October 30, 2019
Contact: Judith Cebula
317.916.7327 |

Lilly Endowment Announces New Program Directors


Indianapolis – Lilly Endowment Inc. has announced two new program directors for its community development and education divisions.

Anne Laker has been named a program director in community development, where her work will include grantmaking for arts and cultural efforts that strengthen quality of life in Indianapolis. Tysha Hardy-Sellers has been named a program director in education. Although she will be engaged in various aspects of the Endowment’s education grantmaking, she will focus her work especially on the Endowment’s support of youth-development programs and organizations.

Hardy-Sellers brings to the Endowment more than two decades of experience working with organizations that support human services, education and workforce development. Also, she has worked as a communications professional serving in the nonprofit and corporate sectors. Since 2008, Hardy-Sellers has served as president and CEO of Edna Martin Christian Center, an Indianapolis multi-service organization that provides holistic programs in education, workforce development and health and wellness for residents in and around the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood to help them and the community thrive.

A native of Indianapolis, Hardy-Sellers earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and Russian studies from Bradley University in Peoria, IL, and a master’s degree in medical sociology from IUPUI. Hardy-Sellers plans to begin her work at the Endowment in January 2020.

“Throughout her career in Indianapolis, Tysha has demonstrated exemplary leadership and abiding commitment to helping people find paths to successful futures,” said N. Clay Robbins, the Endowment’s chairman, president and CEO. “With her depth of relevant experience and the values by which she lives her life,  she will be an excellent addition to the Endowment’s staff.”

Laker brings to the Endowment more than 25 years of experience working with arts and cultural organizations in Indianapolis. She has held positions with Indiana Humanities, Indianapolis Museum of Art (now known as Newfields) and Big Car Collaborative. Among other endeavors, she has played a lead role in coordinating the Sprit & Place Festival, TEDx Indianapolis, community programs at Lugar Plaza in downtown Indianapolis, the development of the Kennedy King Memorial Initiative and the public campaign to preserve Crown Hill Cemetery’s old-growth forest.

Raised in Indianapolis, Laker earned a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Mundelein College in Chicago and a master’s degree in English from IUPUI. In 2016, Laker was part of the ninth cohort of artists and arts administrators to receive Endowment-funded Creative Renewal Arts Fellowships from the Arts Council of Indianapolis. She plans to begin her work at the Endowment in December.

“Anne has worked with a wide variety of arts and cultural institutions and has a good understanding of their strengths, needs and aspirations.” said Robbins. “The Endowment will benefit from her expertise and passion for the role the arts play in enriching the lives of individuals and communities.”

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J. K. Lilly and his sons, Eli and J.K. Jr., through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with its founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion, and it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.