IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs names its 2015 alumni honorees

  • May 4, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- An influential advocate for the arts and the CEO of an innovative grocery delivery service are the recipients of 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards presented by the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

“This year’s recipients demonstrate the range and the remarkable accomplishments of our alumni,” SPEA Dean John D. Graham said. “They stand as an inspiring example to all of our students. An Indiana University degree really can launch you on a career that has world-changing potential.”

The alumni will be honored at the SPEA undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies May 8 and 9 in Bloomington.

The 2015 recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award are Michelle Boone (MPA, 1998) of Chicago and Matt Ewer (BSPA, 2000) of Indianapolis.

Boone is commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Boone considers herself an arts crusader and is responsible for promoting arts and culture for its own value and as a lever for economic development. Boone was recently named one of Chicago Magazine’s “100 Most Powerful Chicagoans.”

Before her appointment in 2011 by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, she was senior program officer for the Joyce Foundation, a charitable organization that serves the Great Lakes region.

“Michelle Boone has strengthened Chicago as a vibrant cultural epicenter through her Chicago Cultural Plan,” Graham said. “Her vision for the city’s future cultural life values making the arts more accessible to all.”

Ewer is Founder and CEO of "BEAN LLC." BEAN LLC is the parent company of the online retail grocery company Green BEAN Delivery, the wholesale company Tiny Footprint Distribution, and two certified organic vegetable farms, EcOhio Farm and the Feel Good Farm. Each company focuses on creating viable business solutions to help sustainable family farms and food businesses reach their true market potential.

Since the company’s inception in 2007, Green BEAN Delivery has expanded to include six warehouses located in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri. Each of these food hubs coordinates with over 50 local vendors to create the Midwest’s’ most extensive network of sustainable farmers and artisans. The company offers these vendors’ local products to both wholesale clients and Green BEAN Delivery members.

“Matt Ewer is a true innovator in the sustainable food market,” Graham said. “He is a pioneer in advancing natural food accessibility and is dedicated to making Hoosiers and all Americans healthier.”

SPEA's undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies are by invitation only. However, both Bloomington ceremonies will be streamed online at broadcast.iu.edu.

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Michelle Boone

Michelle Boone

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Media Contacts

Jim Hanchett

  • School of Public and Environmental Affairs
  • Office 812-856-5490
  • jimhanch@indiana.edu