The Steering Committee for the Vibrant Communities initiative is being led by its co-chairs, Gina Leichty and Dallas Bergl. Their special passion for the program and experience in the community make them ideal in this leadership role. Throughout the process the co-chairs will help guide the planning team, lead the conversation of the Steering Committee, and provide a public face for the process.
Miss Gina Leitchy is the co-owner of Eyedart Creative Studio, a communication firm that specializes in community development initiatives.
Gina loves to transform seemingly impossible tasks into reality – one small step at a time. From helping launch Goshen’s successful citywide monthly festival, directing corporate campaigns for multi-million dollar corporations, to championing the renovation of a historic Indiana landmark, Gina has proven her chops in communication, branding, research, strategic planning, public relations, program coordination, and community development.
Gina graduated from Goshen College with a bachelor’s degree in English, which developed her passion for effective communication. This, coupled with her love of design and community, led her to a career developing successful marketing strategies for businesses, municipalities, and individual clients in both the public and private sector.
To her team, Gina is known for seeking inspiration in everything she does — and being an unrelenting believer in “marketing for good.”
Mr. Dallas Bergl is the President and Chief Executive Officer of INOVA Federal Credit Union, a position he has held since 1999. He has worked in the credit union industry for over 25 years. His industry and public service includes being a member of the Lerner Theatre Governing Board, Co-Chair for the Vibrant Communities initiative, the Northern Indiana Regional Development Authority Board, the IUSB Arts Foundation Board, the Indiana Credit Union League (ICUL) Board, The Credit Union National Association Board, the Credit Union Centers Board, CUNA’s World Leadership Development Committee, and he chairs ICUL’s Governmental Affairs Committee.
He has also served on NAFCU’s Governmental Affairs Committee, the Board of Directors of the Elkhart Chamber of Commerce, the SOMA sub-committee for downtown revitalization, the Lerner Theatre’s fundraising committee, Elkhart’s 400 Block study group, Downtown Elkhart Inc.’s Board of Directors, and many other boards and committees over his career.
Dallas worked closely on the region’s submission to the Regional Cities Initiative and is now a member of the Regional Development Authority Board. This group will monitor the implementation of the Development Plan, now funded with $42 million from the state.
Former Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman served as co-chair of Vibrant Communities from the project’s start last fall but stepped down because of the time commitment as he transitions to his new position with the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns. Kauffman enthusiastically supports the goals of the Vibrant Communities initiative.
“Our community grows stronger as residents connect with each other, the wonderful amenities in our city and the communities around those places. I believe Vibrant Communities will pave the way to an exciting future for Goshen and all of Elkhart County,” Kauffman said.
The Steering Committee will meet Tuesday, January 12th. Topics on the agenda include continued preparation for the Kickoff event, to be hosted on the 26th in the Crystal Ballroom of the Lerner Theatre, and the initiating plans for the Community Conversations meetings to take place in late February or early March.