Mayor Weinzapfel Appoints Ward Shaw and Donna Leader to Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Commissioners


Expresses Outspoken Opinions on Marilee Fowler’s Replacement and How to Spend the Innkeeper’s Tax

(EVANSVILLE, IN) – January 10, 2011 – Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel today announced that he
has appointed Ward Shaw and Donna Leader to the Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau
(ECVB) Board of Commissioners. Their terms, effective immediately, will expire on December
31, 2011, since they will be filling the unexpired portions of previous members’ terms.
“Ward Shaw and Donna Leader have not only the requisite skills and experience to help lead the
ECVB through this troubling situation, but also the passion for the Evansville community
necessary to move us forward. Ward and Donna fully understand the complexities of the current
situation and are ready to hit the ground running to restore community faith in the ECVB.”
In order to move the ECVB – and our community – forward, Mayor Weinzapfel believes the
Board needs to immediately focus its efforts on the following:

• Finding a new executive director from outside the organization who can provide a fresh
perspective and leadership;

• Determining the most effective use of Innkeeper’s Tax revenues and allocating funds for
one or two large-scale projects that will have a substantial, positive impact on convention
and tourism business and our local economy;

• Working strategically and collaboratively to align the ECVB’s mission and efforts with
our region’s economic and community development goals, understanding that the
Commission was created to promote the development and growth of our convention and
visitor industry, which must be considered as much of a business sector as plastics,
automotive components, healthcare, or banking; and

• Coordinating with the Vanderburgh County Council to ensure proper administrative and
financial controls are in place.

According to State statute, the Mayor must appoint a member to the ECVB Board who is
engaged in the hotel/motel business and to represent the interests of the riverboat. Ward Shaw,
who moved to Evansville in July 2010 to serve as General Manager of Casino Aztar with
Tropicana Entertainment, is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, which he attended on a Naval
ROTC scholarship. After four years as a Naval officer onboard the USS Roanoke in the Western
Pacific, he attended Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, where he completed a
Master’s in Business Administration. Upon completing the graduate program at IU, Ward began
his career in the gaming industry with the former Harrah’s Entertainment, where he worked in a
variety of senior management roles within the company at multiple locations including St. Louis,
MO; Las Vegas, NV; Kansas City, MO; and Lake Charles, LA. Most recently before coming to
Evansville, Ward worked with stand-alone casinos around the country to assist them with
strategic planning, operational improvements and leadership development.

Ward enjoys staying active and contributing his service to philanthropic and civic organizations.
Since relocating to Evansville in July, Ward has become involved in the Rotary Club of
Evansville and has recently joined a commission to help analyze and improve operating
structures at Evansville’s Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden.

Donna Leader, a native of Evansville, is a graduate of the University of Evansville who also has
received certifications in fundraising, creative problem solving, leadership training, planned
giving, and grant writing. Currently the Development Director at Joshua Academy, Donna
previously served as Executive Director of The Catholic Foundation of Southwestern Indiana,
Inc.; Director of Development for Evansville Catholic High Schools; Director of Meetings and
Conventions for Bristol-Myers Squibb/Mead Johnson; and Vice President of Sales and
Marketing for Ball Communications.

Donna’s present community service and civic involvement includes serving as an at-large
member of the Vanderburgh County Council; membership in the Rotary Club of Evansville,
ANEW – A Network of Evansville Women, and the League of Women Voters; and serving on
the Evansville Arena Project Committee, N.E.E.D.S. Executive Committee, ATHENA Awards
Committee, and Rotary Club of Evansville Civic Awards Committee (Co-Chair).


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