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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Indian Hill Foundation announces 2019 Alumni Awards honorees

The Indian Hill Foundation is proud to announce the 2019 Alumni Award honorees.  The awards honor and recognize the Indian Hill alumni legacy of commitment, integrity and achievement.  Nominations submitted in November were reviewed by a committee of alumni representing 5 decades of graduation years.  The finalists were then approved by the Board of the IHF.  Award recipients will be an inspiration to current and future alumni and exemplify what it means to ‘be a Brave’ in the years beyond school.

Dean J. Kereiakes, M.D.  (IHHS ‘70) -  Indian Hill Distinguished Alumni Award
Distinguished Alumni is the top honor for an alumnus for outstanding personal accomplishments, honors or recognition in one’s career or on behalf of the community.
Dean Kereiakes
Dean J. Kereiakes, M.D. is Medical Director of the Christ Hospital Heart and Vascular Center, Medical Director of the Carl and Edyth Lindner Center for Research and Education at The Christ Hospital, and Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Ohio State University.

After attending the University of Cincinnati undergraduate for three years where he was President of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, Dr. Kereiakes received his medical degree and was valedictorian of his graduating class of the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine in 1978.  Following training at the University of California, San Francisco and the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, he completed fellowships at the University of California, San Francisco, at the San Francisco Heart Institute and the Sequoia Hospital.  Dr. Kereiakes has pioneered most of the leading edge cardiovascular technologies introduced over the last three decades. In addition to lecturing nationally and internationally, he has participated in thousands of research protocols and is a prolific contributor to scientific journals, abstracts, and book chapters.

Dr. Kereiakes has been selected as Outstanding Alumnus, University of Cincinnati School of Medicine and the Ohio Valley American Heart Association’s Kaplan Visionary Award for cardiovascular research.  He was honored with the Honorary Doctorate of Sciences from the University of Cincinnati in 2014.  He and his wife, Anne, have been involved in multiple civic activities and have chaired and/or been honorees for the annual AHA Heart Ball and the annual USO Gala.

“Along with my siblings, Tom (IHHS ’73), Penny (IHHS ‘74), and Beth (IHHS ’79), I was fortunate to be afforded unparalleled public education in a community that was actively engaged in all aspects (academics, athletics, performing arts, etc.) of our school experience.  The Indian Hill school system is remarkable in that it is common to see multiple generations of graduates and students at school events,” states Dr. Kereiakes. He continues, “It was very emotionally gratifying for me to have had all four of my children attend Indian Hill K -12 and be given the same tremendous opportunity that I had.”

Carol “Buffie” Rixey  (IHHS  ‘72) – Indian Hill Brave Service Award
This award recognizes an alumnus who has generously dedicated his/her time and talent to the service of the IH School District and its mission.  Service can include volunteer time as well as resources.

Carol “Buffie” Rixey
Carol “Buffie” Rixey has served as a committed community volunteer and has made a positive impact both for the Indian Hill School District and the Greater Cincinnati area and beyond.  After graduating from University of Cincinnati with both RN and BSN in 1977, she pursued her nursing career in both hospital systems and in private health care services.   After retiring, she has continued to give her energy to supporting numerous non-profit organizations with a focus on education, women, children and health.
Within the Indian Hill School District, Rixey has had leadership roles throughout the PTO. She created or co-chaired many fundraising events that have become long-standing traditions within the district such as the International Parents Network and the event which has become Spring Fling.  She worked on and ultimately chaired the early “Party on the Hill” events, raising over $200,000 for the schools.  Additionally, she co-founded the now annual Odd Couples Dance to raise funds for After Prom, and was Chair of After Prom twice.  She is also a founding member of the Indian Hill Foundation and served on its Board for ten years. 

Outside of her dedication to Indian Hill Schools, Rixey has served the city in many ways. She has been President of Kindervelt #50, President of the Kindervelt City Wide Board of Trustees, raising over $1 million dollars for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital during her two-year term. She has served on the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball Committee, supported The Friends of Boyscouting Campaign. She currently serves on the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing Advisory Board, among many other civic roles.  

 “Our three children graduated from IHHS as well, and our entire family credits so many of our life successes to the education, opportunities, support and encouragement we received in the Indian Hill Schools.” Rixey continues, “As a parent, I wanted to help the Indian Hill Schools in as many ways as I possibly could, out of gratitude for my wonderful experiences there and with the hope that future generations would continue to have the same opportunities as my children, Eppa, and I had.’  She concludes, “I am proud to be an Indian Hill High School graduate and thankful for the many opportunities I had to become involved in supporting an outstanding school district.” 

Adhrucia Apana (IHHS ‘ 01) -  Indian Hill Young Brave Award
The IH Young Brave Award celebrates the outstanding personal achievements in career or on behalf of the community within 20 years of graduation.

Adhrucia Apana
Adhrucia Apana is currently the Managing Director of Creative Wealth Media the finance arm of Bron Studios best known for Oscar nominated films such as Fences and Roman J. Esquire.  Creative Wealth Media is an industry leader in gap financing solutions to producers and distributors of motion pictures, television, and animated productions.  Creative Wealth finances 15-20 theatrical releases a year including studio hits from top directors such as Paul Feig, Jason Reitman, Clint Eastwood, and box office talent such as Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Joaquin Phoenix and Charlize Theron.

Apana has executive produced three major motion pictures including Tom Hardy's "Fonzo" directed by Josh Trank, John Ridley's "Needle in a Timestack" starring Orlando Bloom, Frieda Pinto and Leslie Odom Jr., and a third project to be announced soon.

She is a board member of The Athena Fund, started by Selma Hayek, that champions women-based stories, and a founding member of M Group, an invitation-only organization that supports collaboration between creatives and executives within the entertainment industry.

Apana has been a featured speaker representing women and minorities in her field in the last few years at prestigious industry events as Sundance, Toronto International Film Festival, Relativity School's Hidden Numbers Program, and La Femme Film Festival.

Apana is a supporter of the Art of Elysium that works with the Children's Hospital in LA bringing art and artists to kids struggling with cancer and other terminal diseases. She also has given her time to help support The Young Storyteller's Organization of LA promoting storytelling and the arts in public schools.  While in Cincinnati, she was the founder of the Cincinnati Chapter of 85 broads, member of the Cincinnati Symphony YPO board, FUEL board for funding non-profits in the area, and an avid supporter of the Cincinnati Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Alumni Awards will be presented at a ceremony in April 2019. The IH Foundation engages alumni with current students over the year to inspire future Braves to be a powerful force in the world.  For more information about the IH Foundation’s work, please visit   

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