Robert L. Kizer has been named CEO of Starfish Initiative, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase Marion County high school graduation rates and college success rates among low-income students. Starfish accomplishes this through one-on-one mentoring and college access programs.
Kizer has well-established connections with the central Indiana corporate and nonprofit communities. Prior to joining the Starfish staff, Kizer served as Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Accounts for Walker Information and as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Commercial Property Management Division of F.C. Tucker Company Commercial (now Cassidy Turley) in Indianapolis.
Kizer has volunteered with and served on the boards of numerous youth-serving nonprofit organizations in central Indiana, including board leadership with Brooke’s Place for Grieving Young People; board leadership with Play Ball Indiana (MLB’s Reviving Baseball in the Inner City), and board leadership with STAR (Students Taught Awareness and Resistance) Alliance.
“Bob’s business acumen, resource development, relationship management skills, mentoring passion and heart to serve uniquely qualify him to lead Starfish Initiative as we continually look for ways to improve our program and resource utilization efficiencies,” said Pat Schubach, Starfish Initiative board chair and Senior Vice President for The Huntington National Bank. “We are confident that we have hired a new CEO who possesses all of the necessary qualifications to effectively lead Starfish into its next period of excellence.
“We will continue to increase the number of students we serve,” Schubach continued, “without sacrificing any of the service-delivery excellence we have worked so hard to attain. Bob joins us after an intentional and intensive year-long period of self-assessment and planning resulting in a new organizational structure. We are excited about our future and the futures of the hard-working, ambitious students we serve.”
Current leadership was directly involved in developing the new organizational structure, and will continue to provide advisory support during the transition. Kizer will begin his service May 24, 2012.