Born and raised in Jasper, Indiana, Alexandra realized a love for all things arts-related at an early age and vowed to make that passion a career. She earned her B.A. in Art History and English Literature from DePauw University in 2013, her M.A. in Arts Administration from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2015, and a certificate in Museum Studies from the School of Professional Studies at Northwestern University in 2019.
Currently, Alexandra is the Director of Operations for the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries. In this role, Alexandra manages all day to day operations for AAMG, whether financial, programming, or membership related.
For the last several years, Alexandra has been a part of a small volunteer working group: the Putnam County Mural Project. This group has been responsible for creating and producing Putnam County murals, including the largest in the state of Indiana back in 2019. In 2022, the team created the county’s first ever mural festival producing 5 new murals throughout the county and included a matching grant funding campaign to raise over $100,000-check out more details here! Their most recent project was in collaboration with the City of Greencastle to produce a mural in celebration of the city’s bicentennial in September 2023.
Additionally, this team partnered with the Indiana Arts Commission in fall of 2023 to produce the state of Indiana’s first ever public arts toolkit. You can access this toolkit here. It has been an honor to be a part of this project and we can’t wait to see more public art throughout the state of Indiana with the help of this document.
Blake is an Evansville native, that worked at the Zoo from 2015-2019 in Guest Services before heading off to college. Blake graduated in 2021 from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana where he majored in Marketing. Currently, Blake is the Marketing Director at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden. In this role, he manages all social media platforms, on-site signage, public relations, community engagement, oversees all zoo events, our membership program, and event fundraising with the help of an Events Coordinator and Membership Coordinator. Blake is passionate about photography, interior design, and event planning. In February of 2022, he was hired as the Events Coordinator before being promoted to Marketing Director in July 2022.
During his time as the Events Coordinator, he faced the challenge of rebuilding and hosting events at the Zoo after a pandemic. Blake also curated the first ever sensory events at the Zoo (Sensory Spooktacular and Sensory Santa) to provide an inclusive space for families and children with PTSD, Autism, and Sensory processing disorders. Blake has helped plan many fundraising events at the Zoo, like our annual Vintage Vines gala, Zoo Brew, Orchid Escape, and long-time running events like Boo at the Zoo.
The Zoo connects people to the natural world through education and encourages action for our planet. Blake said it feels amazing to know we are inspiring people today, tomorrow, and for years to come.
Brandon McClish is the Executive Director of the Evansville Regional Sports Commission. Brandon has been General Manager for Learfield Sports at the University of Evansville and Director of Operations and Sales for the Evansville Otters. Brandon is a board member with the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival in Evansville.
Carrie Lambert is the Executive Director of the Indiana Tourism Association.
Parke County Covered Bridge Festival
Since 2016, Eric has served as executive director of the Putnam County Visitors Center, responsible for encouraging visitation and strategic development of businesses, organizations, collaborations, programs/events, and venues that increase quality of life, the visitor experience and economic development. Since 2021, the Visitors Center staffs and provides a headquarters for four organizations collaboratively implementing the county’s five-year outdoor recreation master plan. One organization, Putnam Parks & Pathways, operates via six committees, one focused solely on public art.
Prior to his work in Putnam County, Eric took Indiana Artisan from an idea of Lt. Governor Becky Skillman’s to the statewide arts-as-economic-development organization it is today, supporting more than 200 visual and food artisans in 53 counties in the promotion, development and expansion of their businesses. He has served numerous organizations in strategic marketing, public relations and communications roles, including Duke Realty, Purdue University and Hanover College, Conner Prairie, and Culver Academies.
Eric holds a bachelor's degree from DePauw University and a masters in non-profit administration from the University of Notre Dame. He and his wife, Beth, a kindergarten teacher, reside in Noblesville and have three grown children, the youngest currently a junior at DePauw.
Partner & Creative Director, Oswald Marketing
Jaime Bohler Smith is the Executive Director of Visit Hendricks County and the Past President of the Indiana Tourism Association.
Jocelyn Vare is the founder and sole owner of Propeller Marketing. She is from South Bend, Indiana, and graduated from Butler University in Indianapolis. Jocelyn started Propeller Marketing 20 years ago in Fishers, IN specifically to serve the Indiana tourism industry. Today, Propeller is a full-service advertising agency with an incredible staff of four experts and a client roster of destination marketing organizations, tourism-related associations, attractions, and economic development offices across the state. Propeller is dedicated to promoting each Indiana destination’s own story - using authenticity, creativity, data, new media strategies and a lot of fun teamwork.
Jocelyn is an elected At-Large member of the Fishers City Council. She is a graduate of the Indiana Communities Institute’s Economic Development Course, Ball State University’s Community Development Course and the Hamilton County Leadership Academy. The first Indiana tourism ad campaign she worked on was “Enjoy Indiana: The Welcome Mat is Always Out!” in 1997!
Josh has worked in tourism for Visit Hendricks County for more than 12 years currently serving as Senior Manager of Content & Communications where he oversees the Hendricks County Insider tourism blog and handles other public relations functions for the destination and its partners. Prior to travel and tourism, he worked as a journalist for various publications for 16 years including as a reporter for the state’s largest newspaper, the Indianapolis Star.
Josiah Brown is the former Chair of the New York State Tourism Industry Association and current President/CEO of Famous Destination Marketing. He is a rural destination and branding expert and is a frequent speaker in tourism and destination marketing.
Josiah, or The New York Sherpa, as he is called in the New York tourism industry, has logged over 800,000 driving miles throughout New York State and 46 states over the last 20 years.
As the founder of “New York’s Best Experiences” brand, travel guide and mobile visitors center he is uniquely positioned as both a consultant and a destination marketer to consumers.
His life goal is to always be “Inspiring People Forward”. Find out more at TheNewYorkSherpa.com