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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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Photo of Neil McDonald provided by Koch Enterprises

Koch Enterprises has named Neil McDonald its new Chief Financial Officer. The Evansville native holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and a Master of Business Administration from Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. McDonald joins Koch Enterprises from Evansville-based AmeriQual and has experience working for MasterBrand Cabinets in Jasper, Indiana, and Nestle USA. Retiring Koch Enterprises CFO Susan Parsons will stay on through summer 2024.

New Hires/ Promotions

Photo by Emma Bayens

Steve Schaefer has joined Garmong Construction as vice president for the Evansville region, effective at the end of November. Schaefer has served as Evansville’s first deputy mayor and chief of staff to Mayor Lloyd Winnecke since 2012, and he has also filled the role of interim executive director of Evansville Parks and Recreation since 2021. Garmong, based in Terre Haute, Indiana, opened its Evansville office in 2014, and the company says it has since managed and delivered more than $500 million worth of work in public and private projects in Evansville area communities. The company employs more than 50 people in the region.

Audrie Burkett has joined Woodward Commercial Realty Inc. as chief operations officer and executive vice president. Her roles include leading the company’s marketing efforts, internal operations, and spearheading Woodward’s continued expansion into the real estate development and investment market across Indiana and Kentucky. She previously was chief operations officer and executive vice president with the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership.

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The University of Evansville has named Brook Moffat director of marketing. Moffat, a UE alumna, has nearly two decades of experience in marketing, communication, and events management in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. She most recently was Senior Manager of Integrated Marketing for Shoe Carnival in Evansville.


Shoe Carnival has announced Patrick Edwards as the company’s senior vice president and chief financial officer, as well as secretary and treasurer of its board of directors. Edwards replaces Erik Gast, the former executive vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer. Edwards previously was the company’s chief accounting officer and secretary. He joined Shoe Carnival in 2019 after 18 years with Vectren Corp.

Ivy Tech Community College Evansville has announced several hires. New faculty members include Amanda Faucett, Angela Mamat, and Carnell “CJ” Tillotson in nursing, Robin Mallory in paramedic, and John-Morgan Phillips in psychology. Other new hires are Karen Oldham as executive administrative assistant to the chancellor and Cori Pendleton as accounts receivable clerk.

Silver Birch Living, which operates a premier affordable assisted living community in Evansville, has added two new executives. Dave Mazurek joins as the vice president for investments and growth strategy, and Colleen Wille will serve as the assistant vice president for sales and operations. Chicago, Illinois-based Silver Birch opened its Evansville campus in November 2018.

Awards/ Recognition 

The Evansville Regional Economic Partnership held its 2023 Annual Meeting and Dinner on Sept. 28 and announced that Lloyd Winnecke, three-term mayor of Evansville, will succeed the retiring Tara Barney as CEO, effective Jan. 8, 2024. E-REP also presented three awards at the event — Barry Cox, owner of The Cox Group and president of Warehouse Services Inc., was named Distinguished Business Leader of the Year; Traylor Construction Group was honored as Business of the Year; and the Evansville Promise Neighborhood was recognized as Community Champion of the Year.

Winners of the 2023 Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity Awards were named during the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Human Relations Commission’s Annual Dinner. The late Alice Weathers and the late Ira Neal were honored with the Sadelle Berger Award; former Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer Roseyn Hood received the Willie Effie Thomas Development Award; Gelina Mascoe of the Haitian Center of Evansville and F.C. Tucker Emge was recognized with the Leadership Award; Kelly Shapker of Autism Evansville garnered the Sue Woodson Community Relations Award; and Southwest Behavioral Healthcare received the Workforce Diversity Award.

The Henderson Chamber of Commerce has named its 2023 Women in Business Award winners. Henderson Distilling Co. co-founder and Head Distiller Meredith Powell received the Female Emerging Leader Award; 51st District Court Judge Leslie Newman was named Female Volunteer of the Year; the Female in Agriculture Award went to Cates Farm co-owner Amy Cates; Tamika Johnson of Kidz World Childcare received the Female Owned Business Award; the Female Non-Profit Professional Award went to Britney Smith of Habitat for Humanity; Gibbs industrial engineer Samantha Hering received the Female in Manufacturing Award; and Missy Vanderpool, executive director of Henderson Economic Development, was named Linda E. White Woman of the Year.

Multiple Evansville-area executives have been named to IBJ Media’s annual list of 250 influential business leaders in Indiana who have made a significant impact on the Hoosier State’s economy and people. The Class of 2023 includes Tara Barney, the retiring CEO of the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership; Robert Koch, chairman of Koch Enterprises Inc.; Shawn McCoy, CEO of Deaconess Health System; Christopher Pietruszkiewicz, president of the University of Evansville; Ron Rochon, president of the University of Southern Indiana; Ron Romain, executive chairman of United Companies; Amy Romain Barron, CEO of United Companies; Tom Salmon, recently retired CEO of Berry Global; Michael Schopmeyer, a partner at Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn; and Jim Ryan, CEO of Old National Bank.

Deaconess Health System has been recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals in the nation for spine surgery, pulmonary care, and prostate surgeries. The health system received Specialty Excellence Awards for those three areas, as well as 11 five-star ratings for services in heart failure, spinal fusion surgery, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, carotid procedures, prostate removal surgery, bowel obstruction, pancreatitis, sepsis, and respiratory failure.

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Several D-Patrick auto dealerships have contributed to local nonprofits. D-Patrick Ford/Lincoln donated $2,500 to the Isaiah 1:17 Project. D-Patrick Boonville Ford donated $1,000 to the Studio Bee Community Youth Center and another $1,000 to Bread of Life Ministry. WNIN received $1,500 from D-Patrick Honda during September’s Kids Fest. The dealership donated another $1,500 to Warrick County Young Life.

Melissa Nicholson, an Edward Jones financial advisor in Newburgh, Indiana, has received the firm’s Spirit of Caring Award, recognizing those who exemplify the values, culture, and spirit of giving back. The award is given to one financial advisor in each of the firm’s 326 regions and is determined by a vote of peers.

The University of Southern Indiana Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education has earned a five-year extension on its accreditation for its chemistry and biochemistry programs from the American Chemical Society. The accreditation process is meant to ensure quality instruction, laboratory experiences, and access to state-of-the-art instrumentation.

The University of Evansville Dunigan Family School of Nursing has received full accreditation status from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, effective through spring 2031. Students also can study abroad while pursuing their nursing education. UE also announced 14 students are part of its Class of 2025 Indiana Area Health Education Centers Scholars: physician assistants Katelyn Brown, Sydney Hirt, Aubrey Lankford, Hannah Myers, Chastity Reising, Natalie Schimp, Carlie Schultheis, and Yanyu Wei; nursing student Heather Mathis; exercise physiology major Samantha Moore; and physical therapy students Hannah Rawhoof, Kathryn Williams, and Keri Zumbahlen.

Ashley Chamness, a kindergarten-sixth grade technology instructor at Evansville
Day School, has been selected to receive the VEX GO Grant from the TechPoint Foundation for Youth. This grant will equip Evansville Day School classrooms with a set of 10 VEX GO robots, bringing a hands-on learning experience to the school’s primary and middle school classrooms. The grant also includes a comprehensive specialty curriculum that will be integrated with second-semester coursework.

WIKY-104.1 FM has been named Small Market Radio Station of the Year by the National Association of Broadcasters. The station — owned since 2014 by Midwest Communications but rooted in Evansville since 1948 — received the honor at the 2023 Marconi Radio Awards on Oct. 25 in New York City.

The Owensboro Convention Center in Kentucky has been recognized by Northstar Meetings Group as a Silver Medal winner in the 7th Annual Stella Awards. The facility’s Silver Medal was in the category of Best Convention Center – Midwest. The awards recognize winners in 16 categories across the U.S. and worldwide and are chosen for achieving overall excellence in the meetings and events industry.

The Men’s Fund of Vanderburgh County has awarded 2023 Impact Grant worth $30,000 to Holly’s House to use for technology upgrades. Evansville Christian Life Center and Tri-State Food Bank each were awarded $5,000.

Six non-profits earned 2023 Impact Grants at the Women’s Fund of Vanderburgh County’s Annual Meeting. Albion Fellows Bacon Center, Holly’s House, and Youth First, Inc. received $35,000 each, while Ozanam Family Shelter, Evansville Christian Life Center, and Boys and Girls Club of Evansville each received $10,000.


The District housing complex in Princeton, Indiana, is open, and leasing is underway. The $21 million apartment project at 629 S. Second Ave. has 144 units and supports local employers. Wayne Kinney developed the complex, which received a grant from Indiana’s Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI).

McClarney Financial Group has announced its relocation to the Fifth Third Bank building at 20 N.W. Third St., Ste. 940, effective Nov. 1. Travis McClarney founded the company 13 years ago, with services in financial planning, wealth management, asset protection and risk management, and business planning.

Ivy Tech Community College says $340 million has been raised statewide over the last five years, and more than $16 million of those donations came from supporters of the Evansville campus, exceeding the local goal by more than $4 million. “A significant portion of the funds raised in Evansville will be dedicated to create new scholarships, enhance wrap-around services, and support program growth,” says Ivy Tech Evansville Chancellor Daniela Vidal. The campaign concluded during the 60th anniversary of Ivy Tech’s founding.

The Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office has received a $700,000, three- year federal grant to establish a law enforcement crime gun intelligence center. Its goal is to combat gun crime through intelligence, analysis, and sharing resources among agencies. Prosecutor Diana Moers says her office sought the grant “because of the precipitous increase in violent crime and specifically gun-related crime” in the area.

Photo provided by source

The Koch Family Children’s Museum of Evansville welcomed its one millionth visitor on Oct. 12. A family of three first-time visitors from Northern Indiana received a basket of free books and games as part of the celebration. cMoe first operated from 1990 to 2004 as Hands On Discovery in a rented storefront in Washington Square Mall before opening the museum in 2006 at 22 S.E. Fifth St.


The University of Evansville and Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. have announced a new partnership that will allow high school students interested in careers in education or health sciences to earn college credit and qualify for scholarships. Students can enroll in one of two programs — the Academy of Science and Medicine or the Education Pathways Program and earn credits from UE, which are transferrable to other universities. Students who complete one of the programs and are admitted to UE will qualify for a minimum scholarship of $25,000, renewable for up to four years. As part of the partnership, the UE facility will work with EVSC high schools to provide opportunities such as campus visits, observational experiences, and potential research projects with UE faculty and students.

Vanderburgh County Commissioners celebrated the grand opening of the Oasis Playground at Burdette Park on Oct. 27. The playground, designed to accommodate children of all abilities, features a Quaker Mill play system and was funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

Vincennes University has announced a $4.5-million state-funded expansion of its partnership with Indianapolis International Airport. By doubling the allowed enrollment of the Vincennes, Indiana, school’s Aviation Maintenance program, more high school students can earn dual credit at VU’s Aviation Technology Center in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Hard Truth Distilling Co. — featuring Master Distiller Bryan Smith, an Evansville native and William Henry Harrison High School graduate — has partnered with Mellencamp Whiskey to produce four collectors’ edition whiskeys to be released over 18 months. The whiskey company owes its name to Bloomington, Indiana, native Hud Mellencamp, son of Hoosier musician John Mellencamp. Smith is the first and only Master Distiller at Hard Truth since the company’s inception in 2015.

Romain Subaru has expanded with the grand opening of its new facility at 7605 E. Virginia St. Owned by the Romain family-led United Companies, the new location is near Romain Buick GMC’s dealership at 7600 E. Division St.

Mark Senzell announced his company, Kor-X-All, was acquired by Bedford, Indiana- based Hawkins Bailey Warehouse LLC, owned by Damon Bailey — the renowned early 1990s Indiana University basketball player who played for late coach Bob Knight — on Oct. 4. Kor-X-All was founded in Evansville by Senzell’s grandfather in 1934. Senzell cited a need to spend more time with family as a reason for the acquisition, while Bailey expressed a desire to expand into the Tri-State.

Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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