(INDIANAPOLIS) — The Indiana Chamber of Commerce honored its volunteers of the year during a luncheon ceremony today at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.

The 2017 Samuel C. Schlosser Volunteers of the Year are: Dennis Faulkenberg (APPIAN), David McKinnis (Purdue University) and Stephanie A. Smithey (Ogletree Deakins). The award is named after a longtime Indiana Chamber volunteer and president of the Plymouth Foundry.

“The Indiana Chamber is fortunate to have a number of wonderful volunteers, and we are excited to highlight these three people that have given their time, talents and passion to make the Indiana Chamber a stronger organization,” says Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar.

“Dennis, David and Stephanie represent various aspects of the Indiana Chamber’s reach, including infrastructure, career and workforce development, and employment law. And we are grateful for their dedication to making Indiana a better place to work and live.”

Read more about the winners at http://www.bizvoicemagazine.com (online tonight); brief summaries of why they were selected follow below.

Faulkenberg has spent much of his career – first with the Indiana Department of Transportation and later his consulting firm APPIAN – lobbying on behalf of Indiana road and highway funding.

He has helped the Indiana Chamber and the state achieve success at the federal and state levels, including as chair of the group’s Infrastructure Policy Committee and member of the Congressional Affairs Policy Committee.

Faulkenberg: “I do a lot of congressional visits with different groups and when the Indiana Chamber comes to town, they (representatives and senators) sit up and notice. … they show up for those meetings and they pay attention to what the Chamber says.”

Whether in his roles at Purdue or as board president of Indiana INTERNnet (the statewide resource for internship opportunities managed by the Indiana Chamber), McKinnis appreciates the value internships bring to students. He has worked tirelessly to help deliver additional career connections.

His leadership over more than a decade has helped lift the INTERNnet program to new heights.

McKinnis: “Internships can play a role in helping students solidify what their interests are and eliminate what they are not interested in. I want them to have experiences and find out what they like, what they don’t like. So, whatever profession they begin, they are productive and ready to go.”

A lifelong love of learning is a major factor in Smithey’s ongoing success as a lawyer and her strong enthusiasm for working with Indiana Chamber members and customers.

Smithey contributes to several of the organization’s compliance publications. She also serves as a lead organizer and presenter at the annual Employee Benefits Seminar, where she says she learns as much as she teaches.

Smithey: “The Indiana Chamber’s mission is very much aligned, I think, with Ogletree’s mission. Our tagline is, ‘Employers and lawyers working together.’ And the Chamber’s focus is on employment law, HR, benefits (among others). There’s a natural affiliation.”


The Indiana Chamber partners with 25,000 members and investors – representing over four million Hoosiers – to achieve the mission of “cultivating a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity.”