Susan Millender, executive director (2021-present)
Families for HoPE recently welcomed Susan Millender as Executive Director. Millender is the first person to fill the role for the Indianapolis-based nonprofit organization in its 16-year history. Millender will work in close partnership with the Board of Directors to set Families for HoPE’s strategic direction and programming in support of children diagnosed with holoprosencephaly and related brain malformations.
Millender enters the role with a long-standing reputation for health advocacy work, specifically among children and families struggling to gain and maintain well-being and resilience. She is a member of the National Federation of Families. Previously, Millender led Seattle-King County Washington’s Guided Pathways nonprofit family support organization as Executive Director and served as Program Director for the American Diabetes Association of Washington and Northern Idaho. She attended Ball State University, Muncie, IN and graduated from Calumet College, Whiting, IN with a BA in Mass Communications.
“All of us at Families for HoPE are thrilled to have Susan as our very first Executive Director, and we look forward to seeing Families for HoPE continue to grow and flourish under her leadership,” said Becky Wilson, Board President.
You may contact Susan at Susan.Millender@FamiliesforHoPE.org.
2023 Officers and Directors
Steve Harley, President (2023)
My son Samuel Aaron Harley (“Sammy”) was born with semi-lobar holoprosencephaly in 2003. We were blessed to have Sammy in our lives for nearly 5 years, and we treasure the memories we created with him. Although Sammy passed away in January 2008 following a critical illness, he is never far from my thoughts and continues to inspire me each and every day. My wife, Leslie, is one of the founders of Families for HoPE. I joined the board of directors in 2021, and I am poised to combine my passion and hope for HPE with my education and business experience to help move Families for HoPE toward long-term sustainability while maintaining focus on the mission to support, educate and encourage HPE families. You may contact me at Steve.Harley@FamiliesforHoPE.org.
ARIKA GATES, Vice President and TREASURER (2023)
Arika lives in Elwood, Indiana. Her daughter Madelyn was diagnosed with holoprosencephaly prenatally and passed away in 2008 at the age of two. Arika is also the mother of son James who is Madelyn’s twin. She has worked in the agricultural business and management industry for two decades. After serving two board terms from 2008 to 2013, Arika returned to board service in 2022.
Brian hargrove, Secretary (2023)
Brian is a graduate of Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, with a degree in Marketing. He has spent the bulk of his career in Market Research where he conducted research studies that had a direct effect on consumer spending, development of new products and/or systems. Brian is currently a certified web developer. He was a member of Kiwanis for 10 years during which he served as a board member and officer. He joined the Families for HoPE board in 2022. Brian is a native Hoosier and lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.
ROBERT HAMILTON, Director
Robert is a resident of Indianapolis, Indiana. He has been a senior executive at four public hospitals/health care systems with missions to serve the needs of the underprivileged and medically indigent of Indianapolis, Chicago, Austin, TX, and Seattle, WA, working closely with clinicians and social workers. Now retired, Robert is a consultant to health systems in the Midwest.
DORESA IBRAHIM, Director
FERNANDINA BEACH, FLORIDA
Doresa lives in Fernandina Beach, Florida. Her daughter Laila was diagnosed with holoprosencephaly at birth in 2012. Laila recently reached the milestone of learning at grade level for the fifth grade in the public school she attends. Doresa has two decades of experience in technology and marketing.
Families for HoPE is seeking qualified individuals to serve on its board of directors. For more information, please contact Susan Millender at Susan.Millender@FamiliesforHoPE.org.
Past Presidents of Families for HoPE, Inc.
Becky Wilson – 2021-2022
Josh Timmerman – 2016-2020
Ed Tierney – 2013-2015
Shira Arnold – 2011-2012
Leslie Harley – 2006-2010