Six Appointed to Board of Advisors

3rd October 2023

Indiana University Southeast has welcomed six new members to its Board of Advisors.

“These new board members will continue to help connect IU Southeast to our local mission of serving our students and our region,” said Joe Glover, interim vice chancellor for University Relations. “They have deep roots in the community and bring skills that will help our campus grow and thrive.”

RON BARNES – Emeritus

Ronald Barnes is a retired Army colonel, spending 32 years in active and reserve status with the Army. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business from Indiana University in 1972 and became a CPA in 1975. He is licensed to practice in Indiana and Kentucky, and he has over 30 years of experience in public accounting. He has previously served on the IU Southeast Board of Advisors and is the first member to earn Board of Advisors Emeritus status.

Ronald Barnes

Many awards and honors have been presented to Barnes, including the Sagamore of the Wabash in September 2002, the highest honor that the governor of Indiana bestows; the Leadership Southern Indiana Servant Leader Award in May 2001; the IU Southeast Distinguished Alumni Award in May 2001; the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana Gold Leaf Volunteer Award in April 2001 and the Chancellor’s Medallion Award, the highest honor bestowed by Indiana University Southeast, in April 2022. Barnes is a Paul Harris Fellow and a Kentucky Colonel. He received numerous achievements and commendation medals throughout his military career, some more than once. Since his retirement, he has been selected to serve as a U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador. Barnes and his wife, Pam, reside in Henryville, IN.


Dr. Tina Bennett

Dr. Tina Bennett, a resident of Jeffersonville, IN, is the Superintendent of Clarksville Community Schools and currently serves on the Board of Directors for One Southern Indiana, Wilson Education Center, IHSAA Foundation Board, Madison Area Special Services Unit, and The Tony Bennett Memorial Foundation.

Bennett was a member of the 1985 Indiana All-Star Team and was honored on the Silver Anniversary team in 2010 and was inducted as an individual into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020. In February 2022, she obtained a Doctorate Degree in Education from Oakland City University.

For the past 27 years, Bennett has dedicated her professional life to serving students in K-12 and higher education as a teacher, counselor, coach, and administrator. She has served in the public, private, rural, and urban sectors in the U.S. and overseas in the Dominican Republic.


Steve Merchant is currently a Director at UPS in Flight operations with responsibilities of Contingency and Ground Services. Steve has been with UPS for 34 years and has held numerous roles within the Airline and District operations during his career.

Steve Merchant

Merchant has been very active in the community over the years by coaching elementary, middle, and high school sports at Clarksville Community School Corporation and at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Schools. He has served as a mentor at New Albany High School. In addition, he worked closely with Prosser Vocational School to help create a hybrid program between UPS and Prosser to provide students with opportunities to learn about our business and a possible future position with the company.

Merchant has a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University Southeast and an associate degree from Ivy Tech State College, and he has a Flight Dispatch Certificate. He has attended UPS Executive Perspectives at Emory Executive Education Goizueta Business School. In addition, he is currently pursuing his MBA in Business administration from Rasmussen University.

Merchant and his wife, Michelle, reside in Henryville, IN. They have two children and two grandchildren. His daughter Kara will attend Xavier in the fall, and his son Tyler is an alumnus of Indiana University Southeast.


Lisa Garcia Reger has lived in Southern Indiana for the past 30 years, where she began the practice of law as an associate attorney with Lorch & Naville, LLC in 1994. Reger became a partner/owner of the same law firm now known as Lorch Naville Ward, LLC, in 1999 where she primarily handled mediations, adoptions, and various family law matters until her departure from the law firm in December of 2021. In addition to the law practice, in July of 2014, Reger was appointed to serve as a part-time Juvenile Court Judicial Officer in Harrison Circuit Court where she served until December 2021.

Lisa Garcia Reger

Reger left the private practice of law to begin serving as a full-time Magistrate Judge for the Clark Circuit Courts in January of 2022. Reger can be seen handling all case types in Clark County, but she is responsible for the domestic relations docket and proudly serves as a Family Recovery Court Judge, assisting families impacted by substance use disease.

Reger earned a Bachelor of Science degree and graduated with honors from Indiana State University. She later attended law school at Indiana University McKinney School of Law where she received the Ben F. Small Fellowship Award and Scholarship and earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1994.

Reger and her husband, of Sellersburg, are actively involved in the Southern Indiana Community. Their daughter Jo has earned a bachelor’s degree with concentrations in theatre, music, and dance. She is living her dream and traveling the country as a professional actor. Their son Matthew is an Eagle Scout and is presently a senior at Indiana University Southeast.


Clayton Rose

Clayton Rose is a Commercial Banking Officer with German American Bank. He assists companies, organizations, and public entities with their various financing needs in the areas of construction, real estate, and equipment.

Rose is a graduate of Indiana University Southeast receiving his master’s in strategic finance in 2020 and B.S. in Finance and Business Administration from IU Southeast in 2016.

Rose is also a Lifetime member of the IU Alumni Association and serves on the board of the Floyd Memorial Foundation.

Rose and his wife Kristy, reside in Lanesville, IN, and have two daughters, Reece and Caroline.


Ryan Sienkowski is Vice President of Finance at Caesars Southern Indiana. He joined Caesars in 2009 as a Financial Analyst and held various finance and analytics roles before relocating to the Memphis, TN area in 2013. There he served as Regional Director of Analytics for Caesars Entertainment. He rejoined the Southern Indiana team in his current role in 2016.

Ryan Sienkowski

Ryan serves on the board of directors for Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana, YMCA of Greater Louisville, and the Kentucky Derby Festival. He is a graduate of the 2019 class of Leadership Louisville and was named Best in Finance by Louisville Business First in 2020.

Ryan received a BA in International Economics from the University of Kentucky and an MBA from the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics. He resides in Louisville with his wife Kelly and their children Lucy, Millie, and Archer.

Outgoing members of the Board of Advisors include Michael Bauer whose terms spanned 2017-2023 and Nick Garing 2022-2023

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