A North Central graduate who is more than prepared for her seat at the table
Sara Gonso Tait (North Central ’01) recently earned the incredible distinction of 2018 Regulator of the Year for North America from the International Masters of Gaming Law. While this is prestigious in and of its own right, Sara also happens to be the first woman ever to have this honor bestowed upon her. As Executive Director of the Indiana Gaming Commission, Sara is the chief regulator of an industry that brings in more than 500 million in tax revenue for the state of Indiana each year. As the 4th largest source of revenue Sara knows that “providing stable and adaptive regulatory oversight contributes to the success of the industry and our state.”
Sara started her work with the Gaming Commission in 2011. In 2014 she was promoted to Chief Legal Counsel and then appointed as the Commission’s Executive Director in 2015. However, these promotions within the Commission did not exactly come at the most opportune times. Sara was eight months pregnant with twins when the Chief Legal Counsel opportunity came available. The appointment to Executive Director came less than a year after that. However Sara felt empowered to accept the challenge. “I believe more women should have a seat at the table. To not have pursued these opportunities would have required me to act against my own convictions.”
As a young mother of 3 children under the age of 4 Sara does not do it alone. She has her husband, Matt Tait (North Central ’02), and an army of grandparents as partners right here in Washington Township. Sara and Matt have decided to stay in Washington Township not only because of the gaggle of grandparents, but because “Matt and I want to give our children the same great opportunities we were lucky enough to receive”.
While at North Central, Sara was part of the Swimming and Diving team, Student Council, Learning Unlimited and Junior Spec. Sara earned the individual State Championship for Diving her senior year and that accomplishment ranks as one of her best high school memories. “The level of competition and experience helped prepare me for the collegiate level and provided skills that I utilize today.”
That was certainly not the only impactful part of her educational experience. “Growing up in Washington Township and attending North Central provided an environment that was conducive to becoming a well-rounded person. Both the academic and athletic environments were top-notch. Even though North Central is a large school, I felt like my teachers and the administrators focused on me as an individual, which is important for goal setting and personal growth.”
Sara and Matt continue to cherish the lifelong friendships forged by their Washington Township foundation and are excited for her three young future Panthers as they get closer to their journey through Washington Township schools.