Staff

Kevin Hesse, Executive Director/Producer

Kevin Hesse is the founding  Executive Director of Indianapolis City Ballet. He has been a management and development consultant in the not-for-profit sector who has worked extensively raising funds and producing  events in the arts field including creating and producing  “The Next Step” gala for Career Transition  for Dancers that Anna Kisselgoff of the New York Times called “The dance event of the season.”

Mr. Hesse worked with Robert Hesse Associates Ltd. for more than  20 years during which time he has been fortunate to work with dancers  and dance companies  from around  the world including the Parsons Dance Company,  American Ballet Theatre, Basel Ballet, Moiseyev Dance Company, Jennifer Muller and others. Mr. Hesse has consulted for many clients in the arts, higher education and social services including New River Dramatists, The Singers Forum,  Carnegie Hall/Link-Up, Deafness Research Foundation,  San Diego Natural  History Museum and Jarvis Christian  College. Further, he has been engaged to conduct  strategic planning  and assessment  studies for the Arts Councils of the State of New Jersey as well as the City of Wilmington,  Delaware.

Jolinda Menendez, Performance and Master Class Director

Ms. Menendez directs Indianapolis City Ballet’s performances since 2009 and heads the Master Class program  that has brought more than 25 internationally renowned master teachers to Indianapolis. She is on the faculty at NYU/Tisch School of the Arts and is a frequent  guest teacher with companies and schools including The Royal Ballet School in London,  English National Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre’s summer intensives, Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy, the Joffrey Ballet School, American Academy of Dance in Paris, National Ballet of Canada  School, the John Cranko School at Stuttgart Ballet, Scottish Ballet Company and Ballet Ireland.  In addition,  she coaches privately students  and professionals.

As a former ballerina  with American Ballet Theatre,  she has performed  leading roles in La Bayadere, Giselle, Swan  Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Les SylphidesThe Firebird, Raymonda  Act III, and other repertoire  by choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Agnes de Mille, Kenneth MacMillan and Glen Tetley. Lewis Segal of the L.A. TIMES said: “Jolinda’s performance of ‘The Dying Swan’ was dance poetry – a quality Pavlova’s name has always symbolized – you could understand why Natalia Makarova has championed  her as a major artist.”  Anna Kisselgoff of the New York Times reviewed one of her Metropolitan  Opera performances saying “It is hard  to imagine two dancers  reaching  so deeply into the emotional and lyrical core of Swan Lake unless one brings back memories of Fonteyn & Nureyev.” Following ABT she was Principal Ballerina with the Bavarian National Ballet in Munich, Germany,  where she added to her repertoire  John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet, Eugene Onegin and Taming  of the Shrew, John Neumeir’s Nutcracker,  Birgit Cullberg’s Miss Julie, and Balanchine’s Apollo and Divertimento No. 15. She was a frequent guest artist in Europe, Canada,  Australia, and South Africa. For additional information please visit https://sites.google.com/site/jolindamenendez/


Elli Baker, Director of Marketing

Elli Baker is a professional organizer and self professed “Jane of All Trades”  and has worked with businesses and residential  clients throughout central Indiana.  She specializes in working with clients who are experiencing challenges with Attention Deficit Disorder and long term chronic disorganization.

She started  with ICB in early 2009 and has worked to build a thriving constituency  for the organization through  its Master Classes, Performances and Presentations. She is the community’s conduit to all of ICB’s programs  and drives the efforts to unite the dance community  of Central Indiana.

Elli is a member of ArtsMarketers, a professional organization, lead by the Arts Council of Indianapolis,  the Cultural Performing Arts Network, American Marketing Association and eMarketing Association Network.

Sarah Wilkes, CPA, Volunteer Accountant

Sarah Wilkes has worked in public accounting for seven years and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Indiana, as well as a member of the Indiana CPA Society and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She received dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Accounting and Finance from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business at Indianapolis in 2006, and is currently employed at Haywood Henn, P.C. in Indianapolis.  Her primary focus is on accounting, tax, and financial statement preparation for small businesses and their owners, and pension plans.  Sarah is married and her family includes two dogs and a cat.  She is an avid equestrian and rides hunter/jumpers whenever she can at a local stable.

Rainesford Stauffer, PR & Social Media

RainesfordRainesford Stauffer is a writer and former dancer who seeks to connect the arts with our smartphone world via social media. In 2012 she combined her love for ballet and writing to create The Young Artist Feature, an ongoing interview series with up-and-coming dancers. Additionally, Rainesford has been published by The Huffington Post, writes a monthly column on social media and ballet for Russian Pointe, and wrote a profile feature on Ballet Zaida founder, Oliver Endahl, for Zouch Magazine. Seeing social media as an extension of story-telling, she has worked in social media and communications for several nonprofits and small businesses, striving to bring the stories of people, brands, and companies to our 140 character society. In the past year, Rainesford has spoken on education at two TEDx events. In her spare time—aside from keeping up with all things ballet—Rainesford love doing yoga, traveling, and reading.

Alice Reiter, Graphic Design

Alice Reiter graduated in May 2011 from Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI where she earned a B.F.A. in Visual Communication and Art History. Before transferring to Herron in 2007, she studied Biology, Dance, and Apparel Product Design and Merchandising at the Univeristy of Hawai’i at Mânoa. Although she no longer dances, Alice still has a strong interest in ballet and has attended ABT summer intensive in 2000 and 2001.

Karen Schmoll, Events Coordinator

Karen Schmoll currently  has her own event design business called Bobeche design .Karen  has happily  signed on to be a permanent member of our team, in the effort to bring the joy and beauty of dance back to our city through  the Indianapolis City Ballet. Years of experience with many of Indy’s finest has provided her with an insight into special ways for organizations, companies and individuals  to express themselves through  a wide range of special occasions and celebrations. Within her career she has worked as Communications Specialist for DowAgroSciences, Event Coordinator  for the Executive Council on Foreign Diplomats and designer for many philanthropic and personal events. From the Vice President  of the United States to a blushing bride Karen understands the meaning  of everything  she touches. She reflects on her continued  drive and accomplishment stating,  “all of the labor, expressed creativity,  intricate  details and acute organization  that  goes into each function melt into the background when, at the end of the evening, the client is smiling and the event is wildly successful”.