2021-2022 Board Ready for an Exciting New Season

With the 2021-2022 preparing to kick off, we’re pleased to introduce the officers who will lead the Contemporary Club of Indianapolis over the next year.

SECRETARY: Monica Vojnovich
TREASURER: Tom Jenkins

Carl Bates
Karen Crossland
Stan Cuppy
Marilyn Goeke
Margaret Herder
Barb Kern
George Plews
Patti Richey
Pinky Stuhldreher
Courtenay Weldon

Thank you to the nominating committee for bringing so many excellent club members to our leadership team. The 2020-2021 season had many challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but the Contemporary Club continues to thrive and find new and innovative ways to stay active and engaged. We look forward to seeing the return of many members to our events throughout the 2021-2022 season!

2020-2021 Season Ready to Begin

The second half of the Contemporary Club’s 2019-2020 season was cancelled because of the growing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. After a long break from many social activities, Club members are excited for the start of the new season and a second chance to hear from at least one of our previously planned speakers.

Leading the Club this year is Rachel Cohen, who is joined by several returning and new Board members as she continues to navigate through the challenges of this pandemic. If you have any questions or concerns about how the Club will be ensuring that our events are safe this year, please use the contact form on this page to reach our leadership team.

Rachel Cohen
Rachel Cohen, 2020-2021 President

2020-2021 Contemporary Club Board

Rachel Cohen, President
Ginny Cain, President-Elect
Giles Hoyt, Vice President
Tom Jenkins, Treasurer
Delores Hoyt, Secretary
Dr. David Stuhldreyer, Past President

Matt Brown
Stan Cuppy
Joan Dann
Fritz Kauffman
Gary McWilliams
George Plews
Nancy Showalter
Pinky Stuhldreher
Sue Tempero
Monica Vojnovich

Here’s a glimpse at what you can expect this year:

October 15, 2020

Speaker: Major General Craig B. Whelden, U.S. Army (Retired)
Topic: Experience at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001
Location: Carmichael Hotel, 1 Carmichael Ln., Carmel

November 10, 2020

Speaker: Charles Wiles, Executive Director of the Center for Interfaith Cooperation
Topic: Embracing Religious Diversity in Central Indiana
Location: Highland Country Club, 1050 52nd St., Indianapolis

December 16, 2020

Performer: Celtic Rain
Scottish Holiday Music Featuring Bag Pipes, Harp, and Voices
Location: Woodstock Club, 1301 W. 38th Street, Indianapolis

March 23, 2021

Speaker: Tom Fuentes, Former Assistant Director of the FBI and Law Enforcement Analyst for CNN
Topic: My Experiences as an FBI Agent
Location: The Montage, 8580 Allison Pointe Blvd., Indianapolis

April 14, 2021

Speaker: Professor Elliot Engel, Author and Playwright
Topic: TBA
Location: Meridian Hills Country Club, 7099 Spring Mill Rd., Indianapolis

May 13, 2021
Perfomer / Speaker: Richard Glazier, Pianist and Narrator
Topic: “From Broadway to Hollywood” with salutes to Hoagy Carmichael and Cole Porter
Location: The Willows on Westfield, 6729 Westfield Blvd., Indianapolis

2019-2020 Slate of Officers Confirmed

The 2018-2019 season wraps up in May with a visit from Indiana’s First Lady, Janet Holcomb, as our final guest speaker of the year. During the April 18 meeting at Woodland Country Club, members voted on the slate of officers who will lead the Contemporary Club of Indianapolis in the 2019-2020 season. The following slate was proposed and approved:

PRESIDENT: Dr. David Stuhldreyer
SECRETARY: Delores Hoyt
TREASURER: Tom Jenkins

Fritz Kauffman
Nancy Showalter
Dan Fairley
Ginny Cain
Matt Brown

Bonnie Carter
Laura Yeo
Sue Tempero
Charles Grahn
Gary McWilliams

Thank you to the excellent Nominating Committee for assembling a stellar state of officers to lead the Club. This has been a wonderful year, filled with camaraderie, entertaining speakers, and many opportunities to learn. We look forward to seeing you at the Willows on Westfield for our final program of the season on May 21.

Spring 2019 Guest Speakers

Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes the second half of our 2018-2019 season. Last September, we explored the splendor and solemn spaces of the Indiana War Memorial and learned the details surrounding the fate of the U.S.S. Indianapolis. In October we found ourselves in the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art, where we dove into the history that fueled an international fascination with Billy the Kid. November’s discussion of the literary heroes of childhood gave us a chance to laugh and connect with the next generation of readers and aspiring superheroes.

As snow began to fall in Indiana, we gathered for the last time in 2018 at the Woodstock Club to listen to the timeless music of the Great American Songbook and celebrate the holiday season. Now that the worst of Indiana’s blustery weather is behind us (hope springs eternal!), we come together again for the last three programs of the season. Here is a preview to get you excited for a fun spring with the Contemporary Club of Indianapolis.

March 12, 2019: It may not be “polite conversation,” but the topic of addiction certainly is timely as Indiana faces an alarming opioid epidemic. Konye Ori, Deputy Director of Prevention Insights at the IU School of Public Health, is cracking open the mystery of addiction and looking at how it affects people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. His insight into the science of addiction sends a message of hope for a cure and a brighter future for Hoosiers.

April 18, 2019: Luis Franco, Mexican Consul to the Midwest, visits the Contemporary Club to explore the diplomatic relationship between Indiana and Mexico. Consul Franco’s diplomatic career has taken him across the globe and given him great insight into the way two countries can work together to improve cultural understanding and create mutually beneficial economic relationships.

May 21, 2019: The 2018-2019 season wraps up with a program by Indiana’s First Lady, Janet Holcomb, who will share how the arts and business communities benefit from collaboration and mutual growth. Her dive into economic development and the arts will explore the ways Indiana cities are thriving by embracing innovation and unique partnerships. (NOTE: This is a change in date from previous communications.)

This spring, our Club continues down the path set by Mae Wright Sewall in our original 1890 Constitution to “take advantage of all opportunities and information and culture that may from time to time come within its reach.” As we laugh, learn, and explore together, let us always remember to make the most of these opportunities to expand our horizons and enrich our lives with new knowledge.

Samantha Hyde, Contemporary Club of Indianapolis President

Slate of 2018-2019 Officers & Directors Announced

As the 2017-2018 season comes to a close, we are excited to announce the 2018-19 slate of officers and board directors. A vote will take place during the May 17 meeting at the Willows on Westfield featuring guest speaker Carolene Mays-Medley, Executive Director of White River State Park.

PRESIDENT: Samantha Hyde
PRESIDENT ELECT: Dr. David Stuhldreyer
SECRETARY: Delores Hoyt
TREASURER: John Medaris
PAST PRESIDENT: Phyllis Geeslin

Bonnie Carter
Giles Hoyt
Laura Yeo
Sue Tempero
Charles Grahn

David Cook ( 1 year term)
Dick Kitterman
Tom Dafnos
Priscilla Johnson
Richard Cohen (1 year term)

Many thanks to our Nominating Committee for its excellent work building strong leadership for our Club in its 128th year:
Carole Darst (chair)
Ann Strong
Barbara Summers
David Cook
Jamia Jacobsen
Hal Schimmelpfennig
Phyllis Geeslin (ex officio)

Thank you to everyone who attended programs this year. We certainly enjoyed great conversations and learned much over the course of the season. See you next week at the Willows!


2017-2018 Season Kicking Off

Welcome to another good year of Contemporary Club evenings!

As your 2017-2018 Board of Directors, we want to extend to all of you our most cordial welcome to another year of the things that this organization does best: choosing convenient locations, offering delicious menus, featuring exceptional speakers and providing the opportunity for engaging friendships.

My name is Phyllis Geeslin, and I have assumed the role of President for the coming year. I am honored to be serving you and to follow the very accomplished years of leadership from Jim Glass, Brad Boyd and Carole Darst. Our unique Club is distinguished by its purpose, its lively and bright minded membership and its tradition of seeking intellectual stimulation for men and women. Contemporary Club is venerated for the remarkable members who participate on the Board of Directors serving as the voice of every member.

I am grateful to the following individuals who will serve as your leaders for the year: Samantha Hyde, President-elect; David Cook, Vice President; John Medaris, Treasurer; Valerie George, Secretary; and Carole Darst, Past President. Board Members finishing a two-year term: Mary Buckley, Richard Cohen, Bonnie Carter, Dennis Dann, and Ann Strong. Board Members beginning a two-year term; Tom Dafnos, Priscilla Johnson, G. B. Landrigan, and Carole Mukhtar.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Phyllis Geeslin, 2017-2018 President

Happy Spring!

Carole Darstby Carole Darst, 2016-2017 President

Wishing a Happy Spring to all of you –  over 300 Contemporary Club members!  Won’t you please join me in…

  • Celebrating our new website, with pictures, club history, and current activities added all the time
  • Anticipating spring programs designed for members’ interests and investigation and focused on writing, music and our venerable yet ever-new Indiana State Fair
  • Working diligently on our nominations for 2017-2018 Board Officers, members for acknowledgement, and action at our April meeting
  • Noting and refreshing our procedures to propose new members and using our access to our digital up-to-the minute roster of current members

All the spring activities listed above make it easier for all of us to enlist our family, friends, guests, and acquaintances as new members. We invite them to enjoy the Contemporary Club’s vitality, friendship, and stimulating conversation on the latest and most-often identified subjects and issues.

You won’t see me in March – I’m having a bit of surgery done to get ready for our final sprint to the end of my official year, which I’ve enjoyed immensely thus far. A huge thank you to all of you for your support this year, to our Board members and Executive Secretary for being there when needed and fulfilling all those tasks that make up a Club year. Thank you also to the community we live, which affords us so many opportunities to explore and discuss our lives today!