Speakers & Panelists

Keynote Speakers

Charles MarohnCharles “Chuck” Marohn, a professional engineer and certified planner, founded the non-profit Strong Towns. The organization advocates incremental, indigenous, collaborative planning and development to enhance the long-term prosperity of cities, towns and neighborhoods. The author of Thoughts on Building Strong Towns and A World Class Transportation System, Marohn hosts a Strong Towns podcast and has given talks in cities and towns across North America. He holds a degree in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology and a master’s in urban and regional planning from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute. He lives in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Cameron PottsCameron Potts is vice president of public relations at Deluxe Corp., a 100-year-old firm that built its reputation as a check printer and now provides design and website services, print and online marketing services, promotional products, and fraud protection to small business throughout the U.S. To celebrate its 100th anniversary, Deluxe created the Small Business Revolution, a documentary series sharing the stories of 100 small businesses across the country whose passion and drive help shape the American economy, and supplemented the series with a nationwide, popular-vote Small Business Revolution contest won by Wabash, Indiana. Potts has a deep background in journalism, communications, public relations, social media and community engagement. Prior to joining Deluxe, Cameron was a leader at Weber Shandwick Minneapolis, one of the largest PR firms in the country. He lives in Elk River, Minnesota.

Speakers & Panelists

John Bickers is a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, descended from Palaanswa (Francis Godfroy), signer of the Treaty of 1826, and his wife Seekaahkweeta through their son Waapanaakikaapwa (Gabriel Godfroy). John has studied Myaamia history and genealogy for the past 15 years. He received a B.A. degree in history from Miami University of Ohio.

Colette Childress is a Project Manager at the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Before arriving at OCRA, she worked in promotion and project management as a private contractor for small and national brands. She works in all of Indiana’s 92 counties.

Logan J. Cook, a professional engineer at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., has served as project manager or project associate on hundreds of assignments related to the analysis, repair, construction, and restoration of new and existing arenas, stadiums, museums, buildings, and bridges. His experience includes investigation and repair of roofing, facade, and structural systems. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering from Purdue University. 

Paul Diebold, Assistant Director of Preservation Services and Team Leader of Survey and Registration, has been with the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology since 1988. A specialist in early twentieth century domestic architecture, he is a former adjunct faculty member in the historic preservation program at Ball State University. He holds a master’s degree in historic preservation from Ball State.

Scott Davis, senior webmaster at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, has dramatically expanded its use of social media and video to reach new audiences with little cost. Prior to state government, Scott worked 20 years in the newspaper industry. He holds a master’s in digital storytelling from Ball State University.

Cathy L. Draeger-Williams, archaeologist, has been with the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology since 2003. She has B.A. in history and anthropology, and an M.A. in anthropology, both from Ball State University.

Scott Drake, preservation and LEED specialist at ARSEE Engineers, specializes in façade assessments of historic and contemporary buildings. A consultant on notable projects including Scottish Rite Cathedral, Hinkle Fieldhouse, and Soldiers and Sailors Monument—all in Indianapolis—and the Allen County Courthouse, he is president of the Ohio Valley Chapter of the Association for Preservation Technology International. He holds a masters degree in historic preservation from Ball State.

Ryan Duddleson has directed archaeology and cultural resource management projects across the Midwest for 16 years, working with public and private clients and in energy, transportation, industrial, and development sectors. He also coordinates among agencies and consulting parties in projects that involve Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. His written work has appeared in peer-reviewed academic journals and industry trade publications.

Amy Favret’s experience in cultural resource management over the past 15 years includes research, fieldwork, analysis, and reporting. She coordinates with local, state, and federal agencies and consulting parties on projects involving Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Her experience in archaeological investigation includes prehistoric and historic cemeteries. She holds Qualified Professional Archaeologist status in prehistoric and historic archaeology in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

Christine Flohr is executive director of tourism at Visit Wabash County. She serves on the board of Wabash Marketplace, the North Manchester Chamber of Commerce and on committees for ArtsFest, Wabash River Defenders, and Wabash FAME Festival. She was an active participant in Wabash’s nominations for Stellar Communities designation and the Small Business Revolution contest.

Michael Flowers is the community preservation specialist in Indiana Landmarks’ Eastern Regional Office in Cambridge City, advocating for historic preservation and providing technical assistance in 12 counties. He also serves as the Executive Director of the Indiana National Road Association, promoting heritage tourism and preservation along the Historic National Road. He holds an M.S. in historic preservation from Ball State University.

Keith Gillenwater is president & CEO of the Economic Development Group of Wabash County, which focuses on business expansion, retention and attraction, fostering entrepreneurialism, and improving overall quality of life. Keith was previously president & CEO of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation and northeast Indiana community liaison for the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Keith received credentials from the International Economic Development Council, is the 2017 chair of the Indiana Economic Development Association, and board member of the Mid-America Economic Development Council. He holds a Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University, Fort Wayne.

Alycia Giedd, principal investigator and archaeologist at Orbis Environmental Consulting, has supervised projects across the Midwest, in England, Germany, and Italy. She has worked with federal and state governments and private firms in energy, transportation, industrial, and development sectors. She received an M.A. in Greek and Roman archaeology from Newcastle University.

Briana Paxton Grosicki is director of research at Washington, D.C.-based PlaceEconomics. She establishes research methodologies and ensures accuracy in data analysis in the firm’s qualitative and quantitative studies of preservation impact. A Muncie resident since 2013, she serves on the city’s Historic Preservation and Rehabilitation Commission and on the board of the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions. Grosicki holds an M.S. in historic preservation from the University of Pennsylvania.

Ryan Hamlett is Southeast Indiana Real Estate Production Analyst at the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) where he advocates for placemaking and historic preservation in community and housing development. He joined IHCDA as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer assisting in the placemaking program. A self-described urban explorer, he serves on the board of Preserve Greater Indy. He holds a master’s degree in historic preservation from Ball State University.

Diane Hunter, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and a citizen of the tribe, descends from the Miami family of Seekaahkweeta and Palaanswa (Francis Godfroy). After many years as a librarian, Diane went to work for the tribe in 2015 when it opened a Cultural Resources Extension Office in Fort Wayne. She serves 500 tribal citizens in the Fort Wayne area, educates Hoosiers on the presence and history of the tribe, and works to protect its historic sites and resources. She holds master’s degrees from Ball State University and Georgetown University. 

Kyle Huskins, an Indianapolis native, is a master’s and doctoral candidate in sociology at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. His thesis explores the experiences of African American suburbanites after World War II.

George Ironstrack directs the Myaamia Center’s Education & Outreach Office. His educational initiatives include a history of the allotment of Miami Nation lands in Indian Territory, a teacher training workshop on Myaamia language and culture, and creating a Montessori-based approach for teaching Miami Tribe language and culture. Examples of George’s writing on language, culture, history, ecology, and education can be found on the Myaamia community blog: Aacimotaatiiyankwi (myaamiahistory.wordpress.com). He holds a master’s degree in history from Miami University.

Tyler Karst joined Wabash Marketplace, Inc. in 2016 as project coordinator, previously serving on its promotions and First Friday committees t He completed his B.S. degree at Northern Arizona University in 2015.

Andrea Kern is a historic preservation specialist at ARCH, a non-profit preservation organization in Fort Wayne. She interned with the Indiana Historical Society, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office, where her experience inspired her master’s thesis on modernizing state enabling legislation for historic districts to address twenty-first-century issues. She has a master’s degree in historic preservation from Ball State University.

Mitchell Knigga hails from Bright, in southeastern Indiana. He holds a B.S. in public history and soon will receive his M.S. in Historic Preservation, both from Ball State University. An avid automotive enthusiast, he explores the scenic highways and byways of Indiana in his free time.

David Kroll manages the research and design team for preservation projects at RATIO. Prior to joining the architecture firm in 1993, he served as the architect in Indiana’s Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology and Main Street designer for Indiana Main Street. With more than 30 years’ experience, Dave is well-versed in the challenges and opportunities in preservation, rehabilitation, and restoration projects, including those using the Historic Tax Credit.

Thomas E. (Ted) Leahey has been active in preservation in Union City for 30 years. A former board member of Indiana Landmarks and chair of its Affiliate Council, he continues his work to restore the built environment and promote preservation awareness through board and officer roles in the Preservation Society of Union City IN-OH, Inc.

Carmen Lethig is the state’s first placemaking manager at the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority where she has worked for eight years in three different roles. She taps a variety of programs—Stellar Communities, My Community, My Vision and CreatINg Places—in her work fostering development and organizational capacity for creating places where people want to live, work and play. A certified urban planner, she holds a master’s degree in urban planning from Ball State University.

Kayla Lutz grew up in the small southeastern Indiana town of West Harrison. She holds a B.A. in landscape architecture, with minors in sustainable land systems and historic preservation, from Ball State University. After working for a landscape architecture and urban design firm for a year, she returned to Ball State for a master’s in historic preservation, which she’ll complete in May.

Jill McDevitt is executive director at the non-profit preservation organization ARCH, Inc. in Fort Wayne, where she focuses on documentation and advocacy projects, including National Register of Historic Places nominations, historic tax credit certifications, and historic structure reports. She works closely with ARCH’s volunteer Preservation Committee to identify local preservation issues and develop advocacy strategies. Jill has a master’s degree in historic preservation from Ball State University.

Ryan Peterson, an expert in archaeology and cultural resources management, has conducted archival research and supervised excavations in the Midwest and southeast U.S. and Alaska, with special expertise in applying archaeogeophysical techniques. He has frequently supervised and trained volunteers and amateur archaeologists. Peterson holds an M.A. in anthropology from the University of Arkansas.

Jeannie Regan-Dinius, is Director of Special Initiatives at the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology where she manages the Underground Railroad research initiative, the Historic Cemetery Registry, Historic Theater Initiative, and public outreach. She previously directed a 96-acre historic park in Huntington. She has served on the board of directors for the Indiana Women’s History Association for over six years, as secretary, president, and currently as treasurer. Jeannie earned a master’s in urban planning and information management/library science from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.

Robyn Ryle, a native of northern Kentucky, is an associate professor of sociology at Hanover College. She lives in a 170-year-old house in historic Madison, where her hobbies include digging in and cooking out of her garden, and generally enjoying small town life. She has undergraduate degrees in sociology and English from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, and a doctorate in sociology from Indiana University-Bloomington.

Creager Smith staffs the Fort Wayne Historic Preservation Commission in his capacity as historic preservation planner for the City of Fort Wayne, a role he has filled for 25 years. He provides technical assistance to property owners, writes and reviews National Register applications and local historic district petitions, completes Section 106 reviews, and conducts historical research for planning projects. A long-time member of the board of the National Automotive and Truck Museum in Auburn, he recently joined the board of the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association. He holds master’s degrees in historic preservation from Southeast Missouri State University and Eastern Michigan University. 

Ross J. Smith, P.E., LEED AP BD+C, CDT, is an associate principal with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. In his 16 years as a licensed professional engineer, he has consulted on structural evaluations, failure investigations, repair design, and construction quality control. His work also includes structural and architectural failures related to water infiltration, fire, wind, snow, condensation, and material failures. He specializes in full-building condition surveys and coordinating multiple engineering disciplines to create comprehensive analyses.

Clay Stuckey’s life-long avocation of reading and writing history led to his authorship of articles that have appeared in the Lincoln Herald, the Indiana Magazine of History, Indiana Folklore and Oral History, and the Hoosier Line among others. Many of his unpublished manuscripts may be found in Bedford and Bloomington museums and libraries, and the Indiana Historical Society library. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in history from Indiana University, he graduated from the IU School of Dentistry, a profession from which he is retired. He lives in Bedford.

Rachel Swanson, AICP, PLA, ASLA, is a planner and landscape architect at American Structurepoint. Since 2012, she has worked with the City of Wabash on various planning projects, including the Strategic Investment Plan 2014-2018 and the ABC Revitalization Plan. She serves as the program manager for Wabash’s Stellar Communities Program.

Steve Szaday has served for five years as a preservation specialist at the Historic Preservation Commission of South Bend and St. Joseph County. With a background in construction, he has presented dozens of workshops ranging from painting and plaster to wood flooring. In 2016 he presented a demonstration and workshop on restoring wood flooring for Indiana Landmarks’ Vintage Green Series in South Bend. He is also an independent contractor. He is a graduate of Indiana University at South Bend.

Holly A. Tate, an architectural historian, has worked for the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology since 2007. From 1999 to 2006, she worked for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Historic Preservation Division in the Survey and Register Unit. Originally from Birmingham, AL, she completed graduate coursework in the Master of Historic Preservation program at the University of Georgia.

Ashley D. Thomas has worked as a historic structures reviewer at the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology since 2009. She holds a master’s degree in historic preservation from Ball State University.

Rocky Walls is CEO of Fishers-based 12 Stars Media, a video production company that works globally and consults with companies about including video in their marketing and communication programs. A communicator to the core and an experienced speaker, he has engaged rooms full of communicators for companies like Microsoft and Walt Disney World. Like any professional in the video biz, he’s an avid movie fan.