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Staff & People

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Meet a few of the members of the Shipshewana Trading Place team, who work hard to make Shipshewana a destination worth visiting time and time again. 

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Shipshewana Trading Place Team

Keith Lambright

Owner

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 daughters in the livestock office. 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 nine 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 included the expansion of RV services with a new RV Service Center, that opened 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 3 young children.

Flea Market

Michael Christner

Michael Christner

Flea Market Director

Since 2006, Michael has managed the operations of the Midwest's Largest Flea Market including vendor recruitment and retainment, maintenance, and customer service. Michael loves meeting new people and working with vendors to help them have the best experience possible at the market. His responsibilities also include managing the Shipshewana Swap Meets, Ship-Chic Craft & Vintage shows and other special events held on the flea market & auction grounds. Michael is married and lives in Shipshewana with his wife and three children.

Antique & Misc. Auction

Loren Lambright

Misc. & Antique Auction Manager

Loren Lambright joined the Shipshewana Trading Place team as Misc. & Antique Auction Manager in July of 2020. Having filled in as an auctioneer from time-to-time, he is no stranger to the weekly Misc. & Antique Auction that takes place each Wednesday, year-round. Loren was previously employed at J&S Auctions where he helped with marketing and as an assisting auctioneer and is a member of the Indiana Auctioneers Association. He enjoys auctions in general and enjoys restoring old pieces he finds attending auctions in his spare time. When Loren is not working or bidding, he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter. His philosophy in life is this, "what's meant to be will happen if you leave your book open and believe in it." 

Wanda Bender

Misc. & Antique Auction Assistant and Cashier

Wanda's roots at Shipshewana Auction run deep. When she was a little girl, her father and mother owned the business and Wanda would sell popcorn to buyers and sellers. Currently, Wanda can be found on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the Misc. & Antique office fielding phone calls and working the buyer windows. She also clerks at the Friday horse auctions. When she's not at Shipshewana Auction, Wanda enjoys working for a shop uptown, collecting high-end primitives, and traveling to Indy and Phoenix to visit family.

Corporate Office

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.

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.

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 and 7 years in the commercial printing industry. She lives in Shipshewana with her husband and their three children and serves as a community representative for Shipshewana Trading Place. In her spare time, she is involved with youth ministry at New Life Fellowship and she loves to spend time outdoors with her family, cooking and arts & crafts.

Merv Bontrager

Merv Bontrager

Maintenance Manager

Merv joined the maintenance team in 2018 and helps provide overall direction of the day-to-day maintenance, as well as, the ongoing upkeep of our facilities. Before joining Shipshewana Trading Place, Merv worked for Westview Schools for 11 years and also owned Ace Hardware in Shipshewana for 30 years. In his spare time, he enjoys going to his lake house, antiquing, gardening, and spending time with his grandkids on the farm.

Mike Reed

IT Coordinator & Digital Marketing Specialist

Mike joined the Shipshewana Trading Place team in 2019. He currently serves as the IT Coordinator and assists Lora in the Marketing department as the Digital Marketing Specialist. Prior to joining the team, Mike spent 11 years working for Howe Military Academy in Howe, IN serving as the Director of Technology and Digital Marketing. Mike lives in Three Rivers, Michigan with his wife and their two children. In his spare time, he enjoys serving as a member of the Riverside Church worship team in Three Rivers, MI and loves to go on camping adventures with his family.

RV Service Center

Ryan Kraft, Shipshewana RV Service Center

Ryan Kraft

RV Service Center Manager

Ryan has been with the Shipshewana RV Service Center since its opening. Before managing the service center, Ryan worked as Director of Operations at Evergreen RV and also held positions at Skyline and Crossroads RV. He lives in Shipshewana with his wife and two kids, and he enjoys hunting, sports, and hanging out with family.

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 Reidenbach Farmstead Inn Event Coordinator

Elaine Reidenbach

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.

Cyndi Slabaugh Shipshewana Trading Place

Cyndi Slabaugh

Food Service Lead & Flea Market Assistant

Cyndi has been with Shipshewana Trading Place since 2011, and has over 30 years of food & customer service experience. Currently, she manages the breakfast area at the Farmstead Inn and the Auction Barn snack bar. You may also find Cyndi clerking at the Wednesday Antique & Misc. Auction or assisting with vendor check-in at the Flea Market office. In her spare time, 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 four 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.

Livestock & Horse Auction

Donna Bontrager Shipshewana Auction

Donna Bontrager

Livestock & Horse Auction Secretary and Clerk

Donna has been with the team since 1996. She wears many hats at Shipshewana Auction, but most of the time, you will find her assisting cattle or horse buyers and sellers in the livestock office during the livestock and horse sale. She also clerks during the sales on the auction block. 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.

Jenny Weimer

Livestock & Horse Auction Cashier / Farmstead Inn

Jenny has been around the auction, flea market, and hotel most of her life. Her knowledge of the business is beneficial as she checks out buyers and sellers during the weekly Livestock and Horse Auctions, assists with marketing projects in the corporate office, and assists with group support at the Farmstead Inn. Jenny has an infectious positivity that brightens up any office she works in. She lives in Shipshewana with her husband and three children.

Stacy Beeman, Shipshewana Auction

Stacy Beeman

Livestock Office Associate / Food Service

Stacy has worked a variety of positions across the organization, including the flea market, Auction restaurant, and most recently livestock office and clerk. Her infectious positive attitude reflects in every customer encounter, whether she is serving a guest at the restaurant or the livestock office. She, her husband and three children keep very busy in the community and with various extracurricular activities such as 4H and live in nearby Churubusco.

Ryder Lambright

Livestock Barn Showman

Ryder joined the team in 2015. He helps in the livestock auction, flea market, and he helps Javan carry heavy stuff. He also helps with company morale. 

Upcoming Events

Shipshewana Trading Place is home to the Midwest's Largest Flea Market, Weekly Auctions, an Amish-inspired Inn, and year-round events in Indiana's Amish Country. Check out what's going on by browsing our upcoming events.

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