Carmel Monthly-July 2023

Page 1 COLLECTIVE PUBLISHING PUBLICATION MONTHLY JULY 2023 BRENT AND FRANCES KUMFER The Rejoicing Vine Winery on Cultivating Life and Harvesting Joy


Second Saturday of each month; 4 – 8 p.m.


Family Fun Ride: Aug. 12

Slow Roll Dinner Cruise: Aug. 8

Roundabout Ride: Sept. 16


Saturdays, through Sept.; 8 – 11:30 a.m.


Mondays, May through Oct. 5 – 7 p.m.

No music Labor Day


Through Oct.

Tuesdays – Noon and 6 p.m.

Thursdays – 6 p.m.



Wednesdays, May 31 – Sept. 27, 7 – 9 p.m.



Aug. 19


July 29; 5 – 9 p.m.


Aug. 11 – 12


Aug. 25 – 27


Sept. 9; 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Sept. 15 – 17


Sept. 17; noon – 6 p.m.


Sept. 23 – 24


Sept. 30; 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.


Oct. 6; 6 – 10 p.m.

This logo indicates events sponsored by Allied Solutions

This logo indicates events sponsored by IU Health North Hospital

Event details are subject to change. Visit the City of Carmel, Indiana Government on Facebook for the latest event updates or cancellations due to inclement weather • (317) 571-2400
Meet Me On Main Late Night on Main Artomobilia FOR MORE INFO (317) 571-2400 Follow the City of Carmel on social media.
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Smooth. Savory. Easy to drink. Taste award-winning avor with every sip. is is the way a Bloody Mary is supposed to taste.



Brent and Frances Kumfer: The Rejoicing Vine Winery on Cultivating Life and Harvesting Joy

This month, Carmel Monthly is pleased to feature Carmel residents Brent and Frances Kumfer on the cover. The Kumfers have recently opened The Rejoicing Vine and shared with us their deep commitment to cultivating life through sustainable and regenerative farming practices while offering a destination for sparkling wine enthusiasts in a relaxing nature setting.

Story Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photo // Laura Arick

Lucas / 317-501-0418 HEAD WRITER
Morrison / 317-250-7298 6 25 Years of Community Partnerships and Annual Traditions 10 The Center’s Night of Celebration! 12 Carmel Artist Taylor Walker To Show at the Annual 4th Street Art Festival 14 The Mercedes Monumental Classic Car Show Comes to Carmel 20 Mayor Jim Brainard on City-to-City Diplomacy Between the U.S. and China 22 Coxhall Gardens Celebrates Another Successful Posh Picnic Event Business Spotlight is sponsored content. COLLECTIVE PUBLISHING, LLC - PO BOX 6326 - FISHERS, IN 46037 For advertisement sales call Lena Lucas 317-501-0418 or email Stay informed on news and events in Carmel by following us on Twitter and Facebook CarmelMag @CarmelMag CARMELMONTHLYMAGAZINE
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25 Years of Community Partnerships and Annual Traditions

There are several longstanding traditions that the Carmel Farmers Market has cultivated over the last 25 years. The Annual Carmel Fire Department Firehouse Cookoff at CFM is one of those beloved traditions, and it not only highlights the culinary skills and competitive spirit of all six CFD firehouses but also shines a bright light on the bond CFM and CFD have with the Carmel community.

Recently, CFM hosted CFD for the return of the cookoff during the Saturday summer market. This event is coordinated by CFM committee member and longtime CFD volunteer Doug Dolan. All six CFD stations compete against one another for the winning title, plaque and bragging rights. Marketgoers vote on which of the stations’ dishes they enjoyed the most and get to engage with some of Carmel’s finest public servants throughout the event.


CFM President Ron Carter recalled how the tradition began back in 2000.

“We outlined what we wanted to do and got with the Carmel Fire Department, and I went to Walmart and bought a skillet,” Carter said. “We were fortunate enough to strike a chord and note in the fire stations because of their competitiveness, and that helped move [the cookoff] along. Most people only see firefighters on what is most likely one of the worst days of their life — when their house is burning — and they don’t have an opportunity to see them as members of the community interacting with our citizens [absent an emergency], and this cookoff has been a prime way for people to experience that and see CFD in action in a very lighthearted way.”

CFD Division Chief of Community Relations John Moriarty added, “I get a thrill out of just watching the crews go back and forth and hearing the little digs they throw back at each other — it’s really competitive, and it always has been. That’s just the nature of firefighters. They’re like brothers and sisters at home. But when that tone or bell goes off, it’s a whole different story. Everybody comes together as one, and they have one purpose in mind: to save lives and property.”

Moriarty expressed that the members of CFD appreciate and respect the community every bit as much as the community values the services and sacrifices offered by the men and women of CFD.

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of CFM and submitted

“The cookoff is an extremely joyful event and is as much so for CFD,” Moriarty said. “We realize in this fire department that we are blessed to have the opportunity to live and work in this community. There is no better community, no question in my mind. I came here 41 years ago when I got on the job, and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I love Carmel. There is a ‘theme’ that has stuck with me throughout my career, and without a question that theme is ‘give back.’”


Our congratulations to CFD Station 341 for taking home the golden skillet with their winning macaroni and cheese recipe!

Dolan shared some of the logistics that go into planning the annual cookoff and thanked all the firehouses as well as the volunteers that help him organize, set up, and tear down the event year after year.

“This [event] started in 2000, and every year we bring the [golden skillet] plaque to the market on the day of the cookoff,” Dolan said. “Whichever [fire station] wins gets to display the plaque [engraved with the winning station’s number and year] for that year. This year’s theme was ‘macaroni and cheese.’ The stations put whatever they want in [their recipes], and everybody at the market — including kids — can participate by casting their votes for their favorite dish in one of six coffee cans.”

When asked about choosing a theme for the cookoff, Dolan replied, “I try not to

make [the theme] too hard or where they have to do a lot of prep work. We’ve had chili, breakfast casserole, salsa and cobblers in the past. I also get input from CFD and CFM members about what [theme] we should have for that year’s cookoff. It takes a lot of people to pull this [event] off, and I always have help. It’s a great group of guys and gals that help me.”

For a list of upcoming market events and vendors, visit

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Join The Center for a Night of Celebration!

The Center for the Performing Arts is known for its outstanding educational programs. These programs are designed to enrich the community and provide learning opportunities in various performing arts disciplines. Proceeds from The Center’s annual gala support its arts and educational programming, which is why [The Center’s] support from its patrons, sponsors and the community is vital to the existence and future of its impactful programs. Last year’s sold-out gala at the Palladium raised more than $689,000 [for its programs].

This year’s headliner will be singer-songwriter Amy Grant, winner of six Grammy Awards, 22 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards and a Kennedy Center Honor. Event highlights include:

• First Merchants Bank Red Carpet Arrival

• First Merchants Bank Cocktail Reception

• Elegant dinner and live auction supporting arts programming for the community

• Celebrate, dance and revel at the gala after-parties throughout the Palladium [Black tie recommended]

The Center for Performing Arts President/CEO Jeffrey C. McDermott shared his thoughts on the impact the gala has on supporting The Center’s mission. The mission of The Center for the Performing Arts is to engage and inspire the Indiana community through enriching arts experiences.

“The Center Celebration is an import ant source of funding for our arts and educational initiatives as well as a com munity celebration of The Center’s impact across Indiana,” McDermott said. “It’s been interesting and gratifying to see how the event has developed over the past decade or more. We welcome all the local leaders and lovers of the arts who have supported our mission from the beginning, as well as

the new friends who are coming aboard after seeing and experiencing what we bring to the community.”

In addition to his commitment to and work for the Great American Songbook

It’s a “Don’t Miss Event”
Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of The Center

Foundation, Michael Feinstein has been serving as the Artistic Director for The out the support and creative vision of this community. The gala is a fundraiser, to be sure, but it’s also a wonderful annual celebration of what we’ve been able to accomplish in such a relatively short period of time, in terms of sharing the power of the performing arts.”

The Center is appreciative of its patrons, volunteers and sponsors, without whose support and generosity its programs and events would not be possible.

“Ice Miller is proud to serve as the presenting partner for The Center for the Performing Arts gala, and I am honored to serve as co-chair of this event,” Adam Arceneaux, Steering Committee co-chair and managing partner with Ice Miller stated. “The Center for the Performing Arts brings educational and cultural opportunities to everyone in Central Indiana and adds to our quality of life. We are fortunate to have such a robust arts organization in our community.”

Event details and table reservations are available at MemberWings is a

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Carmel Artist Taylor Walker

To Show at the Annual 4th Street Art Festival

Save the date for the annual 4th Street Art Festival this coming Labor Day weekend and be sure to check out Carmel resident and artist Taylor Walker’s exceptional work at this beloved festival held in Bloomington!

The 4th Street Art Festival will be held on September 2-3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The festival is celebrating its 47th year and is one of Bloomington’s most well-attended events on its arts and culture calendar. The festival will be held on 4th Street between Grant Street and Indiana Avenue.

An Exceptional Collection of Art, Businesses and Stories

The artists that will be featured at the festival are from various Indiana communities. New to the festival are four artists, including Taylor Walker of Carmel. Walker

is an expressionist painter and illustrator who is passionate about animals and focuses on them in her work. Her goal is to blend technical ability and photorealism with exaggerated rainbow colors and strokes to create emotion.

Also featuring their work at this

year’s festival are Kelly Meska [potter] of Bloomington, Heidi Mandich [jeweler] of Indianapolis and Samual Dean [wood turner] of Whitehall.

Although each artist has their own genre and techniques, they all share a passion for creating art and making things, as well as a love for detail and teaching. In addition, all are committed to experimenting, continually learning and perfecting their art, and all are well tuned into the business aspects of making a living with their art.

There are 100-plus [juried] artists in 2D, ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, painting, photography, sculpture and wood who will line 4th Street over Labor Day weekend, eager to talk with patrons about their work, inspiration and techniques. Whether for a couple of hours or the entire weekend, art lovers are encouraged to soak in the beauty of the designs and artisanship and to connect with the stories of the people who create them.

Creating Emotion Through Rainbow Colors

Perhaps you have seen Taylor Walker’s work sold and/or displayed in All Things Carmel at Indiana Artisan Gifts and Gallery or at CCA Gallery & Gifts in Carmel’s Art & Design District. Walker is a self-taught artist specializing in watercolor, acrylic, encaustic painting (hot wax painting) and colored pencil. She graduated from Purdue University with a BFA in Graphic Design but in 2020 took the plunge and decided to follow her lifelong passion of being a full-time artist. Walker resides in Carmel with her husband, Bryan.

Walker was recognized in 2021 as an Indiana Artisan for watercolor and serves on the committees of the Talbot Street Art Fair and 4th Street Art Festival. Walker will also be exhibiting for the first time at the annually held Carmel International Arts Festival this September.

As an artist, Walker is an expressionist. She uses exaggerated color and brush strokes to create emotional effects. She’s inspired by nature, color and animals and most often paints with bright, intense color and paint splatter. Taylor’s

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography //Submitted and Leah Rife

passion for animals is exhibited in her participation in annual fundraising events that support the Indianapolis Zoo, Indy Humane, the Hamilton County Humane Society, the Exotic Feline Rescue Center and the Langley Animal Protection Society.

Walker shared some of her thoughts about exhibiting at festivals as well as her unique style of painting.

“I got pulled onto the [festival] scene really quickly,” Walker said. “Prior to that, I was doing a lot of commission work, and then I made the switch last year when I realized that I wanted to do my own curated collections.”

When asked why it’s important for artists and community members to support art festivals, Walker replied, “We’re all Indiana artists, and by supporting these festivals, you’re supporting local artists. We especially need that in the Midwest, as we’re trying to get more on the art scene. I feel like we especially need that [support] in Indiana.”

While describing her artistic style,

Walker explained, “I consider myself an expressionist painter. I exaggerate color and brush strokes. I have a recoloring process — that’s what I call it. I’m not attracted to neutral colors, and I don’t like to paint that way. I do like photorealism. I like the challenge of making something

like the actual object. I love animals and color, so I combine all of those into the style that I do. My work is very colorful but is not childish because it is so photorealistic and technically correct. I want color to be an afterthought.”

Walker added, “In my recoloring system, purple is black, blue is a lighter shadow and green is neutral. Yellow is the brightest highlight besides the white of the paper, orange is a mid-tone and red is a dark highlight. When I look at a leopard, those black spots equate to purple in my mind. My animals look so realistic because I do follow a consistent recoloring system and all the colors are basically assigned to certain parts of the animal.”

You can follow Walker on Facebook and Instagram @tayloredillustration and see her work on her website at

Be sure to save the dates and join fellow arts festival enthusiasts for the 47th running of the 4th Street Art Festival! For more on the annual 4th Street Art Festival, visit


The Mercedes Monumental Classic Car Show

Comes to Carmel

The Mercedes Monumental Collector Car Show at “Artomobilia, The Art of the Automobile” will take place on the streets of downtown Carmel, Indiana, on Saturday, September 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The event will feature more than 50 unique Mercedes-Benz collector cars and the Mercedes Corral, where guests can display their favorite Mercedes-Benz. Artomobilia attracts more than 25,000 attendees and displays more than 350 cars of various kinds each year.

Additionally, the 2023 Mercedes Grande, presented by the Mercedes-Benz Club of America, will provide an exhilarating list of weekend events in both Carmel and Indianapolis that will highlight the brand and evolving club while display-

ing historic local venues for its events throughout the Indianapolis area.


The President of the Indiana Crossroads Section of the Mercedes-Benz

Club of America, Roger Brummett, and Mercedes-Benz Club of America Executive Director Kathryn “Katie” Carruth spoke to Carmel Monthly about collaborating with the Artomobilia organizers as well as about the direction in which the MBCA is going as the brand is attracting new and younger generations of Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts.

“The [Mercedes-Benz] Club itself is a group of enthusiasts around the brand and marque,” Carruth explained. “It’s my vision and opinion that the club transcends even ownership of vehicles. What makes this job fascinating and fun is what Mercedes is doing as a whole, investing their resources, time and money into the future. It’s a sustainable future that makes a ton of sense, maybe not for today but for five years down the road. It’s a fun company to be an ambassador for. As we see the changes in what fuels automobiles, specifically in F1 and motorsports in North America, I think we will collect more fans in addition to classic car collectors. That will make the club a very encompassing group of people that are quite literally ambassadors and

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of Artomobilia

enthusiasts for a brand that has stood the test of time.”

Carruth and Brummett are excited to bring this year’s Mercedes Grande to the crossroads of America for the first time.

“Roger has done an absolutely stellar job at putting together a world-class event,” Carruth stated. “It will be right in the heart of our country. I anticipate that this event will just grow and grow for MBCA and for Carmel and Indianapolis as a whole.”


Brummett shared the story of how he, Artomobilia Event Director John Leonard, and a committee of car enthusiasts came together well over a decade ago and organized an impressive car show on Monument Circle when Formula 1 was racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“John [Leonard] and I have a lot of history together,” Brummett said. “We started out at White River Park, and then we moved the event to Monument Circle where we had crowds approaching 60,000 people for a one-day event that

was free to the public. When Formula 1 left town, the show went dormant. Then for the last 13-plus years, John [Leonard] has done a spectacular job in creating the infrastructure, technology and communication capabilities, making Artomobilia a first-class operation.”

Brummett agreed to be the national event chair for Mercedes Grand, which is debuting in Carmel and Indianapolis this September.

“It’s a big lift to pull it off and bring it to the Midwest,” Brummett shared. “When John offered up the opportunity to embed the Mercedes Monumental into Artomobilia, it took me less than 5 seconds to say, ‘Yes.’ And we’ve been plotting and planning since then.”

Brummett concluded, “We purposely picked historic facilities and venues that will display well for guests coming into the city. There will also be a private tour of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway [that weekend]. Literally, from the time a person gets here, there are ways for them to be engaged in a variety of events, to be educated, to experience Indianapolis and Carmel, and to drive through the Indiana countryside. It’s going to be a fun and expressive event!”

For tickets and event information on the 2023 Mercedes Grande, visit, and for a complete list of events at this year’s Artomobilia Weekend, visit

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The Rejoicing Vine Winery


This month, Carmel Monthly is pleased to feature Carmel residents Brent and Frances Kumfer on the cover. The Kumfers have recently opened The Rejoicing Vine and shared with us their deep commitment to cultivating life through sustainable and regenerative farming practices while offering a destination for sparkling wine enthusiasts in a relaxing nature setting.


The Kumfers and their two children have called the north side “home” for the last 10 years. Brent is a native Hoosier from Fort Wayne, and Frances is from Connecticut. The couple met in Connecticut after Brent moved out east for eight years post-college. Brent and Frances shared their passion for frequenting the local [Connecticut] wineries along the “wine trail” while they were dating and

that sparked an interest in what would be their future endeavor.

“When we were dating, we had a wine passport, and we would go around and get different stamps at different wineries,” Brent shared. “Once we collected enough stamps, we could submit the passport for a chance to win a trip to Spain. We loved doing that as we dated and had a lot of fun building our relationship. We found wine to be a great excuse to socialize. Once we started having

kids and realized we had no time to sit around and have meaningful conversations, we found our friends and family members were in similar situations, so we thought we should start a winery and built it around this idea of connecting more with each other, our community and with nature.”

Frances added, “We have a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old, which is one of the reasons we moved to Carmel … for the great school system.”

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Laura Arick and submitted

on which the winery operates two years ago in the Traders Point area of northern Marion County, just south of Boone County. In the early 2000s, it was formerly an orchid nursery.

“We renovated the [existing] building into our tasting room and wine production facility,” Brent said. “We have about 1,000 square feet of tasting room space and about 2,000 square feet of production space. We also have an outdoor patio space. Of the 16 acres, we have about 6 acres that are wooded. We currently farm 3 acres: 2 acres of planted vines, a ½ acre of apple trees and a ½ acre of raspberries.”

Frances added, “Our hope with the wooded area is to put [in] some walking/ running trails and set up [picnic] tables where people can enjoy wine and conversation out near the trails and in nature.”

The Kumfers’ overall mission is to serve the community, and they plan to do that in a myriad of ways.

“The first and obvious is through the tasting room,” Brent explained. “And by providing an atmosphere where families, friends and coworkers can come and enjoy time together, building community. The second [mission] is through connecting people with food. So, the walking trails, giving farm tours and talking with people about the importance of where and how their food is grown, and then the third aspect is giving back to the community.”

Once their apple trees begin producing fruit in the next few years, the Kumfers are planning on donating to local area food banks and food pantries.

“In the meantime, we want to give back some of our profits until we’re able to provide our own grown produce

to support local organizations,” Brent stated.


“I would like to dispel that myth that you can’t grow good wine grapes here in Indiana,” Brent said. “The grapes that we can grow here do not make the same style of wines that you find in California, which has a very hot dry climate. They can grow the traditional grapes that were bred in Europe, and those grapes do not do well in our climate. So, we grow hybrids that are crosses between European varieties and American varieties. These are bred for cold hardiness and disease resistance.”

Brent explained that the hybrid wine grapes tend to be higher in acid and lower in tannins, which make it difficult to produce full-bodied reds.

“Tannins and acids don’t play well together on your palate,” Brent stated. “So, we are bucking this trend by producing sparkling wines. With sparkling wines, you actually want low tannins and high acid. It’s interesting to me that more wineries aren’t doing sparkling wines.”

Of the current offerings, The Rejoicing Vine produces a bottle-fermented brüt natural sparkling wine called the “Regenerative Rosé” with mouthwatering acidity and active yeast cultures.

“It’s a different take on a champagne-style wine and has very minimal residual sugar,” Brent said. “It’s one of our best sellers. It has an active yeast culture similar to kombucha or apple cider vinegar, and we believe that’s good for your gut microbiome.”

Frances added, “We’ve found the largest growth in wine drinking, in the younger generations, especially, are sparking wines and these kinds of ‘PétNat,’ or Pétillant Naturel, style wines that have yeast in them.”

“I think the younger consumers are looking for more approachable, lower alcohol drinks, and sparkling also fits

that bill. Sparking wines are more in the range of 10-12 percent instead of 12-16 percent,” Brent stated.


The Kumfers are making a concerted effort to reduce their carbon footprint and are buying everything regionally and/or locally.

“Sustainability is a big part of our mission, and we want to get everything as local as possible,” Brent expressed. And we farm regeneratively, which is a concept that I hope becomes more mainstream. The idea behind [regenerative] farming is a step up from sustainability. The idea of regenerative [farming] is to improve the environment that you’re farming to create healthy soils so you can get off the chemical treadmill of fertilizers and pesticides. Additionally, we can serve our [sparkling] wines on tap. Three of our four wines are on tap right now. Over the life of a keg, we can save close to 10,000 bottles from going into a landfill.”


The Kumfers invite families and even pets to come out and enjoy the natural scenery of the winery’s backdrop decorated with woods and wildflowers. Having partnered with local food artisans such as Tulip Tree Creamery and others, the winery offers a variety of healthy snacks and organic slushies. Check out the website for a full menu. Additionally, check out the upcoming events Bubbles & Brushes and Yoga For Life: Fundraiser for Suicide Prevention on the winery’s website!

The Rejoicing Vine is at 8440 W. 82nd Street, Indianapolis. For more information, visit the website at

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relations and the cooperation between China and the City of Carmel.

As a current board member of the United States Heartland China Association, Brainard will lead a delegation of about eight U.S. mayors this fall to communities along the Yangtze River Valley area. The Yangtze River is the longest river in both China and Asia and is the third-longest river in the world. It is comparable to the Mississippi River valley region of the U.S. The mission of this trip, as well as of the USHCA organization, is to “foster and support a positive, productive, and mutually beneficial relationship between the people of the United States and China by creating more channels of collaboration and opportunities for economic growth in the American Heartland Region.”

A Brief History of USHCA

USHCA is a 501(c)(3) bipartisan organization committed to building bridges

and promoting opportunities between the peoples of the Heartland Region [20 states located in the U.S. between the Great Lakes to the Gulf] and the People’s Republic of China. Its focus is on “Trust Building” efforts connecting government officials; business leaders; educational and community interests with like-minded institutions between the Heartland Region and the People’s Republic of China.

The original organization was founded in 2003 as the Midwest China Association by U.S. Senator Adlai Stevenson [IL]; John Rogers, lawyer and professor; and Governor Bob Holden [MO], former Chairman of the Midwest Governors Association. Holden is currently the organization’s Chairman and President. Its region covered 12 Midwestern states originally. In 2018, it expanded to serve 20 states from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and changed its name to the United States

Heartland China Association.

As planning for the USHCA trip to China is well underway, Brainard shared that he, along with his fellow U.S. mayors and their Chinese counterparts, will engage in seminars and agricultural roundtable discussions for approximately 10 days.

Building Diplomatic Ties at the City Level

Diplomatic relations between China and the U.S. are of paramount importance at both the national and sub-national levels, including at the state and city levels. These relations have a significant impact on various aspects of political, economic, cultural and social exchanges between the two countries.

Major cities in both China and the U.S. serve as economic powerhouses. Establishing diplomatic ties at the city level can facilitate direct trade and investment between cities, leading to increased prosperity and development. Cities in both the U.S. and China face common challenges like climate change, urbanization and public health. Diplomatic relations at the city level can facilitate the sharing of best practices and innovative solutions to address these issues.

“This was an important meeting to have with Zhao Jian and his staff,” Brainard said. “Although there are issues of disagreement between China and the United States, it is vital to talk to each other. Strong diplomatic relations between China and the U.S. at the state and city level can create a conducive environment for collaboration, economic growth and cultural exchange. These relationships, in turn, contribute to the understanding between the two nations and can potentially have a positive influence on the overall bilateral relations at the national level.”

Brainard’s Meeting With the Chinese Consul General

A Consul General is a diplomatic representative of a country appointed to oversee and promote the interests of their home country in a foreign city. The Consul General operates under the authority of the embassy or the diplomatic mission of their home country, which is usually located in the capital city of the host


country. Consulates are established in various cities of a country to provide consular services and support to its citizens residing or traveling in that region.

“Diplomacy should not necessarily be done [solely] at the federal level,” Brainard said. “It is especially important, when nations are in disagreement with one another, for people representing all walks of life to talk with people in the other country, recognizing that trade and direct foreign investments are good and cement friendships. While we may disagree on many issues, it is important to look for the issues that we have in common and the values that we do agree on. It’s important to keep conversations open. Not communicating with people who have different ideas is never the solution.”

The City of Carmel is home to a large number of people who are originally from China and who own companies or are employed by Chinese-owned businesses in Carmel.

“It is important to have these cultural exchanges [locally and abroad] to get to know each other and understand each

other,” Brainard emphasized. “Doing that city by city [throughout the U.S. and China] assists with decreasing the chances of having escalated conflicts. And we want what’s called foreign direct investment. We want companies to have U.S. headquarters in Carmel as opposed to some other city in the U.S. It is good for our economy and workforce development.”

During the meeting with Mr. Zhao Jian, which lasted nearly two hours, Brainard shared that they discussed China’s need for better health care for its people, more access to affordable and available flights to the U.S., and the need to purchase

high-quality protein and milk from the U.S.

“We also discussed that we need to work more on climate initiatives, of course — he knew that is an interest of mine,” Brainard said. “It was a friendly visit, and he talked about how beautiful Carmel is. They had driven down from Chicago and had driven around the city before the meeting. He mentioned that they have also been in the city-building business, as there’s been a huge shift in populations from rural areas to cities.”

For more information on the United States Heartland China Association, visit

A total of 430 Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in 84 of the cities within the Heartland region. USHCA mayors lead 37 of the 100 largest cities in the United States. The U.S. national GDP ranks first in the world. Remove the U.S. Heartland region from this analysis, and the European Union would rank first, China second, U.S. third.

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Coxhall Gardens Celebrates Another Successful

Posh Picnic Event

Coxhall Gardens play a vital role in providing respite and feeding imaginations for people of all ages throughout its serene surroundings that offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress, lower anxiety levels and promote relaxation, and Coxhall Gardens invites everyone to experience all that it has to offer by attending events such as the annual Posh Picnic event that was presented by Stratford Senior Living and Moyer Fine Jewelry, this year.

A Place To Create, Relax and Play

There is a special park located in west Carmel that serves as a communal space where people can come together and build a sense of community while socializing and fostering connections: Coxhall Gardens. Whether it’s playing sports, flying kites, having a picnic, or simply running around, Coxhall Gardens offers a safe and open environment for people to engage in physical activities and have fun. Additionally, Coxhall is a haven for artists, writers and creative types as it offers a source of

inspiration that can lead to new ideas and works of art.

Coxhall provides spaces, specifically throughout its Children’s Garden, that enrich guests’ knowledge and understanding of the natural world. For children, parks are not just fun places to play but are also learning environments. At parks, children can explore, use their imagination, and develop cognitive, social and motor skills through unstructured play.

Coxhall offers a diverse range of benefits that contribute to the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals.

It serves as a vital space for relaxation, recreation and fostering creativity and imagination, making it an essential part of the Carmel community and Hamilton County Parks system.

Coxhall Guild Posh Picnic 2023

The Posh Picnic is an annual fundraising event organized by the Coxhall Guild, an affiliate of the Friends of the Hamilton County Parks, Inc. Foundation. Posh Picnic is held at the Cripe Pavilion at Coxhall Gardens. Every year, guests are invited to bring their favorite people, culinary

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of Coxhall Guild and submitted

delights, and table settings to create a night of magic in Carmel’s most beautiful picnic spot!

The evening features a tablescape challenge, with prizes awarded for “Most Posh,” “Most Creative,” “People’s Choice” and “Most Coxhall-Like.” Guests provide their own refreshments and tableware for a highly personalized, stylish experience. Dancing under the stars follows the dining portion of the event for an unforgettable evening.

Additional upper-level sponsors of this year’s Posh Picnic in clude Meyer Najem Construction, Indianapolis Colts and Prime 47 Restaurant, as well as Carmel Monthly, who is proud to be a longtime sponsor and supporter of Posh Picnic.

Posh Picnic Committee Chair Barbara Danquist Mitchell and Coxhall Guild President Mary Robinson shared a few of their thoughts on the purpose and impact this remarkable fundraiser has on the Guild’s initiatives and beautification projects.

“It [Posh Picnic] is such a happy event,” Mitchell said. “You definitely experience the park and the Cripe Pavilion [picnick ing] with your family and friends while enjoying the tablescapes and food that you have created. You pick the theme for your table, and it’s special because you’re enjoying it with your family, friends and other people in the community. It’s not just a fundraiser … it’s an event that is created around family and friends getting together and making memories at Coxhall Gardens.”

Robinson mentioned that the proceeds from Posh Picnic go towards educational and beautification projects throughout the gardens. Among the most recently completed projects is the Whispering Walls in the Children’s Garden, which were painted by local artist Christina Hollering.

“The Master Gardeners are wonderful people who help make [Coxhall Gardens] come alive,” Robinson expressed. “In addition to the beautiful quilt garden, they planted around the Whispering Wall to match the plants featured in the mural. You cannot believe the creativity … they’ve done a great job.”

In addition to the friendly competition and presentation of the awards, attendees of this year’s Posh Picnic enjoyed musical entertainment by MGS DJs, a Don Masters company, a cash

bar courtesy of the Ritz Charles, a silent auction and a thrilling

It’s not too early to save the date and start planning your tablescape theme for next year’s Posh Picnic benefiting Coxhall

Visit for upcoming events and more information about Coxhall Gardens and the county’s other exceptional parks!
Advisors Len Grabovsky CFP®, CRPC™, APMA™, CDFA® Angela Grabovsky MBA, CFP®, CRPC™, APMA™, CEPA® Thomas Tucker CRPC™, APMA™ Kelley Maguire CRPC™, APMA™ Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Management Teams 2023 Investment products are not insured by the FDIC, NCUA or any federal agency, are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, and involve investment risks including possible loss of principal and fluctuation in value. Investment advisory products and services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC, a registered investment adviser. Ameriprise Financial cannot guarantee future financial results. Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. Member FINRA and SIPC. © 2023 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved. FINANCIAL PLANNING | WEALTH MANAGEMENT | TAX & ACCOUNTING
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