Indiana Native Hale Named President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

Corporate and non-profit veteran brings strong fundraising, community leadership record to new role

Joe Hale will begin duties as IMS Museum President Tuesday, Jan. 5.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Joe Hale has been named president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Upon joining the IMS Museum Jan. 5, Hale will be responsible for every aspect of the Museum’s operations, curatorial duties and endeavors, programming, communications and advertising, corporate partnerships, philanthropic initiatives, and membership growth.

His larger goal is to reimagine the Museum in a wholesale fashion and to guide the Museum staff and supporters toward a future state-of-the-art Museum, community asset and world-class destination.

A native Hoosier and Hanover College graduate, Hale returns to central Indiana in the wake of a five-year stint as executive director of The Dreamland, a year-round non-profit film and cultural center on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. In his short tenure, Hale led a transformation of The Dreamland from operating at an annual deficit to a strong surplus, while creating a pillar within the Nantucket community and year-round destination with a variety of programming such as daily films, live theatre, concerts and a renowned speaker series.

Hale has raised more than $110 million for charitable organizations and led capital campaigns which fostered new brick-and-mortar facilities for arts and community organizations.

“I look forward to joining the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum as President,” said Hale. “The board’s commitment to transform the Museum into the world’s premier automobile racing museum is exhilarating. Plans to build upon the Museum’s 64-year history of telling the stories of automobile racing around the world, and to make the Museum even more interactive, experiential, immersive and educational, are exciting. I look forward to working with the board and staff to make their vision a reality, and Linda and I can’t wait to be back home again in Indiana!”

Hale’s more than four decades of leadership experience and track record of corporate and non-profit success were derived through a diverse portfolio of professional fields: public education, commercial real estate sales and marketing, the utility industry, and of course, museums and non-profits.

After starting his career as a high school teacher in New Albany, Indiana, and later Germany, Hale joined the Indiana Arts Commission in 1975, moved to a programming role at Historic New Harmony in southwest Indiana, then returned to Indianapolis to lead the Metropolitan Arts Council.

After a decade in commercial real estate, Hale joined PSI Energy in 1992, just before the Plainfield, Indiana-based company merged with Cincinnati Gas & Electric (CG&E) to form Cincinnati-based Cinergy Corp., now part of Duke Energy. He served as interim president of PSI Energy and president of CG&E, circa 2000.

At Cinergy, Hale took on ever-increasing responsibilities, including Chief Communications Officer, where he negotiated the agreement for Riverfront Stadium to be rebranded Cinergy Field, while also serving as president of the Cinergy Foundation and managing the non-profit’s popular community programs, including the Cinergy Children’s Museum and Cinergy’s Home for the Holidays.

His entrepreneurial spirit shone brightly in 2008, founding Columbus, Ohio-based Medilux with longtime Hoosier executive and political leader Al Hubbard. Hale then co-founded and led the Global BrightLight Foundation, which became the world’s largest NGO (non-governmental organization) providing solar-powered lanterns to off-grid families and communities around the world.

Hale has enjoyed leadership roles with numerous community and non-profit organizations in Ohio and Nantucket, and several familiar to central Indiana residents: Indianapolis Symphony, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Dance Kaleidoscope, the Eiteljorg Museum, and is a past president of the Penrod Society.

Hale and his wife, Linda, have three children.


About the IMS Museum: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is home to one of the world’s premier motorsports and automobile collections, with interpretive emphasis on the Indianapolis 500 and its role as an American icon of sporting tradition and innovation.

Located inside the famed 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, the IMS Museum is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization which relies on the support of visitors, members, donors and corporate partners, who make possible our daily operations, exhibits, educational programming, and restoration and preservation initiatives.

For more information on the IMS Museum, please visit, contact the Museum at 317-492-6784, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.