed to elevate SYF’s profile locally and nationally. Previously, she led communications and advancement efforts for The Chicago Public Education Fund. Prior to her work in the nonprofit space, she spent five years as a classroom teacher in traditional, charter, and private school settings, beginning as a Teach For America teacher. She received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Indiana University – Bloomington and completed the Illinois Teaching Certification Program through Dominican University’s Graduate School of Education. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband and their two young children, serving as an active member of The Children’s Museum Guild, traveling, consuming media in all forms, and supporting IU athletics.
Phone: (317) 656-3272
Director of Programs
Jon, a native New Yorker, oversees stewardship of services and programs to our growing network of more than 35 Simon Youth Academies in 15 states, as well as support the Simon Youth Scholarship programs as SYF continues to expand its presence across the country. In his spare time, Jon loves spending time with his wife and son and is an avid sports fan and bike rider.
Phone: (317) 263-7785
As SYF’s Bookkeeper, Malika is responsible for key aspects of the Foundation’s financial recordkeeping. Prior to joining SYF, she worked in government accounting and served in the United States Marine Corps, including two overseas deployments. Malika is currently completing a bachelor’s degree in Business and Accounting at Western Governor’s University. She received her associate’s degree from Valencia College in Orlando, Fla.
Phone: (317) 263-7151
John E. Suter
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
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
Administrative Assistant, Programs
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Sam moved to Indiana in 2009 to attend graduate school at Indiana University-Bloomington. After spending much of her career in higher education libraries, Sam joined SYF in 2020 as the Administrative Assistant for Programs. In her role at SYF, she supports the Director and Assistant Director of Programs while also taking ownership over data and communication with Simon Youth Academies. Sam holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Portland State University and a Master’s Degree in Library Science from IU. In her spare time, Sam enjoys spending time with her family, playing games with her kids, and needle crafts.
Phone: (317) 263-2361
Deborah Simon, Chairperson
Kim Johnson, Secretary & Treasurer
Melvin Simon & Associates, Inc.
Lead Manager Workforce Initiatives
Senior Vice President, Real Estate Banking
Darin L. Etchison
First Vice President – Wealth Management
UBS Financial Services
Dr. Leslie G. Fatum
Director of College and Career Preparation
Kokomo School Corporation
Retired Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs
Senior Vice President, Innovation & Customer Experience
Simon Property Group
Stephen E. Kingsley
Senior Vice President of Operations
Simon Property Group
C. Timothy Parnell, CHC
Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer
Dr. Jeffrey Patchen
President and CEO
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Executive Vice President, Simon Management Group
Simon Property Group
Collin L. Sam, CPA
Vice President Controller
Reid C. Searles, CPFA
First Vice President/Senior Financial Advisor
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
Director of Development
Scott T. Wolfrum
Wolfrum Capital Management Group,
A Noyes Family Office
Honorary Board Members
Melvin Simon (1926-2009)
Board Members Emeritus
Richard O. Kissel, II
Michael E. McCarty
Shari Simon Greenberg
Stephen A. Stitle
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 $600,000 annually through an Employee Contribution Campaign. Additionally, Simon Malls®, The Mills
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.
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