When running an event the magnitude of Taste of Indiana, there are a lot of people involved in making the event a success. I often marvel at just how many talented, dedicated, and willing individuals come forth to lend their skills to our cause.
First of all, we would not be doing this event without you, the guest, and we thank each and every one of you for your support in buying a ticket and supporting Indiana food and agriculture. We know many of you will seek out and patronize these businesses later, which is exactly why we do the event.
Of course, we wouldn’t enjoy your support if you didn’t know about the festival and all the great things happening there, so a great thanks to Promotions Coordinator Taylor Imus, who as a senior at Ball State has a bright future ahead of her. Working closely with Taylor and I on all the ads, signs, visuals, program, and wayfinding to the event was Jackie Halpern of Firebelly Marketing. She worked tirelessly in the weeks before the event to make sure we had what we needed.
We hope you noticed and found helpful all those folks clad in orange volunteer shirts, to check you into the front gate, mark your passports, and keep those bottles of water stocked for your hydration. We certainly appreciate each and every volunteer, and the countless hours put in by volunteer coordinator Sara Croft to get them organized and trained so that you could have a great festival experience. Sara was a volunteer herself in this role, and gave more then we could have asked to make this happen.
Much of the food at the event is sourced and procured by the Dig IN organization, and in charge of finding all the proteins for the event is Leah Beyer. Leah is part of a farming family and has been on the board since the beginning, and we couldn’t find all these farm fresh meats without her. Those proteins, as well as all the Indiana produce we buy, would never make it to the chefs if it weren’t for Doug Baker at Piazza Produce. By day, this man routes all the transportation and logistics for the company, and by night, puts in the product orders for our chefs and makes sure they get what they need.
At Doug’s side is Justin Goss, who helps him with all the transportation at Piazza, but pulled double duty by helping us at the park. Formerly the park manager and on staff at White River State Park for 15 years, Justin can immediately tell you what will and won’t work when structuring your event. He is another example of going above and beyond to help out, and working with the already very helpful and friendly White River Park staff and management.
Additional thanks to Alex Umlauf and Bob Whitt at White River State Park, as well as all their grounds crew and staff. Thanks to board members who were all very willing to take a specific role at the event and pitch in wherever needed. And thanks to our new Program Manager Erin Till for jumping in and just doing whatever was needed with a smile!