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Indiana Dunes Tourism Staff & Board Of Directors
Mitch Peters, President:
Mitch is serving his second term on the Indiana Dunes Tourism Board of Directors and is appointed by the Porter County Council. Mitch graduated from Valparaiso University with degrees in elementary education and law. He has been an attorney since 1986. Mitch is also a veteran of the United States Navy. He is involved in numerous organizations, including Respite House, a halfway house for men seeking recovery from addiction and alcohol. In his spare time, Mitch enjoys hunting, fishing, archery and golf.
Jesse Harper, Vice President:
Jesse is serving his first term on the Indiana Dunes Tourism board of directors. He is appointed by Porter County Commissioner Laura Blaney. A graduate of Valparaiso High School, Jesse studied film production at University of California, Los Angeles, and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University, Northridge. He owns JBH Productions, Inc. in Valparaiso, a company which does video and film production as well as media consulting. He created and taught for three years the American Citizenship course of Gloria Dei, part of the Northwest Indiana Lutheran Hispanic Mission Society. He is also a volunteer for the Valparaiso YMCA.
Richard Riley, Treasurer:
Richard is serving his second term on the Indiana Dunes Tourism Board of Directors and is appointed by Porter County Commissioner John Evans. Riley is an attorney specializing in real estate zoning for telecommunications structures, and he and his wife, Ann, are also owners of Riley’s Railhouse Bed & Breakfast in Chesterton. Riley has two children, Rebecca and Christopher, and two stepchildren, Angela and Lauren.
Michael Mantai, Secretary:
Michael Mantai is serving his third term on the Indiana Dunes Tourism Board of Directors. Michael, a Hebron resident, was appointed by the town councils in Hebron and Kouts. He studied environmental policy at Indiana State University and is a self-employed real estate appraiser. He also serves on Hebron’s Redevelopment Commission and Hebron’s Town Events Committee. He also oversees the town’s website and newsletter.
Judy is serving her fifth term on the Indiana Dunes Tourism Board of Directors. She is appointed by the towns of Burns Harbor, Chesterton and Porter. Judy’s family history is well rooted in Chesterton with Shady Lawn Florist and Greenhouse. She moved to Chesterton when her grandparents, Jesse and Lillian Williams, bought Shady Lawn in 1946. Judy and Jim kept Shady Lawn a family business by purchasing it in 1969. Judy and Jim have made Shady Lawn a superior florist, a Top 1000 producer for FTD for the past ten years. Judy served on the Duneland Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for six years and also the chamber’s Executive Board for two years.
Len is serving his first term on the Indiana Dunes Tourism board of directors. He is appointed by Portage Mayor James Snyder. A graduate of Portage High School, Len earned an associate’s degree from Vincennes University, a bachelor’s degree from Butler University, and master’s degrees from Indiana State University and the University of Notre Dame. He is also in the PhD program at Indiana Tech. Len owns a media consulting company and represents VeriCorder Technology Inc, a tech company that specializes in mobile journalism applications. He also hosts Gameday AM for Notre Dame football on WSBT in South Bend. He is past president of the Evansville Association for the Blind and currently serves on the national board of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Dr. John Johnson:
Dr. John Johnson previously served on the Indiana Dunes Tourism Board of Directors and was instrumental in the development of the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center and the partnership with the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. He was asked to serve again by Porter County Commissioner Nancy Adams. Dr. Johnson, a resident of Valparaiso, has been the proprietor of The Inn at Aberdeen in Valparaiso since 1995. He is also the owner of Immediate Care Center: The Doctor Is In, which is located in Schererville. He serves on the boards of Porter-Starke Services and Pines Village Retirement Center, and he is on the HealthLinc Quality Assurance Committee. He completed his undergraduate degree and medical school at Indiana University.
Roberta is serving her fourth term on the Indiana Dunes Tourism board of directors and was appointed by Portage mayors Doug Olson, Olga Velazquez and James Snyder. She has been a resident of South Haven since 1992. Roberta is the director of sales for Country Inn & Suites in Portage. She attained a degree in restaurant, hotel and institutional management and a business degree from Purdue University. Roberta has a wonderful husband, Brad, and two beautiful daughters, Cassandra and Megan (deceased). Roberta once served on the Women’s Auxiliary for the South Haven Fire Department and the Task Force for the South Haven Fire Department.
Scott is serving his second term on the Indiana Dunes Tourism Board of Directors and is appointed by Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas. Tuft is director of sales and marketing for Accucraft Imaging in Hammond and is an associate at Bass Pro Shops in Portage. He is also an active community volunteer through the Valparaiso Rotary Club and the Valparaiso Boys & Girls Club, and he has served as a volunteer coach for basketball, soccer and baseball. Tuft lives in Valparaiso.
Doug is in his first term on the Indiana Dunes Tourism board of directors. He is appointed by the Porter County Commissioners. A graduate of Indiana State University, he is the government affairs director for SEH Inc. Doug previously served Portage as mayor, county clerk, clerk-treasurer and city councilman. His past professional associations include Northwest Indiana Regional Plan Commission, Lake Michigan Marina Commission, Lake Michigan Shoreline Development Commission, and Indiana Association of Cities and Towns Legislative Committee. His awards include the Excellence in Economic Development Award from Portage Economic Development Corporation, R.O.S.E. Award from Indiana Dunes Tourism and the Sagamore of the Wabash Award for distinguished service to the state.
Chuck is in his first term on the Indiana Dunes Tourism board of directors, having been appointed by the Porter County Commissioners. He is a graduate of Indiana University and owns Elegan Customwear in Valparaiso. He is a former Valparaiso City Council member and has served the community in a variety of other capacities.
David Hollenbeck, Attorney:
David is serving his 29th year as the Indiana Dunes Tourism Board of Directors attorney. David, a Valparaiso resident, is a partner in the law firm of Blachly, Tabor, Bozik and Hartman. In addition to serving the Indiana Dunes Tourism Board of Directors, he is also the attorney for the Porter County Board of Health and many other government entities. He serves on the Porter County Community Foundation finance committee. David, who earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Valparaiso University, teaches classes at the Valparaiso University School of Law and is an NCAA clock operator and scorer for the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team.
Lorelei Weimer, Executive Director:
The executive director is responsible for directing and leading Indiana Dunes Tourism towards achieving its vision and mission. The director works closely with the board of directors on policy making and business strategies for the organization. The director serves as the primary spokesperson and chief executive officer. Lorelei holds a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management from Purdue University Calumet and obtained her Fellow Certified Destination Management Executive certification from Destination Marketing Organization International. Lorelei is a veteran with Indiana Dunes Tourism and started her career with us in 1991. Lorelei is past president of the Board of Directors for Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission. She was appointed to represent Northern Indiana on the Indiana Tourism Council, and she is a past board member of the Indiana Tourism Association. She represents tourism in Northern Indiana and Porter County for Region 1 on the Indiana Toll Road Citizens Advisory Board. She is also a board member of the Portage Economic Development Corporation, serves on the Porter County Economic Alliance group, and served as a staff member to the Porter County Jobs Cabinet. Lorelei also chairs the Dunes-Kankakee Trail initiative.
Christine Livingston, Assistant Director:
The Assistant Director is responsible for the development and implementation of marketing strategies to meet the goals and objectives of Indiana Dunes Tourism. This includes managing advertising initiatives, the Indiana Dunes Tourism website and database, photo inventory, and the Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail – a campaign designed to draw visitors into Porter County communities. She also leads Indiana Dunes Tourism in the executive director’s absence. Christine has a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication from Indiana University Northwest. Previously she worked for several non-profits as program manager and on various outreach and marketing initiatives. She has served as an advisory member of Purdue’s Indiana Water Research Center, and has served on committees for various community projects such as the Porter County Corridor Plan Committee, Duneland School Improvement Committee and Porter County Parks Master Planning Committee. She is currently vice chair of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Coastal Advisory Board.
Patti Boyer, Operations Director:
The operations director is responsible for supervision of the front desk staff, accounts payable and accounts receivable, information technology, tracking grants and overseeing building maintenance. Patti has an associate’s degree in computer technology and a bachelor’s degree in supervision from Purdue University. Patti previously was an application developer and instructor for a local business. She also has managed and taught accounting programs for multiple software businesses. Patti is currently active with the Portage Chamber of Commerce, Portage Relay of Life, is a board member of Midwest Family Credit Union and a Member of Tri Kappa Sorority.
Ken Kosky, Promotions Director:
The promotions director promotes the activities of Indiana Dunes Tourism through media partnerships, including acting as spokesperson for the organization. The promotions director also oversees the production of the Activities Guide, several niche publications and oversees the implementation of the internal and external communications plan and crisis plan. He is the organization’s primary writer and editor, and he manages the internship program. Ken has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/public relations from Ball State University. He joined Indiana Dunes Tourism after more than twenty years as a reporter with The Times. He has been active for the Banta Feeds food drive organization and Central Elementary School, both in Valparaiso.
Angela Pasyk, Niche Market Director:
The niche market director is responsible for developing, promoting and soliciting niche markets and groups. These niche markets and groups include birders, car clubs, bicyclists, meeting planners and reunions. The niche market director also creates niche market publications and website pages. Angela has a bachelor’s degree in communications/public relations from Purdue University. She previously served as marketing/communications coordinator for NET Ministries in West St. Paul, Minnesota and visitor information specialist for the Lafayette-West Lafayette Convention & Visitors Bureau. She has been active in Big Brothers Big Sisters and Special Olympics.
Julie Brown, Special Project Coordinator:
The special projects coordinator is responsible for gathering festival and event information, as well as coupon information, for print pieces and the website. The special projects coordinator also maintains and updates the database for use in mailings, marketing and website purposes. Julie previously operated a licensed home day care business, and worked for Guideposts for Kids/Teens magazines, Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce, St. Anthony Health System, Pathway Family Center and KPM group. She is active in Boy Scouts of America, Indiana Addictions Coalition, National Autism Association, PFLAG, St. Patrick’s Church and the Duneland community.
Destination Concierge Staff:
The operations director manages and directs the activities of the destination concierge staff. The concierge staff is responsible for opening and closing the visitor center, greeting visitors, assisting visitors with travel information, maintaining accurate visitation records, data input, fulfillment of travel information requests, and assisting with special projects.
Indiana Dunes Tourism relies on volunteers to assist with special projects. Volunteers are used to greet visitors and fulfill requests for travel information.