Jeff Graves is a highly accomplished visionary leader with over 22 years of experience in operations, including special events management, business development, promotions, advertising and marketing. He graduated in 1991 from Ball State University. Jeff has worked for the Rockford Lightning as the Director of Promotions and Game Operations; Crackers Comedy Club as the Marketing Manager; Adam’s Mark Hotel as the Director of Advertising and Marketing; Entertainment Marketing as the General Market Manager and 99.5 WZPL as the Promotions Director.
From Aug. 1999 – Aug. 2006, Jeff had worked for the 500 Festival as the Vice President of Events and the Executive Director of the Mini-Marathon. Jeff oversaw a staff of 7 along with 7,000 volunteers that produced 18 world-class events and programs for over 400,000 people. While at the Festival, he grew the Mini-Marathon from 20,000 participants to over 36,000 participants making it the largest half marathon in the United States and the third largest in the world. The Mini-Marathon also grew in terms of net profit in his 7 years by 338%.
Jeff left the 500 Festival in August of 2006 and started his own company, Vision Event Management. In January 2008 VEM hired Chad Antcliff as the Vice President of Events.
Vice President of Events
Chad Antcliff is a highly skilled event professional who brings over twelve years of experience in special event management and production, logistical planning and event marketing. Chad graduated from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business at Bloomington in 2000. Chad has worked as an Event Manager for the Indiana Sports Corporation, working on events such as the Hoosier State Games, Youthlinks Indiana Charity Golf Tournament, 2000 US Olympic Trials - Swimming, 2001 World Police Fire Games, 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Torch Relay and the Big Ten Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments. Chad also served as the Venue Manager for the 2002 World Basketball Championships and was the Assistant Tournament Director for the 2006 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Final Four. Chad, in his spare time, works as the Official Scorer for Butler University basketball games.
Chad spent five years as an Event Director at the 500 Festival working on a multitude of events. During Chad's tenure, he oversaw seven of the Festival's events and programs, most recently directing the 500 Festival Parade and Mini-Marathon. While leading these events, Chad oversaw a staff of three along with over 7,000 volunteers. Chad left the 500 Festival in January of 2008 to join Vision Event Management as the Vice President of Events.
Dan came on full time at VEM in May 2014 after being an intern January – April. He graduated from IU with a degree in Recreational Sports Management. He is an avid runner and has been participating in running events for 10 years now. Also while he attended IU, he was the president of his running club. While being the Logistics Coordinator he does a little bit of everything (‘Jack of all trades’). On race day you can find Dan anywhere beside PPU or even participating in the event itself!
Mark Hassan became the Controller for Vision Event Management in December 2012. He graduated in 2002 with a BS in Accounting from the University of South Florida. Mark has 12 years of progressive accounting experience. He was a Property Accountant for Horizon Bay Senior Communities, an Admin Director for the Hendricks Regional Health YMCA, and a Controller for three Xerox subsidiaries based in Indiana.
Chad joined the VEM team in April of 2013, and has already made a huge impact as Event/Warehouse Coordinator. He has a very diverse background in a variety of fields including but not limited to; construction, warehouse, retail, working as a deckhand on a cruise ship, and has been studying to earn his home inspectors license. He has also worked event staff for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well as been a special events manager. Chad is in charge of loading and unloading the trucks for each event and making sure we have all of the necessary items needed to make every event a success (tower poles). He also assists with the setup and teardown and loves to get dirty.
Tori joined the VEM team May 2014. She is a senior Hospitality and Food Management major with a minor in Foundations of Management at Ball State University. Tori has worked as an Event Coordinator Intern for FORUM Conference and Events Center. Here she focused on weddings and corporate events. She has also worked for Ball State Catering, where she had great experiences making food for people such as the President of Ball State and Oprah! Tori has also had experience planning and executing events through her Service Organization.
Pack Pick Up and Customer Service Coordinator
Kara Ribordy joined the VEM team in 2009 by working events on weekends for her Uncle Jeff. During these summers, through her high school years, she gained lots of knowledge about events and packing for the weather. She now spends her summer in the office and at events acting as a Volunteer Coordinator and Customer Service Representative. Kara is currently working toward her undergraduate degree at Butler University, where she is pursuing a major in Psychology with a Strategic Communications minor. She loves having the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business, especially considering it's with family (there's nothing like working with family).
Social Media Specialist
MacKenzie joined the VEM team in May 2014. Before her joining VEM, she helped at events and expos which have helped tremendously at VEM. She is currently a super senior at IUPUI studying Public Relations Journalism with a minor in Organizational Communications and will be graduating in December 2014. MacKenzie is well involved on her campus. She is a member of ‘The National Society of Leadership and Success’ which helps students become more professional and ethical leaders in the classroom and the workplace and a member of Public Relations Student Society of America, PRSSA, which is focused on establishing networks, helping develop students professional ethics and help promote their careers. During race day you will see her running around taking pictures and nose deep in her computer promoting events on social media handles!
Kat is a graduate of The University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has worked in Television and Event Production since 1999 and is currently the Event Manager for Madison Mini-Marathon. Formerly a Field Producer for the National news, she has been able to combine her love of event coordinating with her passion of fitness! Kat is also an avid Marathon runner, triathlete and certified fitness instructor.
Jenny serves as the customer service representative for VEM. As the customer service representative she answers participant questions, seeds runners, and oversees charity involvement and is serves as the voice to the participants for our events. In her short time with VEM she has been involved with the Madison Mini-Marathon, Chicago Half Marathon, 13.1 Atlanta and the Indianapolis Marathon. When she is not answering participant questions she is a full-time first grade teacher.
Mark has known Jeff and Chad for over 10 years going back to their days of working together at the 500 Festival where Mark was the Manager of Volunteer Resources and then an Event Manager for the many 500 Festival events. Mark currently is contracted to coordinate volunteers for the 13.1 Marathon Chicago and Chicago Half Marathon events through his own company Firecracker Consulting LLC. In addition to his day job at Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, he also participates at most events on the VEM calendar in a variety of roles. As is the norm with most events you just fulfill the role needed and then jump in wherever else for the overall success of the event.
Jim has been a event carny for over 10 years working festivals, marathons, triathlons and bike rides. Jim worked as an Event Manager for the 500 Festival with Jeff, Chad and Mark, been a cycling coach for Team In Training, been on the executive committee with the Indianapolis Race for the Cure for many years, and volunteered for numerous organizations in the Indianapolis area. In a past life, he was an electrical engineer. He now runs his own business, EventFuel LLC, managing race expos around the country. At events you will see him moving around on two perfectly good legs, thank you very much, having lost them only in the minds of a couple other carnies at some long forgotten event. Carnies, gotta love em.
Brent has been working with VEM almost since the beginning when he assisted with the first Geist Half Marathon in 2008 and has missed very few events since. He assists with setup and teardown of the start/finish areas at events. When Brent is not helping VEM, he works in the office at Community North Outpatient Physical Therapy clinic, in Indianapolis. I am also a dad to three wonderful children, ages 12, 10, and 6. And when he finds extra time, he helps his father with their family’s Mum fields.
Dan, better known as “Generator Guy”, owns and operations D&D Seeds, selling Pioneer Seed products. Dan has been involved from the beginning of VEM helping with various events over the past few years. Dan also serves as Warehouse Manager for the VEM North Warehouse. He resides in Valparaiso, IN and has the unfortunate duty of being Jeff’s brother-in-law.
Roy contributes his corporate leadership experience, energy level, ingenuity and willingness to serve others to the VEM team. He has a BS in Business Administration, multiple years in the Insurance Industry (Sales and Marketing) and several volunteer projects including multiple reconstruction projects in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He has two son's (Ryne & Eric) and enjoys when Ryne is able participate and contribute to the success of VEM productions. Both of them enjoy helping others succeed and contributing to everyone enjoying a race.
Reggie works in the field of education as a building administrator. He was an English and journalism teacher for 21 years with coaching duties in cross country, track & field, basketball, and football. Reggie is one of the race director's for Kent' Run 5K and his experiences with VEM include starting line, finish line, course management, and runner services. In his spare time Reggie enjoys traveling, kayaking, and spending time with his daughter.
Lisa Swiontek currently serves as the Executive Director of Sigma Kappa Foundation. She has a background in volunteer management and event planning. Lisa has worked several of VEM's half marathon events in the areas of Runner's Services, Course Marshalls and Gear Check.
Kevin Swiontek works as a Financial Representative for Northwestern Mutual. Previously he has worked as the Director of Operations for the Heartland Film Festival and for the Indiana Sports Corporation providing him with extensive experience in managing large scale events. In addition his other work has included coordinating the Start Line and the Finish Line for the world's largest half marathon, game management operations for Butler University Basketball, Big Ten Basketball Tournament and NCAA Rounds 1 and 2, regional and Final Four basketball tournaments. He has worked several VEM events focusing on the start and finish line and runner's services.
Natalie works in marketing, strength & conditioning, and is a girls high school basketball coach. You can usually find Little Nat at the Help Table or at the Info Booth at events and always has a smile. She has been a part of many VEM events and has worked a different part in each of them.
Kevin is currently an Air Traffic Controller for the Federal Aviation Administration where he have been employed since 1989. The first running event that he volunteered for was the Inaugural Indianapolis Marathon/Half Marathon in 1996. Kevin has had numerous duties at this event for the last 14 years including: managing a water station, course set up and take down, expo coordinator, and course logistics director. In 2009 he expanded his horizons to work with Vision Event Management at the Geist Half Marathon and the Inaugural Madison Mini-Marathon.
Kim started working with Jeff and Chad 6 years ago as an intern at the 500 Festival. Kim works for Lowes and has been lucky to work for a great company that gives her time off when needed to assist at any of the events VEM produces. Kim graduated from IU with a Bachelors degree in Arts & Science with a Communications focus. Kim work's a lot but still find time to enjoy my family and friends. At most VEM events you will find Kim holding down the Gear Check Tent but also helping with pre-race set up. It's the end result of a successful race/event that is simply the most rewarding.
Pam works as a full time kindergarten teacher in LaPorte, IN. Pam has been a part of VEM from the beginning since Jeff is her LITTLE brother (duty calls). She works wherever needed but mainly in the VIP area for most events. She provides accommodations and food whenever necessary for VEM and is the leader of the sponsorship team for Kent's Run.
Steve brings a wide breath of experience in event planning to VEM. A three time Olympic Team member in Canoe/Kayak, Steve has also served as an official in four other Olympic Games including Competition Director for Canoe/Kayak in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. He has spent his entire life in sport and fitness management and currently owns Bob Block Fitness Equipment, a leading exercise equipment distributor in Indianapolis. He volunteers in a number of events throughout Indianapolis and has served on the 500 Festival Mini Marathon planning committee for 12 years. Steve enjoys running, cycling, swimming and still kayaks on a regular basis.