Staff & People

Book Your Stay at the Farmstead Inn

Shipshewana Trading Place is proud to be a locally-owned family business. Meet just a few of the folks who work hard to make your visit the best that it can be.

Shipshewana Trading Place Team

Keith Lambright


 Keith has been an owner/operator of Shipshewana Trading Place since 1981. With a strong commitment to keeping the company a family-owned business, he purchased the organization fully in September 2015 and has since been joined in the office by his son, as well as his daughter in the livestock office and Farmstead Inn. Don't be surprised to see his wife, children and grandchildren around from time-to-time helping to keep the business moving forward. Keith is an active member of River Oaks Community Church and a board member for the Westview School Corporation. In his spare time, Keith loves to spend time with his family, especially his seven grandchildren.

Brian Lambright

Brian Lambright

Business Development Director

Brian joined the family business in December 2015 alongside his dad leading business development efforts. With more than 10 years in the RV industry, it is not surprising that one of his first efforts includes the expansion of RV services with a new RV Service Center, scheduled to open in October 2016 offering Full PDI (Post Delivery Inspection); warranty work, service work, add-on sales and installation and winterizing services. In his free time, Brian loves spending time just hanging out with his wife and 2 young children.

Flea Market

Michael Christner

Michael Christner

Flea Market Director & RV Park Manager

Michael joined the organization in the Fall of 2006 as the Flea Market Director. His responsibilities also include managing the RV Park operations and special events held on the Shipshewana Trading Place Auction grounds. Michael is married and lives here in Shipshewana with his wife and three children.


Mike Scherer

Antique Auction Manager

Mike has 43 years of Business Management experience, primarily in the RV Industry. He manages the consignors at the weekly Wednesday Antique & Miscellaneous Auction. Outside of work, you will find Mike Woodworking or serving on the compassion ministries through his church.

Donna Bontrager Shipshewana Auction

Donna Bontrager

Livestock & Horse Auction Secretary / Clerk

Donna has been with the team since 1996. She does many different jobs within the corporate area, but most of the time you will find her in the livestock office during the livestock and horse sale or clerking the livestock sale. Donna enjoys the customers she has gotten to know over the years and how they have been a blessing to her. When not at work, Donna enjoys spending time with family, baking or sitting on the back patio with a good book.

Chuck Haarer

Antique Auction Manager

Chuck began his career with the business over 40 years ago. He has served in many capacities over the years and is now currently managing the weekly Misc. & Antique Auction. Chuck loves working with the many customers he has met over the years. When not at work, you may find him on a bike, playing with his grandchildren, antiquing or traveling with his wife across the country or on a cruise ship.

Wanda Bender

Auction Clerk & Cashier

Wanda's roots run deep. She started selling popcorn many years ago as a little girl working here for her father and mother when they owned the business. Currently Wanda can be found on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the Misc. & Antique office fielding phone calls and working the buyer windows and on Fridays clerking on the block at the horse auctions. She also enjoys working for a shop uptown on the off days, collecting high-end primitives and traveling to Indy and Phoenix to visit family.

Corporate Office

Rita Sutton

Human Resource Coordinator

Rita started with Shipshewana Trading Place in 2017 as the human resource coordinator. She has 10 years in the HR field, and enjoys the challenge of the job and how it changes from day to day. Rita lives at the lake and enjoys all aspects of lake life including swimming, boating and paddle boarding.

Eric Hostetler

Finance Director

Eric has been with Shipshewana Auction since 2003 where he heads up the accounting department. Eric has been a part of the local community his whole life and actually worked for Shipshewana Auction during the summers through his high school and college years. Eric lives in the Shipshewana area with his wife and two children.

Lora Gates

Marketing Director

Lora leads the strategic marketing and customer service initiatives for the Shipshewana Trading Place brand. Prior to joining the team in October, 2014 she spent 13 years in healthcare marketing for IU Health. She lives in Shipshewana with her husband and their three children. In her spare time, she loves to spend time outdoors with her family, cooking and arts & crafts.

Carlie Cripe

Administrative & Marketing Coordinator

Carlie joined Shipshewana Trading Place in the spring of 2015. In her role she serves on the marketing team, collecting, organizaing, monitoring and distributing information related to strategic marketing projects and aids in flea market vendor relations during the summer season. She also creates, implements and maintains corporate office organization by supporting all team members and businesses. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Indiana University. In her spare time, she likes to hang out with her husband and son, and she loves to upcycle.

Anna Camburn

Digital Marketing Specialist

Anna joined the marketing department in May of 2015. She maintains Shipshewana Trading Place's digital presence by managing the website, blog, mobile app, email campaigns and social media. In addition, she is the in-house graphic designer, photographer and videographer. Anna has a degree in public relations from Ball State University. Outside of work, she enjoys collecting vintage Pyrex and playing keyboard on her church's worship team.

Keith Gerber

Maintenance Manager

Keith Gerber has been with us since Fall of 2014. He leads our maintenance team and provides overall direction of the day-to-day maintenance, as well as, the ongoing upkeep of our facilities. Keith is married and lives in Howe with his wife. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and fishing.

Jenny Weimer

Livestock & Marketing Associate

Jenny has been around the auction, flea market and hotel most of her life. Her knowledge of the business is beneficial as she assists with customer relations in the livestock office, corporate office, and RV Service Center. She lives in Shipshewana with her husband and two daughters.

RV Service Center

Chad Bender

RV Service Center Manager

Chad is the manager for the all-new Shipshewana Trading Place RV Service Center. Located on the grounds of the Shipshewana Auction & Flea Market, the 20,000 square foot Shipshewana RV Service Center will has12 service bays including a rain bay. Chad resides in Shipshewana with his wife and two kids. 

Farmstead Inn

Mark Engle

General Manager: Farmstead Inn & Conference Center

Mark joined the Farmstead Inn and Conference Center as General Manager in June of 2015. He spent his professional career prior to the hotel as an educator. Mark lives in Shipshewana with his wife, twin boys, and daughter.

Elaine Nichols Farmstead Inn Event Coordinator

Elaine Nichols

Group & Conference Coordinator: Farmstead Inn & Conference Center

Elaine started working with our Group reservations in May of 2010. Since then she has made countless friendships as she helps our groups with their every need. She enjoys shopping and Jeeping in her time away from the hotel.

Patrick Peroz

Front Desk Supervisor: Farmstead Inn & Conference Center

Patrick Peroz came to the Farmstead Inn as Front Desk Supervisor in 2014. You can count on Patrick to help you with your needs as you stay with us. He enjoys reading, chess, kayaking, hiking, fishing and all things Notre Dame. Patrick lives on Cedar Lake with his wife Karen.

Rebecca Berkey

Group & Customer Service Specialist: Farmstead Inn & Conference Center

Rebecca started at the Farmstead Inn in the fall of 2011. She has had many roles while at the Inn. She is now managing guest services, add-ons, and assists with groups and conferences. Rebecca lives in Emma with her husband and her daughter, Lily. She likes to paint in her spare time.

Cyndi Slabaugh Shipshewana Trading Place

Cyndi Slabaugh

Farmstead Inn Breakfast Lead & Food Service Support

Cyndi has been with Shipshewana Trading Place since 2011. She leads the service and operations in the breakfast area of the Farmstead Inn, provides food service support in the Auction Restaurant, and provides valuable service and support in several other areas of the organization as needed throughout the year. She enjoys reading, mowing the lawn and spending time with her husband Ty and his two children. She also keeps busy taking care of her three large talking parrots.

Auction Restaurant

Michelle Young, manager of the Shipshewana Auction Restaurant

Michelle Young

Auction Restaurant Manager

Michelle joined the team in the summer of 2015. She has over 15 years in the food service industry and leads the daily operations of the Auction Restaurant. She and her husband live in Wolcottville and have four sons. In her time away from the restaurant, she enjoys being outdoors and traveling.

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