Lena Hackett, MPH
A respected community leader and long-time public servant, Lena founded Community Solutions, Inc. in 2000. Prior to this, she served Congresswoman Julia Carson. “In that environment, I was challenged every day to gain expert knowledge on local, state, and national issues in order to serve constituents,” Lena says. “I became addicted to the non-stop learning the work required—and, more importantly, the application of the knowledge I gained to help resolve real issues in the community.”
Founding a firm focused on community development and public health for grassroots, regional, and national organizations was the ideal outlet for Lena’s combination of knowledge, experience, and drive to be part of meaningful community change.
Under her leadership, staff, clients, and collaborators of Community Solutions are constantly challenged to look at every project as an opportunity to have a lasting impact on individuals, families, and communities.
Authentic relationships are the foundation of everything Community Solutions does. “Relationships,” she says “keep us going. Being in relationship with bright, passionate, committed people across a broad spectrum of professions is what keeps us going. It is only through our authentic community relationships that we are able to have a small part making long term change.”
Lena Hackett has a Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and holds a graduate degree in Public Health Policy from the University of Michigan. She currently serves on the Indianapolis-Marion County Metropolitan Development Commission and is a member of the Board of You Yes You!, where she serves as the Board Chair.
Why are you passionate about what you do at CSI?
I am passionate about what I do at Community Solutions because every piece of work, no matter how small, is viewed as an opportunity to make systemic change, level the playing field, improve lives. We are not about just completing the task in front of us, checking off a box, executing on a contract – that work can be done anywhere. We are about changing the world.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the resiliency of people and community. I am inspired by True Believers who see the opportunity for change and work hard for it. I am inspired by the trust that people put in us to come into their world and be in a relationship with them.
If you could offer advice to a younger version of yourself, what would you say?
I would say so many things…. “You are not ever as smart as you think you are – be humble.” “Pay attention to the life you are living – every day.” “Love hard – go all in.” “Breathe” “Comfort zones are for sissies.”