Add Your Heading Text Here


The rise of the global economy has reduced the poverty rate from 46% in 1980 to 10% today. While this historic progress underscores the enduring value of free markets, work remains to ensure that the next phase of growth is both inclusive and sustainable.

Please see the stories below depicting the people, ideas, policy reforms and innovations to heighten outcomes in quality K-12 education, higher education attainment and workforce success.

Our Team

Sagamore President Teresa Lubbers has spent most of her career navigating the intersection of education and the economy. She led the legislative effort to expand school choice in Indiana while Sagamore co-founder Dan Coats pioneered school choice legislation on Capitol Hill. Sagamore CEO Jay Hein was a member of then-Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson’s team that led America’s welfare reform effort in the 1990s. Sagamore’s current team of scholars and innovators are offering new ideas and insights leading to both ongoing policy reform and on-the-ground innovation.


Meet the Team

Jay Hein


Laurel Venden Berg

Director, Education Programs

Bethany Stewart

Mental Health Roundtable

Emil Ekiyor

CEO, InnoPower

Teresa Lubbers


Loreliss williams

J1 Relationships Manager

Rachel Houck

Education Programs Coordinator

Jacob Baldwin

Workforce 2040

Rob Panos

Chief of Staff

Blair Milo

Director, talent & opportunity

Patty Buckhorn

Education Programs Assistant

Bret Swanson

Workforce 2040

On August 24, Sagamore Institute co-hosted a Solutions Summit in Indianapolis with the American Enterprise Institute. The half-day gathering convened state and local leaders to share ideas, network, and learn about policies designed to increase opportunity and upward mobility for Indiana families and communities.

Workforce 2040: Pathways to Prosperity

 Workforce 2040: Pathways to Prosperity will examine key workforce trends that will challenge our economy, particularly for the Heartland states surrounding the Great Lakes, and with a special focus on our home state of Indiana. The project will examine demographic trends including:  the make-up of the population over the next two decades; the nature of work and influence of technology advancements; and the impact of globalization on jobs. Most importantly, the project team will craft several potential scenarios and accompanying strategies that can help Indiana and the Great Lakes region survive and even thrive in those coming changes. 

Header image (5)

Expanding Educational Opportunities

Sagamore operates two programs that create opportunities for thousands of low-income students to access quality K-12 private education and brings hundreds of talented teachers to K-12 schools in underserved communities.

Untitled design - 2022-01-03T111508.026

Improving Mental Health

The US Surgeon General has elevated mental health challenges to emergency status and he’s calling on the nation’s health care to respond. The Indiana Mental Health Roundtable is doing its part. Co-chaired by Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and former Eli Lilly & Co. CEO John Lechleiter (and operated on Sagamore’s platform), the Roundtable has prioritized reducing stigma, expanding the service delivery system and reducing barriers to care. In 2024, the group will focus on improving adolescent behavioral health.


Minority Entrepreneurship Institute

Sagamore formed a partnership with Indiana native and Notre Dame football legend Jaylon Smith to operate the Minority Entrepreneurship Institute (MEI). Jaylon co-founded MEI with Michael Ledo to help close the wealth gap in America by making impact investments in companies owned by black and brown founders. Harvard Business School has produced a case study on MEI and Jaylon’s efforts have been featured on multiple national news programs.

SIG meeting

Secretaries Innovation Group

Jason Turner was credited as being a lead architect in Wisconsin’s landmark welfare reforms and he also served as commissioner of New York City’s human services department. Now he’s convening dozens of state-level welfare, health and workforce cabinet officials twice annually to spur continued reforms. 


Second Chance Mentoring

Sagamore co-founder Dan Coats served as a big brother for decades and he is past chair of the Big Brothers national board. He is seen here welcoming Carly Fiorina to Sagamore where she operates a mentoring program for adjudicated youth in Virginia. Sagamore partners operate similar programs in Texas, Kansas and Utah.

From the Archives