In 2008, I reluctantly moved to Indianapolis. I had hoped to start my career in Atlanta where I had completed a very challenging and rewarding internship program, but there were no openings at the time and Atlanta just wasn’t ready for Jenny Evans (from Evansville).
I made a not-so-well-thought-out move to Indianapolis, and I was hustling. I did not have a large network; I basically had no network. I did not set out to stay in Indy, to be a parks professional, a fundraising professional, or involved in politics. So, when I was turned down for a job in sports marketing with the Indianapolis Indians, I really thought it was over and I’d have to move back home. Cal Burleson called me to deliver the news that the other candidate had accepted the position – who had more years of experience to my zero – he did something that will forever make me grateful to him. Cal said, in the slow, deep, and thoughtful way that I came to learn was so iconic, “Jenny, I want to keep you here in Indy. I want to help you find a job so you can stay in Indy. Keep me posted on your job search and who you are talking to, and I’ll let you know if anything comes my way”.
As luck would have it, not long after, Cal let me know of a Marketing Coordinator job with Indy Parks and that he’d be my reference if I was going to apply. A few months later, I started what I didn’t know at the time, would be a fruitful and promising career as a parks professional under the Ballard Administration turned fundraiser for The Parks Alliance. I learned how to navigate Indy by discovering more than 200 Indy Parks in tiny little neighborhoods that even native Indy residents had never visited.
Before I knew it, Indy was home.
In 2010, I welcomed a beautiful daughter who learned to swim, dance, play, and enjoy live music in Indy Parks.
After meeting my husband and his three incredible children five years later, we invited them to join us in exploring parks and trails throughout our great City.
For going on two decades, I have had the honor and privilege of serving our city’s greatest asset, our public parks. I recently celebrated my 12th year with The Parks Alliance and shared the bittersweet and exciting news that I have made the decision to enter a new chapter in my career as the Director of Business Development with Midstates Recreation.
I’m not going too far from my roots – Midstates Recreation is a dealer and installer of commercial playground equipment, safety surfacing, and site amenities throughout Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky. I look forward to continuing my passion for building relationships and expanding my network, while leveraging my skills to build community throughout the region.
I’m proud to be joining a team that supports The Parks Alliance. I hope you’ll join us by sponsoring Indy’s Lunch for Parks presented by AES Indiana on Friday, April 19. Please email Ashley Miser to learn more about sponsorship levels and benefits.