BigWigs & New Gigs: Tourism & Hospitality
Site Manager Hired for State Historic Site
The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites has promoted Tiffany Parker to site manager for the Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site in Rome City. Parker previously served as the site's naturalist. She has been with the museum since 2010. Parker will oversee daily operations, programming and visitor and community relations. She holds an environmental science degree from Marian University.
Mesker Park Zoo Makes Staff Changes
Meskar Park Zoo and Botanic Garden in Evansville has promoted Misty Minar to botanical curator. Also, Danny Schembre has been named marketing director. Minar has been with the zoo 24 years, and has helped develop the zoo’s botanical collection. She previously served as the zoo’s horticulture-focused grounds maintenance employee. Schembre previously worked as a digital strategist for Oswald Marketing.
VLWL Hires Sports Marketing Manager
Visit Lafayette–West Lafayette has hired Emily Weisenberger sports marketing manager. She most recently served as visitor information specialist at the organization while a student at Purdue University. She graduated in May from the university's Hospitality and Tourism Program with a concentration in environmental sustainability.
Visit Fort Wayne Adds Staff Member
Visit Fort Wayne has named Auvis Cole director of sales. He most recently served as director of sales and services at the Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau. Cole is also the managing director of Destination Prime, a consulting firm that conducts various market analysis in the tourism industry.
Conrad Names Executive Chef
Conrad Indianapolis has appointed Sven Hildebrandt as executive chef. He joins the hotel from the Hilton McLean Tyson’s Corner in Virginia, where he served as executive sous chef. Hildebrandt brings over 20 years of culinary experience with luxurious, award-winning hotel properties in Virginia, Arizona and Ireland. He received his culinary arts diploma from Hotel Russischer Hof in Weimar, Germany.
Fort Wayne Hotel Names Manager
White Lodging has named Kevin Croy to lead the Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Wayne Downtown team as general manager. The 136-room Hampton Inn & Suites is slated to open in July and is currently hiring for more than 20 positions. Croy was most recently the owner and operator of Fleet Feet Fort Wayne.
White Lodging Names Two Regional Leaders
Merrillville-based White Lodging has hired Brian Hutchins as regional vice president, Urban & Lifestyle. The company also promoted Nicole Coughlan to regional director of operations, Suburban Select. Hutchins previously served at Wischermann Partners where he oversaw all hotels within the company's portfolio as vice president of operations. Coughlan takes on her new role after serving as a general manager at White Lodging for the past six years.
SoIN Tourism Adds Guljas
SoIN Tourism has hired Katerina Guljas as its Visual Content Manager. Guljas is responsible for developing and implementing visual content in the organization's marketing channels. She comes to SoIN Tourism’s marketing team with a strong background in graphic design and project management. Guljas previously spent four years in the marketing department of Luckett & Farley Architects, Engineers & Interior Designers.
Indy Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Hires Executive Director
The Indy Rainbow Chamber of Commerce has hired Joey Amato as their new Executive Director. Amato recently relocated to Indianapolis from Nashville, Tennessee, but previously published an LGBT lifestyle magazine in Indianapolis called UNITE and worked closely with the Chamber through that publication. He will be taking over day-to-day operations of the Chamber including membership outreach, corporate partnerships and public relations.
Visit Indy Promotes Tisdul to Director
Visit Indy has promoted Roberta Tisdul to director of convention services. She will oversee the convention services team, who supports the more than 500-plus meeting planners who host their convention in Indy each year. Tisdul joined the organization more than a decade ago as an assistant, and has been promoted four times.
Muncie Visitors Bureau Appoints Marketing Director
The Muncie Visitors Bureau has appointed Jeff Bryan marketing director. He has spent nearly seven years as executive director of the Alexandria Monroe Chamber of Commerce. Bryan has also been secretary of the Eastern Indiana Tourism and Marketing Cooperative since 2014.
HRI Lodging Appoints GM
HRI Lodging has appointed Rick Schatz general manager for the dual-branded Hyatt Place and Hyatt Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. He previously served as the resort manager of the Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club in Massachusetts and director of operations at Le Meridien New Orleans.
SoIN Tourism Makes Hires, Promotion
SoIN Tourism has named Russell Goodwin (pictured) communications manager. He previously served as director of marketing at the Transit Authority of River City in Kentucky. Jen Bryant has been hired as visual content manager. Clint Bryant has been appointed CRM and website manager. Also, Brittany Schmoetzer (pictured) has been promoted to visitor services coordinator.
Marriott IndyPlace Welcomes Hanna as Market Director
Marriott IndyPlace has named Jennifer Hanna market director of catering sales. She brings more than 15 years of hospitality experience to her new position. Hanna previously spent three years with Le Meridien Indianapolis and Azul Hospitality Group as director of sales and marketing. Prior to this, she served as senior sales manager at JW Marriott Indianapolis.
Visit Fort Wayne Hires Two
Visit Fort Wayne has named Carolyn Shelton visitor services specialist. She will assist with visitor inquiries, communicate with local partners and manage merchandise in the Fort Wayne Visitors Center. Rachel Stephens has been hired as group services and niche marketing manager. She will work with the group sales team to develop and implement marketing campaigns to position Fort Wayne as a destination for meetings, conventions, trade shows, and sports tournaments.
JSK Hospitality Names Director
JSK Hospitality has named Michael Staszewski director of sales and marketing for their Holiday Inn in Mishawaka. He will be leading a team of four in an intense hospitality market in north central Indiana. Staszewski previously served as area business development manager for multiple Hilton properties in the region.
SoIN Tourism Makes Promotions
SoIN Tourism has promoted Luanne Mattson to assistant director, marketing & sales. She started with the organization in 2014 leading media relations strategies and managing the bureau’s website and annual visitor guide publication. Also, Todd Read has been promoted to trade & consumer sales manager. He will continue to oversee visitor outreach at local festivals and at consumer travel shows from Nashville to Chicago.
Embassy Suites Plainfield Makes Appointments
Embassy by Hilton Plainfield Indianapolis Airport, a Sun Development and Management Co. hotel, has appointed Ben Joos general manager. He previously served as general manager of the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Downtown Indianapolis. Also, Mike Grabowski has been named director of sales.
ECCVB Names Director
The Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau has named Jon Hunsberger director of destination development. He most recently served as assistant administrator for planning and zoning in the city of Goshen. Prior to that, Hunsberger worked for the city of Indianapolis from 2014-2016 and was involved in the planning and implementation of a number of successful redevelopment projects.
Visit South Bend Mishawaka Hires Two
Visit South Bend Mishawaka has hired Susan O’Connor and Jake Brown. O’Connor has been named services & sales coordinator. She previously worked in the field of parks & recreation for more than 36 years, including 22 years as recreation director for the city of South Bend. Also, Brown has been appointed content manager. He previously worked at the South Bend Tribune for a year as a restaurant, retail and craft beverages columnist.
Visit Fort Wayne Hires Marketing Specialist
Visit Fort Wayne has named Crystal Cully a marketing specialist. She previously served as assistant director for graduate admissions and professional programs at Huntington University. Cully also previously served as associate director of admissions at Indiana Tech Law School.
Conrad Indianapolis Adds Director
Conrad Indianapolis has added Zachary Lockett as director of sales and marketing. He has spent more than 14 years working in the hospitality industry. Lockett began his career at the historic Waldorf Astoria New York, where he worked in rooms operations and revenue management and as assistant director of sales. Most recently, he led sales efforts for corporate convention business while serving as market senior account executive for Marriott IndyPlace.
Ruth’s Chris Names GM
Ruth’s Chris Steak House has promoted Matt Bauer to general manager of its downtown Indianapolis restaurant. He started with the steak house in 2002 as a server and bartender. Working his way up through the company ladder, Bauer was promoted to assistant general manager at Ruth’s Chris Indianapolis downtown location in 2012.
Dunn Hospitality Group Announces Leadership Changes
The vice president and chief financial officer of Evansville-based Dunn Hospitality Group has announced plans to retire. Robert Jobes has been affiliated with Dunn companies for 42 years and was CFO of Dunn Hospitality Group for more than 12 years. B. Eugene "Gene" Dawson has been named VP and CFO.
Mesker Park Zoo Head Taking Job in California
The executive director of the Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville is moving on. Amos Morris has led the organization for eight years and is taking a new position with a zoo in California. Director of Operations Erik Beck, who has been with the zoo for 22 years, will serve as interim director. Morris is leaving to become deputy director and chief operating officer of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. His last day will be June 30.
Ironworks Hotel Names Director of Sales
Ironworks Hotel Indy has named Greg Tucker director of sales. He previously served as corporate sales manager at the Sheraton Indianapolis at Keystone Crossing. Tucker also previously served as catering sales manager at Sheraton Indianapolis. In his new role, he will oversee all sales-related activities of the hotel. Tucker has 13 years of sales experience in the hospitality industry, including three sales management positions here in Indianapolis.
Ironworks Hotel Indy Hires GM
Ironworks Hotel Indy, the first boutique hotel on Indianapolis’ north side, has hired Amy Isbell-Williams as general manager. She will oversee all operations for the hotel. Isbell-Williams’ 13 years of experience in the hospitality industry will be instrumental in ensuring a successful grand opening this fall.
Hamilton County Tourism Hires Director of Sales
Hamilton County Tourism has named Laura Kelner director of sales. She previously served in a similar role at Visit Indy. Kelner will oversee the Sales and Sports Authority departments while leading efforts to increase economic impact, demand for hotel rooms and meeting venues in Hamilton County.
Conrad Indianapolis Adds to Sales Team
Conrad Indianapolis has named Amy Alston senior sales manager. She is a veteran of the hospitality industry and brings experience from luxury hotels in Chicago, New York and Boston. Alston led her team in a similar role in the opening of the Thompson Hotel in Chicago, where she built and managed corporate and transient travel.
White Lodging Makes Leadership Changes
Merrillville-based White Lodging Services Corp. has announced several changes it to its senior leadership team. Chief Financial Officer Ken Barrett (pictured) has been promoted to chief executive officer while current CEO, Dave Sibley, will succeed Keith Daub as chief operating officer upon his retirement at the end of the year. Sibley will serve as COO of White Lodging's full-service portfolio.
Visit Indy Names Communications Coordinator
Visit Indy has named Nate Swick communications coordinator. He recently graduated from Butler University with a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications and Marketing. In his new role, Swick will be charged with leisure media relations in Visit Indy's drive-in regional markets including Louisville, Cincinnati, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Dayton, Champaign, and more.
Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau Hires Director
Janis Logsdon has joined the Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau as director of marketing and advertising. She previously served as sales and marketing director for Amish Acres in Nappanee from May 2006 to March 2016. Logsdon is a graduate of Indiana University with bachelor’s degrees in theater and telecommunications.
Visit South Bend Mishawaka Promotes Turak
Visit South Bend Mishawaka has promoted Becky Turak to director of sales. She has been with the organization for the past two years, as sales & services manager. Previously she worked for First Hospitality Group in hotel sales and was named Director of Sales of the Year for 2013. The company also hired Lindsay Ference as sales & services manager. She most recently served as an account manager for Summit Planners Inc.