IU-branded bullhorns raised high at a sporting event


The Indiana University Office of Business Partnerships (OBP) is the front door for industry partners seeking to cultivate strategic relationships with our faculty, researchers and students. Collaborating with industry leaders and entrepreneurs around the world, we build meaningful, sustainable and mutually beneficial partnerships in support of education and research across Indiana and beyond.

Three flags USA, Indiana, and IU flags waving outside a campus building

Our Mission

Our mission is to be the front door for industry partners seeking to cultivate strategic relationships with our faculty, researchers and students. To accomplish this, we:

Support business/industry partners to connect, collaborate, and grow with the IU community.

Help our partners explore strategic partnership opportunities to connect with IU’s 93,000+ students, 8700+ faculty, and 700,000+ graduates through 7 regional campuses and 200+ research centers and institutes.

Facilitate philanthropy, strategic giving and sponsorship activities.

Build talent pipelines through recruiting and on-campus events, internship/scholarship programs collaborating with our partners.

Identify IP commercialization and licensing opportunities to drive innovation.

Provide business/industry partners with professional development and educational opportunities across all of IU’s campuses.

Our Values

  • INTEGRITY: Integrity is the ability to align our actions and words with our standard of excellence. We embody this principle with each collaboration we have with Indiana University’s faculty, staff, students, and partners.

  • SERVICE: We help faculty, staff, students, and partners to create connections in support of education, research and innovation, programs, and workforce development. We serve the entire IU system to get you to the right place quickly.

  • DIVERSITY & INCLUSION: We value and embody Diversity and Inclusion by fostering and upholding an environment of antiracism; honoring the value different perspectives and cultures bring to an organization; elevating actions to support diversity and inclusion; and helping to cultivate a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive learning environment for people from all backgrounds. We are committed to continual reflection and growth in how we uphold these principles as the work of equity and social justice is never done.

  • LEARNING: We create opportunities for leading-edge innovation, nurturing and amplifying thought-leaders, sharing knowledge and applying solutions that build and benefit community.

  • MAKING A DIFFERENCE: We connect with thought leaders to create solutions for 21st-century problems and create dynamic partnerships that provide local communities, the state of Indiana and our world with educational, economic, social, and cultural development

Meet the Team

Matt Krause

Valerie Gill

Associate Vice President of Business Partnerships


More About Valerie

In her role as Associate Vice President for Business Partnerships, Val provides university-wide leadership, infrastructure, and strategy to create and implement dynamic, mutually beneficial corporate partnerships. Val advises and collaborates with university colleagues to implement tactical strategies that connect business and industry partners with the resources that they need to advance their business. The office of business partnerships is designed to help partners solve business challenges, showcase their brand with university audiences, create new products or IP, explore targeted philanthropic opportunities, develop talent pipelines, and facilitate professional development opportunities for employees. Val also provides strategic oversight of the office of licensing and trademarks, which is responsible for growth and management of the university’s trademark licensing program. Val joined IU in 2008 and prior to the development of the office of business partnerships, Val held the roles of Director of Licensing and Trademarks, and Director of Sponsorships, Licensing & Trademarks. Val earned her BS from Western Michigan University.

Brandy Zamora

Brandy Zamora

Executive Director


More About Brandy

In her role as executive director, Brandy provides leadership and strategic direction to the Business Partnership development team. Brandy and the OBP team work with business partners to understand their interests and objectives and help to facilitate seamless connections across the university community, including creating networks of faculty experts, students, and university administrators from IU’s seven campuses. Brandy guides the OBP team in crafting compelling proposals and strategies to develop dynamic, mutually beneficial partnerships in support of education, strategic philanthropy, research with targeted outcomes, brand alignment, and talent pipelines. Prior to joining OBP, Brandy served as senior director of corporate engagement at IU’s Kelley School of Business where she was responsible for building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with corporate partners through high-valued programs and engagement opportunities that aligned with Kelley’s mission and values, partner priorities and industry trends. She holds a BS from Indiana University and is currently pursuing an MS in Strategic Management at IU’s Kelley School of Business.
Tara Vickers

Tara Vickers

Director | tarvande@indiana.edu

Industry Categories: Information Technology, Professional Services

More About Tara

In her role as director, Tara leads efforts for partnership opportunities within the professional services and IT industry categories and also assists in building out corporate partner programs for many academic schools, units, and programs. She thrives on building meaningful relationships and creating symbiotic value for both the partner and the University. Tara, who has a demonstrated history of collaboration, development, and stewardship, joined IU in 2010 and has worked in a few different capacities— most recently serving as director for the IU Student Foundation. She holds a BA from Belmont University and an MA from IU’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Clarissa Tester

Clarissa Tester

Associate Director | clrthomp@iu.edu

Industry Category: Health & Wellness

More About Clarissa

As Associate Director in the the Office of Business Partnerships, Clarissa works closely with the Executive Director to manage opportunities and develop partnership opportunities within the health & wellness category. 

Prior to joining IU, Clarissa served in a marketing planning and proposal development role for the architecture, engineering, and construction industry. Clarissa has a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Indianapolis and is pursuing her M.P.A from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI.

Elizabeth Lerch

Beverly Knight

Director of Sponsorships | knightbc@iu.edu

Industry Categories: Sports, Entertainment, Apparels, Consumables 

More About Beverly

As director in the Office of Business Partnerships, Beverly will work to manage sponsorship opportunities and develop corporate partnerships which reach across all of the IU regional campuses.  She is renowned for her ability to build strong relationships with people, while cultivating and growing partnerships that enhance all constituents. Before joining OBP, Bev worked with IUPUI Auxiliary Services to create and expand revenue opportunities for the IU Natatorium at IUPUI and Athletics. The bulk of her professional career was serving as national sales manager at Collins Sports Medicine (family owned) and Henry Schein, Inc. (Fortune 300), working with the distribution of medical products to the certified athletic trainer at the professional, college, and high school level. Bev has a good understanding of large corporate work structures and can relate to the demands of our partners, as well as small businesses. Knight is a graduate of UCF with a B.A. in Education and a Masters in Administration & Supervision. She also spent several years coaching college basketball and appreciates good teamwork. 

Elizabeth Lerch

Elizabeth Lerch

Director | elerch@iu.edu

Industry Categories: Engineering, Environmental, Utilities, Manufacturing

More About Elizabeth

Elizabeth recently joined Indiana University’s Office of Business Partnerships as Director, Research Business Partnerships. In this role, she works with the OBP team to connect corporate partners with IU’s programs and resources, helping companies build strategic relationships with IU faculty, researchers, staff, and students across campuses and academic disciplines. Her portfolio of companies includes those in the sciences, including agriculture, energy, manufacturing and logistics/transportation. Prior to joining IU, Elizabeth spent 12 years with the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) where she drove development efforts resulting in more than $100 million in grant funding for CICP initiatives, including more than $30 million for the development of the 16 Tech innovation district. Elizabeth is a graduate of Butler University.

Karen Kirchman

Karen Kirchman

Administrative Assistant


More About Karen

Karen helps support the team and mission of the Office of Business Partnerships as the administrative assistant and all-around “answer lady”. She has supported development at IU with over a decade of service, working with the IU Foundation, the IU McKinney School of Law, and the Office of Corporate Relations. In addition to coordinating the schedules and general care of the team, she also tends to their data and research needs to help them generate meaningful impact and growth for the benefit of IU and beyond.

Elizabeth Lerch

Michelle Rojas

Business Partnerships Officer


More About Michelle


As the Business Partnerships Officer in the Office of Business Partnerships, Michelle leads the collaboration with departments, schools, and campus development officers to develop, cultivate, and leverage corporate and foundation relationships in order to secure funding for operations, research, and joint initiatives. Michelle manages our corporate requests for proposals and limited submission opportunities to serve as a resource for units interested in corporate funding. Prior to joining OBP, Michelle worked at IU School of Medicine as a program lead for the Scholarly Concentrations Program. Michelle received her Master’s in Science degree in Strategic Leadership and Design from the University of Indianapolis in August 2021. Michelle continues to make a community impact through her various other activities which include serving as a committee member for the Alumni Association at University of Indianapolis and Franklin College. Additionally, she is currently serving as a mentee for the IUPUI Mentoring Program.
















Karen Kirchman

Jolene Headley

Administrative Assistant


More About Jolene

Jolene is an experienced administrative professional. Before joining the Office of Business Partnerships, Jolene had several years of experience in supporting executives and their teams at IU’s University Information Technology Services. Driven by a desire to ensure smooth operations, she takes pride in providing the best support possible. As an administrative coordinator, her goals include strong organizational abilities, clear communication skills, and proactive planning.

Business Partners

Connect to the IU Community

Form mutually beneficial partnerships

Grow your business by finding talent

IU Faculty & Staff

Get Resources for building strong partnerships

Find funding for research endeavors

Find opportunities for your students

All inquiries or questions, please send to OBP@IU.edu