Starfish Initiative Names New VP of Mentor Development

Starfish Initiative Names New VP of Mentor Development

Today, Starfish Initiative announced that Dr. Jay McNaught will assume the role of Vice President of Mentor Development. Starfish is an Indianapolis-based nonprofit organization that focuses on increasing Marion County high school graduation success and college persistence rates among low-income students through its acclaimed mentorship model. 


“I am thrilled to be joining the Starfish Initiative,” said McNaught. “I am so impressed with the organization and the mission. The mentors play an important role in the program’s success, and in my position, I will be able to focus on mentor recruitment, engagement, and development. The Starfish Initiative already has an excellent mentor development program. My goal is to take this solid program and make it even better.” 


McNaught has spent his career specializing in learning and development, coaching, and leadership development. He has worked with all levels of leaders in different organizations to help them develop their leadership and coaching capabilities. 


Most recently, Jay worked for HARMAN as the Director of Global Learning and Development. During his career, he also worked for the Walmart Corporation, Zoetis, Pfizer, Duke Energy, and Cinergy. He has over 30 years of experience in the areas of training, coaching, and leadership development. A graduate of Indiana University, McNaught has earned an MBA and a Doctoral in Organizational Leadership from Indiana Wesleyan University. He has also earned a Master’s Degree in Education and a certification in Professional Management from IU. Additionally, he has obtained an International Coaching Federation certification through Columbia University, New York. 


“We are delighted to have a nationally-recognized leadership and coaching-thought leader like Dr. McNaught join the Starfish Initiative team. Jay will be invaluable to supporting our 425+ volunteer mentors become even better college and career coaches to the teens that are the talent pipeline for Indianapolis.” said Gisele Garraway, President & CEO of Starfish Initiative. 


Starfish Initiative pairs low-income, but academically promising Scholars, one-on-one, with a college-educated Mentor. Scholars start the program as high school freshmen. With the focus on college and career, Starfish has built a track record of success over the last 15 years: 100 percent of Scholars who finish the four-year program graduate high school, 98 percent go on to college, and in the past six years 78 percent are in pursuit of or have earned postsecondary degrees.