Hired in 2014, Ryan Vaughn is Indiana Sports Corp’s sixth president since its founding in 1979. Prior to leading the Indiana Sports Corp staff, he served as Chief of Staff for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard with a focus on collaboration and information sharing.
Vaughn has also practiced law, served on the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council, and sat on a variety of boards and committees aimed at developing Indianapolis communities.
Ryan and his wife, Heather, live in Indianapolis.
Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer
Brad Bowman has been directing all aspects of the business operations of Indiana Sports Corp since 2000, including the supervision of the organization’s three-person accounting staff. He is responsible for budgeting and budget compliance, risk management, accounting and financial reporting, human resources and information technology. Bowman was promoted to Senior Vice President in December, 2010. He also served as the Chief Financial Officer of the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee.
Prior to joining Indiana Sports Corp, Bowman spent seven years at Ernst & Young, LLP.
A graduate of Indiana University, Bowman earned status as a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) (Indiana) in September, 1996. He is also active in the community, serving as a member and past officer of the Rotary Club of Greenfield – Sunrise.
Chief Community Officer
Melissa is the Chief Community Officer at Indiana Sports Corp and is responsible for board affairs, community initiatives, event bids, serve as Indiana Sports Corp’s board appointment to Sports Indiana as well as handle government relations.
A native of Indianapolis, Thompson’s roots and networks run deep in the city. Thompson offers extensive experience in event and logistics planning as well as public space management.
As Project Manager at Hathaway Strategies, Thompson offered extensive experience in event and logistics planning as well as public space management. Prior to joining Hathaway Strategies, Thompson served as the first-ever venue manager for Georgia Street, one of downtown Indianapolis’ premier outdoor event spaces. She handled day-to-day operations and maintenance of the venue as well as event coordination and planning.
Before that, Thompson occupied various roles for the City of Indianapolis. Beginning in 1999, she served in the Marion County Auditor’s Office and the Prosecutor’s Office before becoming clerk of the City County Council from 2008-2011.
Chief Operations Officer
Samantha Cross is the Chief Operations Officer for Indiana Sports Corp. Cross oversees the strategic direction of four departments: events, business development, marketing and public relations and youth initiatives.
Prior to joining the Indiana Sports Corp, Cross served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Indiana State Fair Commission. In her role as COO, Samantha oversaw the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, home of professional hockey’s Indy Fuel and Division 1 IUPUI Men’s Basketball, as well as five other departments including Safety & Security, Event Services, Operations, Facility Maintenance and the Fair Production Team.
Before then, Cross worked with other Indianapolis institutions including the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo) where she and the team developed the communications campaign and transit routes during Super Bowl XLVI. Cross’ time at Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University and Market Square Arena provided great exposure to world-class sports and entertainment events.
Cross is a graduate of Indiana University and has served on the boards of IndyCog and Storytelling Arts of Indiana.
Chief Talent Officer
Sandra (Sandy) Bryant-Willis joined Indiana Sports Corp in September, 2018 as Chief Talent Officer. In this role, Sandy will develop and implement programs to attract and advance the highest caliber of talent to meet the needs of the organization and our partners. In addition, she will work to extend the Indiana Sports Corp’s company culture into our local organizing committees and volunteer efforts.
Sandy formerly worked at Eli Lilly and Company in various capacities in her 15 years with the company. Her most recent role with the organization was Adviser, HR Strategic Business Partner. Sandy brings years of experience in the human resources realm to Indiana Sports Corp.
Sandy earned a degree in Business Education from North Carolina Central University.
Sr. Vice President, Business Development & Marketing
Mike Karnuta joined Indiana Sports Corporation in September, 2008 as Vice President of Business Development. In this role, Karnuta oversees corporate development, marketing, and public relations for Indiana Sports Corp and its events.
Karnuta most recently served as an account supervisor for Bradley and Montgomery, where he was responsible for day-to-day management of client business and leading strategic direction and implementation of creative marketing campaigns. He held similar roles at both Young & Laramore and Bates USA Midwest.
Prior to joining the Indiana Sports Corp staff, Karnuta led a team at Bradley and Montgomery in designing the look for the 2008-12 Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments. He also served on the 2012 Super Bowl bid committee, which successfully brought Super Bowl XLVI to Indianapolis.
Karnuta holds a B.S. in Political Science from Miami University (Ohio).
Director, Membership Sales and Services
Angela Hatem joined Indiana Sports Corp as Manager of Membership Sales and Services in June, 2010. In this role, Hatem oversees membership services for both the organization’s corporate and individual members. She also manages benefit packages for all members.
Hatem spent a year and a half in Sales and Marketing for Edible Arrangements in Indianapolis prior to arriving at Indiana Sports Corp. While at Edible Arrangements, she was responsible for maintaining and developing customer and client relations and for marketing Edible Arrangements to local and national corporations. She also has worked for Live Nation, Emmis Marketing Group, Emmis Communications, Indy Men’s Magazine, AOL Digital City and Nuvo.
Hatem attended Marian College (now known as Marian University) in Indianapolis, where she holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications.
Sr. Manager, Events
Ashleigh Newbold joined the Indiana Sports Corp staff in January, 2017 as an Events Manager. In her role, Newbold assists with the planning of operations and ancillary events for Indiana Sports Corp, such as NCAA and Big Ten Conference championships.
Prior to joining Indiana Sports Corp, Newbold was the Programs and Exhibits Manager at the Indiana State Fair Commission where she developed creative programming for various buildings and events. She received this full time position with the Indiana State Fair Commission after completing and internship with them in 2013.
While working fulltime for Indiana Sports Corp, Newbold is also the Junior Varsity Head Volleyball Coach at Lawrence North High School and a member of the Walk to Defeat ALS, Indianapolis Chapter where she serves as an Entertainment, Volunteer, and Logistics and Operations Committee Chair.
Newbold graduated from Hanover College in May of 2013 with a degree in Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology.
Public Relations Manager
Brett Williams joined Indiana Sports Corp staff in November, 2016 as Public Relations Manager. In her role, Williams directs, coordinates and manages the development, planning and execution of Indiana Sports Corp's public relations, media relations and social media strategies.
Prior to joining Indiana Sports Corp, Williams served as the Director of Championships and Communications for the Horizon League. At the Horizon League, she served as the Championship Tournament Director for men’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s and women’s tennis while serving as the primary and manager of Communications for men’s soccer, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country and softball.
Williams began her career as an Indiana Sports Corp intern where she supported media relations and on-site media ops for several Indiana Sports Corp events.
Williams graduated in December, 2012 from Michigan State University with a degree in Communication and specialization in Public Relations. At Michigan State, Williams was a student-athlete in the sport of softball.
Caleb Kolby joined the Indiana Sports Corp staff in a full-time role as the Events Coordinator in June, 2015. Kolby's main focus at Indiana Sports Corp is event operations.
Kolby was previously employed with USA Football in the membership department where he helped over 300 youth football organizations enroll and implement the Heads up Football program. Before that he interned with the Indiana Sports Corp in the business development department and helped with the ISC Coporate Challenge event.
Kolby graduated in 2014 from Marian University with a degree in Business Management, and a Spanish minor, concentrating in Business Creation and Development. At Marian University, Kolby played soccer all four years, being named captain and a NAIA Daktronics Academic All American his junior and senior year.
Manager, Events and Tickets
Carrie Gorden joined the Indiana Sports Corp staff in a full-time role as the Ticket and Promotions Coordinator in October, 2014. In December, 2016 Gorden’s responsibilities evolved to focus on event and ticket operations for Indiana Sports Corp events.
Gorden served the Indiana Sports Corp staff in the contracted position of Ticket and Promotions Assistant since January 2014. In this role, she was heavily involved in many of Indiana Sports Corp’s 2014 events. Gorden also has experience from several positions at Indiana University, including work in the Athletics Ticket Office and Marketing Office, as well as an internship with Indiana Sports Corp during 2013.
She graduated from Indiana University in 2013 with a Masters in Athletic Administration and Sports Management. Gorden also received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University in 2012.
Chris Panyard joined Indiana Sports Corp in December, 2013 as Events Manager. In his current role as an Events Director, Panyard assists with the planning and coordination of operations and ancillary events for many Indiana Sports Corp events, such as NCAA and Big Ten Conference championships, as well as the ISC Corporate Challenge.
Prior to joining Indiana Sports Corp, Panyard served as an Event Coordinator with the 500 Festival, managing the Mini-Marathon Expo and Packet Pick-Up, in addition to the Rookie Run. He also assisted with the management of the Mini-Marathon Pit Stations and the 500 Festival Education Program. He previously held the position of Logistics Coordinator and Warehouse Manager at the 500 Festival.
Panyard’s experience also includes a nine-month stint on the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee staff where he assisted in the management, planning and execution of the Super Bowl Village on Georgia Street. More than 1 million visitors enjoyed the Village over the course of 10 days. Panyard has also worked in positions with Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Indiana University Athletic Ticket Office.
Panyard is a 2011 graduate of Indiana University.
Senior Director, Events
Craig Yust comes to Indiana Sports Corp with 12 years of experience in event and championship operations as well as facility and athletic department management. Craig oversees the events department at Indiana Sports Corp.
Most recently Craig spent the last two+ years at IUPUI where he was the Director of Operations and Facilities. In this role at IUPUI he oversaw event management for 18 varsity sports including set up and strike of all competitions. He hired, trained and scheduled event staff, was responsible for ticket operations and reconciliation, schedules on and off campus facilities for practices and competition, as well as coordinating medical and security for all their sporting events.
Craig has served as Championship manager for all Summit League Championships and handles institution, league and NCAA Compliance. He manages purchasing needs for athletic operations and facilities, as well as serving as the Athletic Department liaison for the Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Carroll Track/Soccer Stadium and the IU Natatorium.
Prior to moving to Indianapolis to work at IUPUI Athletic Department, Craig served as Facility Events and Operations Manager at West Michigan Whitecaps at Comstock Park in Michigan overseeing the events department and budget management, running various types of events including baseball, concerts and other community events. Craig had also served as an operations manager and ticket sales consultant to Comstock Park in previous years. Craig also spent time as Assistant Director of Athletic Facilities at University of Detroit Mercy in Detroit (member institution of the Horizon League.)
Craig is a proud graduate of Ball State University and is a thesis away from getting his Masters in Sports Administration.
Director, Business Development
Craig Lippincott serves Indiana Sports Corp as Director of Business Development. He has been with the organization since 2008. In his current role, Lippincott serves as the event director for the ISC Corporate Challenge. He also assists with all aspects of the Youthlinks Indiana Charity Golf Tournament, as well as development of corporate and individual membership and event sponsorships. He also oversees all marketing and logistical operations of the Big Ten Hoops Day 5K.
Before transitioning into a full-time staff position with Indiana Sports Corp, he worked as a sales associate for GroupRCI and as an intern with Indiana Sports Corp assisting with the planning and execution of the 2007 Youthlinks Indiana Charity Golf Tournament and Pathfinder Awards Banquet.
A graduate of DePauw University, Lippincott received his degree in English Writing with minors in Rhetoric & Interpersonal Communication and Film Studies. At DePauw, Lippincott played on the varsity soccer team where he was the team captain and the conference “Player of the Year” in 2005.
Director, Marketing & Public Relations
Kara Kovert joined the Indiana Sports Corp staff in January of 2015 and oversees the Marketing and Public Relations department. With a Bachelors in Sport Administration from Ball State University and a Masters in Sport Management from the Ohio State Univeristy, Kovert made the transition to Indianapolis, Ind. from Raleigh, N.C., where she was formerly Assistant Director of Athletics Marketing for North Carolina State University.
In her previous role with the Wolfpack, Kovert led all marketing efforts for North Carolina State University women’s basketball and served as interim lead on marketing efforts for football.
Kovert brings a diverse background to the Sports Corp staff. Her previous experience includes game operations, marketing and promotions positions at Eastern Kentucky University, United States Tennis Association/Midwest Section, Butler University and the IU Natatorium/IUPUI Sport Complex.
Lisa Wright-Minter joined the Indiana Sports Corporation staff in May of 1984. She currently serves as the Executive Assistant to the President. Her duties include administrative and clerical needs for the president. She is the staff liaison to Indiana Sports Corp Executive Committee and Board of Directors, and supervises Indiana Sports Corp receptionist.
Wright-Minter started with Indiana Sports Corp as the organization’s receptionist and was later promoted to Administrative Assistant before assuming her current position of Executive Assistant to the President.
Wright-Minter attended IUPUI.
Director, Financial Services
Lynn Burger has been with Indiana Sports Corp since 1989. Currently serving as the Director of Financial Services, her duties include overseeing the accounting functions for all Indiana Sports Corp events and projects, as well as performing payroll and HR functions. In her years at Indiana Sports Corp, she has provided accounting services for events such as the 2012 Super Bowl, 2001 World Police and Fire Games, 2002 World Basketball Championship, 2004 World Swimming Championships, the Circle City Classic, Hoosier State Games, and Youthlinks Indiana, among many others.
Lynn is a graduate of Indiana University with a B.S. in Business. She also performs improvisational comedy with ComedySportz Indianapolis.
Megan Barr joined Indiana Sports Corp staff in September, 2016 as the Volunteer Manager. In this role, Barr recruits, engages and manages volunteers, including arranging volunteer assignments, and leads the volunteers through their allocated duties for all Indiana Sports Corp events.
Previous to joining Indiana Sports Corp, Barr was a Program Director for i9Sports where she spearheaded the launch of the Indianapolis branch. Prior to i9Sports, Barr worked for the Datalys Center for Sports Industry Research and Prevention in Indianapolis as a Manager of Outreach and Support from 2009 to 2012 before being promoted to Director of Operations.
Barr is a graduate of Purdue University with a bachelor of arts in athletic training. She went on to complete her masters in human environmental sciences in sport management from the University of Alabama.
Sr. Manager, Events
Mikela Calabrese joined Indiana Sports Corp's staff in September, 2016 as Events Manager. In her role, Calabrese focuses on supporting the planning and implementation of Indiana Sports Corp events, including NCAA Championships and additional ancillary events. She also assists as the point of contact for hotels on behalf of all events.
Previous to joining ISC, Calabrese served in several positions at USA Diving where most recently, she worked as the National Events Manager, overseeing over 20 regional, zone and national-level events. In this role, Calabrese was responsible for event operations, logistics and planning for annual events in addition to the lead from USA Diving for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Diving, held in June 2016 in Indianapolis.
Calabrese graduated in December, 2010 from Indiana University with a degree in Sports Communication.
Office Manager/Internship Coordinator
Melinda Bowles joined the Indiana Sports Corp in April of 1985. She currently serves as the Office Manager and Internship Coordinator. Her duties include managing office equipment, computers and supplies, in addition to overseeing intern solicitation and communication, and supporting the Finance department with various human resources functions.
Bowles started with Indiana Sports Corp as the organization’s receptionist before being promoted to Administrative Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator.
Senior Director, Youth Programming
Molly Powell joined the Indiana Sports Corp staff in June, 2011. She was promoted to her current position of Senior Director of Youth Programming in December of 2014. Her responsibilities include overseeing and administrating all existing Indiana Sports Corp youth programs, as well as developing new initiatives with a focus on fitness and health.
Prior to joining Indiana Sports Corp, Powell was the Business Director of Velocity Sports Performance in Carmel, Ind. She took a key role in establishing initiatives targeted toward youth participation including the implementation of events to increase the opportunity for youth to participate in sports.
Powell was also the Director of Marketing of the Marshall Faulk Foundation. Powell’s service to the central Indiana community included being a volunteer at Indiana Sports Corp events for the better part of a decade. She began serving on the Indiana Sports Corp President’s Council in 2008.
Powell holds a B.S. in Marketing from Butler University.
Business Development Manager
Sam Elmore joined Indiana Sports Corp in September, 2018 as Business Development Manager. In this role, Sam will focus on patron and membership revenue, as well as event sponsorships and ticket-package selling. He will also help with sponsorship fulfillment and engagement.
Sam spent the past nine years with Pacers Sports and Entertainment serving in various roles. He spent seven of those years as the Group & Events Specialist, working to generate group revenue for the Pacers and Fever. Sam recently finished a year in his newest role with Pacers Sports and Entertainment as Senior Group & Events Specialist.
Sam graduated from the University of Indianapolis with a degree in Sports Management.
Shannon Sullivan returned to the Indiana Sports Corp staff as Project Manager in April of 2015. Sullivan was an intern in business development and marketing at Sports Corp in 2012. She stayed involved with Sports Corp as a volunteer at many events from 2012 to her return in 2015.
Sullivan previously served as Program Coordinator at MainGate, Inc., where she developed marketing campaigns, communicated with clients and managed the NFL Premiums License and Royalties as the point of contact for the NFL.
A 2011 graduate of Ball State University, Sullivan competed in the pole vault for the track and field team while getting her degree in Public Relations.
Manager, Financial Services
Tracy Grady joined Indiana Sports Corp in February of 2007 as the Manager of Financial Services. In this role, Grady helped manage the books for the 2012 Super Bowl and is responsible for processing payables and the day-to-day financial operations for Indiana Sports Corp, Youthlinks and Sports Indiana.
Prior to joining Indiana Sports Corp, she worked for Methodist Hospital spending 13 years in pharmacy and 8 years in accounts payable. Tracy also teaches medical terminology, dosage calculations and Health and Wellness at Ivy Tech Community College. In addition, she has completed all the course work towards her Doctoral Degree in Management and Organizational Leadership.
She earned her BA and MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.
President, 2022 Indy College Football Playoff
Susan Baughman is the Senior Vice President for Strategy and Operations for Indiana Sports Corp. In this role, Baughman oversees the organization’s strategic planning, event bid efforts, and many key relationships, including Indiana Sports Corp’s partnership with National Governing Bodies and with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Baughman has been named President of the 2022 College Football Playoff Host Committee.
Baughman also served as Executive Director of the 2010 and 2015 NCAA Men’s Final Four, as well as Vice President of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee. Her responsibilities included directing and managing hospitality services and fan events, with a primary focus on the design, production and implementation of the Super Bowl Village, which provided great community activation.
Baughman has played a key role in six international and world championship events, including 2005 Solheim Cup, 2004 World Swimming Championships, 2002 World Basketball Championships, 2001 World Police and Fire Games, as well as the 1991 World Gymnastics Championships. Since joining the Indiana Sports Corp staff in 1996, she has been involved with 15 NCAA events, as well as 20 other events at the collegiate level. She has run more than 20 national or Olympic events featuring basketball, diving, gymnastics, swimming and track and field.
Baughman’s past experience also includes assisting NBC with broadcasts of gymnastics events, assisting Quokka Sports and NBC with NBCOlympics.com for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, and serving as a production consultant for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Prior to joining Indiana Sports Corp, she spent six years directing national and international televised events for Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics.
Baughman is a graduate of Indiana University with a bachelor of arts in sociology and journalism. She was named to the Indianapolis Business Journal’s 40-under-40 in 2002, which honors those who achieved significant success and leadership in the Indianapolis community under the age of 40. She was also named a 2010 Woman of Influence by Indianapolis Business Journal.