IBJNews

Who's Who in Hospitality - 2011

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Every business sector has influential players, whether they are in the public eye or wield their influence behind the scenes. In a monthly feature that runs in the first issue of the month through October, IBJ is identifying those players in eight different categories.

The women and men listed here represent some of the key players in the hospitality sector, which we’ve broadly defined to cover arts, entertainment, food service, lodging, recreation and tourism. The names come from our own news staff, peer recommendations and public nominations—a long list, which was peer reviewed and culled to create the list that follows. For a variety of reasons, three individuals who made the final list are not depicted here; they are: Chris Ratay, director of marketing at the Omni-Severin Hotel; Stephanie Schulz, director of conventions and meetings at the NCAA; and Bruce White, president and CEO of White Lodging.
 

 
Janel Allen

Janet Allen, 55
Artistic Director
Indiana Repertory Theatre


As the IRT’s artistic director, Janet Allen oversees the production process and education outreach programs. Along with Managing Director Steven Stolen, she supervises all aspects of the theater, its strategies and its growth––keeping IRT in the forefront of local dramatic organizations.

Allen joined the theater in 1980, as its first literary manager/dramaturge, and was named to her current position, as the fourth artistic director, in 1996. Throughout, she has been passionate about the art and craft of creating plays, helping to make IRT known for fostering budding playwrights. She has never aspired to act or write plays, but she has energetically worked to expand the theater’s reach. Allen has also worked to expand educational programming, which includes the juried Young Playwrights in Process, a program encouraging students in grades six through 12 to try their hands at writing plays.

Allen studied theater at Illinois State University, Indiana University and Exeter College, Oxford. As a classical theater specialist, she has published and taught theater history and dramaturgy at IUPUI and Butler University.

Allen, a graduate of the Stanley K. Lacy Leadership program, is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Girls Inc. 2004 Touchstone Award for Arts Leadership. She and her husband live in Chatham Arch along with their two daughters.
 

 
Max Anderson

Maxwell L. Anderson, 54
President and CEO
Indianapolis Museum of Art


Max Anderson was named the Melvin & Bren Simon director and CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2006 and has been a high-profile leader in the arts ever since. During his tenure at the IMA, he has changed the shape of the museum. In 2010 alone, he added more than 125 works to the museum’s permanent collection as part of the museum’s 125th anniversary celebration and oversaw the opening of 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, one of the largest art parks in the country. Under his leadership, the museum secured the donation of Miller House and Garden, the iconic Eero Saarinen’s home in Columbus, which will open to the public later this spring.

Nationally, Anderson has pursued solutions to challenges facing art museums and has championed the rights of artists to receive fair tax treatment when donating works of art to museums. And he launched two consecutive projects to build international libraries of digital media documenting the collections and activities of art museums—one for still images (AMICO), and one for video (ArtBabble). In 2009, the IMA received the 2009 National Medal of Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries that make extraordinary civic, educational, economic, environmental and social contributions.

Anderson has degrees from Dartmouth and Harvard and served as museum director for the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others, before coming to Indianapolis. He is married to Jacqueline Buckingham Anderson, who is also active in the community.
 

 
Tanya Bell

Tanya Bell, 36
President and CEO
Indiana Black Expo Inc.


As president of Indiana Black Expo, Bell oversees Summer Celebration and Circle City Classic, events estimated to generate $40 million in spending for the local economy. Summer Celebration, one of the nation’s largest cultural events, spans 11 days and attracts nearly 300,000 visitors. Circle City Classic, a joint venture with the Indiana Sports Corp., attracts about 200,000 visitors each year. The Classic supports educational achievement and showcases traditionally black colleges and universities. Under Bell’s leadership, the Classic has provided more than $150,000 in scholarships to Indiana students.

Bell works with a staff of 20 and approximately 1,500 volunteers throughout the state to execute Indiana Black Expo’s fundraising events and year-round program and initiatives, which include back-to-school rallies, college-readiness workshops, the Indiana College and Scholars Fair, an internship program, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest, We Can Feed the Hungry, and Commit 2 Quit Anti-Tobacco Campaign.

Bell received her undergraduate degree from Indiana State University and her law degree from Indiana University School of Law. Immediately before joining Indiana Black Expo, she served as an adjunct legal writing professor at IU School of Law Indianapolis and as the assistant general counsel for Community Health Network, a billion-dollar not-for-profit health system. She also worked at the law firms of Ogletree Deakins and Ice Miller.

Bell serves on the boards of the United Way of Central Indiana, the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association and Indiana Sports Corp., and she is a trustee for Indiana State University. Bell is an advisory board member for Key Bank, and she was recently named to the Key4Women National Advisory Board.
 

 
Jeff Belskus

Jeffrey G. Belskus, 51
President and CEO
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp.


Jeff Belskus has served as president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. since July 2009. He joined IMS in 1987 and was named vice president in 1991. In 1994, he was named executive vice president and chief financial officer for Hulman & Co., Terre Haute, and its subsidiaries, including the Speedway and the Indy Racing League. The Speedway estimates that its three key events—the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race and the Red Bull USGP motorcycle race—generate an economic impact of $725 million a year for the state.

Belskus serves on several boards, including those of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where he is the vice chairman; Indiana State University Foundation, where he is chairman of the audit committee; and Morris Plan Co. of Terre Haute. In Indianapolis, he serves on the boards of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, the 500 Festival, the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association. His professional affiliations include the American Institute of CPAs and the Indiana CPA Society, and the Indianapolis chapter of Financial Executives International.

A 1981 graduate of Indiana State University, Belskus and his wife, Debbie, live in Zionsville and have two grown children.
 

The women and men listed here represent some of the key players in the hospitality sector, which we’ve broadly defined to cover arts, entertainment, food service, lodging, recreation and tourism. The names come from our own news staff, peer recommendations and public nominations—a long list, which was peer reviewed and culled to create the list that follows. For a variety of reasons, three individuals who made the final list are not depicted here; they are: Chris Ratay, director of marketing at the Omni-Severin Hotel; Stephanie Schulz, director of conventions and meetings at the NCAA; and Bruce White, president and CEO of White Lodging.

 
Scott Blalock

Scott Blalock, 49
Vice President and General Manager
JW Marriott Indianapolis


As general managerof the biggest Mar-riott in the world, Indianapolis’ Big Blue, Scott Blalock found himself in the spotlight in February as the hotel opened with much media attention. Although his title hitches him to the Marriott, he actually works for White Lodging, a Merrillville-based company that develops and manages premium hotels, including more than 100 Marriott properties.

Blalock joined White Lodging in 2006 as regional vice president for the Chicago/Northwest Indiana area, a position he held until becoming general manager of the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, which was the city’s largest hotel until the opening of the JW Marriott.

About 22 years ago, when Blalock graduated from Southwest Texas State University, he realized the economy was moving toward service.

“I loved hospitality and wanted to get with a company that would offer training and opportunities,” he said. He went to the phone book and called hotels in Austin, asking if he could visit with the general manager. The general manager at the Austin Marriott spent about an hour with the ambitious young man, which led to his joining the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter. Blalock stayed with Marriott until joining White Lodging. Within the Marriott organization, he has worked in various capacities and in a range of Marriott brands: Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inns and SpringHill Suites, among others. His final assignment before joining White Lodging was as general manager of Marriott’s Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Born and raised in Beaumont, Texas, near Houston, Blalock has been in Indianapolis for three years. He and his wife, Renee, have two children.
 

 
Michael Browning

Michael G. Browning, 62
President and CEO
Browning Investments Inc.


As resumes go in Indianapolis, Michael Browning’s is a blockbuster. Over the past several decades, his professional career has been in real estate: chairman of the board and president of Browning Investments Inc., since 1981, and as owner of Browning Construction.

His hospitality credentials hang on his civic contributions, which are mighty. Browning has been driving the city’s future for decades, having served on the boards of the Indianapolis Project, Indianapolis Downtown Inc. and the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee. He has been one of the key players in turning Indianapolis into the amateur sports capital of the nation. Currently, he is chairman of the board of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, a critical role this year, as the city prepares for the Super Bowl and scrambles to fill the vacancy left by Don Welsh, the ICVA president and CEO who decamped for Chicago at the end of January.

Browning also serves on many boards, including those of the Indianapolis Urban League, the Indianapolis Golf Foundation, the Indiana Sports Corp., the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis Regional Economic Development Partnership, Special Olympics and St. Vincent Health.

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Browning serves on the school’s Graduate School Advisory Council and is a recipient of its Notre Dame Man of the Year award. He was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash from governors Bayh and Kernan and holds honorary doctorates from Marian College and Martin University. He is the 2010 recipient of the Charles L. Whistler Award, honoring Browning’s leadership in bringing public and private sectors together for civic improvement—the highest award given by the Mayor’s Office.
 

 
John Clark

John D. Clark III, 50
Executive Director and CEO
Indianapolis Airport Authority


Coming here direct, nonstop from Jack-sonville, Fla., John Clark has been the man in charge since the opening of the city’s new airport, the first post-9/11-designed-and-built airport in the world. While that airport is certainly the best known of the airfields Clark oversees, he also has responsibility for all the greater metropolitan fields, including Eagle Creek, Hendricks County and the downtown heliport.

Locally, Clark is serving on the boards of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association and the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee. He holds a degree in aviation administration, as well as a master’s degree in public administration, and is a past board member of the American Association of Airport Executives.

Clark has an ace in the hole for this coming year: He was in Jacksonville serving as executive director and CEO of the airport when that city hosted the Super Bowl, so he knows how to field the demands and related complications. Before his work in Jacksonville, he worked as Detroit’s airport director and CEO and held management positions with airports in Sacramento County and Fresno in California.

An accredited airport executive, Clark is a past board member of the American Association of Airport Executives and the immediate past chairman of the 2009 Airports Council International NA and is a member of the ACI World Governing Board. He holds degrees from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and Golden Gate University.
 

 
Brian Comes

Brian Comes, 45
General Manager
Hyatt Regency Indianapolis


During Brian Comes’ tenure as GM ofthe Hyatt, he has overseen more than $16 million in renovations to the hotel, including the addition of a ballroom and restaurant and a complete remodel of the lobby. This year, he is overseeing renovations to the guest rooms and the Eagle’s Nest, the hotel’s revolving, roof-top restaurant. Comes is proud of the fact that the average length of service at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis is more than nine years, which he attributes to the hotel’s being a wage leader in the local market and to wage increases and full-time benefits provided to associates even during the recession. Comes has been with Hyatt Hotels Corp. since 1988, and during that time has worked in many cities, including San Diego and New Orleans, before arriving in Indianapolis in 2007.

Comes has been active in the city’s hospitality sector, currently serving as president of the Greater Indianapolis Hotel and Lodging Association and as a member of the Super Bowl host committee. Comes was nominated Hyatt’s General Manager of the Year in 2008 and was awarded Hyatt’s Donald N. Pritzker Sales Service Award in 2001 as Director of Catering and Convention Services at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego.

A graduate of James Madison University, he and his wife have two children.
 

 
Mike Crowther

Michael I. Crowther, 58
President and CEO
Indianapolis Zoological Society


Michael Crowther was appointed president and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoological Society in 2002. Crowther’s passion is the conservation of wild things and wild places, and he believes that the accredited zoos and aquariums of the world can play an important role in building connections between humans and nature, resulting in increased personal conservation action. While at the zoo, Crowther has presided over the creation and implementation of the Indianapolis Prize program, the world’s largest award for animal conservation. He developed the Indianapolis Zoo’s strategy of promoting sustainable behaviors.

As a professional fellow of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Crowther serves on several boards, committees and task forces, including those of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, the National Elephant Center and the International Species Information System. Locally, he serves on the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association board and is a member of the IUPUI Museum Advisory Council and the CELL/BioCrossroads Task Force.

Crowther has led Indianapolis Zoo expeditions to Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya, Madagascar, Alaska and other locations as part of the zoo’s mission to “empower people and communities, both locally and globally, to advance animal conservation.”

Before coming to Indianapolis, he headed the New Jersey State Aquarium. Crowther, who was born in England and came to the United States when young, and his wife, Eileen, are parents to two daughters.

The women and men listed here represent some of the key players in the hospitality sector, which we’ve broadly defined to cover arts, entertainment, food service, lodging, recreation and tourism. The names come from our own news staff, peer recommendations and public nominations—a long list, which was peer reviewed and culled to create the list that follows. For a variety of reasons, three individuals who made the final list are not depicted here; they are: Chris Ratay, director of marketing at the Omni-Severin Hotel; Stephanie Schulz, director of conventions and meetings at the NCAA; and Bruce White, president and CEO of White Lodging.

 
James Dora

James E. Dora Jr., 46
President and CEO
General Hotels Corp.


Operating under theInterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott and Hilton brands, General Hotels Corp. was founded in 1962 by Jim Dora’s father and uncle and operates hotels throughout Indiana, including the Crowne Plaza at Historic Union Station, Homewood Suites At-the-Crossing and the Holiday Inn North at the Pyramids and Caribbean Cove Indoor Water Park. Dora spearheads the company’s long-term-strategy development. He has led the company to develop a vision of its role in hospitality and has established it as a leading Indiana hotel-management company. He also oversees the corporation’s operation and has managed its capital construction projects.

Dora is involved in InterContinental Hotels and Resorts International Association of Holiday Inn Owner’s Association, a group pivotal in establishing direction for the brand. He also serves on InterContinental Hotels and Resorts’ Priority Club committee.

As a member of a family business, Dora started out washing dishes and putting furniture in hotel rooms as a young teen. His responsibilities have changed dramatically since his early days, but his enthusiasm has never waned. He likes all the customer interaction and the fact that his days are generally different.

“You never know what kind of problem is going to pop up, whether it’s a customer, employee or physical issue,” he said. “That keeps it interesting.”

Dora received his undergraduate degree in hospitality and tourism management from Purdue University. He serves on the boards of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Purdue’s Hospitality and Tourism Strategic Alliance, Indianapolis Downtown Inc., and the Capital Improvement Board. Dora is an active volunteer reserve police officer for Indianapolis, where he holds the rank of sergeant. He is married and has two children.
 

 
Kelly Early

Kelly Early, 41
Co-owner
Thomas Caterers of Distinction


Thomas Caterers of Distinction is a family business, begun in 1983 by Kelly Early’s parents. For Early, joining the family business after graduating from Ball State University was a logical step. She worked as an administrative assistant in the office and a supervisor of events until 2001, when her mother, Susann Thomas-Crannell, retired and Kelly was tapped as general manager.

Since Early assumed leadership at the company, Thomas Caterers has won more than 40 local and international awards and has gained a reputation for producing outstanding catered events, managing about 500 events annually. Thomas Caterers also operates TODD by Thomas, a wedding cake business; and Cornerstone Catering and the Double Eagle Café, both at the Scottish Rite Cathedral. For more than a year, Early has devoted time and energy to the design, construction and marketing of the company’s new venue, D’Amore Event of Indianapolis, which is on the 48th floor of the Chase Tower.

Early has written several articles for national trade publications and speaks regularly on various industry-related topics at venues across the country, including colleges, conferences and industry events. She has been actively involved in the International Special Events Society, Indiana Chapter, including serving on the board, as the society’s president, as the Midwest regional vice president, and on the national organization’s international relations committee. When she was regional vice president, the Midwest region won the award for region of the year.
 

 
Mike Fox

Michael A. Fox, 48
Stadium Director
Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium


In 1984, Mike Fox began an internship at the then-named Indiana Convention Center and Hoosier Dome. An Indiana University student, where he was a basketball manager under Coach Bob Knight, Fox graduated in 1985, and his internship turned into full-time employment in January of that year. Fox found the organization an ideal fit and worked his way up to event coordinator, sports director and finally stadium director of the RCA Dome, a position he has held since 1989.

Fox played an integral role in numerous high-profile RCA Dome events, including the 1987 Pan American Games, the 1987 World Indoor Track & Field Championships, the 1991 World Gymnastics Championships, the 2002 World Basketball Championship and the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Wrestling, along with Colts-NFL playoffs. He has also served on the local organizing committee for the NCAA Women’s Final Four, the NCAA Men’s Final Four and the bid committees for the 2012 Super Bowl and 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Fox was influential in the growth of the RCA Dome, overseeing major renovations, and was part of the design team for Lucas Oil Stadium. Fox is currently involved in preparing for upcoming events planned for Lucas Oil Stadium: the Super Bowl, 2015 NCAA Men’s Final Four, Drum Corps International Championships, Circle City Classic and Bands of America, among other national and international events.

Born in Richmond, Fox is married and has two sons. In his spare time, he enjoys refereeing high school and college basketball, coaching youth sports and playing golf. Fox is a member of the Stadium Managers Association and the Association of Retractable Roof Operators Worldwide.
 

 
Rick Fuson

Rick Fuson, 57
Chief Operating Officer
Pacers Sports and Entertainment


Market Square Arena was just a decade old when Rick Fuson joined the Pacers’ organization in 1984 as director of special events for Market Square Arena. Fuson steadily moved up in the organization and the Pacers moved to their current home at Conseco Fieldhouse in 1999, a move Fuson helped orchestrate. He’s gained the reputation for being able to manage big events, having produced the opening ceremonies of the 2001 World Police and Fire Games and the closing ceremonies of the 1987 Pan Am Games. He has served on the organizing committee for every local Big Ten Basketball Championship and currently serves on the 2012 Super Bowl Committee.

If there’s a big event downtown, Fuson is almost certain to be part of it or to have been consulted about it. He serves on the boards of Indianapolis Downtown Inc., the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, Indiana Sports Corp., Pacers Foundation and the 2012 Super Bowl Committee. He is a member of the International Association of Assembly Managers.

During his career, he has received such honors as the Indianapolis Ambassadors 1988 Community Service Award and has been named to IBJ’s “Who’s Who in Sports” and “Forty under Forty.” He has been active with the Indianapolis Fellowship of Christian Athletes. A lifelong resident of Indianapolis and a graduate of Indiana University, Fuson has three children.
 

 
Gahl

Chris Gahl, 33
Director of Communications
Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association

Chris Gahl serves as director of communication for the ICVA, making him the company’s official spokesman. He also develops communication strategy and directs public relations activities to help drive tourism. Before joining the ICVA in 2005, he was part owner of a public relations firm in Hawaii that represented, among other clients, both the Oahu and Maui visitors bureaus.

Born and raised in Indianapolis, Gahl graduated from Butler University and sits on the career services board of the university and is a past member of Butler’s Young Alumni Board. A graduate of Pike High School, he sits on his alma mater’s alumni board. He is on the local organizing committees of the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament and on the board for One Film Can, an ambitious campaign to raise funds for Heartland Truly Moving Pictures. He is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers, an organization that will hold its North American meeting in Indianapolis in 2012, and the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee. In conjunction with the Super Bowl, Gahl has traveled to three Super Bowls to promote Indianapolis and tourism. He is a past board member of the Hoosier chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Gahl and his wife, Catherine, have two young sons.
 

The women and men listed here represent some of the key players in the hospitality sector, which we’ve broadly defined to cover arts, entertainment, food service, lodging, recreation and tourism. The names come from our own news staff, peer recommendations and public nominations—a long list, which was peer reviewed and culled to create the list that follows. For a variety of reasons, three individuals who made the final list are not depicted here; they are: Chris Ratay, director of marketing at the Omni-Severin Hotel; Stephanie Schulz, director of conventions and meetings at the NCAA; and Bruce White, president and CEO of White Lodging.

 
John Herbst

John A. Herbst, 58
President and CEO
Indiana Historical Society


Appointed to lead the Indiana Historical Society in 2006, John Herbst came to the position with more than three decades of experience as an educator, curator and exhibit specialist. Since taking the helm, he has led an ambitious campaign to raise funds to make the history center a more interactive, experiential destination. Under Herbst’s vision and direction, the IHS designed and opened the award-winning Indiana Experience in 2010. The interactive Indiana Experience exhibits use innovative technology to bring two-dimensional photographs to life and have enlivened the IHS.

Herbst began his career as a high school teacher in Paterson, N.J. He jumped from teaching to being curator of the Paterson Museum, serving as education director at the New Jersey Historical Society, and leading the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. He moved to Indiana to become president of Conner Prairie, where he implemented major changes and led the museum’s separation from Earlham College during his five-year stint. After leaving Conner Prairie and before his move to the IHS, Herbst was president and CEO of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.

Currently, Herbst serves on the boards of Crown Hill Cemetery Foundation, the Rivers Institute of Hanover College and the Association of Midwest Museums. He has also served on the boards of the American Association for State and Local History, the Indiana Tourism Council, the Mid-Atlantic Museum Association, among many other organizations.

Herbst’s avocation is gardening and he tends an award-winning garden surrounding his 1890 home in downtown Indianapolis. The garden has been featured in several publications, including Better Homes and Gardens: Garden Design and Outdoor Living. He has one son.
 

 
Cindy Hoye

Cynthia Hoye, 53
Executive Director
Indiana State Fair Commission


In her position, Cynthia Hoye overseesoperations of year-round activities at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Under Hoye’s leadership, operations have been streamlined; visitor and employee safety has been improved; the facilities have been upgraded; and year-round educational opportunities have been created. Hoye oversaw the 150th anniversary of the state fair and created the featured commodity concept, in which each year celebrates an aspect of Indiana agriculture—2010 was the year of pigs and 2011 is the year of soybeans. The fairgrounds are open every day of the year, hosting a variety of events and exhibitions, attended by more than 2.1 million visitors.

Hoye has become a national leader in the fair industry and recently chaired the board of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions. Hoye speaks to fair organizations across the country about their responsibility to educate consumers from “farm gate to dinner plate.” She is recipient of the Certified Fair Executive Award.

In her youth, Hoye spent many summers participating at the Indiana State Fair as a 4-H member and became hooked on the fair business while working as an intern for the Texas State Fair and a county fair in Wisconsin. Before accepting a position as marketing director of the Indiana State Fair in 1988, Hoye was special events director for the Wisconsin State Fair.
 

 
Gene Huddleson

Lyle Gene Huddleson II, 50
Owner
Detail + Design


Gene Huddleson has been in the event-planning industry more than 20 years, beginning his career in Los Angeles, where he spent a decade in special events. He has also worked in New York and Europe, absorbing many styles and techniques along the way. He founded his Indianapolis company in 1997 as a floral and design company, and in 2003, he expanded it to become a full-service event, wedding coordination, floral and décor company. In 2004, he added residential interior and exterior décor to his repertoire. His work has added flair to many high-profile events, including the February grand opening of the JW Marriott.

For the 1995-1996 holiday season, Huddleson was chosen to be a holiday designer for the vice president’s residence in Washington, D.C., which he considers a highlight of his career. He regularly speaks on events and event planning throughout the community, including regular appearances on the WXIN-TV Channel 59 morning show. His work has garnered national and local awards for events such as the Emmis Grand Opening, the Dale Chihuly exhibit opening at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and Rolls Royce corporate events. He is past president of the Indiana chapter of the International Special Events Society. Through his company, Huddleson donates $16,000 to $20,000 annually in time and floral design to a variety of charities, including most recently the Pink Tie Ball for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
 

 
Huse

Craig S. Huse, 40
President
St. Elmo Steak House and Harry & Izzy’s Restaurant


Craig Huse partnered with his father, Steve Huse, in 1997, in running St. Elmo Steak House, founded in 1902, and Huse today oversees that restaurant and the company’s other restaurants. Harry & Izzy’s, named after earlier owners of St. Elmo’s, opened in 2007, and an airport location opened in 2009; the company plans to open a third location on Indianapolis’ north side in November 2011.

In addition to running St. Elmo’s and Harry & Izzy’s, Huse is partner in 26 Arby’s Restaurant franchises operating in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Iowa and a partner in Heartland Investment, a real-estate investment company.

Huse is actively involved in the community, serving on the boards of the Indiana Restaurant Association and the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association. He is on the development board of Riley Hospital for Children and is a member of the executive committee of Young Presidents Organization, Indiana Chapter. His past board memberships include the Capital Improvement Board, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, IUPUI Tourism Conventions and Management education program and the Downtown Indianapolis Chapter of the Indiana Restaurant Association, where he also served as president. He served as co-chairman for the inaugural U.S. Grand Prix Formula One race in 2000.

Huse launched into the restaurant business at age 14, as a dishwasher at Poor Richard’s Restaurant in Bloomington. He has also worked at Houston’s Restaurant in Washington, D.C., and Checkers in Indiana. Huse and his wife, Jill, have two children. Among other interests he pursues, Huse is a private pilot.
 

 
Ann Lathrop

Ann Lathrop, 42
Partner
Crowe Horwath LLP


Although Ann Lathrop’s resume chronicles more than 20 years of experience in both the private and public sectors, she managed to maintain a fairly low profile until she became president of the Marion County Capital Improvement Board in January 2010, after two years as the board’s treasurer. Lathrop took the helm as the organization was on center stage for its deficit crisis. Working with the city and CIB’s various stakeholders, Lathrop and the board have found a path to firmer financial standing and, at the end of 2010, CIB was in much better shape than had been projected. Lathrop is the first woman to become board president of CIB, which operates the Indiana Convention Center, Lucas Oil Stadium, Conseco Fieldhouse, Victory Field, Virginia Avenue Parking Garage and Capitol Commons.

Lathrop, a certified public accountant, leads the market development and sales group for Crowe, which is responsible for marketing strategy, advertising, branding, Web development, social media strategies, publishing, marketing execution, lead generation, inside sales, proposal development and field sales compensation management.  Lathrop is also an executive member of Crowe Relationship Management.

Lathrop has been active in the public sector since 1991. Beyond her current position with the Capital Improvement Board, she is president of the Fort Harrison Reuse Authority and is a member of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association board.

Lathrop was also the first woman named controller for the city of Indianapolis, an appointment made in 1997; she had served as deputy controller before that. Lathrop was part of Mayor Greg Ballard’s transition team and led a fiscal review for the city after Ballard’s election in 2007. She has also served as the chief financial officer for the Department of Metropolitan Development.  

The women and men listed here represent some of the key players in the hospitality sector, which we’ve broadly defined to cover arts, entertainment, food service, lodging, recreation and tourism. The names come from our own news staff, peer recommendations and public nominations—a long list, which was peer reviewed and culled to create the list that follows. For a variety of reasons, three individuals who made the final list are not depicted here; they are: Chris Ratay, director of marketing at the Omni-Severin Hotel; Stephanie Schulz, director of conventions and meetings at the NCAA; and Bruce White, president and CEO of White Lodging.

 
Dave Lawrence

Dave Lawrence, 43
President and CEO
Arts Council of Indianapolis


In his current position, Dave Lawrence serves as the chief arts advocate for the arts and cultural community of Indianapolis, leads the professional staff of the Arts Council, and represents the arts community in local, regional and national matters. His work includes the development of grants for arts and cultural organizations, as well as fellowship programs for professional artists, including the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship program. Most recently, Lawrence created and opened the Arts Council’s Gallery 924, a fine arts gallery to support and exhibit the work of central Indiana artists.

Before joining the Arts Council, Lawrence worked with a variety of organizations, including the Indianapolis Opera, Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Clowes Memorial Hall, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Indiana University Auditorium and the INB Broadway series. He currently serves on the Host Committee for the 2012 Super Bowl, as a member of the Indy Hub Advisory Committee, the Indiana Nonprofit Sector Advisory Board for the Center for Philanthropy, and the steering committee for Music Crossroads. He is also on the boards of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, and the Indianapolis Cultural Commission.

Lawrence is a graduate of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership program, an Arts Management Fellow of Chorus America, and a founding member of Americans for the Arts’ Emerging Leaders Council.

Beyond his work with the arts community, Lawrence travels the world riding roller coasters and estimates that he has ridden at least 544 coasters in places such as Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Germany and Italy. He is a graduate of DePauw University.
 

 
Barney Levengood

Barney Levengood, 56
Executive Director
Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium

Since 1991, Barney Levengood has been responsible for operations at the former Indiana Convention Center and RCA Dome, today’s Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium. The facility has changed dramatically under his guidance. Levengood oversaw a $43 million expansion and renovation in 1993, a $60 million expansion in 2001, the $720 million Lucas Oil Stadium development, and the recently opened $275 million convention center expansion.

Levengood has been involved in managing several other public venues downtown, including Victory Field, Conseco Fieldhouse and the Virginia Avenue parking garage.

Before coming to Indianapolis, Levengood was executive director of Toledo’s SeaGate Centre, where he had 12 years’ experience operating public facilities. Before that, he was director of building services and then director of client services at the Baltimore Convention Center. From 1980 until 1984, Levengood served as director of operations and then assistant director of the Baltimore Civic Arena. He also worked for Towson State University. Levengood got his start as general manager of the club hockey team while working on his master’s degree in sports administration and facility management at Ohio University.

Levengood, who was born in Pottstown, Pa., is married and has four children and four grandchildren.
 

 
Steven Libman

Steven B. Libman, 51
President and CEO
Center for the Performing Arts, Carmel


Well before the grand opening of the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in January, Steven Libman was on the ground running in Indiana. Libman is responsible for the strategic direction of the center, programming for its three venues, hiring staff, and working with the board. He also works collaboratively with Artistic Director Michael Feinstein.

Before moving to Indiana in 2009, Libman was managing director for the Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse in California from 2005 until 2008. While at La Jolla, Libman grew the budget to $15 million, successfully transferred productions to Broadway, and supervised a staff of 100 full-time and more than 125 part-time employees. During his tenure, he led fundraising efforts that brought in more than $12 million in annual support.

From 1991 until 2004, he was managing director of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, where he raised more than $50 million and produced more than 20 original ballets, including works set to the music of contemporary artists Sting, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen and Gunther Schuller. Other professional experience includes work with the Fulton Opera House in Lancaster, Pa., and the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, R.I.

Libman graduated magna cum laude from Rhode Island College and received the 2000 Alumni Honor Roll Award from the school in recognition for his achievements within the arts. He serves on the national advisory panel for the Graduate Arts Management Program at Carnegie Mellon University.
 

 
john livengood

John Livengood, 63
Partner
LMV Consulting


While LMV Consulting may be the top Google hit for John Livengood, he is widely known as the current president of the Indiana Restaurant Association, the Indiana Hotel and Lodging Association, the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers, and the Indiana Hospitality and Tourism Foundation. Before forming his consulting firm in 1990, Livengood served as chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party from 1984 until 1988. He has also worked with the Indiana General Assembly in various roles, ranging from state agency liaison to the Senate Democratic adviser under Gov. Frank O’Bannon to legislative liaison for Secretary of State Larry Conrad and Gov. Evan Bayh.

His legislative accomplishments include influencing the repeal of the sales tax on complimentary hotel rooms; creation of the Tourism Council and the Indiana Office of Tourism Development; improved food safety through food handling training and certification; and helping to defeat legislation that could have expanded access by minors to alcohol.

Livengood has served as a member of the Indiana Tourism Council, the Indiana Economic Development Council, the State Election Board and as a delegate to the White House Conference of Tourism. He is a member of numerous organizations and clubs, including the American Society of Association Executives and the Columbia Club. He served as president of the Indiana Society of Association Executives and received the group’s Association Executive of the Year award in 2006. Livengood is a graduate of Wabash College.
 

 
Debbie Locklear

Debbie Locklear, 56
President
Meeting Services Unlimited Inc.


In 1983, Debbie Lock-lear walked away from a 10-year career in hotel management to start her own business as an independent meeting manager. At the time, no other company in Indiana was doing exactly what she was, and as a pioneer in the state, she staked out her position as the go-to company for meetings, events, and convention planning and management. Her promise to clients was to help them obtain the best services and prices from meeting facilities and other entities. Over the years, her business has grown, and she now employs seven individuals, who work out of the offices she co-owns with her husband, Tom Corey. Visitors to those offices have probably met Locklear’s Maltese, who sits on her desk daily.

Meeting Services Unlimited plans and manages meetings for agencies, associations and corporations of all sizes. Locklear facilitates site selection, exhibitor and sponsorship development, and all other details. She worked with software developers to design special programs that fit the needs of her business and have become a foundation for all it does. The programs streamline many aspects of conference organization, including registration and housing services. She is constantly looking for new ways to simplify the meeting-planning process and strives to stay on top of all the innovations in her field.

Outside of business, Locklear enjoys boating with her husband and family.
 

The women and men listed here represent some of the key players in the hospitality sector, which we’ve broadly defined to cover arts, entertainment, food service, lodging, recreation and tourism. The names come from our own news staff, peer recommendations and public nominations—a long list, which was peer reviewed and culled to create the list that follows. For a variety of reasons, three individuals who made the final list are not depicted here; they are: Chris Ratay, director of marketing at the Omni-Severin Hotel; Stephanie Schulz, director of conventions and meetings at the NCAA; and Bruce White, president and CEO of White Lodging.

 
Allison Melangton

Allison Melangton, 49
President and CEO
Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee


With more than 25 years of na-tional and international sports management experience, Allison Melangton was chosen to lead the city’s Super Bowl Host Committee in October 2008. Rather than building a committee of experts from around the country, she recruited local experts. With the city’s depth of experience in sports and running large events, Melangton figured the local talent pool was deep enough and then some.

Melangton moved from Colorado to Indianapolis in 1983, just when the city was crafting its sports-tourism strategy and recruiting national sports organization to Indianapolis. Melangton joined USA Gymnastics, where she worked directing events for 12 years. She then joined the Indiana Sports Corp. as senior vice president of events, where she bid on, planned and directed numerous events, including the Olympic trials, Women’s NCAA Division I Basketball Championships and Big Ten tournaments. She administered the Super Bowl bids in 2011 and 2012. She has worked at seven Olympic games, four as an associate television producer of the gymnastics competition. She has won four Emmy Awards for her work.

Melangton, who has been involved in her church and Big Brothers, has given most of that up now. The clock is ticking down toward the Super Bowl, and she finds that her time has to be restricted to her job and her family. She does sit on the board of the Indiana Sports Corp. and Carl Hinkle Ministries. A native of Auburn, Maine, she is a graduate of Colorado State University, where she was a gymnast.

Melangton isn’t sure what she’ll do professionally after the Super Bowl other than work at the Summer Olympic Games in London in 2012.
 

 
Mark Miles

Mark D. Miles, 57
Chairman of the Board
2012 Super Bowl Host Committee


As president and CEO of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, Mark Miles focuses on long-term growth and economic development in central Indiana through initiatives in education, entrepreneurship and innovation, government reform and mass transit.

In 2008, Miles led a successful effort to bring Super Bowl XLVI to Indianapolis and is serving as chairman of the board of the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee. He has spearheaded the Legacy Project, a civic effort to bring positive change to the community in conjunction with the Super Bowl, with special emphasis on Youth Education Town and the revitalization of the East Tenth Street business district.

The sports spotlight hit Miles in 1984 when he was chosen to organize and produce the 1987 Pan American Games, an event that helped solidify Indianapolis as a force in the amateur sports movement. As president, Miles oversaw a $100 million event with 38,000 volunteers. After the Pan Am Games, Miles was president and volunteer tournament director of the U.S. Clay Court Championships, the professional tennis tournament that was played here until last year. He oversaw the transition of the event from clay courts to hard courts while doubling its revenue. Miles also served as executive director of corporate relations for Eli Lilly and Co. In 1990, he left Indianapolis to become president and CEO of the men’s professional tennis circuit.

A graduate of Wabash College, Miles serves on numerous civic and not-for-profit boards and committees.

Jeffrey Patchen

Jeffrey H. Patchen, 56
President and CEO
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis


Jeffrey Patchen has led the world’s largest children’s museum since 1999. Under his leadership, the physical growth and changes in the museum have been dramatic—how else can one describe a dinosaur breaking out of one wall and another peering in the new visitors’ reception area? The museum has also added a much-needed pedestrian bridge across Illinois Street and a new guest-reception area. New exhibits have been added and existing ones have been enhanced. Like the children who visit, the museum never stands still.

From 1996 until his move to Indianapolis, Patchen served as senior program officer for the Getty Education Institute for the Arts, a program of the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles. There, he created, directed and managed a portfolio of national and international programs geared to improve the quality of learning and teaching in the nation’s schools. Before that, Patchen held the Lyndhurst Endowed Chair of Excellence in Arts Education at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga and directed the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts. Patchen also served as a consultant and founding trustee for the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga. From 1984 until 1990, he was an arts consultant for the Indiana Department of Education.

A champion for integrating arts and humanities in general education, Patchen has held leadership positions in a variety of organizations, including the National Museum and Library Services Board, the Association of Children’s Museums, the National Network for Educational Renewal and the Transforming Education Through the Arts challenge grant program funded by the Annenberg Foundation.

Patchen earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Ithaca College in New York and his doctorate at Indiana University.
 

 
payne-brian-mug

Brian Payne, 52
President
Central Indiana Community Foundation and the Indianapolis Foundation

Brian Payne joined CICF in 2000 and has worked to strengthen and grow the organization. Under his leadership, annual grant-making has increased from $15 million to more than $40 million. Payne played a lead role in creating, developing and raising funds for the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick.

The eight-mile urban greenway will, when completed in 2012, connect all six of the city’s cultural districts with pedestrian and bike paths. Other key initiatives Payne is spearheading are CICF Family Success, CICF Inspiring Places and CICF College Readiness.

Before his CICF appointment, Payne was managing director of the Indiana Repertory Theatre for seven years. During his tenure, IRT grew its audience and increased community and educational programming. Payne played a lead role in raising $16.5 million to create IRT’s endowment and to renovate the theater. Payne came to Indianapolis from his native California, where he was managing director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz and worked for various theater organizations.

Payne currently serves on the boards of Indianapolis Downtown Inc., the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association and Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School. He also serves as vice chairman of the IUPUI Advisory Board and a member of the Key Bank Indiana Advisory Board. He previously served as president of the Indianapolis Consortium of Arts Administrators, and as a board member of United Way of Central Indiana, Lacy Leadership Association and TechPoint Foundation. He especially enjoyed co-chairing the Placemaking Committee for the Indianapolis Regional Center Plan 2020.

Payne was honored with the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Michael A. Carroll Award in 2007 for his role in creating the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Payne earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UCLA.
 

The women and men listed here represent some of the key players in the hospitality sector, which we’ve broadly defined to cover arts, entertainment, food service, lodging, recreation and tourism. The names come from our own news staff, peer recommendations and public nominations—a long list, which was peer reviewed and culled to create the list that follows. For a variety of reasons, three individuals who made the final list are not depicted here; they are: Chris Ratay, director of marketing at the Omni-Severin Hotel; Stephanie Schulz, director of conventions and meetings at the NCAA; and Bruce White, president and CEO of White Lodging.

 
Phil Ray

Philip A. Ray, 47
General Manager
Indianapolis Marriott Downtown


Phil Ray, a veteran hospitality executive, currently works for White Lodging as general manager of the Marriott Indianapolis Downtown. He is chairman of the Indiana Hotel and Lodging Association and past president of the Greater Indianapolis Hotel and Lodging Association. He serves on the executive board of the Gary Brackett Impact Foundation and on the board of the Indianapolis Chef’s Academy.

Before joining White Lodging, Ray spent nearly eight years with Omni Hotels, working at the Omni Berkshire Place Hotel in New York City and then at the Omni Severin in Indianapolis. He was named general manager of the year in 2009 by the Indiana Hotel and Lodging Association and, in 2010, received the Bill McGowan Leadership Award from the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association.

Ray began his hotel career working in finance for Marriott Hotels, in positions that took him to the Northeast, Texas and California. In 1993, he joined Fairmont Hotels as director of finance at the Fairmont San Francisco and later at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Ray moved into operations and hotel services at the Doral Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Rye Brook, N.Y., a position he held until he joined Omni in 2002.

A graduate of Bentley College in Waltham, Mass., Ray is married and has three children.
 

 
Ellen Rosenthal

Ellen M. Rosenthal, 58
President and CEO
Conner Prairie, Interactive History Park


Ellen Rosenthal was named president and CEO of Conner Prairie in 2005. Before joining Conner Prairie as vice president, Rosenthal spent 30 years working at a variety of museums, including the Minnesota Historical Society and the John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center.

For the past decade, Rosenthal has pursued a special interest in how visitors, particularly families, learn in museum settings. Under her direction, Conner Prairie transformed from an outdoor history museum to an interactive, guest-centric history park. Innovations in engagement techniques developed as a way to increase learning formed the basis of Conner Prairie’s award-winning training DVD-CD-ROM, “Opening Doors to Great Guest Experiences.” The program is now used by more than 1,200 museums worldwide, reaching an estimated 26 million guests. Most recently, Conner Prairie was one of five national museums awarded the 2010 Institute of Museum and Library Services National Medal, presented by first lady Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony.

A well-known advocate of active learning, Rosenthal has spoken widely on the changes at Conner Prairie and is the author of several articles about improving the visitor experience.

Rosenthal earned her bachelor’s degree in art history from Barnard College. She has two master’s degrees, one from H.F. DuPont Winterthur Program and one from Carnegie Mellon University. She is married to Dr. Theodore Logan, a medical oncologist at Indiana University Medical Center, and they have three sons.
 

 
Ellen Saul

Ellen Saul, 45
President
Maribeth Smith & Associates Inc.


Ellen Saul joined Maribeth Smith & Associates in 1994 and became president of the company in 2003. As president, she organizes and oversees every aspect of planning large-scale events. Saul prides herself on being an effective team builder and on her ability to see the big picture. She has worked on a range of major events, including the National FFA Convention, the Indianapolis Prize, NCAA Final Four Men’s Basketball Championship, St. Vincent Foundation and St. Vincent Health fundraising events, Spirit and Place Festival, National League of Cities and West Baden Springs grand opening. The company manages 10 to 15 major events per year.

After graduating from Indiana University, Saul moved to New York, where she worked as an assistant buyer at Macy’s in New York. In 1989, she returned to Indianapolis to take a sport/special services internship with the Indiana Convention Center and RCA Dome, which launched her career in events coordination. She moved up to event coordinator and finally to special services/public information manager, a position she held until joining Maribeth Smith & Associates. Saul has also been a course instructor at IUPUI in the Restaurant, Hotel, Institutional Management and Tourism Department.

Saul currently serves on the boards of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana and the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association. She is also a member of the program-planning committee of the Indiana Sports Corp.

Saul was named by IBJ to “Forty under 40” and as one of “20 Women to Watch.” The International Special Events Society, Indiana Chapter, named her volunteer of the year in 1999. Saul enjoys spending time with her family, exercising, reading and entertaining.
 

 
Steven Stolen

Steven Stolen, 53
Managing Director
Indiana Repertory Theatre


One of Indianapolis’ best-known performing artists, Steven Stolen has been with IRT for four years, where he oversees marketing and development and collaborates with Janet Allen, the organization’s artistic director.

Stolen maintains a singing presence through the Meridian Song Project, through which he gives public performances several times a year, many of them free. He hosts “Stolen Moments,” an eclectic weekly music show on WFYI-FM 90.1. A tenor by trade, he has performed with virtually every leading local arts organization and has performed nationally, taking leading roles in “The Barber of Seville,” “Cosi Fan Tutte” and “The Magic Flute,” among other operas.

In addition to his work with the arts, Stolen sits on the boards of the Rotary Club of Indianapolis, IPS Key Learning Advisory and the Downtown Marketers Association. He has served on a variety of other boards, including the Indianapolis-Marion County Metropolitan Development Commission. He is a graduate of the Stanley K. Lacy Leadership program and a recipient of the first Creative Renewal Fellowship ever conferred by the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

Before his appointment at IRT, he worked with the theater in a variety of capacities, including as musical consultant and associate artist. He was resident artist at the Indianapolis Museum of Art for seven years. He is co-editor of two song anthologies and has been featured on more than two dozen recordings.

Originally from Iowa, Stolen is a graduate of both Simpson College and the University of Michigan. He has taught at five universities, including Butler. Stolen and partner Rob MacPherson have one daughter.
 

 
Greg Tinsley

Greg Tinsley, 46
General Manager
Conrad Indianapolis


A 24-year veteran of the hospitality industry, Greg Tinsley has overseen all aspects of the management of the Conrad Indianapolis since joining the hotel in 2007. The hotel opened in 2006 and is one of only three Conrad hotels in the United States. During each of the four years Tinsley has been in Indianapolis, the Conrad has been named to Conde Nast Traveler’s list of the top 100 mainland U.S. hotels. In January of this year, Tinsley was named the hotel manager of the year within the international Hilton luxury properties chain. At the same time, he was recognized for having the highest guest-satisfaction scores of all the Hilton luxury properties worldwide.

Tinsley joined Conrad Hotels from the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., where he served as hotel manager and led an $86 million renovation of the property. Before becoming manager, Tinsley served as resident manager, acting general manager, executive assistant manager and rooms division manager.

Before joining the Beverly Hilton, Tinsley spent 15 years with Sheraton Hotels, where he served in a variety of management roles in Los Angeles; Stanford, Conn.; Tulsa, Okla.; and St. Louis. Tinsley is a native of Cleveland, Tenn., and holds a degree from Cleveland State College.
 

The women and men listed here represent some of the key players in the hospitality sector, which we’ve broadly defined to cover arts, entertainment, food service, lodging, recreation and tourism. The names come from our own news staff, peer recommendations and public nominations—a long list, which was peer reviewed and culled to create the list that follows. For a variety of reasons, three individuals who made the final list are not depicted here; they are: Chris Ratay, director of marketing at the Omni-Severin Hotel; Stephanie Schulz, director of conventions and meetings at the NCAA; and Bruce White, president and CEO of White Lodging.

 
Susie Townsend

Susie Townsend, 53
Vice President of Convention Services
Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association
Vice President of Guest Welcome and Super Service
2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee


A 21-year veteran of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, Susie Townsend is currently on loan to the Super Bowl Host Committee, where she is broadly in charge of making sure the region is at its most hospitable when the crowds come pouring in.

Townsend conceived of and launched the Super Service program, which she hopes will be a long-lasting legacy of the Indianapolis Super Bowl. Working with partners at IUPUI, the ICVA and Indianapolis International Airport, Super Service offers online certification to front-line hospitality workers, such as cab drivers and waiters, training them to greet visitors warmly and educating them about the city’s attractions. The program, which is offered in English and Spanish, is designed to elevate the standard of service visitors to the city receive.

At ICVA, Townsend directs, manages and supports service initiatives for major citywide conventions, which have included Dealer Expo and Gen Con. She manages the ICVA Rose Awards Program, which recognizes customer-service excellence. She has served on the local organizing committees for events such as the Men’s and Women’s Final Four and the Men’s and Women’s Big Ten Tournament. She co-chaired the Professional Conference Management Association in Indianapolis in 2004.

Townsend is a graduate of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, a recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash, and was named to IBJ’s “Forty under 40.” She has two children.
 

 
John Vanausdall

John Vanausdall, 54
President and CEO
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art


John Vanausdall be-came president and CEO of the Eiteljorg Museum in 1996. As the museum’s chief executive, he is primarily responsible for strategic planning, fundraising and community engagement. He has led the museum through a $42 million capital endowment campaign, which has built the museum’s endowment, collections and facilities.

The culmination of the effort is the $21 million Mel and Joan Perelman Wing, which opened in June 2005 and doubled the museum’s size, adding space for exhibitions, meeting space, education facilities and a cafe. More than $20 million was added to the museum’s endowment. Currently, Vanausdall is completing a $4.5 million capital campaign to enliven the museum and add activities appropriate for families, making the experience more engaging. The results of this effort so far include a 40-percent increase in museum attendance and a doubling of ticket revenue.

Vanausdall serves on the board of Museums West, a consortium of Western art museums, and served as its president from 2006 to 2009. He sits on the editorial board of Native Peoples Magazine. Locally, he is on the board of the Hoosier Salon and on the host committees for a variety of arts and museum-related events that have been held in Indianapolis. He also serves on the Indianapolis Consortium of Arts Administrators. He is a recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash.

Vanausdall earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana University and has attended the Museum Management Institute in Berkeley, Calif. Before joining the Eiteljorg, Vanausdall held various positions at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
 

 
Amy Vaughan

Amy Vaughan, 43
Director
Indiana Office of Tourism Development


Amy Vaughan was named director of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development in 2005. She landed the job in more robust times and has managed the transition to leaner economic times, just when media needs have sprawled from online and print to include Facebook, Twitter, phone apps and more. Vaughan and her team have learned to be judicious in allocating resources and savvy in choosing their outlets.

After a brief stint in copywriting for a small ad agency in Fort Wayne, Vaughan moved to Indianapolis to search for a new career. Networking led her to Hamilton County, which was just starting a tourism office. Vaughan joined the office in 1991 and became director in 1992. She stayed there until taking her current position. Vaughan considers herself the fortunate beneficiary of many great women mentors, including her current boss, Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman.

Vaughan holds a bachelor’s in journalism and English from Indiana University and a master’s in philanthropic studies from IUPUI. She is past president of the Association of Indiana Convention and Visitors Bureaus and is a graduate of the Hamilton County Leadership Academy. She sits on the board of the Indiana Hotel Lodging Association, and is on the Indiana Tourism Council and the marketing committee of Indianapolis Downtown Inc.

Recognized by Purdue University as a distinguished Darden professor, she was a guest lecturer at the school’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management. She was included in IBJ’s “Forty under 40” list and is certified by Destination Marketing Association International.

Vaughan and her husband, Rick, live in Fishers with a son.
 

 
Julia Watson

Julia Watson, 50
Vice President of Market and Communications
Indianapolis Downtown Inc.


In her position at IDI, Julia Watson leads a staff of three in positioning downtown Indianapolis as a destination for central Indiana residents, while providing community relations and outreach expertise. She facilitates IDI’s private-sector fundraising and leads the separate subsidiary known as Indianapolis Downtown Marketing Inc.

Since joining IDI in 1995, Watson has helped integrate more than $8 billion in new developments, created the award-winning advertising campaign “Downtown Indianapolis—Amazingly Always New!,” and staged the Circle of Lights celebration, the annual holiday lighting ceremony at Monument Circle.

Watson has served on the local organizing and planning committees for Super Bowl 2012, Men’s and Women’s Big Ten Basketball tournaments, Big Ten Football Championship, 2008 NFL season launch, NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Centennial celebration, among many other initiatives, events and conventions. She sits on the board of the Indiana Hotel and Lodging Association and finds that most of her volunteer activities are work-related.

In her spare time, Watson spends time with her family and does fitness training. An Indianapolis-area native, Watson is a graduate of IUPUI.
 

 
Susan Williams

Susan Williams
President
Indiana Sports Corp.


Susan Williams is the fourth president of the Indiana Sports Corp., a role she assumed in 2005. She had served in a variety of volunteer roles, including vice chairwoman of administration and finance. The Indiana Sports Corp. promotes Indiana as an attractive place to live, work and visit through sports and sporting events.

During Williams’ time at the helm of the ISC, Indianapolis has been awarded numerous high-profile sporting events, including the 2008 Olympic Diving Trials, the 2012 Super Bowl, the 2015 Men’s Final Four and the 2016 Women’s Final Four.

Before joining the ISC, Williams was executive director of the Indiana State Office Building Commission, where she oversaw the design and construction of the NCAA headquarters and Hall of Champions, the Indiana State Museum and other projects throughout the state.

Williams is a graduate of Franklin College, where she currently serves on the board of trustees, and holds a master’s from Indiana University. She currently serves on the boards of the Indianapolis Arts Council, the Massachusetts Avenue Community Development Corp. and the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association. She is a mayoral appointment to the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission and served 13 years as a member of the City-County Council.
 

 
Turner Woodard

Turner Woodard, 62
Owner
Canterbury Hotel, Wasatch Lake and the Stutz Business Center


Turner Woodard, owner of The Stutz Business Center, made headlines last year when he bought the Canterbury Hotel, a historic hotel on South Illinois Street. Woodard is an Indianapolis native who has carved a niche in tourism and commercial development through adaptive reuse.

Woodard is passionate about preserving the heritage and history that have made Indianapolis great. In the early 1990s, he bought the Stutz auto factory.

“We cleaned it up, lit it up, and painted it up,” Woodard said. Today, it is a bustling business incubator that’s home to both entrepreneurs and artists.

The Canterbury is Woodard’s most recent passion. Since the purchase last March, he and his team have implemented operational, marketing and interior design updates with a simple goal–-to bring the 12-story, 99-room jewel-box-style hotel back to prominence. Late last year, Woodard reopened the restaurant, renamed it Turners, and hired a new chef. Woodard and his team are now busy working with designers to update all the hotel rooms in preparation for Super Bowl guests.

When Woodard needs to get away from the hustle and bustle of Indianapolis, he heads to Wasatch Lake, a 300-acre country retreat that has eight lakeside rental cabins. Woodard purchased the lake and property in 1996 and renovated the cabins.
 

 
Tamara Zahn

Tamara Zahn, 57
President
Indianapolis Downtown Inc.


Tamara Zahn formed IDI, a not-for-profit strategically focused on developing, managing and marketing downtown Indianapolis, in 1993. Since the inception of the organization, $8 billion in developments promoted by IDI have been completed downtown, and IDI has implemented a number of innovative security, parking, business improvement and marketing programs. More than 80 projects, totaling $3.6 billion, are currently under way, including 2,000 new residential units downtown and enhancements in the city’s six cultural districts.

Before founding IDI, Zahn was principal of her own consulting firm, which specialized in urban development. Through Zahn Associates, she consulted with downtowns throughout the United States. Clients included Simon Property Group, the Rouse Co.’s American City Corp. and the New York Port Authority.

Zahn serves on the boards of numerous organizations, including International Downtown Association, Urban Land Institute and the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association. She also serves on the host committees for Super Bowl 2012, NCAA Women’s Final Four, Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix and other events. Zahn has been involved in Holliday Park, helping to create Friends of Holliday Park, the Holliday Park playground, nature center and other park improvements.•

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.

ADVERTISEMENT