The Leading Edge - January 2023

By Leadership Johnson County | | 1.24.23

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Leadership Johnson County

Class of 2023 Profiles

Leadership Johnson County
Michelle Badolato

Fraternal Events Coordinator at Modern Woodmen and LJC Program Assistant

Family: Tony (husband), Christian (19), Lexi (17), Guinness (dog)

Number one skill you practice that makes you successful? I work hard to connect people and resources.

Favorite quote? "In a world where you can be anything, be kind."

"You can go about your day and have a great great day, but it’s very intentional to make it a great one."

Hobbies and interests outside of work? I love to travel, hike, cook, bake and read.

Something on your bucket list: Go on a mother-daughter trip to Italy after my daughter graduates.

When have you been most satisfied in your life? I have been most satisfied living overseas. We live each day as a tourist not knowing when a work assignment will end.

Leadership Johnson County
Brittany Benson

Private Banker with Fifth Third Bank

Family: Jason (husband) and three kids, Ava, Livi and Cam

What is your favorite LJC moment or lesson to date? All of the name games.

Favorite quote? "Not every day is a good day, but there's something good in every day."-author unknown

Last book you read? "The It Girl" by Ruth Ware.

Hobbies and interests outside of work? Cheering my kids on at their various activities, hiking, reading and working out.

What is your favorite restaurant? I love Revery, but in particular, I love their short rib dinner. It is AMAZING! It's a short rib on top of sweet potato puree with brussels sprouts. YUM!

If you could appear on one game show, what would you choose and why? Wheel of Fortune! My son periodically sends me a link to sign up but I never have.

Leadership Johnson County
Jennifer Stewart-Burton

Marketing and Communications Coordinator for JCREMC and JCFiber

Family: Jake (husband), Elizabeth (daughter) and Luke (son).

What is your favorite LJC moment or lesson to date? The "Flickin' my Chicken" game was the most awkward, hilarious, and strangely useful activity.

What is innovative in your field of work? In the world of electricity distribution, there is a lot of technology in metering automation, self-healing distribution systems, and electronic system control that allow utilities to monitor every aspect of the electric distribution system from a central hub. This, combined with system redundancy, means much higher reliability and faster restoration when outages do occur. Of course, the energy sector landscape is also changing in terms of fuel types. Rural electric cooperatives are also currently leading the charge when it comes to rural fiber development, much like cooperatives took electricity to rural America in the 1930s.

What or who inspires you? My mom. I could write a novel here, but I'll just leave it at this: She lives her life in service to others.

Hobbies and interests outside of work? Very amateur photography, functional fitness and 4-wheeling in the woods

Tell me about a significant project or accomplishment in your career. In 2016, I graduated from the Indiana AgrIInstitute's Agricultural Leadership Program. This is a two-year program for established professionals (typically not early career) that involves a significant commitment from participants, including a week of travel to Washington D.C. and two weeks of study abroad (my class went to Panama and Colombia). Participating in that program stretched me in ways I never could have imagined. It made me realize that almost no issues are ever strictly black and white. I have to be willing to take the time to understand everything is nuanced. My nomination for and participation in this program remains a career highlight to this day.

What's your superpower? I multitask like a boss. Then again, I think that's probably a superpower of most moms of littles.

So, Jenn, what's your story? Agriculture is imprinted on my heart after growing up surrounded by corn and soybeans, the daughter of farmers. I have one younger brother, and he works alongside my parents on the farm. My degree is in Agricultural Communication and I am a Boilermaker through and through. I married Jake, a Lafayette native, in 2010. The first 12 years of my career were spent in the Purdue University College of Agriculture and the only thing that could ever have drawn me away did: A chance to move back to one of the family farms and raise our kids the way I grew up. Speaking of our kids: They're miracles. There wasn't much chance they'd exist, but here they are because the Lord has been good to us. Coming back to Johnson County also afforded me the opportunity to start the current leg of my career at the cooperative. The thing I love most about cooperatives is the way they truly exist to serve their members and communities. For me, that's what sets this apart from any other career path I could have chosen. Service is woven throughout the fabric of our company and that makes the work fulfilling.

What is one word you'd use to describe yourself? Determined

Leadership Johnson County
Jenny Pieper

Assistant Principal at Franklin Community Middle School

Family: Ryan (husband), Chase (son, 11) and Alex (daughter, 9)

Favorite LJC moment or lesson to date: So far, the first day has been my favorite day. It gave us time to get to know the rest of our class. It was also very active and involved. I wish I would have been here for the Ag day as I heard that was one of the best days as well.

Something on your bucket list: Visiting out west and going white water rafting.

What is your perfect pizza? Hawaiian thin-crust pizza with BBQ sauce, ham and pineapple.

What is your favorite restaurant? Yummy Bowl.

If you could appear on one game show, what would you choose and why? Family Feud - This is a show I have grown up watching with my grandparents, parents and now with my children. We even play at home with the card game. Our family would dominate.

What is one word you'd use to describe yourself? Caring.

Carolyn Goerner Named Associate Chair of IU Degree Program

Carolyn Goerner, Leadership Studies Consultant with Leadership Johnson County, has been named Associate Faculty Chair of Indiana University's Kelley School of Business Executive Degree Programs.

Carolyn is a clinical professor of Management and the ALDI, Inc. Distinguished I-Core Clinical Professor. She has been with the Kelley School for more than 22 years, receiving the IU Student Choice Award, Trustees Teaching Award, Kelley Innovative Teaching Award, and Kelley service awards. She initiated and directed the Young Women’s Institute, a pre-college program to attract young women to the study of business. Carolyn also served as co-director of the Kelley Women’s Initiative.

In addition to teaching in our Full-Time MBA, and Kelley Direct programs, Carolyn works with executives through the Kelley School of Business Executive Education affiliate (KSBEE). Currently, she is the faculty lead for the KSBEE Inclusive Leadership Certificate and the Kelley Partnership for Leadership Development. She has authored multiple courses for LinkedIn Learning, including Overcoming Impostor Syndrome and Gender in Negotiation. In addition to co-authoring a textbook on team processes and communication, Carolyn has published research on teamwork, mentoring, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) topics in the Academy of Management Journal, Personnel Psychology, and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

Carolyn earned her Ph.D. in Management and Human Resources from The Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, earned her master’s in Speech Communication and Rhetoric at IU and earned her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Religion from Kean University in New Jersey. Before joining Kelley, she worked in marketing and human resources with Arthur Andersen and Windes & McClaughry, both in California. Outside of Kelley, Carolyn is a consultant to Leadership Johnson County and is president of the Johnson County Tourism Board supporting Festival Country Indiana. She lives in Greenwood with her husband, Peter, and dogs Charlotte and Etta.

Leadership Johnson County Indiana
Lunch and Learn


Leadership Johnson County Indiana

As the Executive Director here at LJC, I have the opportunity to interact with some amazing people. I have decided to start sharing small “tidbits” from some of my interactions. I hope these stories remind you of how amazing our LJC network and the greater Johnson County community really is and how lucky we are to live, work, learn, lead, play and raise our kids here!

Five for Friday – Our Five for Friday segments are a way for you to “hear” from each of the LJC staff members. When we put together our little segments, we never really know how many people will actually read them. We LOVE when you not only read them but respond back to us. Recently, the Five for Friday written by Hannah Griggs about New Year’s Resolutions resonated with Tricia Bechman and this is Tricia’s response “Thanks Hannah! My resolution this year is to walk in a 5K each month. Not a physically challenging thing for me, however finding the time to do it will help me do one thing for myself AND visit other communities. I did my first one on New Year’s Day and my friend went with me. Little did I know she had never done a 5K before. After it was over, we went to lunch and visited a boutique and had a great afternoon! Memories made!” Thanks for sharing, Tricia!

Mix It Up Auction Items – From January to early March, I spend a great deal of time meeting with people about silent auction items for Mix It Up. This event is a main fundraising event for LJC and we couldn’t do it without so many incredible donations. Recently, I got to visit with the staff at Premier Outdoor Power Equipment (learn more at when I picked up their auction donations. What an incredibly nice staff! Plus, their three auction items are amazing. Watch for further details about how you can bid on our auction items even if you didn’t get a seat to our sold-out event on March 3.

I wish I could say a little something about each one of our auction donors, but our newsletter would be way too long to keep our readers engaged. I promise we will list all of our donors in a future edition.

Business to Business – I love supporting local businesses and I try to spread my personal business out as much as possible. I recently had the opportunity to stop in for a spa treatment at Bargersville Wellness. I left being a big fan of this business owned by Blythe Potter, LJC Class of 2022, and Ashley Auld. I have already booked two follow-up sessions later this year. If you are looking for ways to up your self-care game, I would highly recommend Bargersville Wellness. You can check them out at

Leadership Champions Plus

Logo for Campbell Shuck Insurance
Logo for Carpenter Realtors
Logo for Clever Dogs Media
Logo for Compass Point CPAs
Logo for Crossroads Engineers, P.C.
Logo for Diamond Glassworks and Aluminum Systems
Logo for Endress Hauser
Logo for First Merchants Bank
Logo for Franklin Indiana
Logo for Horizon Bank
Logo for Indiana Funeral Care
Logo for Johnson County Community Foundation
Logo for Johnson County REMC
Logo for Johnson Memorial Health
Logo for Johnson, Gray & Johnson
Logo for Lake City Bank
Logo for MIBOR Realtor Association
Logo for Main & Madison Market Café
Logo for Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial
Logo for Mutual Savings Bank
Logo for NSK
Logo for PNC Bank
Logo for Williams Barrett Wilkowski