Visit Indy + Tourism Tomorrow Indy
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Chief Marketing, Communications, & Community Relations Officer, United Way of Central Indiana
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President, Somerset CPAs and Advisors
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Chief of Staff and General Counsel, Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County
President & CEO, Indiana Historical Society
Indianapolis Office Managing Partner, Ernst & Young
President and CEO, General Hotels Corporation
Chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis
Executive Director, Cushman & Wakefield
President, Central Indiana, Key Bank
Vice-Chair of Tourism Tomorrow Indy** and
CEO & Principal, Schmidt Associates
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Vice President of Marketing, West & Midwest Regions, Simon
Managing Director, Mintaka Ventures, LLC
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Executive Director, Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center**
President & CEO, Indy Chamber**
President, Huse Culinary, Inc.
Vice Chair/Owner, Indianapolis Colts
Vice President of Product Compliance & Regulatory Affairs, Cummins, Inc., and Capital Improvement Board**
Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of Governor Eric Holcomb**
Executive Vice President of Global Investments, Indiana Economic Development Corporation
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President and CEO, USA Gymnastics
Executive Director, Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium and Capital Improvement Board**
President & Chief Operator Officer, Kite Realty
General Manager, Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites and Greater Indianapolis Hotel & Lodging Association Chapter of the Indiana Restaurant & Lodging Association
Indianapolis City-County Council, Minority Leader**
Vice Chairman, Pacers Sports & Entertainment
President & CEO, Central Indiana Community Foundation and The Indianapolis Foundation
EVP, Corporate Communications, Community Engagement, and Facility Operations, Pacers Sports & Entertainment
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Indianapolis City-County Council**
Executive Director, Indianapolis Airport Authority**
Chief of Staff, Office of Mayor Joe Hogsett**
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Past Chair*, Chairman Emeritus, American United Mutual Insurance Holding Company
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President, Indianapolis Zoo
Regional Vice President, White Lodging
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Senior Vice President & Chief Customer Officer, Citizens Energy Group
Senior Vice President & General Manager, Salesforce
President, Indiana Sports Corporation**
Executive Director, Indiana Civil Rights Commission
CEO & Principal, Schmidt Associates
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Tourism Tomorrow Indy
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Senior Director of Client Development & Relationships, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Senior Director of Commercial Enterprise, Indianapolis Airport Authority
President & CEO, Indiana Humanities
Director, Department of Metropolitan Development**
Vice President, Indianapolis Economic Development**
President, Crystal Catering
Secretary & CEO, Indiana Destination Development Corporation**
Director of Government Affairs, IU Health
President & CEO, Arts Council of Indianapolis
Senior Advisor to the Chancellor of IUPUI***
Executive Vice President, People + Organizational Capabilities, The Heritage Group
Senior Consultant, Resultant
Director, Department of Public Works
Executive Vice President, Indiana Economic Development Corporation**
Of Counsel, Barnes & Thornburg***
Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, Community Health Network
Assistant Vice President, Capital Planning, Indiana University
*Executive Committee Member
**Ex-Officio Board Position
Mr. Browning is Chairman of the Board of Browning Investments, LLC, an Indianapolis based real estate development company. Browning Investments currently has a joint venture with Duke Realty (DRE; NYSE) for a new distribution park of 1,100 acres also in Plainfield, Indiana and 660 acres in Whitestown, Indiana and whose customers include Wal-Mart, Amazon, Regal Beloit, Prime Distribution, Ingram Micro, Temper-Pedic, Medco, GNC, ASI Limited and CEVA Logistics, I.U. Health and Kohl's as well as a joint venture with ProLogis (PLD; NYSE) at AirTech Park, an industrial distribution park in Plainfield, Indiana with over 7,000,000 square feet in place or under development and whose customers include Hartz, Amazon, J.C. Penney, Electrolux, Belkin, and Ozburn Hessey Logistics (OHL). Other developments include Mayflower Park; a 600,000 square foot distribution center for Adidas, a 750,000 square foot distribution center for Enerdel, Atkins Distribution and Spectra in Mt. Comfort; and a 500,000 square foot distribution facility for Subaru in Whitestown, Indiana. Browning is the largest developer of modern bulk industrial distribution facilities in Central Indiana, including AirTech Park, AllPoints Midwest and AllPoints Anson are the largest most dynamic, flexible, Parks available. Other developments include several downtown office buildings totaling over 2,000,000 square feet, including Capital Center, 300 North Meridian, Gateway Plaza, Landmark Center and Pan Am Plaza. Browning pioneered the development of the North Meridian Corridor with projects totaling over 5,000,000 square feet of office space including Fidelity Plaza, Thomson Consumer Electronics Headquarters', Meridian Mark Plaza, Penn Mark Plaza, the Meridian Technology Center, the Bankers Life Headquarters' Complex, development and construction of the 450,000 square feet Headquarters and Hall of Champions for the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA); Office Works, Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., Hologic, Bluefish Wireless, Inc. and MacMillan Computer Publishing, Inc. The Company recently developed and built the new $38,000,000 Marian University College of Medicine, the $40,000,000 Purdue Research Foundation's Computer Electrical Science Building, the $30,000,000 Dow Agro Sciences Research Laboratories, and the Headquarters and Research Facility for Elanco in Greenfield, Indiana. Browning has served as the Indiana Bioscience Research Institute's real estate consultant since 2013. Browning is currently working with Citizens Energy Group, American Structurepoint, the City of Indianapolis and others in designing and constructing the required infrastructure necessary to activate 16 Tech as an innovation district. The Company has also developed Plum Creek, a 500-acre home and golf course development in Carmel, Indiana, along with several thousand acres of residential lot development in the central Indiana region. Browning recently entered into a Master Developer Agreement in connection with the development in excess of 400 acres on the Purdue Campus in West Lafayette, currently called the "Purdue Innovation District." Browning will be the exclusive master developer for well over one hundred acres of dense mixed-use projects at the west end of the campus. Additionally, Browning will serve as the master developer for Aerospace Park which is a Certified Technology Park hundreds of acres in size located adjacent to the Purdue airport.
Mr. Browning is very involved in community activities and has played an active role in the Indianapolis "public-private" partnership. He is the Chairman of Visit Indy, serves on the Advisory Board of St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center and serves on the Crossroads Council of Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, he serves on the Advisory Council for Athletes at the University of Notre Dame.
Mr. Browning has been honored as the Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young and Inc. Magazine, Notre Dame Man of the Year and recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash from Governors Bayh and Kernan. He has an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Marian University and Martin University. Mr. Browning was honored with the Charles S. Whistler Award in 2010, and inducted into the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame as well as The Indiana Academy in 2011.
Mr. Browning has been actively involved in the emergence of Indianapolis as the Amateur Sports capital of the world. He is a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Indiana Sports Corporation. He was an organizing member of the 1982 National Sports Festival, a member of the executive committee of the Pan American Games Organizing Committee, served as Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Indiana Sports Corporation from 1989 until February 1993, and is the founder and now past Chairman of the organizing committee for Youthlinks of Indiana. In addition to his involvement in amateur sports, Mr. Browning was the General Chairman of the 1991 PGA National Championships which was held at Crooked Stick Golf Club where he also served as President for three years. He led the negotiations which resulted in the relocation of the NCAA Headquarters to Indianapolis. Additionally, he was Chairman of the Indiana Sports Corporation's Solheim Cup Venture and led the negotiations for the 2012 BMW Championship as part of the PGA Tour's Fed Ex Cup. He was a member of the 2012 Super Bowl Board of Directors and the 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee.
Mr. Browning was a pioneer in the shared tenant telecommunication business. In 1984, he formed Office Networks, Inc. which quickly became the third largest telephone company in the State.
Mr. Browning also serves as a Board Member and Lead Director of Duke Energy Corp. (DUK; NYSE) and the Indianapolis Indians. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors of Conseco, Inc., Emmis Broadcasting, Inc., the Seattle Mariners Baseball Club, MC Equities, Inc., NBD Indiana, Inc., Standard Management Corp., and the Indiana National Bank. He also was the Chairman of the Board and President of the Fidelity Bank of Indiana.
Mr. Browning holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Notre Dame. He served two years in the United States Army in Washington, D.C., and the Republic of South Viet Nam.
Leonard Hoops has served as president & CEO of Visit Indy since 2011. He leads a team of 63 industry professionals charged with growing Central Indiana’s economy by driving the region’s $5.4 billion convention, tourism and event industry.
Under Hoops’ leadership, Visit Indy has shattered all-time records for convention and tourism sales, delivering $1+ billion annually in incremental economic impact and a 90-to-1 return on investment from public funding while also being a four-time “Best Place to Work in Indiana.” During his tenure, Indianapolis has been named the #1 convention city in America by USA Today and a top visitor destination by The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and Travel + Leisure.
Prior to Visit Indy, Hoops was executive vice president & chief customer officer of San Francisco Travel where his teams produced all-time records for convention sales and international group tourism. In Hoops’ 30+ years of corporate and destination marketing experience, he has also served as senior vice president & chief marketing officer of the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, senior vice president of marketing for the San Jose Convention & Visitors Bureau, and as a corporate communications manager for a Fortune 120 company.
Hoops has been named an “Indiana Living Legend” by the Indiana Historical Society, one of the “25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry” by Successful Meetings magazine, and one of the “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality & Travel Sales & Marketing” by Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI). He has also received the Sloan-Kettering Award for Business from Delta Upsilon Fraternity, the Kurt Vonnegut Humor Award, and is a two-time recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award from Indiana’s Center for Leadership Development.
Hoops currently serves on two global boards – the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Board of Directors and Destinations International Foundation’s Board of Trustees. In Indiana, Hoops serves on the Capital Improvement Board of Marion County, the Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services (IPAS) Commission, and the Boards of the Indy Chamber, Downtown Indy, the Indiana Sports Corp., the Conner Prairie Museum, the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, and the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship. He has also chaired the Central Indiana March of Dimes’ March for Babies campaign.
Hoops earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from San Jose State University and an MBA from Santa Clara University. He and his wife, Dorene, have a son, Cannon (15), and a daughter, Avalon (8).
Greg Fennig is Chief Marketing, Communications, & Community Relations Officer for United Way of Central Indiana. He previously served from 2003-2018 as Vice President of Customer Experience for Indianapolis Power & Light Company and was responsible for overseeing IPL's Commercial and Industrial customer relationships, Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management Programs, and stakeholder management plans and processes. This also included IPL corporate partnerships, sponsorships, volunteer activities and overall community engagement.
Mr. Fennig currently serves on the boards of directors for Visit Indy, Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP), Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Indianapolis Parks Foundation, Leadership Indianapolis, 500 Festival Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Indianapolis, IPALCO Foundation and the Indiana Energy Association Supplier Diversity Taskforce. He also is a member of the Indianapolis Public Relations Society.
A lifelong resident of Indianapolis, Pat Early joined Whipple & Company in 1979 and became President in 1989. Upon Whipple's merger with The Somerset Group, he was named president of the new organization. Mr. Early continues as president of Somerset CPAs, a full-service accounting, tax, consulting and wealth management firm with over 170 employees.
In addition to being a CPA, Mr. Early also has the Certified Financial Planner designation. He works with owners of privately-held businesses regarding tax, estate planning, financial planning and wealth accumulation issues. Mr. Early also has successfully negotiated business sales and purchases. He has expertise in tax, estate planning, financial planning and wealth accumulation, mediations, business succession and mergers and acquisitions.
Mr. Early graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management/Accounting. Hs is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Indiana CPA Society.
He has been very involved in the community, serving on numerous boards and commissions of Visit Indy, The Hundred Club of Indianapolis (past president), Indianapolis Zoo and Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee.
He is past president of the Capital Improvement Board of Marion County, The Penrod Society, Girls, Inc. and the Wishard Hospital Foundation. Mr. Early also is chairman of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Advisory Council and a member of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Commission.
Mr. Early has received numerous awards including the Charles L. Whistler Award, Sagamore of the Wabash Award, Purdue School of Management Accounting Alumnus of the Year Award, Indiana CPA Society Public Service Award and the Indiana CPA Society Estate Planning and Trust Super CPA Award. He was a member of the Stanley K. Lacy Leadership Series Class X and was named to the Indianapolis Business Journal's "40 Under Forty" and "Who's Who in Hospitality" and Indianapolis Monthly's "2009, 2011 & 2012 Five Star Wealth Managers." Mr. Early is an avid sportsman and has traveled the world in search of adventure.
Sarah Hempstead is the CEO of Schmidt Associates, a 115-person architectural and engineering firm with offices in Indianapolis and Louisville. She built her career based on the belief that combining inspiration and perspiration alongside building owners will help deliver signature solutions with a purpose. Notable projects have included the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ivy Tech Illinois Fall Creek Center Renovation, Regenstrief Institutes Headquarters, Children’s Bureau Glick Family Support Center, and numerous projects along Mass Ave where the firm is headquartered.
Sarah was in the ENR Midwest magazine top 20 professionals under 40 working in the construction industry and was Indy’s Best and Brightest person in the real estate development and construction category in 2011. She serves on four non-profit organizations in Indianapolis: Visit Indy, Arts Council of Indianapolis, president of the Junior Achievement Board and chairs the TIE Committee for the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce.
As President and CEO of Conexus Indiana, J. Mark Howell drives the organization's mission to grow and promote Indiana's advanced manufacturing and logistics sectors. Joining Conexus Indiana in January 2018, Mark brings with him extensive experience in supply chain logistics and business leadership as former President of Brightpoint Americas and Chief Operating Officer of Angie's List.
At Angie's List Mark served for five years as Chief Operating Officer, overseeing daily operations at the Indianapolis-based company. Howell's prior experience included various executive leadership roles with Brightpoint Inc. for nearly 20 years, during which time the company grew from a 25-employee operation to an international Fortune 500 company. Mark serves as a board member of KAR Auction Services and as a board and executive committee member of Ascend Indiana. He most recently was asked to serve as Chairman for the Host Committee of the 2022 College Football Championship Game, which will be held in Indianapolis.
A CPA and graduate of the University of Notre Dame, he is a member of the university's Sorin Society.
Ann Lathrop is the chief marketing officer (CMO) for Crowe LLP, and the office managing partner in Indianapolis, Ind. As the CMO, Ann leads the market development and sales (MDS) group in its mission to be the firm's market development specialists. Ann is responsible for the areas of market development strategy and execution including promotion and brand strategy for the firm and any subsidiaries. Her responsibilities include:
She is also the brand compliance officer for Crowe International and is the chair of the Crowe Global Marketing Strategy Committee. Ann has more than 25 years of experience in both the private and public sector including serving as the controller for the city of Indianapolis-Marion County for two years.
Mel Raines is EVP, Corporate Communications, Community Engagement, and Facility Operations for Pacers Sports & Entertainment. She was one of the principal architects of Indianapolis’ highly acclaimed 2012 Super Bowl and also previously served as Chief of Staff to Indiana Congresswoman Susan Brooks. Mel, a native of South Bend and an Indiana University honors graduate, played key roles in the organization and staging of five Republican National Conventions and also served on the staff of former Vice President Dick Cheney in his second term.
Taylor Schaffer serves as Chief of Staff and Chief Deputy Mayor for Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. She has worked for the City since 2016, first as communications director and later as deputy chief of staff. Prior to joining the administration, Schaffer worked in the private sector for clients ranging from non-profit organizations to Fortune 500 Companies developing communications, branding, and marketing strategies. Schaffer also serves as board president for Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center and is a board member for the IndyHub Foundation.
Jerry Semler, CLU, is Chairman Emeritus of American United Mutual Insurance Holding Company, parent of OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc. He has served American United Life Insurance Company (AUL) and its parent, OneAmerica, for 50 years. Mr. Semler was elected chairman emeritus in February of 2007. Under Mr. Semler's leadership at AUL, the company grew from $1.4 billion to more than $14 billion in total assets. Mr. Semler's ability to lead a multi-billion dollar company consistently ranked him as one of the top CEOs in Indianapolis.
Mr. Semler's accomplishments extend beyond the scope of OneAmerica. He is active in many business and civic organizations, as well as insurance industry professional organizations. He has represented OneAmerica by holding many national association posts, including past chairman and director of the Life Office Management Association (LOMA) and LIMRA International. In 1998, he was appointed to the Lt. Governor's Indiana Insurance Industry Working Group to strengthen the state's insurance industry.
Mr. Semler graduated from Purdue University in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Economics. He is a graduate of the Stanford University Business Executive Program (1984). Mr. Semler holds an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities Degree from Marian College (1998) and an Honorary Doctorate of Management Degree from Purdue University (2002).
He serves on many civic boards including the Center for Leadership Development (past chair), Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, Downtown Indy (past chair), Hoosier Salon Patrons Association, Indiana Chamber of Commerce (past chair), Indiana Historical Society (past chair), Indy Chamber, Visit Indy (past chair), United Way of Central Indiana and the 500 Festival Associates (past president). Mr. Semler serves on the boards of advisors for the Peyback Foundation Resource Council, Boy Scouts of America-Crossroads of America Council (past chair), The Indianapolis Foundation/Central Indiana Community Foundation and Purdue University Krannert School of Management Dean's Advisory Council.
Mr. Semler is on the board of trustees for Alpha Tau Omega Foundation, the Indianapolis Zoological Society, Marian University and the Sagamore Institute for Policy Research (past chair).
He is a member of the Purdue University President's Council (past chair).
Mr. Semler is a member of the American College of Life Underwriters, General Agents & Managers, Indiana Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors Foundation Board (honorary chair), LOMA (past chair) & LIMRA International (past chair), Million Dollar Round Table (life member), MDRT Foundation (director emeritus), National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors and the Society of Financial Service Professionals-Indianapolis Chapter.
Mr. Semler has received numerous honors including the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award, National Catholic Educational Association (2009), S. Henry Bundles Award, Center for Leadership Development (2008), Sagamore of the Wabash (1987, 1991, 2004, and 2007), Indiana Pathfinder Award, Youthlinks Indiana (2005), Business Leader of the Year, Indiana Chamber of Commerce (2004), Order of the Griffin, Purdue University (2004), Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser, Association of Fundraising Professionals (2004), Hope Award, National Multiple Sclerosis Society (2004), Michael A. Carroll Award, Indianapolis Business Journal (2003), Charles L. Whistler Award, Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (2001), Business Leadership Award – Purdue University Krannert School of Management (2001), Junior Achievement of Central Indiana Business Hall of Fame (2001), Award of Merit – NCAA/Citizenship through Sports Alliance and the America-Israel Friendship League, Whitney Young Award (1992 and 2000), Million Dollar Round Table 2000 Circle of Life Award, Legatus 2000 Ambassador of the Year, Noble of Indiana 1999 Noble Wings Award, 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award (Indiana Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors), Indiana Achievement in Communication Award (1997), Horatio Alger Award – Boys & Girls Club of Indianapolis (1995), Million Dollar Round Table Unsung Hero Award (1994), Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (1987) and Jaycee Keyman Award (1968).
Dave Sibley joined White Lodging in 2000 and currently is Regional Vice President. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer of the Full Service Division, responsible for the operations of the company’s full service portfolio, and also spent nearly 10 years as the company's president and CEO. Mr. Sibley started with the company as the opening general manager of the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown and also has served as regional vice president of operations and senior vice president of operations/eastern division. Prior to joining White Lodging, he spent more than 17 years with Marriott International.
Mr. Sibley received his business degree from Gettysburg College and is active in community engagement, currently serving as a member of the executive committee of Visit Indy. He also serves on Residence Inn by Marriott's Advisory Board and is on the National Board of Directors for Back on My Feet.