Adrienne Nesbitt is a 2008 graduate of Goshen College. Since then, she has dedicated her career to building community arts events and helping grow opportunities for this region's artists. She is the founder of Arts on the Millrace, an annual fine arts festival, and the director of the River Bend Film Festival. For the past two years, Adrienne has collaborated with the City of Goshen to host artist mixers, curate artist interviews, and oversee the Goshen Arts Council. These undertakings have been a part of her work as director of events at Eyedart Creative Studio. Adrienne also serves as board president at Goshen Art House and is the founder of Goshen LGBTQ+ Pride. Adrienne resides in downtown Goshen with her husband Chad and their dog Lizzie.
Aissatou Balde is a west African-born who moved from New York to Indiana 10 years ago. She is now the Digital Strategist at Visit Indiana, the creative director and editor-in-chief of Tales and Turbans and the author of Daddies and Daughters Stick Together.
Amanda Eckelbarger is the Director of Destination Brand and Data Intelligence at the Elkhart County CVB. She currently serves as the chair of the Indiana Tourism Association Professional Development Committee.
President & CEO, Partner
A thirty-year veteran of the Travel & Tourism industry, Amir leads the entire team responsible for the development and execution of all facets of the organization from program development to customer acquisition and retention.
He joined Longwoods in 2015 from his previous role as Vice President, Partner Engagement with Brand USA, the public-private partnership serving as the destination marketing organization dedicated to increasing international visitation to the US. He led the team responsible for helping to increase Brand USA's partnership base and ensuring that participants received excellent service throughout Brand USA's deployment of joint marketing programs. During his tenure, Brand USA grew its base to 475 partners, comprised of destination marketing organizations, convention and visitor bureaus, attractions, travel brands, airlines, and tour operators.
Prior to joining Brand USA, Amir served as Director of the Ohio Office of Tourism. Under his leadership, the state's marketing programs realized a tremendous return on investment and contributed to the growth of the state's $40 billion tourism economy. The programs he developed leveraged industry and nontraditional partnerships that generated $14 in new state and local taxes for every $1 invested and included active participation by thousands of Ohio's tourism-related businesses. He has also served as Executive Vice President of the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association, Assistant Director of the Ohio Tourism Division, and Sales & Marketing Manager with the Steuben County Conference and Visitors Bureau.
He has been recognized with a number of Industry honors including: Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing award (2014) by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI); The Ohio Tourism Industry's Highest Honor, The Paul Sherlock Award; and The State of Ohio Distinguished Service Medal.
Amir holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Dayton.
Andrea Zwiebel, Executive Director of Downtown Wabash, Inc.
Originally from Door County, Wisconsin, Andrea has lived in Wabash for 15 years. She has a Visual Art degree from Hillsdale College and is passionate about the arts. She led the effort to create the Creative Placemaking/Public Art Master Plan for the City of Wabash. Andrea spent a decade working at Honeywell Center as the Director of Arts & Entertainment. Today she is the Executive Director of Downtown Wabash, Inc., a Nationally-Accredited Main Street Organization. Andrea is the administrator of the Wabash Cultural District, which is one of only twelve designations in the state of Indiana. Andrea serves on the Rural Affairs Working Group for the Office of Community and Rural Affairs. On Saturday mornings, you can find Andrea at the Downtown Wabash Farmers Market selling pottery with her husband and children at their booth, Small Onion Studio
Andy Longo currently works for Delta Tau Delta Fraternity where he serves as Director of Operations and Meetings. In this role, he oversees meetings and events, housing operations and support and organizational needs related to technology and vendor relationships.
A native of Springfield, Ohio, Longo received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Bowling Green State University. He also holds master’s degrees in college student personnel and guidance counseling from Bowling Green State University. Longo served as interim director of operations and director of chapter services for Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity from 1998-2003. Prior to his work at Lambda Chi Alpha, he worked at the University of Oklahoma in Student Affairs. He began work as a public-school teacher in Ohio.
Longo is a former first lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve Military Police Corps and is active in his Church. He is active in Choir and is an advocate of “assertive” stewardship programming and believes there is a need to have more honest conversations about money and giving in the Church. He is past president member of the Indiana Chapter of Meeting Professionals International. He and his wife, Lisa, are the parents of Emma, who attends IUPUI and Michael attends Indiana University.
Ashley Ledford is the Director of Marketing & Promotions at Hamilton County Tourism, Inc. Ashley recently celebrated her 20th work anniversary with HCT. She currently serves on the Indiana Tourism Association board and is a member of the Professional Development Committee. Away from work, Ashley enjoys cheering on her four children in their various activities, spending time as a family, experiencing new destination and visiting family favorites.
Bethany Hartley currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer at the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership, a collaboration of economic development partners in the South Bend - Elkhart Region, which encompasses 47 communities in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. The organization serves as a single point of contact for regional communication and seeks to advance economic opportunities for all partner members through collaborative promotion, marketing, and capacity building efforts.
Bethany has over a decade of experience in non-profit leadership, primarily focused on economic development and entrepreneurship. Bethany joined the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership in 2018, first as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion, and was promoted to Chief Strategy Officer in 2020. Prior to the Regional Partnership, Bethany held leadership positions with RISE | Regional Innovation and Startup Education, Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County, Family and Children’s Center, and the Women’s Business Development Center in Chicago.
Bethany has led a wide range of projects and initiatives including digital system transformations, organizational restructuring, large event management, and marketing and communications strategy. As a part of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership, Hartley led the strategic development of new programs, digital-based infrastructure, and outreach initiatives.
Hartley holds a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago and certificates from the University of Notre Dame’s Master of Non-Profit Administration, Babson College, and Catalyst Inc. Hartley is also active in a wide range of community activities, including serving as a board member of Startup Moxie Elkhart County, a steering committee member of the Engaging Women Conference, a committee member for Beacon Health Systems, and a champion and fundraiser for Girls on the Run of Northern Indiana.
Education & Professional Accreditations
· Bachelor’s Degree, Loyola University Chicago
o University of Notre Dame’s Masters of Non-Profit Administration
o University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business
o Babson College
o Catalyst Inc.
· Startup Moxie Elkhart County, Board of Directors
· Engaging Women Conference, Steering Committee
· Beacon Health Systems, Committee Member
· Girls on the Run of Northern Indiana, Champion, and Fundraiser
More information is available for reference on Bethany’s LinkedIn profile.
Five Fun Facts about Bethany
1. In her personal time, Bethany enjoys cycling, running, reading, scuba diving, and spending time with her husband, two dogs, and four nieces.
2. Bethany competes in triathlons, including her first – but not last – 70.3 Ironman.
3. Regional Favorites Restaurant: “I have a lot of favorites when it comes to food, with my go-to spots being Bantam Chicken and Seafood in South Bend, Artisan in Elkhart, Goshen Brewing in... Goshen, and River St. Joe in Buchanan! All have great menus for even the pickiest of eaters!”
Outdoor Activity: “Too many to name!! I’m a big fan of all things running, biking, and swimming so I enjoy riding my bike in southwest Michigan, running the trails of Lydick Bog, and swimming in Lake Michigan.” Shop: “Our local boutiques are a must including Inspire Me! in the East Race neighborhood of South Bend, The Craftsman’s Daughter in downtown Elkhart, and pretty much any shop along Goshen’s main street.”
Cultural Activity: “My husband and I enjoy catching shows – whether it’s Broadway, comedy, or music – at the Morris Performing Arts Center.”
Best Way to Spend a Saturday in the Region: “We love to spend our mornings exercising at our local gym, follow by breakfast or brunch at Monterrey Mexican Grill in Mishawaka. Depending on the weather we’ll either head up the coast for some beach time or explore the South Bend Farmers Market, usually ending the day with a community-based event.”
Carrie Lambert is the Executive Director of the Indiana Tourism Association.
Dave Serino is the Founder and Chief Strategist at TwoSix Digital and is a 30-year veteran of the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry. He has held marketing positions in hotels, resorts, and convention & visitors bureaus, along with launching two startup ventures and a national social media educational conference. He also developed the first tourism-focused social media measurement and ranking study to benchmark the 50 state tourism offices.
Gerry Dick serves as president of Inside INdiana Business, a division of IBJ Media Corp.
Mr. Dick and created Inside INdiana Business television in 1998 and two years later, along with technology entrepreneur Scott Jones, formed Grow INdiana Media Ventures, an Indianapolis-based multi-media company focused on producing and distributing business news and information. Mr. Dick sold the company to IBJ Media in 2021.
You can watch Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick weekly on 15 Indiana television stations, hear daily business reports on 23 Indiana radio stations, and subscribe to our daily newsletters (about 200,000 emails are distributed weekly). All content is available on demand at InsideINdianaBusiness.com and through a mobile app.
The company’s latest venture into podcasting, including Business & Beyond with Gerry Dick, has quickly grown into one of its most popular platforms.
Gerry has been awarded the state’s top honor, the Sagamore of the Wabash, three times, by Governors Kernan, Daniels and Pence. He has been awarded Ernst and Young’s prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award and has been recognized by the Small Business Administration as its Journalist of the Year.
Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick has received an EMMY five times for best interview/discussion program.
Gerry is a frequent keynote speaker and moderator on issues related to Indiana business and the state’s economy. He also serves as the business news analyst for WISH-TV and 93.1 WIBC radio in Indianapolis.
Jaime Bohler Smith is the Executive Director of Visit Hendricks County and the Past President of the Indiana Tourism Association.
Jake Brown is nearing his fifth work anniversary at Visit South Bend Mishawaka, where he leads the DMO’s digital marketing efforts. Jake joined VSBM in 2018 after almost a decade in journalism at Irish Illustrated then the South Bend Tribune. eTourism Summit in 2021 named Jake an Emerging Tourism Star. The U.S. Travel Association’s Destinations Council named Jake to its Emerging Leaders Mentorship Program the same year. Away from work, Jake enjoys playing golf, exploring the outdoors and exploring his inner nerd by reading history books.
Jennifer Rubenstein graduated from Tri-State University (now Trine University) with an advertising and marketing degree. She worked for an NBC television affiliate in a senior account manager position, was the vice president of a video and event production company working with fortune 500 companies, and for the last 15 years owned her own marketing and events company and for the last 10 years has been the co-owner and publisher of the premiere local food magazine, Edible Indy. Jennifer has extensive knowledge of branding, creative marketing promotions and strategy, event production and sales. She is the recipient of the inaugural 2020 Kurt Friese Outstanding Community Service Award. She is a retired board member for the IWIN Foundation and hosts an annual golf outing and other food events for the Edible Indy Foundation of which she is a co-founder and president. Her passion and hobby is being a foodie and being an activist for understanding the importance of supporting local food and the sustainable food movement. Over the last 30 plus years, Jennifer and her mother traveled to many places and made a habit of finding local off the beaten path places to shop, eat and support local clean food. She uses Edible Indy as a resource for education and social justice for food sustainability. Since moving to Indy in 2007, she supports locally owned farmer’s markets, eateries, grocery stores and any other opportunities to promote and support to local business owners.
She is married with two daughters and resides in Indianapolis. Golf, cooking, entertaining, photography, deep sea fishing and giving back are important to her and her family. She grew up in Elkhart county (Goshen) and is forever an Irish fan.
Jennifer Lambert is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for JSK Hospitality. The JSK portfolio spans from Hammond to South Bend to Elkhart. Jennifer has worked for JSK for nine years and LOVES the hospitality industry.
- AAA Living
- McDaniels Marketing
- AAA Living
- Indiana State Festivals Association
- Ohio Magazine/Long Weekends
- Indiana Destination Development Corporation
- Travel Indiana Magazine
- Edible Indy
- Indiana Arts Commission
- Taylor Trusty
- Market Street Group, Inc.