Indiana Dunes Tourism Team

Meet the highly-skilled board members and staff who work tirelessly to market and promote Indiana Dunes and its communities to visitors, both local and from afar.

Indiana Dunes Tourism Staff

Julie Brown, Partnership Coordinator

The Partnership Coordinator is responsible for all of Indiana Dunes Tourism’s partnership sales and gathers festival, event, and coupon information for both the website and print pieces. The Partnership Coordinator also maintains and updates the database for use in mailings, marketing, and website purposes, and is the primary contact for groups looking to visit the Indiana Dunes area.

Julie previously operated a licensed home daycare 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.

Christine Livingston, CEO/President

As the President / CEO, Christine is responsible for leading Indiana Dunes Tourism toward achieving its vision and mission. The president works closely with the board of directors, community partners and her team to ensure organizational goals are aligned with community needs and industry best practices. Christine also serves as the primary spokesperson and is responsible for the development and implementation of marketing strategies. This includes managing community development and advertising initiatives that draw visitors into Porter County communities.

Christine started her career with Indiana Dunes Tourism in 2009. She has a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication from Indiana University Northwest and is a Certified Destination Management Executive through Destinations International Development Corporation.

Christine currently serves on the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Coastal Advisory Board, Portage Economic Development Corporation Board, Shirley Heinze Land Trust Advisory Board, and the Destinations International Advocacy Committee. She also represents IDT at Indiana Tourism Association, Indiana Destination Development Corporation, and the Northwest Indiana Forum.

Previously, Christine served on committees for various local community projects, such as the Porter County Corridor Plan Committee, the Duneland School Improvement Committee, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, and the Porter County Parks Master Planning Committee.

Jennifer Matthys, Senior Operations Director

As the Senior Operations Director, Jennifer is responsible for maintaining the Indiana Dunes Tourism (IDT) building, external contracting, and overseeing daily operations. Jennifer also provides Dunes Ambassador team development and volunteer coordination and works closely with the Retail Manager to ensure the gift shop and Pedal Power enhance our visitor experience. The director also evaluates and executes emergency preparedness for the Indiana Dunes Tourism staff. 

Jennifer is native to Porter County and has over seven years of experience in human resources and six years in operations management at a facility that creates inclusive opportunities for people of all abilities. She enjoys spending time with her tightly-knit family, reading, and working on home improvement projects.  

Linda Palko, Retail Manager

As Retail Manager, Linda ensures that potential customers have a receptive and informative experience in the Visitor's Center by leading the retail team and providing excellent customer service and presenting a pleasing retail experience.  She is also responsible for managing the retail inventory, processing and receiving merchandise orders and communicating with retail sales representatives and vendors.

Linda is a lifelong Northwest Indiana resident and has lived in Porter County since 2012.  She has over 30 years of retail management experience and enjoys the active pace of the retail environment.   When not working, she loves walking and bicycling with her husband, whom she first met in the 6th grade.   She is also a crossword puzzle addict and enjoys reading mysteries and cross-stitching.  

Dustin Ritchea, Production Director

The Production Director coordinates the production, post-production, delivery, marketing, and design of promotional materials, publications, and video and graphic design projects. The director manages partnership events and outreach programs, such as R.O.S.E., media events, and chamber functions. They also work alongside the marketing team to update and implement the Indiana Dunes Communications Plan, serving as IDT’s in-person representative for all media, radio, step-on guides, and video interviews. The director works closely with the Communications Director on strategic planning and media requests, and they are the communications lead for crisis management.

Dustin has a master’s degree in telecommunications (production and design) from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in English and theater arts from Augsburg University. He currently serves as a member of the Indiana Arts Commission and is a graduate of the Valparaiso Chamber Leadership Academy. A Porter native, Dustin is a trained actor, producer, photo/videographer, and multimedia specialist. In his spare time, he writes, plays piano, and leads a Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

Michelle Senderhauf, Communications Director

As Communications Director, Michelle oversees the organization’s social media and digital campaign strategy, handles written communications, and serves as the liaison to the media. She co-manages several print and digital projects with the Production Director. She also writes the blog for the Indiana Dunes website, assists with grant administration, and coordinates regional social media projects.

Michelle earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University. She worked as a freelance writer, artist, and social media manager in the entertainment industry before joining the Indiana Dunes Tourism team. Some of her high-profile clients included Ford Motor Company, the United States Military, AARP, General Electric, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In 2022, Michelle won a Peabody Legacy Award for her work on World Without Oil. She is an Indiana Master Naturalist, volunteers at Chellberg Farm in the Indiana Dunes National Park, and serves on the Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy Board and Northwest Indiana Paddling Association Board. Michelle also enjoys walking her dog in the dunes, kayaking, and playing board and video games with her family and friends.

Volunteer Staff

Indiana Dunes Tourism relies on volunteers to assist with special projects. Volunteers also greet visitors at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center and fulfill requests for travel information from potential visitors across the U.S.

Dunes Ambassador Staff

The Dunes Ambassador Staff are responsible for opening and closing the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, greeting visitors, assisting with travel information, maintaining accurate visitation records, inputting data into the database, fulfilling travel information requests, and assisting with special projects. The Dunes Ambassador Staff members are the face of Indiana Dunes Tourism at the visitor center and are a primary resource for what visitors are looking for when they visit the Indiana Dunes area.