New Leadership Announced for Central Indiana Community Foundation and The Indianapolis Foundation

Jennifer Bartenbach named new CEO of Central Indiana Community Foundation; Dr. Lorenzo Esters named new president of The Indianapolis Foundation

The Board of Directors of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) announced today that Jennifer Bartenbach has been named as the next CEO; and the Board of The Indianapolis Foundation announced that Dr. Lorenzo Esters has been named as the next President.

“CICF and The Indianapolis Foundation have been key anchor organizations, deeply rooted in our community. We are excited for these two new leaders to continue driving the passion and commitment to building an equitable and inclusive community,” said Marisol Sanchez, Search Committee Co-Chair and immediate past Board Chair for CICF.

CICF and The Indianapolis Foundation, along with Hamilton County Community Foundation, IMPACT Central Indiana and Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, are part of a $1 billion philanthropic collaborative committed to mobilizing people, ideas and investments to make Central Indiana a community where all individuals have equitable opportunity to reach their full potential—no matter place, race or identity. Each organization also has its own unique strategic plan to advance this goal within the communities it serves.

The two new leaders will succeed Brian Payne, president and CEO of CICF and president of The Indianapolis Foundation, who will retire June 30 after 23 years of service. Bartenbach and Esters were selected following two rigorous national searches, spearheaded by one 10-member search committee comprised of CICF, The Indianapolis Foundation and the Hamilton County Community Foundation board of directors.

CICF and The Indianapolis Foundation partnered with Koya Partners, the executive search firm with an exclusive focus on recruiting CEOs and senior executive leaders to mission-driven roles.

“This was a robust and thorough process, and we appreciate the time and effort that our constituents, candidates and board members dedicated to support this important recruitment and leadership transition.” said Molly Wilkinson Chavers, Search Committee Co-Chair and Vice Chair for The Indianapolis Foundation Board.

“We are thrilled to welcome two new leaders who are passionate about the mission and work of CICF and The Indianapolis Foundation during such a pivotal time for the philanthropic collaborative. In partnership with Koya, the Search Committee intentionally embedded equity in all phases of the search process to ensure all voices and perspectives were heard from staff, all CICF affiliates and the community, said Marisol Sanchez.

Jennifer Bartenbach

Jennifer Bartenbach

Jennifer Bartenbach Named CEO for CICF

Jennifer Bartenbach has served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for CICF for the last 10 years. She has effectively led the recent restructuring and establishment of the philanthropic collaborative.

“I’ve had the distinct privilege to spend 10 years under the inspiring leadership of Brian Payne and have seen firsthand how you take a vision to an activated mission,” said Bartenbach.

During her time as CFO and COO of CICF, Bartenach has had direct responsibility over all operations of CICF and 10 consolidating supporting entities.

“Jennifer’s deep knowledge of CICF will allow her to quickly step in and be a major asset to the collaborative. I am confident that she will bring fresh ideas and innovative approaches to serving our donors, our affiliates and the Indianapolis region.” said Mike Simmons, Board Chair for CICF and Search Committee Member.

Prior to her time at CICF, she was CFO and Board Secretary at the Indianapolis Museum of Art where she served as the Museum Administrator/Interim CEO.

Bartenbach said, “I’m excited to become the next CICF CEO. CICF will embrace innovation, accomplish daring goals, and foster positive national and regional relationships while challenging the status quo to reimagine what a community foundation and philanthropic collaborative can be.

“I believe we will build upon a strong history to elevate donor service and philanthropic innovation and excellence throughout Central Indiana,” added Bartenbach, who has consistently been described as passionate about the work and mission of CICF, and as a leader among the current CICF team and its affiliate partners.

Dr. Lorenzo Esters

Dr. Lorenzo Esters

Dr. Lorenzo Esters Named President for The Indianapolis Foundation

Dr. Lorenzo Esters brings over 25 years of experience spanning the private, public, and non-profit sectors. Most recently, Lorenzo served as the Chancellor for the Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis service area, where he managed an annual budget of approximately $58 million serving over 28,000 students.

“With excitement and anticipation, I look forward to joining The Indianapolis Foundation. The Indianapolis Foundation’s history as one of the first community foundations in the United States and one of the oldest in the world and its multi-generational commitment to advancing racial equity and creating equitable opportunity was inspiring to me,” said Esters.

Esters is known for bringing deep passion to economic and community development, building effective teams and leading strategies that address the community’s most pressing concerns.

“We look forward to Lorenzo’s leadership. He has made a tremendous impact in the Indianapolis region as Chancellor at Ivy Tech and brings a depth of knowledge and experience in philanthropy, which will be critical to the growth of The Indianapolis Foundation in this next chapter,” said John Hoover, Board Chair of The Indianapolis Foundation.

Keeping ‘being of service’ at the forefront of his career, Esters currently serves on the boards of Fifth Third Bank, Visit Indy, and the Executive Committee of The Indianapolis Chamber, and is a member of the Chamber’s Business Equity for Indy Committee.

Esters said, “advancing equitable opportunity has been at the center of everything I have done in my career. I look forward to working with the Board, team, and community to deepen the Foundation’s efforts. Through the Philanthropic Collaborative, The Indianapolis Foundation has a major opportunity to be a leader in using philanthropy as a catalyst for empowering individuals and communities.”

Prior to Ivy Tech, Esters previously served as Vice President for Philanthropy with Strada Education Network.

Brian Payne

Brian Payne

Outgoing Leadership and Transition

Brian Payne, president and CEO of CICF and president of The Indianapolis Foundation will remain connected to the CICF philanthropic collaborative as a consultant through the end of the year to support the leadership transitions.

“I am honored and grateful to our foundations’ board and the entire CICF philanthropic collaborative staff, affiliates and supporters for the opportunity to serve, lead and grow this critically important work and mission,” and “I am looking forward to supporting the two new leaders. Both bring strong leadership and proven operational experience,” added Payne.

During Payne’s tenure with the organization, the collective’s assets have tripled to over $1 billion and annual grantmaking more than quadrupled to over $110 million. Other significant achievements through his leadership include creating and funding the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick, establishing The District Theatre, and shifting the organization’s mission and vision to investing in equitable opportunity for all—no matter race, place or identity.

“We will celebrate Brian’s legacy and significant contributions to CICF and the broader Indianapolis region in the coming weeks and months in tandem with thoughtfully onboarding our two new leaders. We plan to provide updates to our key partners as the philanthropic collaborative evolves,” said Mike Simmons.

Collective leadership throughout the collaborative, including both board and staff, have also identified this transition as an opportunity for the two entities to better distinguish their roles within the partnership and solidify how they will operate independently.

Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) is a $1 billion public foundation and philanthropic collaborative working to mobilize people, ideas and investments to make this a community where all individuals have equitable opportunity to reach their full potential–no matter place, race or identity. CICF was established in 1997 as a partnership between The Indianapolis Foundation, serving Marion County since 1916, and Hamilton County Community Foundation, serving Hamilton County since 1991.

The Indianapolis Foundation, founded in 1916, is a public charity and part of the larger Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) philanthropic collaborative. As Indiana’s oldest and largest community foundation, The Indianapolis Foundation aims to mobilize people, ideas and investments to make this a community where all individuals have equitable opportunity to reach their full potential—no matter place, race or identity. It awards approximately $9 million annually from its Endowment for Indianapolis to support current and future community needs and is governed by a board of six publicly appointed directors. Learn more about The Indianapolis Foundation.


Congratulations to the next generation of leadership at CICF and the Indianapolis Foundation! Only great things ahead…


I wish Brian all the very best. He has been an EXCEPTIONAL leader and has left CICF in great shape for the INCOMING leaders. His legacy lives on in all that CICF has accomplished during Brian’s reign. I am proud to be even a small part of CICF’s fundholders.


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