Indiana's 9th Congressional District - Democrat
A native Hoosier and successful professional, Shelli Yoder learned about hard work at an early age helping out at the family gas station. And when the gas crisis of the late 1970s and recession of the early 1980s forced her parents to sell the family business, she watched her parents start-up and run another small business. Shelli learned first hand the value of perseverance through economic highs and lows. Still in high school, Shelli went to work stocking shelves at the town hardware store and built furniture at a local factory.
After graduating from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, she had the honor of serving as Miss Indiana in 1992. In this position Shelli traveled throughout all 92 Indiana counties advocating for better health and education opportunities for all Hoosier families. Wanting to give back in different ways and highly motivated, Shelli earned a Masters degree in Counseling & Human Services from Indiana University-South Bend and a Masters in Divinity from Vanderbilt University where she was recognized for outstanding achievement. To help put herself through graduate school at Vanderbilt, Shelli worked as a graduate research assistant for three years with Vanderbilt University’s Center for Mental Health Policy Studies.
Following graduation Shelli married Josh Perry, a professor of business law and ethics at IU. In 2009 they moved to Bloomington to raise their three young children – Ivy, Eden, and Oakley. Shelli has spent a significant portion of her professional career leading non-profits related to health care and the improvement of conditions in hurting communities. In those roles, Shelli has developed a proven record of balancing budgets and forging partnerships among diverse groups of stakeholders. In the 1990s she was the director of a shelter for at-risk youth in South Bend. More recently she was the Executive Director of the Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee, the only statewide nonprofit in the Southeast dedicated to eating disorder awareness, education, and prevention. Prior to that appointment, she spent three years as a senior staffer with GirlForce, a nonprofit affiliate of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center that focused on wellness issues facing at-risk adolescent girls.
In each of these roles Shelli worked with a variety of health care providers to better understand challenges facing the health care system and the delivery of care to those who are in need. Her work was recognized in 2008 by the Nashville Business Journal, who awarded her with their “Women of Influence” Award for non-profit leadership and the Nashville District Dietetic Association, who awarded her their “Iris Award” for major contributions to the field of nutrition by a non-registered dietician.
Along each step of her educational and professional career Shelli has worked to improve the lives of others. She knows how to tackle tough issues, and she has a track record of achieving positive results. And Shelli knows how to listen. Hers is a brand of collaborative leadership that will bring a fresh voice to Congress. She’s ready to fight for us, our families, and our communities, just like she always has.