Tara Elder

Top performer in key customer-facing roles recognized for ability to develop systems, refine complex projects into manageable tasks and advise clients.  Ability to lead teams and coach individuals to meet the ever changing needs of a dynamic business.


Professional Experience

Simply Helpful, Indianapolis, IN, 4/2012-Present

A company focusing on reducing stress and refining systems for businesses in need of assistance in completing special projects while avoiding the need for hiring additional full time staff.

President & Founder, 4/2012-Present

  • Chief stress reducer for companies doing more with less
  • Offer clients confidential consultation on projects that require discretion
  • Providing a helping hand when the workload becomes overwhelming for managers and their staff


Career Investments LLC, Indianapolis, IN, 5/2011-4/2012

A talent management advisory firm headquartered in Indianapolis, IN with offices in Bloomington, IN and Chicago, IL. Founded in 2008, helping hundreds of talented individuals to advance their career progression through job placement and direct career consulting services.

Career Consultant, 5/ 2011 to 4/2012

  • Reported directly to President and Founder; Launched and managed new market segment focused on recent college graduates
  • Oversaw daily operations of the office including implementation and use of client tracking database and management of the office’s Executive Assistant
  • Developed and implement marketing plan and collateral material for college focused market segment


The Art Institute of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, 1/2006 to 5/2011

A campus of The Art Institutes (, a for profit, proprietary system of 40+ locations throughout North America providing education in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary arts.

Senior Director of Admissions, 1/2011 to 5/ 2011

  • Reported directly to President; Managed $2.9M annual expense budget that encompassed all recruiting and admissions functions for 800+ new student clients for 1200 + students annually $27M in annual campus revenue
  • Won “Pride in Leadership Award” in 2010 a recognition given to only 6 (12%) out of 47 Senior Directors system-wide
  • Lead team of 25 comprised of 20 Assistant Director of Admissions (ADA), 1 Director of Admissions and 4 administrative support staff to optimize resources to meet intense 5-week goal cycles
  • Reported to Senior Director of Admissions and played key role in implementing and executing departmental vision
  • Promoted within 5 years of joining the department to top leadership role

Interim Senior Director of Admissions, York, PA, 6/2010 – 9/2010

  • Led 13 ADA and 5 support staff Associates to increase day-to-day call volume 50% for struggling campus
  • Planned largest 1-day recruiting event in campus history and created infrastructure to benefit future efforts

Director of Admissions, 4/2009 to 1/2011

  • Helped lead team of 12 to over 100% of annual admissions goals two years in a row; By exceeding goal, team supported entire division in meeting overall goals two years in a row
  • Was awarded Education Management Corporation’s 2010 Top Achiever’s Award

Associate Director of Admissions-High School Team Leader, 7/2008 – 4/2009

  • Met 100% of annual admissions goal
  • Advised 500+ student clients on curriculum, career paths and admissions
  • Was awarded participation in 2008 Education Management Corporation’s Top Achiever’s Conference

Assistant Director of Admissions-High School Team Leader, 9/2007 to 7/2008

  • Met 367% winter and 167% spring admissions goals by designing student tracking system that became national best practice system-wide
  • Lead the Admissions High School Dedicated team of 4; Conducted weekly training meetings for this dedicated sales team

Assistant Director of Admissions-High School Dedicated, 9/2006 to 9/2007

Assistant Director of Admissions, 1/2006 to 9/2006


Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), Indianapolis, IN, June 2001 – January 2006

Founded in 1883, the IMA has grown to a world-class museum having 70,000 visitors annually and an endowment of $340M+.

Senior Event Sales Coordinator, 05/05 to 1/2006

  • Led all IMA Event Sales efforts to achieve $245K in revenue in 2005 representing a 100+% increase over all prior years of service
  • Was responsible for ensuring quality standards were upheld by the entire sales team

Event and Sales Coordinator, 11/03 to 10/05

  • Conducted all special event space sales
  • Developed marketing plan and collateral material for event space sales for the New IMA

Event and Sales Assistant, 6/01 – 11/03

  •  Conducted all special event space sales and organized all client data for event coordinators
  • Restructured office procedures for to improve data management and time effectiveness



Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, May 2001

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Fall 2003 and Spring 2004, Continuing education in contract law while working full-time at Indianapolis Museum of Art



Community Involvement & Other Achievements

 Irvington Development Organization, Indianapolis, IN, 8/2010-Present

Neighborhood organization dedicated to ensuring that revitalization efforts are compatible with the character of the Irvington community and enhancing the quality of life for Irvington and Indianapolis residents

  • Chair of Annual Meeting Coordinating Committee, 7/2011-Present

                  First fundraising event of it’s kind for organization

Event raised $7K+ to assist with the revitalization of The Historic Irvington Business District

                  Member of the Fundraising Committee, 6/2011-Present
                  Member, 8/2010 to Present

  • Awarded the “Pride in Leadership” award at The Art Institute, Director of Admissions Conference, 2010
  • Indiana University Alumni Association, Member
  • IndyHub, Member
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art, Member
  • WFYI, Member
  • Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, Member