Indiana Republican Diversity Leadership Series
2021 Inaugural Class

 

 Tiffanie Ditlevson

Tiffanie A. Hill Ditlevson is an Air Force Veteran (Major), entrepreneur, and real estate professional in Hamilton County. Her current role provides an opportunity to focus her skills on improving both her community and the lives of her clients. 

Ditlevson’s professional experiences include: service and resource delivery to combat forces, health care management, marketing and new product launch, relationship building, group leadership, and complex problem solving. 

Ditlevson earned her undergraduate degree and U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Commission at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and completed a Masters of Business Administration at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Ditlevson currently serves as Commander of The Veteran’s of Foreign War Post 1120 and the Vice President of the Catholic Charities of Indianapolis Agency Council.

Ditlevson’s awards include a New York Film Festival Silver Medal, a Meritorious Service Medal (twice awarded), The Air Force Innkeeper Award and Company Grade Officer of the Year.

 

 Vittorio D’Uva

Vittorio D'Uva is the internet manager of Royal on the East Side, an imported luxury car dealership in Bloomington.

D'Uva is originally from Mississippi, but as a child emigrated to Venezuela, where he spent 19 years. While in Venezuela he had the opportunity to learn Italian at Pompei Charter School and initiate his studies on actuarial science. He was also able to work with the education company Kaplan International on their English Abroad division as a bookkeeper. 

Presented with the opportunity to continue his studies in the United States, D'Uva moved to Bloomington where he was able to obtain an associate’s degree in business from Ivy Tech Community College. While attending college, D'Uva was also able to develop his managerial skills as a team leader at Chick-fil-A.

 

 Cody Eckert

Cody Eckert works for the Indiana House of Representatives as a senior legislative assistant within the Republican Caucus. During session, he has assisted the majority chief counsel and the chairmen of the Judiciary and Government & Regulatory Reform committees. The upcoming legislative session will mark his seventh in the Statehouse.

In 2019, Eckert became Indiana's first openly LGBT, elected Republican in the state, winning a seat on Greencastle City Council while helping to earn the council's first Republican majority in decades. He serves on the committee responsible for crafting the city's budget. 

Originally from northeast Indiana, Eckert grew up in Huntington County where he excelled in academics, 4-H, and football. He has since put down roots in Putnam County with Joel, his boyfriend of five years.

Eckert is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

 

 

 Michael Garza

Michael Rafael Garza is the administrative assistant for Decatur Main Street and also assists the Decatur Chamber of Commerce. In his role, he has worked to further Decatur Main Street’s mission to revitalize the downtown area of Decatur and help to promote local businesses. 

Garza’s experience also includes working as a coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana during their 2017 Bowl For Kid's Sake event. He has also previously held internships at the Indiana Senate, Todd Young campaign for the U.S. Senate and the Decatur Chamber of Commerce. 

Garza is a graduate of Bethel University, where he studied business administration and economics. He is a resident of Adams County.

 

 James Jackson

James W. Jackson is currently the Lead Pastor of Fervent Prayer Church. Pastor Jackson's goal is to promote healing and deliverance through the power of prayer and faith around the world. Pastor Jackson began his ministry with approximately 10 members in a school building on the west side of Indianapolis. 

Pastor Jackson has aligned himself with a great pastoral leadership team, and as a result has become a blessing to the city of Indianapolis. In 2010, he was the first pastor in the city of Indianapolis' history to be appointed to the police merit board by Mayor Greg Ballard. He is also a 2014 recipient of the mayor ‘s community service award.

Pastor Jackson is the director of the far east side action coalition, a member of the board for the community alliance of the far east side (CAFE), and the President of Fervent Care Childcare and Christian Academy. He is also the founder of Clean for Green, employing Indy youth to help clean the far-eastside community.

 

  Sean Jointer

Sean Jointer is the owner of Righteous Enterprise a construction developer and contractor who helps reinvents communities and spaces.

Jointer is also a minister, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Pastor Floyd Jackson, and his mother, Evangelist Anita Jointer. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Refuge Place and is a Trustees at Rehoboth Outreach Church of the Kingdom.

Jointer is a community activist who serves the most vulnerable populations, such as the homeless, in Central Indiana. He is also passionate about alternative agriculture options, which he developed while enrolled at Manual High School's FFA agriculture program. 

Jointer uses this experience to mentor and coach a younger generation of boys through the YMCA and AAU Best Choice Fieldhouse.

Jointer is a lifelong Hoosier who was educated in Indianapolis Public Schools. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Brittany. They are the proud parents of two-year-old Olivia.

 

 

 

 Paul Jones

Paul Jones is currently the program coordinator for the Community Alliance of the Far Eastside. His work entails mentorship, acquiring in-kind donations for self-developed programs, and assisting with the prioritization of company assets. 

Jones supported over one hundred single mothers to combat “period poverty” by collecting thousands of feminine hygiene products, deodorants, and other high-cost toiletries. He has co-authored multiple community action plans in both Anderson and Muncie.

Jones graduated from Ball State University, with a focus on education. Paul’s passion for a larger transcendental community impact was catalyzed by Ball State’s Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning program. He currently resides in his hometown of Indianapolis.

 

 Fletcher Kitchell

Fletcher Kitchell is a full stack application engineer for Royal United Mortgage in Indianapolis. Kitchell is passionate about developing high-quality software programs to make life more efficient for the people who use them. He firmly believes that there is a code-based solution to problems people face, such as drawing boundaries for redistricting or connecting people living in food deserts and without transportation to neighbors with the means and desire to help in relieving this stress.  

Kitchell is passionate about his community and believes that you can use computers and artificial intelligence to address problems facing Hoosiers. He is an active member of his church, and he is regularly looking for other ways to volunteer in the community.

Kitchell is a July 2020 graduate of Eleven Fifty Academy's Software Development course and is currently living on the westside of Indianapolis with his family. 

 

 B.R. Lane

B.R. Lane currently serves as a regulatory, government affairs and public policy professional, where she is recognized for her ability to directly confront complex situations, assess the true nature of a challenge, and drive stakeholders toward resolution.

Lane also has extensive experience as a gaming executive and was previously appointed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to serve as the Director of the Illinois Lottery, where she managed a multi-billion dollar budget, negotiated the termination of a failed private management agreement, and maintained the obligations of multi-state lottery participation during a stalled state budget. She has also represented the city of Gary before the Indiana General Assembly in its efforts to help re-imagine 30 years of gaming legislation, enabling Gary’s riverboat casino to become the only land-based casino in its area.

Lane was born and raised in Gary, where she spent nearly a decade helping shape public policy in various roles, including as deputy mayor, chief of staff to the mayor, and executive director of the Gary/Chicago International Airport. 

She is a graduate of Morgan State University, a historically black college, and Harvard Law School. She lives in Northwest Indiana, serves as the newly-elected 1st District Vice-Chair of the Indiana Federation of Young Republicans, and the Vice-Chair of the United Federated Republican Women of Gary.

 

 James Lewis III

James Lewis is currently the lead quality advisor for General Dynamics Information Technology. Prior to his transition, James was subcontracted with EDM as part of the implementation team that launched the Records Management Center (RMC) Extraction and Scanning Service contract under the Department of Veterans Affairs, overseeing resolution support for the nation’s largest government RMC contract. 

Lewis is a member of the Blexit Foundation's Blexit Student Movement (BSM), serving as their national Programming Coordinator.

Passionate about the conservative movement in the minority community and its possibilities, Lewis provides perspectives and insight that will assist the team in planning, partnering and recapping programs in an effort to make a lasting positive impression in this nation.

Lewis is originally from Gary, but currently resides in Indianapolis. 

 

 Emery McClendon

Emery McClendon is a distinguished military veteran and former law enforcement officer who has led the way in conservative political activism. McClendon served in the U.S. Air Force and the Indiana Air Guard, and is a former Ft. Wayne Police Reserve Officer, Allen County Sheriff Deputy, and Indiana State Trooper.

McClendon organized amateur radio communications for the national Glenn Beck Rally For The Troops in 2003, and founded Amateur Radio Military Appreciation Day. After an invitation to breakfast at the White House in 2007, he became involved in politics as a speaker, Tea Party Leader, and state coordinator for Tea Party Patriots. He organized the Fort Wayne Tea Party Rally with Dr. Alan Keyes. 

McClendon is a lifetime member of the DAV, and has been a receipt of the Americans For Prosperity/RightOnline 2010 "Activist Of The Year” award, the Amateur Radio Dayton Hamvention Special Achievement Award, The Madison County Indiana "American" Award, and the Indiana Distinguished Hoosier Award.

McClendon lives in Fort Wayne with his wife, Queenie. They have three sons. 

 

 

 Derrick Miller

Derrick J. Miller currently works for the City of Indianapolis with the Department of Parks & Recreation. Miller works in direct services to support and build strong youth, families and the community primarily on the Southeast side of Indianapolis. 

Miller is the executive director of the nonprofit Indianapolis Communities Safe House Alliance (ICSHA) and a board member on How Tired Are You, Inc., a local gun violence prevention organization.

Miller earned his B.S. from the University of Indianapolis and his M.S. from Walden University (magna cum laude), studying Nonprofit Management & Leadership. He is a previous recipient of the Mayor's Performance Award.

Miller is also a small business owner, pastor and chaplain. He resides in Marion Country with his wife and four children.

 

 

 Willie Miller

Willie L. Miller is Gary-based professional working to make a difference in his community through public service and higher education. He brings experience in real estate, as well as teaching at the collegiate level.

As the Vice Chairman of the Gary Republican Party, Miller has led civic education initiatives with the youth poll worker program in Lake County. Prior to this action, Miller worked as an Academic Advisor with the DeVry University Advantage Academy in the Chicago Campus. Currently, he is a Professor with Oakland City University running the Master Student Master Employee program that gives opportunities to students in obtaining a National Certificate of Readiness. This program gives all individuals opportunities to obtain premium employment opportunities through workforce development in Indiana and abroad. 

Miller holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Kentucky Wesleyan, and a MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management with emphasis on marketing. 

 

 Christopher Mitchem

Christopher Mitchem is a public affairs specialist with Bose Public Affairs Group’s state and local government relations team. In his role, Mitchem supports clients from a wide-range of industries, including transportation, alcohol policy, and health care, by researching issues and policy matters and developing strategies to advocate for client priorities.  

Mitchem previously worked as an advocacy and communications intern for the Indiana Hospital Association. In this role, he was responsible for conducting policy research, in addition to crafting messaging for key stakeholders. Mitchem also served as a communications intern for the Indiana House of Representatives.

Mitchem is a graduate of IUPUI, where he was involved in several political and advocacy organizations. He plans to begin pursuing his JD at the Indiana University McKinney School of Law in the fall of 2021.

 

 

 Tasha Phelps

Tasha Phelps is a nationally-recognized authority on information technology and cyber security. She has managed high-profile projects for federal, state, and local government agencies, and worked with many private-sector clients in her 30-year career. 

An early proponent of anti-terrorist cyber defense systems, Phelps completed anti-terrorism awareness training with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She has been called upon to design and implement sophisticated security solutions for clients across the country.

Phelps’ experience extends to managing IT and communications deployments of all sizes and functionalities. She is also a valued consultant, employing her unique portfolio of experiences to help her clients with new systems architecture, policy design, and business analysis.

Phelps dedicates significant time to law enforcement causes and local civic committees, and is well known for her many compelling industry and business speaking engagements. In civic service to the community, she currently presides over the Greater Indianapolis Republican Women’s Club (GIRWC) – the first American woman of color to hold this position.

Americans are sick of the radical left's attempts to grab power. It's time Democrats start listening to the people… https://t.co/jbSHiUNfZM
Apr 22 2021