Movers & Shakers

O’Donnell named ATA senior VP

ATA Holdings Corp., parent company of ATA Airlines Inc., promoted William F. O’Donnell to senior vice president of human resources. He will continue to oversee all human resources and organizational development activities for the nation’s 10th largest airline, as well as serve on the executive committee, the company’s core management team.

“Bill’s expertise and leadership have been crucial to the growth and recovery of this airline,” says George Mikelsons, ATA chairman and CEO. “His tremendous background and extensive knowledge of organizational dynamics have made him an invaluable asset to our management team. He has been a key player in all of ATA’s decisions.”

O’Donnell has been instrumental in establishing and implementing cost-effective and efficient processes and procedures. He oversaw the restructuring of the company’s benefits programs, introduced procedures for new hire-recruiting assessments, established organizational development functions to oversee training and performance management, and helped incorporate an employee self-service philosophy, which allowed employees do benefits enrollment, information changes, etc., online.

O’Donnell has more than 25 years of experience in progressive human resources administration and consulting, 18 with William M. Mercer Inc., an international human resource consulting firm. He spent 10 years as head of Mercer’s Indianapolis office and headed its Minneapolis office before joining ATA in August 2001.


Gerhard Mayr, Eli Lilly executive vice president, pharmaceutical operations, has retired. President and CEO Sidney Taurel says Mayr left a world-class sales and marketing organization prepared to deliver on the strongest, most innovative pipeline in the pharmaceutical industry.

“I want to express my personal gratitude to Gerhard for his significant contribution to Lilly during his 32 years with the company,” Taurel says. “Under Gerhard’s leadership, we have significantly grown our presence around the world, and we are now positioned to compete with companies larger than Lilly. I wish him great happiness in retirement.”

Following Mayr’s retirement, the pharmaceutical product and corporate development organization, responsible for developing and registering Lilly’s products, and the pharmaceutical operations organization, responsible for sales and marketing globally, will be consolidated. The new organization will be led by John Lechleiter, currently executive vice president, pharmaceutical products and corporate development. Lechleiter will become executive vice president, pharmaceutical operations. He will continue to report to Taurel and remain a member of the policy committee.

Lechleiter joined Lilly in 1979 as a senior organic chemist in process research and development. During the past 24 years, he’s held numerous positions, including director of pharmaceutical product development, Erl Wood (United Kingdom); director, projects management; executive director of pharmaceutical product development for Lilly Research Laboratories; vice president, regulatory affairs; and vice president of development and regulatory affairs.

He became senior vice president, pharmaceutical products, in 1998, and assumed additional responsibilities including business development and corporate strategy in 2001 when he was named executive vice president, pharmaceutical products and corporate development.


Guidant Corp.’s board of directors elected Kristina Johnson, dean of the Edmund T. Pratt Jr. School of Engineering at Duke University, to fill an additional director seat created late last year. Johnson will stand for re-election by Guidant shareholders in May. Her appointment increases the membership of the board to 14.

“Ms. Johnson is a prolific researcher, an outstanding educator, an accomplished author in the field of optics and liquid crystal display, as well as a successful entrepreneur,” says James Cornelius, chairman of the board. “Her leadership continues to build the Pratt School of Engineering into a center of excellence in teaching, research and service to society. She will be a tremendous asset to our board.”

Johnson joined Duke University in July 1999 as dean of engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering. As dean, she is the chief academic and administrative officer of the Edmund T. Pratt Jr. School of Engineering.

Before joining Duke, Johnson served on the faculty at the University of Colorado from 1985 to 1999 as a professor of electrical and computer engineering, and as co-founder and director of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Optoelectronic Computing Systems Center. She has co-founded several start-up companies, including ColorLink Inc., KAJ LLC and STI Inc.


KeyBank’s commercial banking division appointed James Gaspo as executive vice president and senior manager of its Midwest region. He oversees sales teams in Cincinnati, Columbus, Northern Indiana, Central Indiana, Dayton and Toledo/Ann Arbor. Gaspo, who also is overseeing the opening of an upper middle-market office in metropolitan Detroit, will be based in Indianapolis and report to commercial banking National Manager George Emmons.

Gaspo is responsible for delivering credit, equipment leasing, cash management and depository products and solutions to companies with annual revenue from $10 million to $250 million. He is responsible for developing and implementing market strategies within the region, with an emphasis on generating new revenue and acquiring new client relationships, deepening existing relationships and gathering deposits.

“Jim Gaspo has considerable experience and expertise in selling a full spectrum of commercial banking products,” Emmons says. “That, coupled with his ability to develop client relationships and business strategies that meet and exceed their expectations, positions Key to deliver on its vision: to always earn the right to be the first choice of its targeted clients.”

Gaspo has nearly 20 years of experience in the banking industry and has been employed with Key since 1994. Most recently, he served as KeyBank commercial banking’s relationship team manager in Syracuse, as well as district president of Key’s Central New York Region. He holds a master’s degree in business administration and an undergraduate degree in accounting from LeMoyne College in Syracuse.


Steven Groth was elected partner at Bose McKinney & Evans LLC. He practices in the firm’s litigation group. Groth joined the firm in 1999 and concentrates his practice in the areas of insurance defense and commercial litigation. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He is also a former member of the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps and a CPA.

Attorney Bryan Babb is the chair-elect of the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Bar Leader Series for 2004-2005. The Bar Leaders Series identifies and trains lawyers for future opportunities in leadership roles in the business and legal communities. Babb joined the Bose McKinney & Evans litigation group in 2000 after completing a clerkship with Justice Frank Sullivan Jr. of the Indiana Supreme Court. He is also a member of the firm’s appellate group.

He received a bachelor of science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a master of science degree from Boston University and his law degree cum laude from Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington. Babb is also a member of the American, Indiana State and Indianapolis Bar Associations and is admitted to practice before the Indiana Supreme Court and the United States District Courts, Northern and Southern Divisions.