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Pass the Torch for Women Monthly Mentoring Chat

Julie Petr, Executive Director of Pass the Torch for Women Foundation, hosts a monthly mentoring chat with business and community leaders.

Nov 10, 2015

Alison Martin-Books chats with Tonja Eagen, CEO of the Social Health Organization of Indiana, Inc., about leadership.


Guest Bio:


A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Tonja is proud to be a 25+ year veteran of nonprofit management and leadership.  Tonja serves as the CEO of the Social Health Association of Indiana, Inc. (SHA).  She is delighted to lead the oldest and largest youth health and peer violence prevention education provider in Indiana serving more than 45,000 youth and 5,000 adults annually.  Quality evidence-based programs are provided for K-12 grade students by SHA’s professional staff in urban, suburban and rural communities throughout Indiana. 


What We Learned:

  • Tonja joined MWN because she realized she didn’t have many mentors that were women in her life
  • Learning to create her own success
  • Choosing to play either the victim or the victor
  • Incorporating diverse perspectives into decision making
  • Uncovering her core values through adversity
  • Integrating life and work rather than balancing it
  • Flexibility in your schedule often accompanies rising in the ranks
  • Realizing daily choices determine future success
  • Creating your life by owning your choices
  • How lack of trust hindered her as a leader early on
  • Resilience is a muscle you have to build
  • Using a vision board to keep her goals top of mind
  • How you respond to crisis is how you’re remembered
  • Living by the phrase “True character is revealed when you come face to face with adversity.”
  • What happened when a professor called her out
  • Finding her purpose in life to give back and help others

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