colleenI am Colleen Fanning, and I am thrilled to be the District 2 Indianapolis City Councilor (starting January 2016).

You should know that politics has never been my goal. Serving my community and being as engaged as possible in my city has been a priority throughout my life. Coming from the private sector, I have a record of connecting others, finding solutions, and ultimately creating a positive impact.

Here’s a little bit about my background. I was raised by a pharmacist mother and a rocket-scientist-turned-entrepreneur father. My brother (Ryne Fanning who is a Vice President at Walker Information) and I were encouraged to take risks, pursue a variety of interests, and give one hundred percent in every endeavor. I graduated from Zionsville Community High School with Academic Honors and proceeded to Emory University from where she earned a B. A. in Linguistics and Educational Studies. I was incredibly lucky to have many life-changing opportunities during college. For instance, I worked as a teacher at the Emory Autism Resource Center, helping pre-K students on the Autism spectrum and their parents cognitive language skills and training. While a high school ankle injury prevented me from pursuing a track and field career, I was lucky enough to discover a new sport, and eventually became President of our collegiate water polo team. I had always wanted to experience the third world, and I got my chance as a Kennedy School (Harvard University) World Teach volunteer. During this program, I spent three months in the Galapagos Island piloting an all-ages learning center for English as a second language in a global ecotourism development effort.

These broad experiences taught me one simple truth; life and action are the best teachers of all. I became the owner and Executive Director of the Brick Street Inn on Main Street in Zionsville at the age of 24. This is where I discovered a lifelong passion for small businesses and a commitment to moving the greater Indianapolis community forward. Since then, helping Indy become a world-class place to live, thrive, and enjoy has been a central focus in my life both personally and professionally.

I think that continuing to learn and challenge myself is important, so I try to stay as involved as possible. Active in the Indy Chamber of commerce for a decade, I served as the President of the Indy Chamber Ambassadors in 2012, sitting on both the Indy Chamber Board of Directors and the Membership Marketing Committee. I attended the Leadership Exchange trip to Portland, Oregon with the Indianapolis delegation in 2012 that focused on learning best practices in education, sustainability and mass transit. I was part of the United Way of Central Indiana’s Leadership United program in the inaugural Generation Now class under the profound tutelage of Mickey Mauer.

My life certainly has not followed a predictable plan. When my dad lost his battle with cancer in 2009, I immediately went to work managing his company’s real estate portfolio in San Francisco. Enduring an economic crisis and real estate market collapse (2009-2011), I strategically positioned the company’s assets. Shortly thereafter, I accepted a position as Marketing & Communications Director for  agricultural technology start-up AquaSpy. During my time there I moved their international headquarters from Adelaide, Australia to Indianapolis and spearheaded  a global re-brand and product relaunch. Currently, I own two small local businesses, Grey Market Wine and marketing consulting firm Ike & Fritz Ventures.

Given the privilege of serving on the Council, I will focus on public safety, economic health and better public transit in district 2, Indianapolis and the central Indiana region.

My personal life is a lot like my professional life: locally focused. I am a big fan of the Colts and the Pacers. I love food, wine and yoga. A member of St. Paul’s Episcopal church, I embrace a religious tradition that champions tolerance and spiritual diversity. With my husband of six years, Dr. Jeff Bowman, and our boisterous rescue pup Wile E. Coyote, I live in the heart of Broad Ripple. Most of our free time is spent frequenting local establishments, entertaining just about anyone in our home, and soaking up all four beautiful Indianapolis seasons outdoors.

We need local government to focus less on left-right politics and more on results. Running the city of Indianapolis (public safety, infrastructure, economic development) is not a partisan endeavor. I have one agenda: making this city the best place to live and work.