Hotel
Hilary
Status
Online
Company
Tango
Travis
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Mission
Hotel Tango creates disciplined spirits that bring people together

Core Values

Disciplined
We are committed to excellence and always improving
Spirited
We are passionate and playful
Straightforward
We tell it like it is and demand accountability
Gung-Ho
We relentlessly work together

Summary

Founded in 2013 by Recon Marine veteran Travis Barnes and his wife Hilary, Hotel Tango is a veteran-owned and operated distillery. We’re also one of the fastest-growing, from just two employees in 2013 to over 100 today.

The company was born not only out of our founders’ passion for distilling, but also their desire to create a space (and a brand) that’s welcoming to all comers who want to have a good time while enjoying high-quality spirits. And you can see this same attitude in our dedication to creating an inclusive environment for workers, stakeholders, partners and consumers.

Through it all, we remain committed to delivering on our promise: Guaranteed to elevate morale.

The Team

Fletcher Place Tasting Room
Wags
Director of Tasting Rooms
Joe "Wags" Wagle is an Indiana born Hoosier and a graduate of Indiana University. He joined the Hotel Tango team in 2020 with over 10 years experience in the bar, restaurant and distillery industry. Before being promoted to Director of Tasting Rooms, Wags worked every tasting room position from bartender/server, back of house, assistant General Manager and General Manager. His responsibilities include tasting room oversight, departmental human resources, training and development of tasting room management, quality assurance and strategy implementation. In his personal time, Wags enjoys being on the water, attending music festivals and camping with family and friends.
Ryan
General Manager
Ryan is an Iowa native from the small town of Burlington. After attending the University of Iowa, he relocated to Houston, TX where he began his hospitality journey working the door at a British Pub. From there he moved back and forth between Indiana and Texas working his way up the ladder in the catering and concessions world until finally landing in Indianapolis in 2012. Working in both sales and event management, Ryan was lucky enough to travel around the country working sporting events and music festivals with the highlight being Bonarroo, where he was the manager for the Brooer's Village for 10 years. He joined the Hotel Tango team in March of 2022 as the General Manager of the Fletcher Place Tasting Room.
Blake
Food & Beverage Manager
Blake is an Indianapolis transplant from Anderson, South Carolina. Joining the Hotel Tango team in January 2022, he is a “Jack of Trades” having previous experience working in restaurants, distilling, sales, and sales management. Outside of work, Blake enjoys going on hikes with his wife, Julaine, and their dog, Saban.
Jackson
Assistant General Manager
Jackson Truex is an Indiana native growing up in Fletcher Place. He attended the International School and is fluent in French. He immersed himself in international culture in his youth by traveling the world. Jackson then attended Purdue University to get a degree in Information Technology. After college Jackson continued to pursue entrepreneurial tech endeavors in application and website design while also working in the service industry. Jackson found a love for creating unique cocktails while bartending at Hotel Tango. Jackson is now the Assistant General Manager of the Fletcher Place tasting room but is still putting out his yearly spin on the classic Old Fashioned.
Erica
Tasting Room Team Member
Keith
Tasting Room Team Member
Northwest Indiana, born and raised, Keith has spent most of his adult life behind the bar, serving and entertaining people. Though this journey has led to his, now predominant career in stand up comedy for the past 11 years, he has always enjoyed bringing humor in his work life, as well, currently filling the positions of bartender, shift lead and producer of PROTOCOL, a comedy installment residing at our Fletcher Place tasting room. While bartending in such cities as New York City and Chicago, he steadily honed his craft, eventually attending Second City, and performing in such regarded venues as Zanies Comedy Club and The Comedy Store. The pandemic brought him back to his home state, but did not prevent him from continuing his two favorite activities, telling jokes and crafting amazing cocktails.
Ashley
Tasting Room Team Member
Ryan
Tasting Room Team Member
Rocko
Tasting Room Team Member
Brad
Tasting Room Team Member
Lauren
Tasting Room Team Member
Will
Tasting Room Team Member
William was born and raised in Indianapolis Indiana. He attended IUPUI with a focus on linguistics and literature. He has over ten years of experience in the food and beverage industry as well as having worked in construction and other related fields. Outside of work William enjoys woodworking, hiking, playing music and spending time with his family and pets.
Jack
Back of House Team Member
Fort Wayne Tasting Room
Laurie
General Manager
Brittney
Assistant General Manager
Brittney was born and raised in Fort Wayne, IN and has lived there her entire life. She attended Purdue Fort Wayne for a year and then decided to take a break and pursue her passion which she has since found in the service industry. Brittney joined Hotel Tango as a server with over 7 years of experience in the industry. She was promoted to Assistant General Manager in June of 2022. When she's not working, she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and 5 fur children; 3 cats & 2 dogs.
Cam
Tasting Room Team Member
Nikki
Tasting Room Team Member
Matt
Tasting Room Team Member
Jennifer
Tasting Room Team Member
Zionsville Tasting Room
Alyssa
General Manager
Alyssa is an Indiana native hailing from Brownsburg, IN. She attended IUPUI before picking up and heading West. She spent some time in San Diego, CA immersing in wine and hospitality before heading up to explore the wilderness of Alaska. She then found home for some time in the beautiful Rockies in Crested Butte, CO where she got to combine her love of the outdoors with her experience in hospitality at the ski resort and country club. Alyssa joined Hotel Tango as the General Manager of the Zionsville Tasting Room, where she plans to bring her spirit and excitement into this new location.
Alan
Kitchen Manager
Alan is a California native and grew up in Los Angeles, CA. He relocated to Carmel, Indiana in 2020. He managed a restaurant in the Financial District of LA for 6 years. He began as line cook and moved his way up to management with exceedingly hard work and effort. He is a ranked league amateur pool player and enjoys to play as much as possible. He joined the Hotel Tango family at the Zionsville Tasting Room in March of 2022 as the kitchen manager where he plans to bring new ideas and explore his passion for the company.
Kati
Lead Mixologist
Mat
Tasting Room Team Member
Marc
Tasting Room Team Member
Ashlee
Tasting Room Team Member
Marketing
Kelsey Strohmeyer
Director of Marketing
Kelsey is an Indiana native and attended DePauw University where she graduated with a degree in communications and education. After graduating she moved to Shanghai, China to teach at Shanghai High School International Division. She returned to the US after 3 years abroad and joined the Hotel Tango team in September of 2019. In her time at Hotel Tango she has held the role of brand coordinator, brand manager, and now sits in the Director of Marketing role. She is responsible for keeping local and national audiences up to date with everything Hotel Tango. Kelsey is also the co-founder and President of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion group at Hotel Tango where she is responsible for planning and implementing initiatives to champion equality, diversity and inclusion throughout the group, workplace and community at large.
Amanda Cooper
Director of Corporate Partnerships
Amanda moved back to her Hoosier home state in 2019, after living in Chicago for sixteen years. She attended Kendall College, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Les Roche International School of Hotel Management. After graduating, she worked as a concierge at several luxury hotel properties downtown Chicago and the McCormick Place Convention Center. During her time at Hotel Tango she has held the roles of Indiana Market Manager, External Events Manager, and currently holds the title Director of Corporate Partnerships. She is responsible for events, sponsorship, and partnerships locally and nationwide. She’s a city girl who loves exploring new places, arts and architecture, trying new restaurants, and beer + shot specials.
Holleh Matlock
Content Manager
Holleh is a multifaceted creative, well versed in the arts, ranging from theatre, photography, graphic design, videography, music, and fine art. She combines her lifetime of artistic practice with a decade of mixology experience to become a sorcerer of spirits. Holleh also has a strong passion for philanthropy, and often incorporates this into Hotel Tango Drink-to-Donate programs. Holleh is the Director of Events and Fundraising for USBG Indy and a member of the Hotel Tango Innovation Committee. She says, “you can achieve whatever you set your mind to, as long as you have a lot of discipline and even more glitter.”
Megan Knuckles
Brand Manager
Megan, born and raised in Cincinnati, attended Miami University where she graduated with a double major in Strategic Communications and Social Work. After graduating she moved to Chicago, Illinois gaining marketing experience within the Alcohol Beverage Industry. She returned to her hometown in Cincinnati and joined the Hotel Tango team Summer of 2021. As the Brand Manager, she is responsible for protecting the integrity of the Hotel Tango brand, building out future programming, and growing company collateral. She loves being at the lake, finding new coffee shops, happy hour and spending time with family and friends.
Jane Sellers
Brand Coordinator
Jane may have been born in Indianapolis, but her heart lies in New Orleans. After graduating high school, she hiked it as far as she could to Louisiana where she attended Loyola University. Jane quickly came to share NOLA’s appreciation of food, drink, and letting the good times roll. Even after moving away, Jane still approaches every project with that same die-hard spirit she encountered while living in New Orleans. After college, Jane took her marketing experience to the scuba diving industry, where she spent time diving professionally off the coast of New England and around the world. If you’re ever looking to swap sea shanties over a bottle of Hotel Tango bourbon, Jane is your gal. Since moving back to Indianapolis, Jane has spent time freediving in local quarries, adopting a sassy Great Pyrenees named Olive, and aggressively advocating for the Oxford Comma.
Ember Dennison
External Event Manager
Ember has always called Indianapolis home. She studied Communications and Marketing at Indiana Wesleyan University and fell in love with everything that events entail. 7 years ago, she started managing events all over the country and has been busy travelling and managing events since. Ember has managed events in 45 states. She has always loved working in the spirit industry. She joined Hotel Tango as the External Events Manager, overseeing brand ambassadors and events in Indiana and other states. She is excited to share the Hotel Tango brand everywhere. When she is not working at an event, you can find her spending time with her rescue animals, friends, and family. She enjoys drinking coffee at local coffee shops, rollerblading, hiking and doing hot yoga. She is very adventurous and loves to try out unique places, if you know of any let her know!
Sales
Olivia Leisz
Director of Sales Midwest
Olivia is a Hoosier through and through! She grew up in Greenwood, IN attending Center Grove schools and graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelors degree in HR Management. Olivia has been in the wine & spirits industry for nearly 10 years and has experience in distribution, production and sales. Olivia joined the Hotel Tango team in June of 2022 as the Midwest Sales Director. When she's not out working you can probably find her frequenting one of her favorite watering holes in Broad Ripple or hanging out with her two cats, Ash and Jet.
Troy Pepito
Director of Military + Civilian Sales SE
Troy is a resident of the GREAT state of Florida where he currently resides with his wife Jennifer and son Eli. Prior to joining Hotel Tango Distillery, Troy served 20 years in the United States Navy. During his tenure he was promoted through the ranks to Chief Petty Officer earning several accolades in strategic planning, management, leadership, and attended the University of Maryland, North Florida Coggin School of Business in Marketing and Digital Analytics. Troy oversees the daily operations between the distillery and the Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corp Exchanges. After his duties from slinging booze around the globe, he likes to slow down and enjoy life’s simple pleasures such as fishing, watching his son break ankles on the basketball court and enjoying some TV time on the couch with his lady!
Veteran
Blake Loudermilk
Director of National Accounts
Blake is a native Indianapolis resident who grew up working at her family's orchard and learning the basics of small business management. She attended Indiana University in Bloomington, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Tourism, Hospitality, and Event Management and was a 2013 recipient of the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. Since returning to Indianapolis she has worked in the craft beverage industry selling both wine and spirits with a focus on growing business in national chain accounts. She is responsible for submitting Hotel Tango spirits and programs to buyers in grocery, liquor, club, drug, convenience, and restaurant chains across the country. Today Blake lives with her boyfriend, two dogs, and one cat in Indianapolis and spends her free time roaming the woods at Eagle Creek, watching cartoons, and reading murder mysteries.
Events
Kati O'Brien
Director of Events
Kati is an Indiana native and grew up in Carmel, IN. She attended Indiana University, Bloomington, where she earned a bachelor's degree in Tourism Management with a focus on event planning. Kati joined the Hotel Tango team in 2021, with nearly 10 years of event planning experience in Indy. Kati Directs the events team in successful operation of events in the Fox Hole, ranging from weddings, rehearsal dinners to corporate events. When she's not planning events, she enjoys being outside with her two golden retrievers, Buddy and Junior.
Mandi Roberts
Internal Events Manager
Mandi is a Wisconsin native and tried to leave the cold but ended up back in the Midwest (Indiana) by way of a handful of states including Kentucky, which inspired her love for bourbon and distilled spirits. She has an over 15-year history in athletics, small business consulting, and event planning, and owns two businesses including a weightlifting gym with her fiance in Carmel. Mandi is part of the events team and is responsible for events in the Foxhole as well as the development of future branded events including experiential events at Hotel Tango properties where the spirits provide the story and heart of the party. Mandi is excited to help the world fall in love with Hotel Tango. She also competes nationally in weightlifting and is passionate about rescuing bird dogs and rape victim advocacy. She loves snow and the Green Bay Packers.
Zach Fromm
Events Lead
Production
Tony Fleming
Director of Production
Tony was born and raised in Lafayette, IN. and attended Purdue University to pursue a degree in biology. He started homebrewing in college, fell in love with the science, and decided to make a career out of it. After graduating, he moved to Indy and started working in breweries. His early responsibilities included unclogging drains and cleaning the mash tun. Eventually, he was promoted to head brewer. Tony made the transition to distilling at Hotel Tango in September 2019 as the Production Manager before entering his current role as Director of Production. Tony oversees the producction department and is responsible for working closely with the Head Distiller, Production Manager, and Sales to ensure Hotel Tango manufactures the best product we can, it arrives to consumers in the most efficient way possible, and we keep key markets stocked with the products they desire.
Bobby Yates
Head Distiller
Bobby is an Indianapolis native and has been brewing/distilling since the age of 19. He experimented with fermentation and brewing at home, eventually leading into winemaking and distilling over the course of the subsequent 5 years. Bobby moved into a head brewer role in a small brewpub and learned more of the brewing craft from one of Indiana's first Craft Brewers. Bobby started working at Hotel Tango peeling lemons as a second job hoping to expand his distilling knowledge and experience. He accepted The Head Distiller role in 2019 where he maintains quality and consistency amongst Hotel Tango's 9 Spirits, as well as Innovating 3 new brown spirit recipes and releasing the Classified series (the distillery's experimental line).
Jesse Lee
Production Manager
Jesse hails from Brooklyn, NY and is a veteran of the United States Navy. During his time in the military, he was twice deployed on Western Pacific cruises which took him abroad to lands such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Jordan and Australia. Upon completion of his service, Jesse began work at Brooklyn Born Chocolate, where he held multiple titles, including Distribution Manager and General Manager. At Hotel Tango, Jesse serves as the Production Manager where he oversees the operation of the facility's bottling line and as well as all retail order distribution activities.
Veteran
Dilon Richter
Lead Distiller
Dilon grew up in Columbus, Indiana. After high school he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a MV-22 Osprey Crew Chief and Mechanic. After his 5 years Active Duty in the Marine Corps Dilon worked in Production Control, Logistics, and Quality Assurance in automotive manufacturing. Dilon joined Hotel Tango in the fall of 2019 as the Assistant Distiller after working at a local craft brewery for multiple years. Dilon currently lives with his girlfriend Avery, and their two cats, Frank and Leonna.
Veteran
Andrew Schulten
Warehouse Coordinator
Andrew is a native to Indiana, but has lived and traveled all over the country and world. He attended the University of Evansville and received a B.S. in Health Services Administration. While attending college he was a full scholarship ROTC cadet at the University of Southern Indiana and became a commissioned Officer in the US Army after college. After the Army, Andrew continued to serve others as a Police Officer in Lafayette, IN. Eventually, he chose to follow his wife's career progression after she followed his for several years. During this time Andrew selected a new career path that lead him into the craft brewery and distillery world that combined his experience as a leader in the military as a logistician with his passion for spirits and landed him as the Warehouse Coordinator here at Hotel Tango.
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Devin Howard
Distilling Team Member
Brad Fellure
Distilling Team Member
Chris Woods
Production Team Member
Nick Shadle
Production Team Member
Nate Atkins
Production Team Member
Nate is an Indianapolis native that has worked as a cook and chef throughout the city for over a decade. His passion and love for food and drink are what have driven his career since graduating High school and studying culinary arts at Ivy Tech. After learning the basics of french cooking in school, he worked in a few cafes and brewpubs in Broadripple before joining the team at Milktooth. While working at 3Sisters cafe in Broadripple, he and Bobby built and maintained a small indoor hydroponic garden that supplied some small quantities of veggies and herbs he used in the daily menu specials. While working at Milktooth the Team received accolades from local and national, and global media for their exceptional food. After leaving Milktooth he spent the first third of 2017 living and working in San Francisco at an artist colony in the heart of the city. The experience sharpened and heightened his passion and creativity for food, drink, and art. He chose to join the Hotel Tango team to expand his knowledge of spirits and learn about every aspect of their production.
Corporate
Travis Barnes
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Travis Barnes grew up near the small town of Albion, Indiana. After the events of 9/11, Travis was compelled to leave college in 2001, and enlist as an infantryman in the United States Marine Corps. Later on, he was selected for the elite Marine Recon, where he served three combat tours in Iraq with First Reconnaissance Battalion. After obtaining his undergrad degree Travis went on to earn his law degree in the spring of 2013, where he met his wife Hilary. After law school, Travis and Hilary founded Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery in downtown Indianapolis. Hotel Tango is the first combat-disabled, veteran-owned distillery in the U.S. The mission of Hotel Tango is to create unrivaled experiences through premium spirits. In his spare time, Travis likes to hang out with his two amazing daughters & eat Korean BBQ. 
Veteran
Hilary Barnes
Founder & Chief Legal Officer
Hilary Barnes is an Indiana native that attended Indiana University where she received her bachelor's degree in Business Process Management. She continued her education at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and graduated in 2013. In addition to serving as general counsel for Hotel Tango, Hilary Barnes works for the law firm of Christopher & Taylor, where she focuses primarily on business litigation and personal injury cases. Hilary has been named by Super Lawyers as an Indiana Rising Star in the area of business litigation in 2018, 2019, and 2020. In her free time she loves flying planes & spending time with her two adorable daughters.
Nick Ladig
President
Nick was born in Northeast Indiana and grew up childhood friends with founder Travis. His roots are in rural Indiana and he resides there today, just outside of Fort Wayne. He started working in the food and beverage world at the age of 12 and grew a passion for the beverage side of the industry. Nick studied Business at Purdue Fort Wayne and then Ball State University where he ultimately gained his degree in the study of Entrepreneurship. His career path led him to beer first, working at the wholesaler level for nearly a decade. He then joined the team at Hotel Tango in 2016. He is married and the proud father of one wonderful daughter. Hobbies include writing bios for his work website, hunting, sports, cooking, traveling, and whatever else is on the family calendar.
Mike Leary
Vice President of Finance
Mike Grew up in Perrysburg, Ohio and is a 2000 graduate of the University of Dayton earning a Bachelors degree with a major in Economics. Mike is responsible for the planning, budgeting, and management of all financial and accounting activities relating to Hotel Tango. Prior to his stint at Hotel Tango, Mike spent 15 years in the golf course management industry, most recently as VP of finance with Green Golf Partners. Mike and his wife Jen live in the Warfleigh neighborhood of Indianapolis with their two sons Charlie and Everett. Mike enjoys watching and attending sporting events in his free time and his favorite Hotel Tango spirit is Cherry Liquor.
Ginger Barnes
Vice President of Operations
Ginger grew up in Albion, IN and is a graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, where she earned her bachelor’s in Communications, and San Diego State University, where she earned a Master of Science in Counseling. Ginger is responsible for facilities management and day-to-day operations of all Hotel Tango footprints to include 3 tasting rooms, a production facility, corporate offices, and Hotel Tango Farms. Prior to Hotel Tango, Ginger worked in the mental health counseling field after serving nine years in the United States Navy, specializing in operations.
Veteran
Jory Westerman
Vice President of Sales
Jory was raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana and is a graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, where he obtained his bachelor’s in business. After college, Jory relocated to Fishers, IN where he currently lives with his wife, Jen, and two children, Claire and Aiden. Jory obtained his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan in 2014, while working for Monarch Beverage. Prior to joining the Hotel Tango team in 2019 as Director of Sales, Jory worked in various sales roles in the liqour/beer industry for 9 years. In 2020, Jory was promoted to the Vice President of Sales where he is responsible for all civilian and military sales throughout the United States and manages the Hotel Tango's distributor partners.
Alisha Hernandez
Vice President of Human Resources
Alisha is an Indiana native and attended the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI where she completed her degree with a double major in Human Resources Management and Business Management. Alisha joined Hotel Tango as the Director of Human Resources with over 10 years of human resources and operations management experience. Alisha was promoted to Vice President of Human Resources in January of 2021 and is responsible for identifying and implementing long-range strategic talent management goals. Alisha is also the co-founder and Executive Sponsor of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion group at Hotel Tango where she is responsible for aligning the group goals with Hotel Tango ‘s overall strategy. In her free time, Alisha likes to travel, cook, eat, and experience new cultures with her hubby Drew.
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Sustainability

Hotel Tango is committed to being responsible stewards of the environment. Our approach starts with HT Farms, the sustainability outgrowth of the distillery. Here, our Flavor Innovation Team manages the property, growing produce used in the craft cocktails served in our Tasting Room.

HT Farms also partners with Indy Urban Acres, a project of the Indianapolis Parks Foundation. Indy Urban Acres grows flowers at the farm to sell at retail, in order to support its mission of empowering and educating people through access to free, locally-grown, high-quality products.


Indy Urban Acres also utilizes the farm to teach youth sustainability and provide produce for local shelters. In 2019, the Hotel Tango Farm produced over 2,000 pounds of produce for local shelters.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
We're committed to building opportunities in our community by empowering workers, stakeholders, partners & consumers to embrace diversity, promote equity and cultivate inclusion.
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