Seven USI alumni who exhibit notable leadership while making an impact on the Evansville community were among the honorees celebrated at the Rotary Club of Evansville's 20 Under 40 luncheon September 28.
Learn more about the honorees through the bios below with information provided by the Rotary Club of Evansville.
Julie Burczyk '06 M'09
Owner, Tools 4 Teaching
It was meant to be. During a lunch conversation with a friend, third-grade teacher and mother of two young children with rare developmental disabilities Julie Burczyk hatched a plan to open a very special retail store, Tools 4 Teaching, to serve classroom teachers, families of special needs children and churches.
As a former teacher herself, Burczyk understands the need for unique and innovative toys and materials that can be used for educational and therapeutic purposes. Opening Tools 4 Teaching in 2017, Burczyk was seeking to fill a gap in access to such toys and materials. The personal experience she and her husband have shared with their children has increased her passion.
Her extensive involvement with many nonprofits includes being active with Easterseals Rehabilitation Center and participating as a volunteer presenter and title sponsor for HOP-N-ING, a fundraiser and educational event for preschool and early primary grade students. HOP-N-ING teaches students in 35 schools about disabilities and appreciation of people of all abilities during assemblies. Burczyk will begin her first term as a board member for Easterseals this fall.
She also supports Ark Crisis Children’s Center, area churches and preschools, CASA, the Autism Walk and Borrowed Hearts, seeking out and often donating materials that fit the needs of these organizations to aid in children meet their greatest potentials.
Burczyk is an outstanding example for working moms striving to balance their professional lives.
Josey Roth '15
Business Process Analyst, Old National Bank
Josey Roth is passionate about developing young professionals in Evansville and sees a need to partner with the community to develop and retain emerging leaders. Her work with the Young Professionals Conference has shown impactful results. "The first year we had under 100 attend the conference, and in the second year, we had more than 200," she says.
Roth has held numerous roles in nonprofits, starting as a development manager at the United Methodist Youth Home to chief strategy officer with the Christian Life Center.
She now takes her development experience and applies it as an analyst at Old National Bank. Her current position allows her to expand the work she was able to do with nonprofits. "While working for nonprofits, I was limited to the mission of the organization,” Roth says. “Now I can be involved with many more nonprofits and spread my skill set around the community.”
Roth thinks Evansville has much to offer to young professionals who want to grow because of the wide range of opportunities and expertise the community has to offer. "Never hesitate to reach out to others you look up to for advice or mentoring. It’s been a huge help to me in my professional career," she says.
Hunter Slade '07
Vice President & Owner, Slade Print
Hunter Slade jumps at the opportunity to serve this community.
He has been a leader in community organizations such as the USI Varsity Club, USI Alumni Association, Green River Kiwanis and the Family Business Alliance. “To help lead such great organizations and watch the good they do in the community is such a great opportunity,” he says.
Slade has also stepped up to lead in his family’s business, Slade Print. “I look at how we can use our expertise to help others whether it’s other small businesses or community nonprofits. We look to be true partners with all our clients. It’s a win-win for us and the nonprofits,” he says of his focus on the community in his business.
Executive Vice President of United Companies Doug Petitt said this about Slade: “I have been impressed with Hunter’s ability to interact with anyone and everyone. No one is too big or too little for him to engage with. He lives by the credo, 'To whom much is given, much is expected.' His focus on the community is exemplary.”
“Evansville is a great place to live and raise my girls. I have never had a strong desire to leave, only make it better,” Slade says of his hometown.
Tyler Stock '18, M'20
Junior Achievement, Talent 2025 Educational Attainment Project Manager
Tyler Stock spends his days working with industry leaders, educators, superintendents and area university leaders to establish a plan to lead students into a workforce.
His current role at Junior Achievement strives to increase high school graduation rates and the percentage of the workforce who have a four-year college degree or higher. “Examples of initiatives he is leading include Curriculum Mapping with higher education and subsequently industry partners that will align course work and credentialing with industry needs in this region. Tyler is also working with EVSC on an apprenticeship initiative for high school and post-secondary education students in partnership with area industry partners,” says Marcia Forston, CEO and President of Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana.
Stock is also a board member of Habitat for Humanity, focusing on funds development and equity and inclusion. He was also heavily involved with the youth professionals group at Old National Bank during his time working for the organization.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Tyler in two capacities, as an employee of Old National and in his role in working with Talent 2025. I have always found him to have a tremendous work ethic, to be a life-long learner and to have high moral character. He epitomizes the future leaders of our region,“ says Bob Jones, former CEO of Old National Bank.
Megan Wright '08 M'10
Helfrich Park STEM Academy Educator, EVSC
"Megan Wright is a standout at Helfrich Park STEM Academy (HPSA) in her teaching methods, her ability to connect with students and her passion for helping her students understand and grow as productive members of the community,” says nominator Rachel Meeks, Fuels Area Coordinator P.E. at Alcoa Warrick Power Plant.
For more than 10 years, Wright brought a group of her higher achieving students to the Alcoa power plant to tour the facility and see the different types of jobs available.
Among her many roles at Helfrich Park, Wright is the student council sponsor, sixth grade team lead and the primary organizer for multiple sixth grade field trips, including trips to Land Between the Lakes, Alcoa and Berry Global.
A Berry Global project pairs students with designers and offers real world experience in 3D modeling, graphic design, market research and presentation skills, often working on products to support nonprofits in our community. Students learn the importance of project details and how much time and effort it takes to make a product. Student council community projects have made sandwiches for the Evansville Rescue Mission and placed recycle bins out for the Fall Festival, empowering students and helping them understand the value of community, hard work, perseverance and how to be a catalyst for change.
Outside of the classroom, Wright enjoys gardening, time spent with family and family pets, crafts and volunteering to help others.
Brandon Zimmer '05
Three i Design, Senior Principal
Brandon Zimmer’s job has gone to the birds—penguins to be exact. Three i Design is installing the controls for the soon-to-open Kinney Family Penguins of Patagonia at Mesker Park Zoo.
He is the youngest Senior Principal at Three i Design and leads the Controls Engineering team. He has been with the firm since 2005. “I started working with the survey crew before I graduated. I got my degree in computer science, and the rest is history. I love the work and enjoy the challenge of each project I am involved with, whether it is here in Evansville or at a plant across the country,” he says.
In addition to his day job, Zimmer is a volunteer firefighter for the Scott Township Fire Department. For more than a decade, he has given his free time to respond to calls from people in need of fire or EMT services. He currently serves as a Division Chief. “I can really make a difference and help people in need," he says.
That desire to help also manifests with Zimmer's involvement with the Board of Challenger Baseball League at Highland Baseball. “That program is something special, and I jumped at the chance to be involved,” he says.
Director of Urgent Care, Deaconess Health Systems
If you received a COVID-19 vaccine at a Deaconess location, Andrew Schenk had a hand in making it easy, accessible and as painless as a shot in the arm can be.
His team was tasked with creating five vaccination clinics in Vanderburgh, Warrick and Posey Counties, and clinics were open 12 hours a day, seven days a week. As of early August, the team had administered more than 150,000 vaccinations. At its peak, Deaconess was administering more than 1,200 vaccinations a day. “It was a team effort to get that many people in and out of a facility while keeping everyone socially distanced,” Schenk says of the vaccination effort.
The departments he oversees focus on providing high-quality, accessible and affordable healthcare to the masses in normal times and became the epicenter for COVID response early in the pandemic.
Schenk is an Evansville native, a graduate of EVSC schools and a graduate from both the University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana. “I was born and raised in Evansville and don’t see myself ever wanting to leave,” Schenk says.
“Andrew and his team truly represent the best of young leadership in the greater Evansville area. They are focused, committed and innovative in their approaches to serving the healthcare needs of our community. They are shining examples of the positive impact teamwork has on achievement of common goals,” nominator Jessica McCord says.