Award luncheon to be held on Friday, June 16

INDIANAPOLIS, June 9, 2017 – Five dedicated and highly-successful fathers will be recognized for their accomplishments when Fathers and Families Center celebrates responsible and nurturing dads at its 13th annual Faces of Fatherhood Luncheon, presented by Ryan Consulting Group.

The five deserving fathers will be honored with the Heart of a Father Award, presented by Managed Health Services (MHS) at a noon luncheon on Friday, June 16, at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis. Those fathers are:

  • Rafael Sanchez
  • John Dickerson
  • Gregg Keesling
  • Earl Townsend
  • Thomas Alex Frey

Rafael Sanchez is the president and CEO of Indianapolis Power & Light Company. He is passionate about giving back to the community. He has served on numerous non-profit boards and takes civic responsibility very seriously, both personally and professionally.

The recently retired Executive Director of the Arc of Indiana, John Dickerson is enthusiastic about transforming lives and communities and is a tireless advocate for people with disabilities, which most recently included the development of a new app – Quillo – which helps to improve company culture and boost morale for those who care for adults with disabilities.

Among his numerous good works in the community, Gregg Keesling and his wife Jannett established Keys to Work: a for-profit staffing agency connecting welfare recipients with clerical, cleaning and light-industrial temp work. In 2005, the Keeslings founded RecyleForce, which is a social enterprise offering comprehensive and innovative recycling services while providing life-changing workforce training to formerly incarcerated individuals.

Earl Townsend and his wife Ro have developed GROE, Inc., Claim the Throne and Open Bite Night, which are events and programs that provide a wide variety of valuable services to the community, including daily after school snack bags for IPS children in the 34th Street and Clifton Street area, and celebrate the successes and contributions of traditionally vulnerable populations.

Thomas Alex Frey endured a difficult childhood that included time at Indiana’s Kokomo Academy Boys School where he earned his GED. As a young man, Frey became the father of three daughters and was referred to the Fathers and Families Center to help him adopt the role of a responsible father. Frey started focusing on his life and worked hard to improve his relationship with his children, placing his responsibilities as a father as a top priority.

Earlier this year, the Fathers and Families Center introduced its first-ever Heart of a Father Lifetime Achievement Award. This recognition will be presented to Pastor Jeffrey A. Johnson of the Eastern Star Church in Indianapolis. Johnson has positively impacted thousands of members of his church and the greater Indianapolis community, and has served as a spokesman for justice advocating on behalf of African Americans, Latinos, the poor, seniors, millennials and others who have not had a voice or are disenfranchised.

In addition to the Heart of a Father Award, recipients will receive recognition as an outstanding father and a $250 cash prize. Nominated fathers were judged by an independent awards panel at Fathers and Families Center.

About Fathers and Families Center

Fathers and Families Center is a 501(c)(3) agency that works to enhance the capacity of young fathers to become responsible and involved parents, wage earners, and providers of child support. Major activities are centered on educational and employment advancement, parenting and basic life skills training, and support services assistance.   

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NOTE: For members of the media interested in attending the Fathers and Families Center’s Faces of Fatherhood Luncheon, sponsored by Ryan Consulting Group, or talking with one of the recipients, please contact Tom Surber at 317.880.4793 or by email at

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