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Hotel Tango creates disciplined spirits that bring people together

Core Values

We are committed to excellence and always improving
We are passionate and playful
We tell it like it is and demand accountability
We relentlessly work together


Founded in 2013 by Recon Marine veteran Travis Barnes and his wife Hilary, Hotel Tango is the nation’s first combat-disabled, veteran-owned distillery. We’re also one of the fastest-growing, from just two employees in 2013 to over 90 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

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. 
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
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
Chief Financial Officer
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mark Peters
Director of Civilian Markets MidWest
Mark was raised in South Charleston, Ohio and attented Wittenberg University, in Springfield OH, where he graduated with his Bachelor's in Business Management. Mark moved to Columbus OH, where he had his 2 boys, Layne and Landon. Ten years later, he moved back to Springfield, where he currently resides with Julie. Mark has worked in the Beverage Industry for 20+ years with both alcoholic beverages and non alcoholic beverages. He came to Hotel Tango in January 2020 as the OH/KY Market manager and has since been promoted to the Director of Civilian Markets Midwest.
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!
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.
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.
Jack Knowles
Indiana Market Manager South
Jordan Smith
Texas/Louisiana Market Manager
Jordan Smith is an Indiana native of the small but powerful city of Fort Wayne. After graduating, he relocated to Texas and joined the US Navy. He was stationed aboard the CVN-69 Aircraft Carrier for 5 years, and he served as an At Sea Fire Fighter while going on back to back deployments. After exiting the military he was blessed with a beautiful daughter who is now a 6 year old feisty Leo. Jordan joined the Hotel Tango team in March 2020 as the Texas/Louisiana Market Manger and is a board member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team.
Tyler Vassar
Ohio/Michigan Market Manager
Stephanie Hasbrouck
Chain Key Account Manager
Stephanie is originally from Terre Haute, IN, went to college in Evansville, IN and then became a resident of Indianapolis in 2016. Ever since she moved to Indianapolis, Steph has become and avid lover of the alcohol industry. She started working in a liquor store by her apartment, then moved to the distributor side of the industry, and has now ended up working for a supplier - Hotel Tango! Stephanie’s role as a Chain Key Account Manager will be to visit large grocery store accounts throughout the entire state of Indiana. She will create and maintain relationships with buyers as well as implementing programming into these large accounts. Today, Stephanie lives with her two dogs and enjoys planting -mostly succulents because they’re easier to keep alive! You will catch her enjoying an old fashioned and listening to upbeat jazz music if she isn’t working.
Matt Missildine
Florida Market Manager
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
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.
Dilon Richter
Assistant 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.
Drew Taylor
Production Team Lead
Chris Woods
Production Team Member
Devin Howard
Production Team Member
Josef Wagle
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.
Fletcher Place Tasting Room
General Manager
Andi comes to Hotel Tango with an creative business edge. Having years of people development, innovation projects, and entrepreneurship she brings a light (and laugh) to directing business. Her laugh is heard before you even walk through the door. Andi's spare time is used to adventure with her dog, Apollo, and finish art commissions.
Back of House Assistant
Andrew is an Indiana native, although he started cooking in Pennsylvania. He has been cooking professionally for 10 years now. He has cooked for restaurants, hotels, and caterers; from corporate to small family owned diners. Most of his experience comes from cooking in large quantities for large groups. He has learned a number of techniques from many great chefs which he tries to incorporate into his cooking methods today. He has a beautiful wife and one year old son. His role at Hotel Tango is to make sure the kitchen is consistent with putting out high quality food and spirits infusions, as well as helping with the creation of new dishes for the menu.
Lead Mixologist
Forrest hails from the rich valley of Kalamazoo, Michigan. He studied music, communication, and philosophy at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude. After graduation, Forrest fell in love with the art and history of craft spirits and cocktails, working at a scratch bar in a small distillery tasting room. A natural creative, Forrest has been honing his mixological craft for eight years, always striving for refinement and amelioration. He joined the Hotel Tango Team in summer of 2021 and these days he is the Lead Mixologist of the HT Fletcher Place Tasting Room. Come ask him something nerdy about gin.
Tasting Room Team Member
Tasting Room Team Member
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.
Tasting Room Team Member
Tasting Room Team Member
Tasting Room Team Member
Tasting Room Team Member
Back of House Team Member
Back of House Team Member
Back of House Team Member
Fort Wayne Tasting Room
General Manager
Assistant General Manager
Back of House Assistant
Tasting Room Team Member
Tasting Room Team Member
Tasting Room Team Member
Back of House Team Member
Tasting Room Team Member
Zionsville Tasting Room
Assistant General Manager
Back of House Assistant
Lead Mixologist
Tasting Room Team Member
Tasting Room Team Member


We’re always on the lookout for exceptional new recruits. Check out what’s currently available and see if you fit the bill.

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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.