Gina Leichty

Business Leader, Community Advocate, Mayor

About Me

I enjoy turning seemingly impossible tasks into reality. Whether building a coalition of unfamiliar partners, directing a multi-million dollar campaign, or helping a small business owner launch an idea, I love utilizing my leadership skills in communication, strategic planning, public relations, program coordination, and economic development for the greater good.

I graduated with a degree in English and also studied Spanish abroad. Language studies fostered my passion for effective communication. My love and vision for Goshen led to my career developing successful strategies for businesses, municipalities, and individual clients in the public and private sectors.

I’m an unrelenting believer in “solving for yes.”

Headshot of Gina Leichty, Mayor, City of Goshen

My Work Experience

Mayor

City of Goshen

Goshen, Indiana (June 2023 – present)

Gina serves as the city’s chief executive officer, overseeing its day-to-day operations and administration. She is also the city’s chief representative and advocate, working to address the needs and concerns of Goshen’s residents and businesses while collaborating with local government departments and agencies to promote the city’s growth and development. Her leadership and decision-making play a crucial role in shaping the quality of life, infrastructure, and economic well-being of the community.

Highlights

Since coming into office, Gina led Goshen’s 20 departments and administrators through strategic planning for the 2024 budget, negotiated with the City’s three city unions, initiated preliminary steps to establish public safety training in partnership with Goshen High School, established a neighborhood liaison team, and taken immediate steps to bolster the City’s technological infrastructure and digital security.

Partner, Chief Executive Officer

Eyedart Creative Studio

Goshen, Indiana (2011 – 2023)

Eyedart Creative Studio is a full-service marketing agency based in Goshen. The company is committed to improving the lives of clients and local communities. Eyedart works with regional educational, nonprofit, event, and corporate clients.

Gina is Eyedart’s Creative Strategist, developing marketing plans for organizations and overseeing their implementation. Gina works with each client to develop a plan customized to suit individual organizational needs, budget, industry, and resources. From planning, she transitions clients into implementation via the Eyedart team, including brand development, graphic and web design, SEO, advertising, grant writing, fundraising, social media management, event management, photography, and videography.

Gina and her Partner and Eyedart founder, Ben Stutzman, seek clients who share their commitment to community enhancement, entrepreneurship, and the creation of innovative products and services.

Highlights

Gina joined Eyedart Creative Studio as a Partner in 2011 to expand the company’s marketing and event production services. Between 2011-2018, she grew company profitability by 370% and increased client portfolio by 317%.

Director Of Communications

Lucid Energy Technology

Goshen, Indiana (2008 – 2011)

Structured Lucid’s public relations, lobbying, and communications strategy. Led all aspects of Lucid’s public affairs.

Highlights

Gina initiated strategic lobbying efforts to build relationships and promote Lucid’s wind and water-powered turbine technologies with state and federal policymakers. Developed print and electronic marketing materials for the company. Cultivated alliances with significant funding organizations to procure investments.

Raised more than $1.5 million writing successful
Federal grants.

Director Of Communications

Terra Group

Nappanee, Indiana (2007 – 2008)

Directed all aspects of Terra Group’s internal and external communications and marketing strategies, including print, web, electronic communication, and media relations.

Highlights

Gina completed and implemented the corporate branding transition. Developed major marketing campaigns to increase sales. Prepared and implemented sales strategies and developed and designed all marketing materials. Conceptualized and implemented successful public relations and media campaigns.

Director of Communications

Keystone RV Company

Goshen, Indiana (2004 – 2007)

Conceptualized and developed an entirely new communications department for a $1.2 billion company.

Gina developed processes and controls to improve communication with consumers and automotive dealers. As director, she supervised staff and all aspects of internal and external print, web, and electronic communications.

Highlights

Coordinated the production of marketing collateral and supervised freelance writers, advertising consultants, project managers, and designers to ensure the company produced all projects on time and within budget constraints. Gina developed a competitive bidding process for printers, saving the company 25% in printing costs in the first year of implementation. She overhauled the corporate website to create a site that became the industry standard and tripled sales leads.

Director of Operations

Goldenrod

Goshen, Indiana (1996 – 2004)

Gina oversaw programs and operations for the residential care facility for 50 adults with developmental disabilities. Supervised over 30 staff members and conducted marketing, fundraising, promotion, and quality assurance activities. She reported directly to the CEO and Board of Directors.

Highlights

Wrote successful grant applications. Served as a representative and public speaker at local and national conventions, church, and civic organizations. Developed curriculum, workshops, and training for staff and volunteers. Redesigned programs to secure state and federal Medicaid funding. Increased the number of clients served to the highest in Goldenrod’s history.

Community Involvement

2007 – 2023

Co-Founder, Downtown Goshen, Inc.

Founder, Goshen First Fridays

Goshen, Indiana

In 2006, Gina co-founded Downtown Goshen, Incorporated, to design and implement a successful marketing and events program for downtown Goshen, Indiana, which included creating the First Fridays program. Gina’s initiatives attract tens of thousands of new visitors and generate more than $1.5M annually in consumer spending in the downtown district during 15 annual event days, involve hundreds of area businesses, and coordinate the efforts of hundreds of volunteers. Today, Eyedart Creative Studio (Gina’s former company) continues to manage and oversee Goshen’s First Fridays program.

Highlights

During her tenure at DGI, Gina built relationships with key stakeholders in business, civic, and government groups, increasing donor funding from zero to more than $250,000 annually. At the same time, the downtown programs contributed to an increased sales volume for downtown businesses and full occupancy rates. Several regional municipalities have duplicated her model, and she’s consulted other communities to develop similar programs.

March 2019 – Present

Board Member, Interra Cares Foundation

Cause: Education and economic empowerment to enhance the quality of life and lift those in need within the communities served by the credit union.

She joined the Foundation in 2019 to expand Credit Union support to populations in our community with the most significant financial needs.

March 2018 – Present

Board Member, Interra Credit Union

Cause: Banking and Finance for 85,000 Credit Union Members

Gina’s primary responsibility is to provide strategic guidance and oversight to ensure the financial institution’s long-term stability and success, representing the interests of its members. Her role includes making informed decisions on policies, financial matters, and the overall direction of the credit union to promote its mission of serving members’ financial needs effectively.

2014 – 2015

Steering Committee Member, South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership

(Formerly Regional Cities of Northern Indiana)

Cause: Economic Development

Served on a committee of community leaders who developed a successful three-county (St. Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall) coalition and application for $42M funding from the State of Indiana Regional Cities program. The coalition aimed to ensure our region is recognized for our world-class higher education resources, community partnerships, superior access and connectivity, and high-performing communities.

2009 – 2017

President, Goshen Theater Inc.

Cause: Arts, Historic Renovation

Established a 501c3 to revitalize Goshen’s historic theater. Successfully procured over $4M in grant funds to begin renovations and launch operations.

2016 – 2017

Grant Committee Member, Well Foundation

Cause: Health and Wellness

Served on a grant review committee to make recommendations to the foundation for grantee funding requests. Served on a grant review committee to make recommendations to the foundation on funding requests submitted by grantees, including initiatives to reverse and prevent childhood obesity and improve the well-being of senior citizens by maximizing vitality and independence.

2015 – 2017

Entrepreneurship Board Member, Startup South Bend – Elkhart

Cause: Economic Empowerment

Served on the board to enhance the growth of entrepreneurship in Saint Joseph, Elkhart, and Marshall counties.

2011 – 2012

Co-Chair, Tourism Product Development Council, Elkhart County

Elkhart County

2009 – 2011

Steering Committee Member, Lerner Theatre Revitalization Committee

Cause: Arts, Historic Restoration

Supported the campaign to restore the Historic Lerner Theatre. Assisted with campaign promotion, marketing, public relations, events, and the ultimate launch of the renovated facility.

2009 – 2012

Executive Committee Member, Horizon Project

Elkhart County

2005 – 2006

Board member, Face of the City

Goshen, Ind.

2004 – 2010

Director, Goshen Open Studio Tour

Goshen, Ind.

2004 – 2008

Board Vice President, Goshen Farmers Market

Goshen, Ind.

2001 – 2004

Coach, Goshen Youth Soccer Organization

Goshen, Ind.

1996 – 2000

Volunteer Caregiver for adults with developmental disabilities

Assisted with daily living skills with three adults diagnosed with developmental disabilities and mental health diagnoses. Assisted with medication, nutrition, exercise, household care, physical care, job support, and community engagement.

Education

2001

Principles and Techniques of Fundraising

IUPUI School of Philanthropy

Indianapolis, Indiana

1996

Bachelor of Arts, English

Goshen College

Goshen, Indiana

1993

Certificate of Completion, Spanish Immersion Program

Centro Linguistico Conversa

San José, Costa Rica

Spoken Languages

English (fluent)

Spanish (basic level)

Gina Leichty for Mayor

Tim Braun headshotTim Braun

VP Enterprise Solutions at Xylem, Inc.

I have known Gina Leichty for more than twenty years as a friend, colleague and community leader. She is passionate about making *awesome* happen in her city and the region overall. Gina is committed to and extraordinarily gifted at engaging all relevant stakeholders in order to collaborate, ideate and generate excellent outcomes for all involved.