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Smart Women Smart Money Advisory Council
Tamika Catchings is the General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Indiana Fever. Indiana’s “do-everything” forward completed 16 seasons in the WNBA, stepping away from her future-hall-of-fame-career following the 2016 season. Her naming as recipient of the very first ESPN Humanitarian Award in 2015 and a 14-year run of community service by her Catch The Stars Foundation are testament to her work off the court, however – more impactful than her MVP career on the court.
Since her playing retirement, she serves as director of player programs and franchise development with Pacers Sports & Entertainment, a post that keeps her engaged working with all three Pacers franchises: the Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever and Ft. Wayne Mad Ants. She operates the cozy Tea’s Me Café on the north side of downtown Indianapolis, and continues her service as an ambassador with the NBA and WNBA. She serves on a developmental committee with USA Basketball. She also serves as an SEC ESPN Women’s Basketball Analyst.
In March 2016, Catchings released an autobiographical story, Catch A Star: Shining through Adversity to Become a Champion sharing her story of overcoming hearing loss, separation from family, high expectations and the pain of debilitating physical injuries. She reached for the stars with hard work, perseverance and her faith in God.
On the court, Catchings’ legacy is cemented as one of the greatest women ever to play the game. She retired as the league’s No. 2 scorer (7,380 points) and rebounder (3,316) of all-time, already its career leader in free throws (2,004) and steals (1,074). In postseason play, nobody appeared in as many WNBA Playoff games (68) as Catchings, or started as many (67). She retired as the WNBA postseason leader in points (1,141), rebounds (598), free throws (356), steals (152), double-doubles (27) and minutes played (2,310).
The first man or woman in recorded basketball history to record a quintuple-double (Duncanville High School in 1997), Catchings’ leadership, tenacity and all-around skills led the Indiana Fever to becoming one of the WNBA’s elite franchises. The Fever reached the playoffs 13 times in Catchings’ 15 active seasons, including a WNBA-record run of 12-in-a-row from 2005-16. The Fever reached the conference finals eight times, including five straight seasons. The Fever won a WNBA championship in 2012 and came within one game of two more championships in five-game WNBA Finals appearances in 2009 and 2015. Catchings played in every playoff game in Fever history through the time of her retirement.
Catchings also has 4 Olympic Gold medals. Her career included being on the U.S. Women's Basketball team in Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008, London in 2012, and Rio in 2016.
Catchings was the WNBA’s only player ever to spend an entire career of 16 or more seasons with the same franchise.
Kelly Mitchell was elected as the 55th Treasurer for the State of Indiana on November 4th, 2014. In this role, Treasurer Mitchell serves as the Chair of the Indiana Bond Bank, the Statewide E-911 Board, the Indiana Education Savings Authority, the ABLE Authority, and as the Sole Trustee of the State Police Pension Trust among a number of other positions. As the Chief Investment Officer for the State, she is responsible for the management of approximately five to seven billion dollars on a daily basis.
For seven years prior to becoming Treasurer, Kelly Mitchell worked in the Treasurer of State’s Office as the Director of TrustINdiana, Indiana’s local government investment pool.
Prior to joining the Indiana Treasurer of State’s Office, Kelly Mitchell was a County Commissioner for eight years in Cass County, Indiana. During her tenure as Commissioner, she served as President of the Board of Commissioners for five years and was named First-Term Commissioner of the Year by the Association of County Commissioners. Treasurer Mitchell also served on the State Board of the Association of County Commissioners for three years, and as a member of the County Government Senate Study Commission. As Commissioner, she served seven years on the Logansport-Cass County Economic Development Foundation and as President of the Foundation for one year. She founded and co-chaired Cass County “Make a Difference Day”, managing hundreds of volunteers and dozens of projects every year.
Treasurer Mitchell holds a B.A. in Political Science from Valparaiso University and a M.A. in Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI). In 2018, the Treasurer received an M.A. in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. She is an alumna of the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series. During the summer of 2015, Treasurer Mitchell completed The Commandant’s National Security Seminar at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She has also been selected to participate in the Aspen Institute’s Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership. The Treasurer was awarded both the Sagamore of the Wabash by then-Governor Mike Pence and the 2016 Torchbearer Award by the Indiana Commission for Women. As Treasurer, she sits on both the Legislative Committee and the Financial Education Committee of the National Association of State Treasurer’s (NAST) as well as on the Executive Committee of the College Savings Plan Network (CSPN). Treasurer Mitchell is also a member of the State Financial Officers Foundation where she serves on the Executive Committee. Treasurer Mitchell resides in Indianapolis, with her husband Larry, and they have a blended family of four children and two grandchildren.
Smart Women Smart Money Conference Liaison and founding President of SFOF
As President of SFOF he is charged with leading the national organization and collaborating with like-minded state officials to promote fiscally responsible, free market principles to better impact state and federal financial policy. Kreifels is charged with ensuring that SFOF’s fiscal, operational, fundraising, marketing, and communication strategies are effectively implemented.
Kreifels spent five years as Assistant State Treasurer of Kansas. As Assistant State Treasurer he also served as chief of staff - an agency head and deputy to a statewide elected official. He managed all aspects of the Treasurer’s office including scheduling, policy development, legislative, budgeting and personnel.
Kreifels was accountable for an office which processed over $21B annually which is comprised of 42 employees with an annual budget of over $3.5M. He worked with the State Treasurer to create new programs and modernize existing ones to reach out to a diverse set of Kansans with a wide variety of financial education initiatives. He was responsible for identifying innovative ways to help return unclaimed property to Kansans.
Kreifels played an integral role in working with the Kansas 529 Learning Quest program and program manager to develop annual marketing plan which includes television, radio, newsprint, collateral material and other borderless marketing initiatives.
Kreifels continuously sought out ways to increase the use of technology in the office to reduce costs. He directed Emergency Preparedness Operations planning and training for the agency with exposure to FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security as well as the Kansas Department of Emergency Management.
Kreifels has spent the last 25 years encouraging, advising and working along side various federal, state, and local leaders. Before working for the public sector, Kreifels spent several years in banking.
He attended Kansas State University, received his undergraduate degree from Wichita State University, and his Masters from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. He lends his leadership to several boards and non-profits. He and his wife Melanie recently traveled to a remote part of Ghana, Africa, on a mission trip to attend the grand opening of a school. He and Melanie live in the Kansas City area.
Smart Women Smart Money Conference Coach
Starla West is a second-generation woman entrepreneur who brings insight, experience, and empathy to the company she founded, Starla West International – a Business Leadership and Executive Coaching Firm. Armed with the insight gained from two decades in the corporate world, Starla launched her business in 2009 to help business professionals reach their highest level of interpersonal and leadership effectiveness, building their executive presence and breaking through to the authoritative place they need to be.
As an executive coach, keynote speaker, and expert trainer, Starla’s expertise transcends a variety of industries such as healthcare, real estate, financial services, and the not-for-profit sector to empower decision-makers with the right tools and resources to achieve their highest level of executive performance. Her passion for helping clients continually improve shines through techniques that combine both hard and soft skills so leaders can better manage relationships, lead others more effectively, and communicate their value. Her clients learn to make better decisions, achieve superior results, and become more visible and promotable.
Smart Women Smart Money Conference Emcee
Idaho Breakout Session 3D - Building Your Brand
Carolyn Holly comes to the Smart Women Smart Money team from the Treasure Valley of Idaho after being involved with Smart Women Smart Money as its conference emcee for the past 15 years. Holly currently serves as Vice President of Idaho Business for Education. In her role, she is an instrumental part of developing meaningful relationships with business leaders to create a highly educated and skilled workforce.
Carolyn enjoyed a 33 year career at KTVB Channel 7 television in Boise, where she became one of Idaho's most experienced and best known television personalities.
Carolyn has acted as an important representative and volunteer for many Treasurer Valley organizations including Smart Women Smart Money, Boise Public Schools Foundation, Idaho Youth Sports Commission, the Saint Alphonsus Foundation, FUNDSY, the Boise Police Chiefs Citizen Advisory panel and the President of the FACES Foundation.