Meet Our New Team Member

Shafer Leadership Academy served 3,000 more participants in 2019 than in 2015. That’s a 900% growth in the people, organizations and communities it empowers with personal and professional leadership skills.

“Growth without direction, however, is unwise,” said SLA Executive Director Mitch Isaacs. To support the organization’s expansion, SLA hired Jeff Robinson as its first director of development. The Muncie native — responsible for growing SLA’s partner base across East Central Indiana — will start January 6th.

“Jeff brings a powerful blend of skills, experiences and connections to this role, and we are confident he will sustain and deepen meaningful partnerships with corporate and public partners,” said Isaacs, who transitioned from board membership to executive director in 2015.

The addition to SLA’s lean, two-person team, Isaacs said, allows him to focus on strategic priorities and program director Tisha Gierhart to build a robust calendar of inclusive leadership development options.

“It’s an exciting time SLA and our bold dreams and hopes for this great region. With Jeff on board, we feel poised to deepen and enhance the region’s leadership capacity and expand our rewarding, productive partnerships.”

Memberships Exceed Expectations

In 2019, SLA transitioned to an annual membership model. In one packaged price, members access the nonprofit’s diverse blend of coffee talks, lunch & learns, signature programs, monthly coaching sessions and more. Robinson said he is eager to support SLA’s existing 25 member organizations — including Ball State, Ivy Tech, Muncie Power Products and Ontario Systems — while reaching out to find new partners across Delaware County.

“I’ve watched Shafer Leadership Academy grow into one of the most well-respected organization in our community, and I have seen the transformational change its programming has had on many friends, colleagues and organizations,” Robinson said. “SLA is making a difference in our community, and that is the driving force behind everything I do. I enjoy seeing others succeed, and that’s what Shafer Leadership Academy is all about — helping others realize their full potential.”

An Active Member of the Muncie Community

Robinson has spent much of his career in roles that elevate Muncie. In November, he won the District 2 seat on Muncie’s City Council. Prior to joining SLA, he served Cornerstone Center for the Arts as associate executive director since 2014. Before that, he worked at the Muncie Visitors Bureau as a special projects director and project coordinator. The 2006 graduate of Ball State University also worked as a sales manager for Horizon Convention Center.

Robinson is on the Muncie/Delaware County Chamber of Commerce’s Image Committee and is a member of Muncie’s Bridge Dinner Planning Committee. He served on The Star Press Editorial Board from 2014-16, and M Magazine named the avid volunteer one of Muncie’s Top 20 Under 40 in 2016.

Learn more about Robinson and Shafer Leadership Academy’s blend of leadership programs for all ages, backgrounds and interests at

Click here to learn more about our membership options. 

Current members contact Mitch to renew your membership.

About the author:

Mitch Isaacs was named Shafer Leadership Academy’s Executive Director in May 2015. In this role, he works closely with the organization’s board of directors to fulfill the mission of the organization. He is responsible for creating vision, connecting with stakeholders, administering program offerings and leading the organization in meaningful ways.