At Friday's meeting of the Indiana Sports Corporation Board of Directors, President Susan Williams announced her plans to retire, effective this September, and the Sports Corp board of directors announced the appointment of Allison Melangton as the organization’s new president, also effective in September. Melangton, who is currently the president and CEO of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee, will be the Sports Corp’s fifth president in its 32-year history.
“Over the past seven years, Susan has done a phenomenal job leading the Indiana Sports Corp,” said Joe DeGroff, chairman of the board. “In many ways, our organization has never been stronger – our event schedule is excellent; our membership base and patron support have grown to record levels; our relationships with the NCAA and the Big Ten are deeper; our volunteer base is larger than ever before; our youth initiatives are reaching more and more kids in need; and our financial condition is much stronger – and Susan is largely the reason. She is leaving an incredible legacy and foundation for our next president.”
"The board of directors is thrilled with Allison’s acceptance of the Sports Corp presidency. We couldn’t ask for a more accomplished and experienced sports event management leader, with much of that experience coming as a member of the Sports Corp staff. She has an international reputation for excellence and is the leader we need to continue the progress we’ve enjoyed under Susan’s leadership," continued DeGroff.
Melangton led the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee with distinction as president and CEO since October, 2008. Widely regarded as one of the most engaging and successfully organized Super Bowl leaders in history, Melangton played a key role in Indianapolis’ Super Bowl bids for both 2011 and 2012. At that time, Melangton was a member of the Indiana Sports Corp staff, serving as Senior Vice President of Events. She joined the Sports Corp staff in 1994.
“In many ways, I never left the Sports Corp,” said Melangton. “Over the past few years, the Super Bowl Host Committee has worked very closely with our friends at Indiana Sports Corp, and I’m incredibly excited to build on this historic time in our region’s sports history. The talented staff at the Sports Corp is primed for continued success, and we owe a great deal of gratitude to Susan Williams for her superb leadership of this important Indianapolis institution.”
Mark Miles, chairman of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee, said, “Over the past four years, Allison led an unmatched community effort to make our Super Bowl XLVI vision a reality. She championed this endeavor with great determination, leadership and skill. Allison is the ideal choice to continue the great work that the Indiana Sports Corp does for Indianapolis and Indiana.”
Williams has served as president of Indiana Sports Corp since March, 2005. Prior to her appointment, Williams served as a long-time volunteer member of Indiana Sports Corp’s board of directors, including roles as the board’s Vice-Chair of Administration and Finance and co-chair of the 2005 NCAA Women’s Final Four. Before joining the Sports Corp staff, Williams was Executive Director of the Indiana State Office Building Commission, where she oversaw the design and construction of the NCAA headquarters and Hall of Champions, the Indiana State Museum and other projects throughout the State of Indiana. She served 13 years on the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council. Her numerous recognition for civic leadership includes the state’s highest honor, the Sagamore of the Wabash Award.
“It has been a true privilege to lead the Indiana Sports Corp. These past seven years have been incredibly rewarding,” said Williams. “Indiana Sports Corp succeeds because of a remarkably talented staff, its dedicated volunteers and the partner organizations too numerous to mention. I am fortunate to have been part of this remarkable civic endeavor, and I am truly delighted to be passing the reins of leadership to Allison. She’s been a friend and trusted colleague for many years. There is no one better prepared to assume this role.”
During her tenure, Indiana Sports Corp successfully won a number of world-class events, including Super Bowl XLVI, Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments (2008-2012, 2014, 2016), the 2015 NCAA Men’s Final Four, the 2016 NCAA Women’s Final Four, the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game in 2011 (and 2012-2015 events), and the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Diving. Indianapolis also was awarded the distinction of an NCAA Championship City, which has paved the way for NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships (2012-2017 across Divisions I, II and III), the 2013 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse quarterfinals, and other NCAA championships to be awarded throughout Indiana.
In addition to successfully bidding on and hosting these marquee sporting events, Indiana Sports Corp’s youth programming has grown to impact more than 83,000 youth in 2011 alone. This includes Indiana Sports Corp CHAMPS Grant Program, Geared for Health program, and youth programming associated with events, such as the Big Ten Middle School Curriculum Program and NCAA Circle City Dribble.
While serving as Indiana Sports Corp’s president, Williams also was active as a volunteer director of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee, and over the last four years co-chaired the Near Eastside Legacy Initiative, overseeing the design and construction of the Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center project. The Legacy Center facility is located on the campus of Arsenal Technical High School and opened in February, 2012. It houses the Indianapolis Youth Education Town (YET), and serves as a neighborhood-serving community and fitness center with health, recreational, wellness and cultural programs for children, youth and families. The $11.3 million facility is the site of more than 260 hours of programming provided by 12 local agencies on a weekly basis.
Melangton’s career includes more than 25 years of national and international experience in sports and events management, including 14 years as a member of the Sports Corp staff. While leading the non-profit’s events department, she bid on, planned, and directed numerous events including Olympic Trials, World Championships, NCAA Women’s Final Fours, and Big Ten Basketball Tournaments.
She moved to Indianapolis in 1983 when the City of Indianapolis was in the beginning stages of implementing the “sports strategy” and relocating national sports organizations to Indianapolis. Her first 12 years in Indianapolis were spent with USA Gymnastics, directing more than 100 national and international events.
Melangton has worked seven Olympic Games, including four as an Associate Producer of the Gymnastics Competition for NBC Sports. She has won four Emmy Awards for her work. She will work for NBC Sports this summer for the London Olympics.
Melangton is a native of Auburn, Maine and a graduate of Colorado State University.
Mayor Greg Ballard released the following statement Friday on the retirement of Williams:
“I commend Susan’s tremendous contributions to our city and her outstanding performance in helping to develop Indianapolis into a world-renowned amateur sports capital. Among her many achievements, Susan was instrumental in landing the Big Ten Football Championship, a first of its kind in Indianapolis; renewing the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments; leading projects for Super Bowl XLVI; and strengthening our relationships with the NCAA – endeavors that helped grow Indianapolis’ vibrant sports tourism industry and overall economy.
Succeeding Susan will not be an easy task and I can think of no candidate better prepared and more deserving than Super Bowl XLVI Host Committee President and CEO Allison Melangton.”