Brent Wake, MPH
Vice President of Public Policy and Alliance Initiatives
Brent serves as Vice President of Public Policy & Alliance Initiatives and is responsible for leading the collective advancement of Indiana’s YMCAs through oversight of advocacy efforts, securing resources, building external partnerships, and fostering cooperation and consensus on issues important to Indiana YMCAs. Additionally, Brent serves in a related role as the state director of the Indiana YMCA Youth and Government program, which aims to teach democracy to each generation while promoting social equity among Hoosier youth.
Previously, he was the Legislative & Business Liaison for the City of Fort Wayne Mayor’s Office where he directed government activities in support of the City’s local, State and federal legislative agendas and took on special business initiatives; a community liaison for the Fort Wayne Mayor’s Office; and Regional Director for the Office of U.S. Senator Evan Bayh. He holds a Master of Public Health/Public Health Administration from Indiana University – Bloomington and a Bachelor of Political Science/Pre-Law from Indiana University – Fort Wayne.
When not at one of Indiana’s YMCAs, Brent’s time is typically spent serving other organizations that align with his passions: the board of directors of Indiana United Ways and Indiana Afterschool Network and in his church’s music ministry. Brent resides in Indianapolis with his wife and three kids.
Melissa joined the Alliance team in July 2019. Previously, she worked for the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis for 14 years in an administrative role with responsibilities in Operations, Leadership Development and Financial Development. Melissa earned an Associate’s Degree in Office Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, specializing in Leadership and Management from Capella University. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband, Wes, and their sons, Jacob and Emerson. She and her husband run a multi-media company (photography/cinematography) and enjoy camping in their spare time. She’s a lifelong learner, coach, mentor, and friend to many throughout the Y movement.
Chief Executive Officer
With more than 38 years of nonprofit program, executive and operations experience, Wade has a rich portfolio of consulting CEOs, CVOs and boards of directors on governance and board development, CEO search process, strategic planning, and operational issues. As a nonprofit CEO for thirteen years, in addition to thirteen years as a branch executive and program director in large, midsize and small YMCAs, and as a policy volunteer on several community boards, Wade’s first-hand knowledge and experience in nonprofit management is foundational to his unique ability to serve as a catalyst in empowering executives, teams and boards to shine. In his current role as the CEO of the Indiana Alliance of YMCAs, Wade is leading the efforts to enhance the relevancy and sustainability of all Indiana YMCAs through advocacy, public policy, board governance, strategic planning, shared services and networking efforts.