Name: Joseph A. Slash
Position: President and Chief Executive Officer
Joseph A. Slash is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Indianapolis Urban League. He joined the League in 2002 as its Chief Operating Officer having responsibility for managing and coordinating the day to day operations.
Mr. Slash is formerly Vice President, Community and Corporate Effectiveness, of Indianapolis Power & Light Company. His primary focus was in the areas of economic development, education and workforce development, cultural issues, community relations and special projects of the Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Prior to this assignment, Mr. Slash was Vice President, General Services.
Mr. Slash earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Marshall University and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is currently serving on the Advisory Board of the Marshall University-Lewis School of Business.
Prior to joining IPL, Mr. Slash was Deputy Mayor for the City of Indianapolis from 1978-89. In that capacity, he served as Chief of Staff in the Mayor's Office, provided executive direction for several city departments, and was responsible for developing policy and providing executive oversight for the City's annual budget. From 1968 to 1978, Mr. Slash worked as Staff Accountant and then Audit Manager for Arthur Young & Company, now Ernst & Young.
The Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series gave Mr. Slash the honor of being appointed Moderator of the Series for 1999-2000. This leadership series is known throughout the country as one of the premier series in the country for selecting and preparing the best and brightest of emerging leaders in the business community to confront the issues of the community.
Mr. Slash is a member of the Board of Directors of Fifth Third Bank of Central Indiana and National Government Services. He is also a member of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Merit Board, Board of Directors of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC); Board of Directors and Secretary of the Center for Leadership Development; a member of the Columbia Club, and the 2012 Indianapolis SuperBowl Host Committee. He is also a former Director and member of the Executive Committee
of the Indiana Sports Corporation and the Circle City Classic, which he served as Executive Coordinator. Also with the Indiana Sports Corporation, Mr. Slash has served on the Executive Committee of the NCAA Project 2000, which assisted with the move of the National Collegiate Athletic Association to Indianapolis, the Men's Basketball Final Four Organizing Committee, and the Executive Committee of the 2001 World Police & Fire Games. He is a past Chairman of the Indianapolis Private Industry Council, and was
elected Board Member Emeritus. He is also a former member of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board of the Indianapolis Urban League, and served as Co-Chairman of the Race Relations Leadership Network.
He has been honored as a Sagamore of The Wabash, the Jaycee's Outstanding Young Man of the Year; is listed in Who's Who in Black America; and has received the United Way of Central Indiana's Outstanding Service Award, and the Marshall University Outstanding Alumni Award.
He and his wife, Meredith, live in Indianapolis and have two daughters. They are members of First Baptist Church, North Indianapolis, where he serves as a Deacon, Trustee and Treasurer of the Church.
Name: Brian Helm
Position: Vice President
Brian Helm is an Indianapolis native, who grew up on the south side, and attended Southport High School. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in Business Management.
After graduation, Brian went to work for Cinco Federal Credit Union in Cincinnati, where he worked his way up the corporate ladder from Bank Teller to Branch Manager. After obtaining valuable experience in the banking field, he stared working for Fifth Third Bank as a Branch Manager, and Banking Officer, when he moved back to Indianapolis in 1995.
For the last five years Brian has been employed at the Indianapolis Urban League, and is currently Vice President of Business and Finance. In his current role, Brian serves as Fiscal Director of the agency, and manages the Day to Day operations.
Brian is married to wife Misty, and they have one son, Darius.
Name: Tanya R. Calahan
Position: Executive Assistant to the President & CEO
Tanya R. Calahan is in her eighth year of service at the Indianapolis Urban League as the Executive Assistant to the President & CEO. As Executive Assistant, Tanya provides administrative support to the President and staff, is Human Resources Liaison for the agency, provides support at Board and Executive Committee meetings, and participates on the IUL Employment Advisory Council. Additionally, Tanya schedules all events held at the League.
Mrs. Calahan has held Executive Assistant positions with American Trans Air, the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office of the State of Indiana, DowBrands, a division of Dow Chemical, Indianapolis Power & Light Company, and Schenker Logistics.
Tanya is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Minorities in Hospitality and is currently performing with the Symphonic Praise Choir of the Indianapolis Philharmonic Orchestra.
Tanya and her husband James live in Indianapolis, and have three children, and four grandchildren. Both attend Trinity Baptist Church where Tanya is a member of the choir.
Name: Pambana I. Uishi
Position: Director, Skilled Workforce Development (SWD)
Ms. Uishi grew up in Indianapolis and attended public schools here, graduating from Arsenal Technical High School. She received her bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering from General Motors Institute in 1982. She worked at General Motors for six years as a plant engineer. Following this period, she left the workforce for two years to stay home with her children. She re-entered the workforce in 1990 as the Assistant Program Director for the Indianapolis Program for Literacy and Citizenship. Subsequently, she
became the Program Director. Prior to coming to the Indianapolis Urban League in 2000, she worked with non-profit organizations as an independent consultant and co-managed a firm.
In her current position as the Director of Skilled Workforce Development (SWD), Ms. Uishi brings a wealth of experience working in the urban community. For more than thirty years she has worked with youth, young adults and adults in various community settings having facilitated discussion groups, conducted development workshops, started a Saturday school for neighborhood kids, served as a volunteer with Girls Incorporated and exposed youth to various areas of technology through the Minority Engineering Program
of Indianapolis (MEPI). Supervising the SWD department, both youth and adults receive assistance through several different workshops in enhancing their skills to seek and obtain employment.
Ms. Uishi has been involved in numerous volunteer organizations and committees over the years. A few highlights are she has served as program facilitator/instructor of MEPI, PTO program chair and President of Cold Spring School, Training Chair and Board member of the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center, Outreach Chair for Vision 2000, and in various capacities with the Ujamaa Cultural Community. Married 22 years, Ms. Uishi has two children ages 21 and 18.
Name: Mark A. Russell
Position: Director of Education, Family Services and Housing
Mark A. Russell currently serves as the Director of Education, Family Services and Housing for the Indianapolis Urban League (IUL). In this capacity Mark supervises the services of these three departments and sets policy for these vital service areas of the agency. Mark’s duties and responsibilities in this area include investigating and referring complaints of educational bias, providing advocacy for the educational needs of disadvantaged students and their parents, supervising IUL programs that serve
youth and their parents, supervising emergency requests for rent/mortgage and utility assistance as well as seasonal assistance at Thanksgiving and Christmas, providing pre-ownership training for first-time homebuyers, facilitating foreclosure mediation, and providing rental counseling to clients. In addition to identifying and maintaining funding sources for all three program areas, Mark is the agency’s United Way Liaison and also researches and authors grant proposals on behalf of the Indianapolis Urban
Prior to joining the Urban League in November of 2001, Mark worked as a self-employed consultant on personnel matters and as a grant proposal writer. During the past 15 years Mark has secured more than $4.2 million in grant funding from a variety of federal, state, and private funders.
Mark has previously served as Coordinator of United Way of Central Indiana’s Neighborhood and Community Development Impact Council. In this capacity, Mark helped to implement the Council, helped to select Council members, performed neighborhood oriented research, assisted neighborhood groups on a variety of matters, and worked with officials from the Annie E. Casey Foundation (Making Connections Initiative) and the Asset Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University on various neighborhood
From 1995-1999 Mark served as Vice President of Administration for Community Action of Greater Indianapolis (CAGI) where he supervised personnel (300+ employees), legal, and safety and security issues as well as program development. Prior to this appointment, Mark served as CAGI’s Grants Specialist where he successfully procured new, continuation, and expansion funds for CAGI’s programs in excess of $1.5 million over an 18-month period (June 1993-March 1995).
Mark served with the Indiana Civil Rights Commission for six years (1987 –1993) where he served as the Commission’s Legislative Liaison, Grant Proposal Writer, Media Officer and Affirmative Action Coordinator. While at the Commission Mark was most privileged by his role in helping secure passage of the Indiana Fair Housing Act by the Indiana General Assembly in 1991 and his establishment of a network to report hate crimes among human rights commissions in the state.
After his graduation from Indiana University in June of 1986, Mark served for a year as Governor’s Fellow under Indiana Governor Robert D. Orr. Mark holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Telecommunications from IU Bloomington.
Mark accepted his call to the ministry in June of 1993 and was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1995 at the Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Indianapolis, IN where he affiliated in 1987.