The Journey is a collection of programs devoted to the personal and professional development of youth workers in Indiana and beyond. 

The Journey Team

Co-Creator and Chief Experience Officer

For over 30 years, Tom Plake has worked extensively as a speaker, coach, facilitator, and provocateur for: corporations, foundations, churches, universities, not-for-profits, state, local and federal government associations, community organizations, and schools. In 1992 he formed his own leadership and organization development consulting firm, Creative Resources, Inc. to help “people and organizations grow.”

Tom joined Janet in 2002 to create The Journey and began to design the award-winning programs and experiences that would bring a more intense level of personal and professional development to youth workers in Indiana. Using his design and facilitation skills, Tom ensures that all Journey fellowships and programs are “wow” experiences.

Tom holds a bachelor’s degree from Wabash College and a M.S. with distinction in Organizational Development from American University/AUNTL. He is also a graduate of CoachU.  He has been a member of the International Association of Facilitators, The Graduate School of Coaching, The National Human Services Assembly, The OD Network and The National Staff Development and Training Association.

When not on The Journey, Tom tries to keep up with his wife and two teenage sons while working in a little traveling, reading, and music playing.

Chief Organization Officer and Director of The Journey Fellowship For Students

With her background in education, service and non-profit management, Melinda is a natural at both making people feel welcome AND ensuring the important work of The Journey is organized and efficient.

She is the Director of the Journey’s program for college students, where she is a natural coach and mentor to young people exploring whether youth work could really be a career for them.  Melinda ensures all the Journey programs, fellowship and initiatives are well-planned and successful.

Prior to her work in The Journey, she served with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps as a tutor and trailblazer, worked as a fourth-grade teacher in a resource-challenged elementary school in Charleston, SC and ministered to students at Ball State University in Muncie, IN.

Melinda received her BS in Elementary Education from Ball State University and her Masters in Leadership Development with a focus on non-profit organizations from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

When not on The Journey, she spends time traveling, camping, crafting and hanging out with her dogs.  You can get one of Melinda’s own handmade scarves from Roundabout Journey at www.etsy.com/shop/RoundaboutJourney.

Contact The Journey

Mailing Address 303 N. Alabama St., Suite 210 Indianapolis, IN 46204 Office Phone: 317-238-6955 General Email: hello@thejourneyonline.org

The Journey Advisory Team

Barbara Poore
Retired educator and consultant

Pam Clark
Consultant & Trainer, former Director of the Bartholomew County Youth Services Center

George Okantey
Community and Economic Development Educator, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, Marion County

Dr. Carol Myers
Owner, Soulful Connections

Willis Bright
President, Bright Ventures, Inc., former program officer for The Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Tiffany Talbert
Director of Operations,
Peace Learning Center
2015 NewPro Fellow

Stephanie Yoder
Chief Operating Officer, Adult&child Health

Dr. Teri Jump
Evaluator and Owner, TJInsights

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Indiana Youth Services Association is committed to proactively working to advance racial equity, focusing on eliminating inequities and increasing success for all in our agency and our community!

Indiana Youth Services Association
303 N Alabama St., Suite 210
Indianapolis, IN 46204 (317) 238-6955