About the Chamber
The Spencer County Regional Chamber of Commerce serves a vital role in developing and promoting plans, ideas and projects to build and sustain a positive and progressive environment throughout Spencer County. We are dedicated to the promotion and stimulation of the economy of Spencer County and strive to enhance the quality of life through business, industry and recreation.
We are always looking for ways to add benefits to you as a Chamber member and have an open door policy with our members for suggestions and comments. Truly, we want to be a Chamber that benefits our members!
After spending 20 years in Corporate America, Kathy decided to re-focus her work life closer to home. Ironically, she opened her own travel agency, Firefly Travels. While taking occasional to research different countries, cultures, and resorts was necessary, Kathy was able to work from home, allowing the flexibility to be more involved with the day-to-day activities of “Momming.”
In 2016, Kathy accepted the position of the Spencer County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director. Two years later, she is as passionate and motivated to continue furthering our business community, while nurturing our physical communities.
Raised in Santa Claus, Kathy has now lived in the ‘west suburbs’ of Dale with her husband Dan, a fifth-generation Spencer County farmer, since 2001. They have three children: Alex, Danielle, and Case. Their first grandchild is on the way!
Being a life-long member of Santa Claus United Methodist Church, secretary of Dale Fall Festival since 1999, secretary of Carter Fire District Auxiliary since 2002, and most recently, a board member and secretary of Spencer County Catalyst Group, Kathy enjoys giving back to the Spencer County Community that she loves so much.
Chamber Board of Directors
As part of the Spencer County Visitors Bureau team, Melissa gets to promote the local area as a destination to visitors from near and far throughout the year. In addition to serving on the Spencer County Chamber board, she is on the board of Think Lincoln, Inc, Santa Claus Park & Rec, Scenic Lincoln Way, and America’s Christmas Hometown. Melissa is a member of the Midwest Travel Journalists Association and is president of the Southern Indiana Regional Marketing Cooperative, as well as an active member of the Hometown Collaboration Initiative in Spencer County.
Tara relocated back to her roots in Indiana after living in Dallas, Texas for 28 years. Currently the director of marketing for Cash Waggner & Associates, she has over 20 years of management, marketing, and business development experience in the Architectural, Engineering & Consulting (AEC) industry. Additionally, Tara actively serves on several boards and committees, both locally and regionally, and is a photographer.
Jim was raised in Spencer County, completing grade school and high school here. His early background was in dairy and beef farming and then carpentry and welding. At age 21, Jim went into the telephony industry to install telephone cable all over the country. Eventually, he got into the engineering aspect of the industry and became the outside plant engineer at PSC in 2008. He enjoys all wildlife, fishing, hunting, national parks, and hiking. He also enjoys short-term mission trips to Central and South America to build churches and schools and provide medical aid.
Rachael is currently the manager of member services for Southern Indiana Power. She began her career as a copywriter for Touch of Class catalog, and followed her husband Jon, during his tenure in the NFL, accepting various positions in marketing, sales support, website design, and social media along the way. Rachael now resides in Santa Claus, Indiana, with her husband, Jon, and two children, Jett and Gianna.
Laura works at Martin-Serrin Co. Inc. She resides in Rockport with her husband, Josh, and their two kids.
Dave Hedge is the Director of Sales for Koch Development Corporation/Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari. Dave is a native of southern Indiana, holds a bachelor’s degree from IU Bloomington and an MBA from Mercer University (Macon, Ga). He has a rich background in sales, marketing, and leadership. Dave is married to Nell Hedge, director of the Santa Claus Museum & Village in Santa Claus, Indiana. They have two children, Cooper (21) and Riley (20).
Sharon Heltzel lives in Evanston with her husband, Bret. They have two daughters: Julie and Jennifer. Sharon has worked at AEP in Rockport for 31 years.
Tyler is a project engineer at Spencer Industries located in Dale, Indiana, He finished his education at The University Of Southern Indiana in 2017 where he studied advanced manufacturing. Tyler is married to Kyla Hirt and they reside in Santa Claus, Indiana. This is Tyler’s first year as an active Spencer County Chamber member.
Pat started out as a nurse for the Daughters of Charity in St. Louis, New Orleans, and Chicago. Later she married W. A. “Bill” Koch, whose family owned Santa Claus Land which she became very involved in until pursuing other interests in 2014. In 2006, Pat founded the Santa Claus Museum & Village. Each December, she leads the local organization of “Santa’s Elves” to ensure each letter to Santa receives a reply. In addition to the Spencer County Chamber, Pat is involved in the following: Spencer County Community Foundation, Executive Advisory Council for the Sisters of Saint Benedict in Ferdinand, and helped launch Wisdom Days Program with the Catholic Foundation of Southwest Indiana.
Vince is the editor of the Spencer County Journal-Democrat and Perry County News. He is also an owner of St. Benedict’s Brew Works, a craft brewery in Ferdinand. Currently, Vince is the president of the Spencer County Chamber of Commerce and is active on the marketing and events committees. He lives in New Boston.
As the retired president and publisher of the Evansville Courier & Press, Jack is now an active community volunteer. He currently serves on the following boards: The Arc of Evansville, Buffalo Trace Boy Scouts, Golf Gives Back, Evansville Regional Business Committee, Spencer County Chamber, Youth Resources (honorary), and the University of Southern Indiana Foundation board.
Richard is the superintendent of the South Spencer School Corporation. He grew up in Hatfield and graduated from South Spencer in 1988. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Western Kentucky, Masters from Indiana Wesleyan, Administration and Supervision from Indiana State, and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Oakland City University. Richard lives in Rockport and has been married to Lindsay, a pre-kindergarten teacher at St. Bernard, for 25 years. They have three daughters, Maggie (23), Becca (20), and Allie (17).
Marc is the director at Lincoln Amphitheatre, employed through the Indiana Office of Tourism Development. He is former communications director for the (then) Town of Fishers, a former town manager (Ferdinand), a co-founder of the nearby annual Ferdinand Folk Festival, and a founding board member of Next Act, Inc. (a not-for-profit that has raised more than $1 million dollars since Oct. 2014 in support of the purchase and renovation of the neighboring historic Astra Theatre. His wife Emi is an art teacher in the Southeast Dubois School Corporation. They have two children (twins) Casey and Dylan.
Gene works in sales at Champion Ford Reo. He has been involved with the Spencer County Chamber of Commerce for many years, helping with the initial By-Laws. As Gene puts it, “Been there, got that, and got the t-shirt.” In addition, he is a former LEDC board member, former president of the Spencer County Redevelopment Commission, and is involved with Spencer County Bank.
Michelle works at Freedom Bank in Dale, where she is a loan processor and gets to do all the fun paperwork. She lives outside of Dale with her husband, Tim, and their three dogs: Bebe, Cutie Pie, and Eleanor. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys reading, working/playing with her dogs, and spending time with family.
Kathy Tretter is editor and publisher of the Spencer County Leader and its sister publication, the Ferdinand News. Both are award-winning community newspapers with an extreme focus on local news. The Ferdinand News is the 2016 Indiana Blue Ribbon newspaper, the highest accolade awarded to one Indiana weekly and one daily in December of every year.
John has been a partner at Wetherill Law Office, LLC, since 2002. He is a 1998 cum laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame and received his law degree from Indiana University-Bloomington School of Law in 2001. His practice is focused on civil litigation, banking, real estate, estate planning, governmental law, and criminal law.
Click here to open/download a PDF with information regarding the Spencer County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s position and perspective on events, developments, and future vision for Spencer County and it’s communities and citizens.