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About Mike, and the Origin Story of Bridge Builder Strategies

How I Got Here


My name is Mike, and I am the founder of Bridge Builder Strategies. I grew up in a small town, Brownsburg, and was part of a close-knit family. My parents sacrificed to make sure I went to a college that would help prepare me for life, and my choice was Wabash College. There I learned to think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely. The college not only educated me, but it also helped shaped who I would become.

After graduating, I went to work for Eli Lilly. While I knew about the company’s reputation for making life-saving medications, I was less familiar with the company’s culture of giving back. Throughout my 30 years there, that culture had a strong influence on me, and it was best reflected in a quote from the grandson of the company’s founder. “Take what you find here and make it better.” This became a mantra for me.

For my MBA, I found myself at Butler University. There I learned about business and furthered my desire to give back. My professors, who later would become colleagues, helped mentor me and then encourage me when I pursued a doctoral degree. Now, many Butler students and faculty help me with my company.

Why Non-Profits

At Lilly, the role I was in for my last 11 years was to work with non-profits. One of the projects that I ran was focused on working with government, community leaders and medical professionals to improve the detection and diagnosis of dementia. I was constantly asked about how we knew we were having an impact on the issue. This challenged me to explore how to measure impact.

Why Bridge Builders Strategies

While working at Lilly, I was often told that I was a great connector. Hence, the name for Bridge Builder Strategies. In 2018, I started Bridge Builder Strategies with the express purpose of helping non-profits create and measure their impact. Now more than 4 years later, we are still at it. Today, we work with community-based non-profits; faith-based organizations, and institutional donors to help leverage their data to create, deliver, measure, and communicate impact.

Here, at the Bridge we plan to provide content weekly. Besides hearing from me, you will hear from leaders who are on the front lines tackling some of society’s most difficult challenges. You will also hear from non-profit leaders who are delivering the greatest impact. We will keep you up to date on the latest developments in social science and connect it to the work our clients do every day.

Stay tuned.

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