By Dirk Webb
Photo by Dale Pickett
Jahnae Erpenbach, Vice President and General Manager of Gaming
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino
4500 Dan Patch Circle Anderson, IN 46013
From the time Hoosier Park opened in 1994 after the donation of land by Virgil Cook, it transformed Anderson, Madison County and Indiana as a whole. Instead of dollars being saved up for trips to Louisville and the Kentucky Derby, area residence could now make the short ride to Hoosier Park to see their favorite horses run on a regular basis.
In 2008, Hoosier Park casino opened creating a “racino” attraction. The home to conferences, expositions, restaurants and live concerts, Hoosier Park continues to be a Madison County destination.
Vice President and General Manager of Gaming, Jahnae Erpenbach is responsible for all gaming related operations including Casino Operations, Finance and Accounting, Purchasing, Food and Beverage, Facilities, Housekeeping, Information Technologies, Security, Communications, Human Resources, Sales and Marketing.
Jahnae was instrumental in opening Indiana’s first racetrack casino and her experience has helped shape the image of Indiana’s first gaming and racing facility.
She is a native of Dongola, Illinois, a graduate of Southern Illinois University and a former President of the Metropolis, Illinois Chamber of Commerce where she also won, among other accolades, the Lois Lane Achievement Award for Community Leadership.
Jahnae is married to Curt Erpenbach, and the mother of Gavin Asbury and Drake Erpenbach, not to mention Rucifer (a Chihuahua) and California Belle (a Pit Bull).
In addition to her duties at Hoosier Park, Jahnae is a graduate of the Leadership Academy, served on various boards and is currently the Chair-Elect of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce.
In her leadership role at Hoosier Park, it is her strong hope to leverage all of the unique (and not so unique) assets of Hoosier Park, its resources and affiliations to benefit our community. Her view is that an industrious person can directly and indirectly find so many ways to assist in a communities’ progress. She strives to be the person who helps pave the way for successful relationships in order to make a positive difference for individuals and organizations. She makes it a point to work closely with her fellow management team, Madison County business partners and colleagues to utilize Hoosier Park’s vast resources to their fullest.
Through Hoosier Park marketing initiatives, developed promotional programs that drive revenue and resources towards the fundraising efforts of multiple organizations during the holidays each year. These charity slot tournaments and Give to Get programs that she developed via Hoosier Park’s patron base have provided thousands of toys and tens of thousands of dollars towards the seasonal efforts of the following organizations each year:
- Christian Center
- Alternatives Inc.
- Madison County Community Health Center
- Salvation Army
- Season of Giving Gift Fair
Began the development of a Women in Leadership Training & Development Program for Hoosier Park and other affiliate organizations.
Personally attends multiple charitable & community events, via active participation and monetary donation.
Recent special recognitions, professional affiliations:
- Leadership academy graduate of 2009
- 2010-2014 Madison County Community Health Center Board Member
- 2014 Herald Bulletin Editorial Board Community Member
- Vice Chair and Board Member of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce
- Member of the Board for the Madison County Animal Protection League
- Fundraiser for the Paramount Theater through participation in the Dancing Like the Stars Program.
Previous special recognitions, professional affiliations:
- 2013 Community Shining Star - Athena Organization
- Completed Executive Development Program – Penn National Gaming/Global Consulting
- Chamber of Commerce President – Metropolis, Illinois
- Volunteer of the year – Metropolis, Illinois
- Community Leader of the Year – Metropolis, Illinois
- Lois Lane Achievement Award for Community Leadership – Metropolis, Illinois
- Executive Board Member – Southernmost Illinois Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Founder – Massac County Charitable Spending Consortium
- Developer – Metropolis Illinois Tourism & Economic Development Council (Mainstreet Metropolis)
Why here in Madison County? “When I arrived to the area, I wanted very much to live in Anderson. It was very important to me to live in the area that I served. As practiced throughout my career, I wanted to be more than a resident, more than a business leader….I wanted to be an involved corporate citizen in the city/county where I was raising my family.”
Jahnae Erpenbach will receive the Chairman Award at the 2015 Annual Awards Gala.