Press Releases | August 1, 2022

The Mind Trust hires one, promotes one, and shifts one staff member to support organizational mission

INDIANAPOLIS – (August 1, 2022) – The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis based nonprofit, today announced the hiring of one team member, the promotion of one current staff member, and the shift of another current staff member to a new role. Jeremy Smith has been hired as Senior Director of Individual and Corporate Giving, Lauren Lopez has been promoted to Director of Racial Equity, and Michael Prihoda has shifted to become Manager of Communications.

“The Mind Trust is excited to continue growing our team with new staff members and by empowering current staff to deepen their impact on our team. We are excited to begin a new school year with a diverse, talented team that is dedicated to our mission,” said Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust.

Each of these professionals will support The Mind Trust’s efforts to expand access to high-quality schools, address systemic racism in education, and triple the number of students in Indianapolis who are academically proficient by 2027. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 41 public charter schools and Indianapolis Public School’s Innovation Network Schools in Indianapolis that currently serve more than 12,000 students.

New Hire

Jeremy Smith, Senior Director of Individual and Corporate Giving

As Senior Director of Individual and Corporate Giving, Smith will lead The Mind Trust’s work to engage more corporations and individuals to support the work of the organization. He will manage a donor engagement strategy that connects more individuals, groups, and companies to the mission of The Mind Trust.

Smith brings a wealth of experience in corporate and individual fundraising, with prior roles at Our Turn, Inc., the Indianapolis Indians, and Riley Children’s Foundation. He also has a deep background in corporate and nonprofit communications having spent ten years at Emmis Communications in various roles focused on community outreach and social impact marketing. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Indiana University.

Promotion

Lauren Lopez, Director of Racial Equity

Lopez has been promoted to Director of Racial Equity. In this new role, she will lead the Leadership and Racial Equity team’s work related to the Achievement Project, the Go Farther Literacy Fund, and the Equity Toolkit coaching. Each of these initiatives supports critical work to advance racial equity in schools and improve academic outcomes for students of color and students from other marginalized backgrounds. Lopez will also support the Leadership and Racial Equity team’s budget management, leadership diversity initiatives, and vendor diversity programming.

Lopez previously served as the Manager of Racial Equity since being hired at The Mind Trust in 2021. Prior to joining the organization, Lopez taught in schools in Indiana and Ohio for six years and was a Program Manager for The Ohio State University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Lopez holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in teaching from Marian University.

Shift

Michael Prihoda, Manager of Communications

Prihoda has shifted from his role as Manager of Development and Communications to Manager of Communications. As Manager of Communications, Prihoda will support the work of the communications team, with a focus on blog and social media content, video production, and supporting event and outreach efforts.

Prihoda has been a member of The Mind Trust’s team since 2018 as Manager of Development and Communications. Before joining The Mind Trust, he worked as an 8th Grade Literacy Teacher at KIPP Indy College Prep Middle. He holds a bachelor’s degree in professional writing from Taylor University and a master’s degree in teaching from Marian University.

About The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust is an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit that works to build a system of schools that gives every student in Indianapolis, no exceptions, access to a high-quality education. The Mind Trust does this by building a supportive environment for schools through policy and community engagement, empowering talented, diverse educators to launch new schools, and providing existing schools with the support they need to hire world-class talent and achieve excellence. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 41 schools, 14 education nonprofit organizations, and has helped place more than 1,700 teachers and school leaders in Indianapolis classrooms.