About Us

Office Manager – Sadiya Ali

Sadiya Ali holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from IUPUI. Ali says, “I’ve seen all different sides of this city go through levels of development; I’ve seen neighborhoods go from being extremely vibrant to total disrepair. We have struggling communities here in Indianapolis, and being able to help them is my passion.”

Project Assistant – Chipo Chavanduka

Chipo Chavanduka holds a Master of Public Health degree from Indiana University and Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Psychology from Eastern Michigan University. She is a trained epidemiologist and spent a semester in Stockholm, Sweden conducting an in-depth global analysis of healthcare systems.

Senior Consultant – Cynthia Cunningham

In Cynthia Cunningham’s long career in public service, the concept of social justice has consistently played a central role. “I started as a neighborhood planner for the City of Indianapolis in 1989,” she says, “and pretty much everything I’ve done since then has been oriented around social change and social change initiatives.” In diverse roles working for the City of Indianapolis, The Polis Center, and the Indiana State Department of Health, has worked to measure the impact of services to populations which historically have been under-served.

President & Founder – Lena Hackett, M.P.H.

A respected community leader and long-time public servant, Lena Hackett founded Community Solutions, Inc. in 2000. “I had spent the previous three years working for the late Congresswoman Julia Carson,” Lena says. “In that environment, I was challenged every day to gain expert knowledge on local, state, and national issues in order to serve constituents. I became addicted to the non-stop learning the job required—and, more importantly, the application of the knowledge I gained to help resolve real issues in the community.”

Consultant – Dalton Haney

Throughout his career in corrections and offender re-entry, Dalton Haney has approached his work with a mixture of passion and compassion. “With any job I’ve ever held,” he says, “I pour a lot of myself into it. Every job I’ve had is not just a job, it’s something I’m really passionate about. The opportunity to have a positive influence in the community means a lot to me.”

Project Assistant – Erika Hargis

Erika Hargis is a graduate of the University of Indianapolis and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Applied Sociology from that same school. Applied Sociology, Hargis says, “moves beyond examining what we’re doing in certain fields to focus on why we’re doing what we’re doing. And you can’t really improve a system until you understand the why behind it.”

Director of Strategic Initiatives – Lisa Osterman, M.A. 

In spite of her extensive expertise in community development, juvenile and adult criminal justice, and public health, Lisa Osterman rarely misses an opportunity to learn something new. “We get to meet and work with the most interesting people,” Lisa says of her role as Director of Strategic Initiatives at Community Solutions, Inc. “They turn to us for expert assistance, but the only way to really help them is to learn from them.” Lisa knows that sustaining an attitude of continuous learning requires respect, humility, patience, inclusion, and curiosity. “Some of these values are easier to exercise than others,” she says, “but I know they are all critical to the success of the work I do.”

Project Assistant – Lauren Tolley 

Lauren Tolley studied Political Science at the University of Chicago.  Political Science, she says, is “really about learning how people and systems function and improving those systems improves people’s lives.”

Senior Consultant – Mitzi Wilson, J.D.

With degrees in Business Administration and Law, Mitzi Wilson knows she could have “gone corporate.” “But,” she says, “That’s just not how I was raised. It may sound cliché,” she concedes, “but my folks grew up in families needing public supports and they became public servants, to give back or pay it forward. It really shaped how I want to use my skills and talents—to serve a need or meet a gap in the community.”