Supporter Spotlight: Meet Carol Gassen

Photo of Carol Gassen seated at an eventCarol Gassen made Indiana her home in 1997 when she moved to Muncie from Iowa in 1997. She’s been in the Indianapolis area since 2003. Her job title at Merchants Bank of Indiana is almost as long as her 40-year career, which has been mostly devoted to banking – SVP, Chief Compliance Officer, CRA and BSA Officer. Carol has two children – Alexandra, who lives with her in Fishers and is on the autism spectrum, and Sean, who lives in Iowa with his wife, Kirstin – and a cat named Zara.

“Carol is a champion in the community for those experiencing homelessness,” says Coburn Place Vice President of Development Julie Henson. “She has volunteered, connected us to other partners, and helped provide wonderful volunteers for our finance committee. The oversight, investment and advocacy she provides through Merchants is transformative for us. She keeps us top of mind. And she does it with such jubilance and compassion.”

How long have you been working with Coburn Place?
I have been engaged with Coburn Place for approximately 10 years after meeting the CEO at a fundraising workshop at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

What do you enjoy about supporting Coburn Place?
I absolutely believe in the mission of the organization to support women and families by giving them a safe home and empowering them to take charge of their lives and guiding them to a fresh start.

What is the favorite thing you have participated in here?
I love the door decorating contest at Halloween. I’m amazed at the endless amount of creativity that is on full display.

What do you do in your free time?
I like to run/exercise/stay healthy, hike in the mountains, play golf, swim, read books, grow and eat tomatoes (and hit the farmers’ markets to supplement), and spend time exploring the arts with my friends.

Why do you think it’s important to support Coburn Place?
The services provided and the support and love that is apparent within and outside the walls of Coburn Place can’t happen without supporters and volunteers, and I’m happy to be one of them!