Friday, October 29, 2021
Carolene Mays-Medley, Executive Director, White River State Park Development Commission
Carolene was re-appointed as Executive Director of the White River State Park* Development Commission by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, a position she was originally appointed to by Governor Mike Pence (now Vice President of the United States). In this role, Carolene will continue to build and develop attractions in Downtown Indianapolis. In 2018, she also began co-hosting “Community Link”, an interview segment, on WISH-TV Channel 8.
In 2010, Carolene was appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels as a Commissioner for the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) which regulates the utility industry for the State. She was reappointed, January, 2014 for another term by Governor Michael Pence, who also named her as the Commission’s Vice-Chairman. Carolene served as Chair of the Critical Infrastructure Committee for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), and served on the Washington Action and Water Committees. She was a recognized leader and speaker in cyber and physical security and was named a 2013 Smart Grid Today Top 50 Smart Grid Pioneer. She was elected as President of the Mid-America Regulatory Conference, and served on several other utility regulatory committees.
Carolene was a finalist for an appointment by President Barack Obama as the Midwest Regional Director of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). She withdrew from consideration upon receiving the appointment by Governor Daniels to the IURC. Later she learned that she had been selected to receive the Presidential appointment.
Prior, she was Publisher and President of the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper and the Indiana Minority Business Magazine. Under Carolene’s leadership, the Recorder emerged as one of nation’s largest, most award-winning newspapers in the National Newspaper Publishers Association. The Indiana Minority Business Magazine became profitable under her management in the first year.
Carolene was the producer and co-host of the "Recorder On Air Report Television Show" on Central Indiana cable networks, and was co-host of a television news segment, "Community Link", on the Central Indiana's CBS affiliate. She is now co-hosting Community Link again on WISH-TV.
Beginning in 2002, Carolene served three terms as State Representative. She also worked with the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, National Conference of State Legislators, and Women in Government. Carolene retired from her State Representative position November, 2008 after making an unsuccessful bid for Congress.
Early in her career, she held positions in sales and corporate account management throughout the United States for Occidental Chemical Co., Inc. and was Manager of Customer Service and National Accounts at Mays Chemical Co., Inc.
She is active in the community and focuses on issues effecting business, domestic violence, diversity and inclusion, health, and sports. With a focus on faith, perseverance and purpose, Carolene has a passion for motivational and inspirational speaking. Carolene serves on the boards of directors of: One America Financial Services, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Citizens Academy, St. Vincent Hospital Foundation, National Institute of Fitness and Sport, and is a Lifetime board member of the Indiana Sports Corporation. She is also serving on the 2021 NBA All-Star Local Organizing Committee Board of Directors.
She served as the 2017-18 Moderator for the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series. Some of her past boards include: Indianapolis Capital Improvement Board, Indianapolis 500 Festival, Julian Center, University of Indianapolis, Center for Leadership Development, Child Advocates, and Peyton Manning’s PeyBack Foundation. She was Chairperson for the NCAA Women’s Final Four games in 2016, 2011 and 2005. Carolene was the 2012 NFL Super Bowl Indianapolis Division Chairperson of Administration which included Finance, Office Operations, and Human Resources where she led the hiring of all personnel for the Super Bowl.
In 2016, Carolene was honored with a Sagamore of the Wabash by Governor Mike Pence which is the highest distinction designated by an Indiana Governor. She has been featured in Indianapolis Monthly Magazine as one of “Indy’s Most Powerful” and has been honored by the Indianapolis Business Journal as one of “Indiana’s Most Influential Women”. IBJ also has listed her as a “Women to Watch”. Her accomplishments were highlighted twice as the cover and feature story of the Indianapolis Woman Magazine. She has been honored in Ben Davis High School’s Hall of Fame and as an Indiana State University Distinguished Alumni.
On the political front, Carolene received Legislator of the Year awards from United Senior Action, Brain Injury Association, Rehabilitation Hospital of Indianapolis, Indiana Minority Health Coalition, and the Indiana Restaurant, Lodging and Tourism Association. She is a recipient of numerous awards. Among them she received a 2017 Community Leader and Servant Award from Martin University, was named an Indiana Commission for Women Torchbearer, and was listed by Roll Call, a Washington D.C. publication as a Rising Star in Indiana Politics.
Carolene has a B.S. in Business Management from Indiana State University and is a currently a candidate for a Masters of Jurisprudence from Indiana University McKinney School of Law. She is also a 2017 graduate of the FBI Citizen’s Academy. She is an active member of Heartland Church, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Indianapolis Chapter of the Links, and Northeasterners. Carolene is married to Fred Medley and has a daughter, Jada and three step-sons, Frederick II, Niles and Chase.
*WRSP is comprised of 250-acres in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, and is America’s only urban cultural State park. Over four (4) million people visit the Park and its Attractions annually. Among WRSP’s Attractions are the Indianapolis Zoo, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, NCAA® Hall of Champions Museum, the state's largest IMAX® Theater, Indiana State Museum, Farm Bureau Insurance Concert Lawn, Indians Baseball at Victory Field, Military Park, Canal, White River, and Wheel Fun Rentals. It also is home to the NCAA® National Office, National Institute of Fitness and Sport, National Federation of State High Schools and the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial.