2017 Conference Speaker Bios
Dr. Sue Ellspermann
Dr. Sue Ellspermann became Ivy Tech Community College’s ninth president on July 1. She now leads the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving over 170,000 students a year. Dr. Ellspermann has more than 30 years of experience in higher education, economic and workforce development, and public service.
She most recently served as Indiana’s 50th Lieutenant Governor from 2013 until March of this year. As part of that role she served as President of the Senate and Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, as well as overseeing six agencies. As the vice chair of the Indiana Career Council she led efforts to align Indiana’s education and workforce development system to meet the needs of employers. Her public service began in 2010 when she was elected as the State Representative for District 74.
Ellspermann formerly served as the founding Director of the Center of Applied Research and Economic Development at the University of Southern Indiana and also owned and operated Ellspermann and Associates, Inc, an independent consulting firm licensed in the training and facilitation of Simplex Creative Problem Solving.
Early in her career she spent time with Frito-Lay and Michelin Tire Corporation. Ellspermann holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from the University of Louisville in Industrial Engineering and a B.S. from Purdue University also in Industrial Engineering.
She is married to James Mehling, a recently retired high school principal. She has a blended family of four daughters, three sons-in-law, two grandsons and two granddaughters.
Holiday Hart McKiernan is executive vice president, chief operating officer and general counsel for Lumina Foundation. She oversees operations, legal affairs and board governance. Part of her work has included exploring the Bologna Process and the implications that reform effort might have for American higher education. She speaks frequently on legal, governance and policy issues concerning nonprofit organizations and higher education. McKiernan began her career practicing law concentrating on nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations and prior to joining Lumina in 2003 was executive director and counsel for Alpha Chi Omega where she advised universities on approaches to high-risk student behavior.
McKiernan has co-authored several journal articles, including “Making the Implicit Explicit: Demonstrating the Value Added of Higher Education by a Qualifications Framework,” The Journal of College and University Law; “The Changing Landscape of Higher Education: An Analysis of How National Change Might be Brought About in American Higher Education Compared with the Bologna Signatory States,” Education and the Law; and “Trans-Atlantic Ping-Pong and the Bologna Process,” The European University Association Bologna Handbook. She wrote “Higher Education and the American Workforce” for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges' Trusteeship Magazine.
She serves on the board of directors for Christian Theological Seminary, the Higher Education Resource Services, Inc., Antioch University board of governors, and the Council on Foundations’ public policy committee. She is also on the Indy Chamber’s education and workforce council.
McKiernan received her B.A. from DePauw University and her J.D. from Indiana University. She and her husband reside in Indianapolis and have three grown children.