Staff and Commissioners

Lorraine Smith, Director

Lorraine Smith has worked for the City of Columbus in the Human Rights Department for 24 years and has lived Columbus for 32 years initially coming to the community to work for Cummins Inc to begin a career in human resources.  While in the position of Deputy Director of the Commission, she initiated, wrote and secured grants as well as coordinated the implementation of the Commission’s Oral History Project, which is a video “Lifting Up a Voice…” that documented the stories of community members who witnessed and participated in the Columbus’ own civil rights movement.  The video and its companion guide was recognized as one of the Best Practices in Diversity by the Indiana Civil Rights Commission were included in the State of Indiana’s Resource Manual of Diversity Programs and Activities.

She has served on several community projects, boards and committees.  In 1991, she was appointed to the Mayor’s Task Force to Improve Citizen/Police Relations, which developed and implemented the Columbus Police Audit and Review Committee and procedure, a citizen’s police complaint and review process.   She currently serves on the Heritage Fund Board where she Chairs the Outreach Committee and is member of the Grants Committee; she also served four years on the Lilly Scholarship Selection Committee.  She is a past Board member of kidscommons, where she worked on accessibility issues.   She was instrumental in the formation of CAMEO (Columbus Area Multi-Ethnic Organization) and is an advisor to the group.


Deputy Director- Aida J. Ramírez

Secretary- Betsy Maxine Schuette

2013 Officers
Chairperson - Gil Palmer
Vice Chairperson - Ian Kohen
Secretary - John Roberts
Treasurer - Trena Carter

Commissioners                                                                Term Expires
Rhea Baker-Ipek                                                                          2014
Annettee Barnes                                                                          2016
Trena Carter                                                                                 2014
Ian Kohen                                                                                     2016
Greg Lewis                                                                                   2015
Tony McClendon                                                                          2015
Gil A. Palmer*                                                                              2014
John Roberts                                                                               2014
John Stroh                                                                                   2015 
Kelly Benjamin                                                                             2016 
Richard Gold                                                                                2016

City Council Liaison: Tim Shuffett
Commission Attorney:  Jeff Logston

*Denotes Chairperson

©2014 City of Columbus Indiana | Contact Us | Site Map | Website Credits