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Carmel Swim Club Head Coach on Creating a Culture Of Excellence

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Joe Kempler

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Carmel Swim Club Head Coach Chris Plumb: On Creating A Culture Of Excellence Featured on our cover this month is Chris Plumb, who is the Head Coach of Carmel Swim Club and Carmel High School. Plumb has been with the CHS swim program since 2003 and has been with the Carmel Swim Club since 2006. We spoke with Plumb about how these programs have been able to produce such tremendous success in developing state champions, national champions and Olympians. Additionally, we spoke Plumb about the secret of sustaining a legacy club such as the one the boys and girls swimming and diving teams and their coaches have established over the last decades. Cover Story Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photo // Laura Arick

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Carmel Fire Department and Carmel Farmers Market To Host 20th Anniversary Commemoration of 9/11 American Cabinets and Closets: Experts in Custom Cabinetry and in Building Up a Community

12 Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael Presents Comedian Todd McComas! 15 Discovering Broadway Inc. Features Local Talent in Season Finale 19 Local Author Rob Harrell to Be Featured at The Guilded Leaf 17th Annual Book & Author Luncheon Carmel Welcome’s Osteria by Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani

22 Carmel Welcome’s Osteria by Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani 25 Carmel Clay Schools Offers Its Expedition Program for Carmel Residents

CARMEL MONTHLY PUBLISHER / Neil Lucas / 317-460-0803 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF / Neil Lucas / 317-460-0803 PUBLISHER / Lena Lucas / 317-501-0418 DIRECTOR OF SALES / Lena Lucas / 317-501-0418 HEAD WRITER / Janelle Morrison / 317-250-7298 AUGUST WRITERS / Janelle Morrison Business Spotlight is sponsored content.

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Carmel Fire Department and Carmel Farmers Market To Host

20th Anniversary Commemoration of 9/11 Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of CFD

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States. For Americans old enough to remember that horrific day and the subsequent days that followed, we remember the countless acts of bravery, sacrifice, humanity, and patriotism that immediately followed the devastation. Those diabolical acts claimed the lives of 2,977 people and injured thousands more at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

period, we came together as one nation— united and indivisible. On Saturday, September 11, 2021, the Carmel Farmers Market (CFM) and Carmel Fire Department (CFD), are inviting the community to gather onto 3rd Avenue SW, at Carter Green [site of the farmers market], near the Veterans Memorial, for a commemoration ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the attacks.

A Commemoration for the Ages


e remember the saturation of American flags that lined countless bumpers and rear windows, and that flew from practically every house in every community throughout the nation and were even displayed in homes in sympathetic countries across the globe. We remember where we were at exactly at 8:46AM, September 11, 2001, when we got word that United Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower. Thinking it was just a horrific accident, many of us continued our morning routines. I personally remember being out of sorts earlier that morning and seeing the date on my pager—9/11/01. I can even recall thinking how closely the date stamp resembled 911. Little did we know that just a few moments after the first plane flew into

the North Tower, our nation would be officially under attack. The securities that we had enjoyed throughout our lives—while nestled in our communities throughout the continental U.S.—would be destroyed in a literal New York Minute and we’d be left standing in shock just like a child who had their security blanket yanked out from their hands. As history has it recorded, the carnage continued with the hijacking of United Airlines Flight 175 that flew into the South Tower at 9:03AM, American Airlines Flight 77 that flew into the Pentagon at 9:37AM and United Airlines Flight 93 that went down outside of Shanksville, PA, after its courageous passengers and crew stormed the cockpit, thwarting the terrorists’ plan. Americans and nations throughout the world were stunned. And for a significant CARMEL MONTHLY

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CFD’s own Renee Butts is organizing the ceremony along with CFD Chief Haboush, John Moriarty, Adam Harrington, Deborah Schmitz, Susan Bock, Terry Skillen, Brian Smith and Ron Carter. CFM President Ron Carter said, “I have been to every one of the [9-11 ceremonies] services that have been organized by CFD at headquarters [CFD Station 41] and have always found them to be very moving ceremonies with about 100-200 in attendance. We saw this opportunity for the market to collaborate with CFD to produce this remembrance ceremony and expose it to a much larger number of people.” Carter shared that the market will be closed during the duration of the ceremony and will reopen after the conclusion of the program and will run until noon that day. CFD Public Education Officer Renee Butts is going on her 25th year of service


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with CFD. Her husband Joe [Butts] and son Andrew “Drew” [Butts] are also firefighters with CFD. Butts is one of the key organizers collaborating with Carter and the CFM volunteers and she shared some of her reflections on 9-11. “I was on duty that day it happened,” Butts recalled. “I was at Station 4, and I came walking through what we called the ‘Day room’ where the T.V. was. I remember how everyone thought it was just an accident at first. It was just surreal. It’s been 20 years and it’s still very emotional and overwhelming. It’s one of those events that you will always remember for the rest of your life like when people talk about the end of WWII, when President Kennedy was shot, or the moon landing. People will always remember 9-11. The country was united, and we all stood together. There was such a level of patriotism.”

The CFD Pipes and Drums band will lead the marketgoers, vendors, and attendees towards the west end of Carter Green onto 3rd Avenue SW—in front of the Veterans Memorial—at the beginning of the program. Two ladder trucks will hoist the Garrison Flag over the crowd. After announcements have been made, the ceremony will begin at 8:46AM with the first NYPD/ NYFD radio calls from the morning of September 11, 2001, playing over the speaker system. A complete itinerary of the ceremony is listed below. We hope that you will join us for this community commemoration honoring the 20th anniversary of 9-11. For a complete list of CFM vendors and scheduled entertainment, visit

Schedule 7:45 – 7:55 Closing of the Street in front of the Veterans Memorial

8:30 – 8:35 Pipes/Drums and Firefighters proceed west in the south aisle of the Market Firefighters move to their places to the south of the walkway leading up to the Veterans Memorial statue. Police Officers move to their places north of the walkway leading up to the Veterans Memorial statue. 3rd Avenue SW, Carter Green

8:30 – 8:35 First announcement to the Market guests and vendors regarding the Ceremony Announcement that guests and vendors are requested to

move to the west end of the Green and onto 3rd Avenue for the ceremony. Also announcing that the Market will be closing promptly at 8:35. Ceremony will begin promptly at 8:46 with the first NYPD/NYFD radio calls on that morning.

8:46 Radio calls are played over the CFD speaker system Veterans Memorial Plaza 8:46 – 9:10 Ceremony takes place Veterans Memorial Plaza 9:15 - Market re-opens with announcement and ringing of the Market bell. Market runs to noon on this day. Carter Green


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American Cabinets and Closets:

Experts in Custom Cabinetry and in Building Up a Community Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Laura Arick

As anybody looking to do any kind of new construction or remodeling project knows—cost, quality and lead times are the most important factors, especially when people are having to choose between cost and quality in order to complete a project in a reasonable time frame.


ne locally owned and operated company, American Cabinets and Closets, doesn’t want you to have to choose between those factors anymore—they offer quality, competitive costs and reasonable lead times compared to their competitors. EXPERIENCE IS KEY American Cabinets and Closets Owners Melissa & John Adams have a family history in building and decades of professional experience in process

improvement for companies. Adams and his team are experts in “blending the best of the old and the new.” American Cabinets and Closets uses quality materials and high-end wood products—locally sourced—to build custom kitchen cabinets and organizational spaces. Adams and his team apply old-fashioned craftsmanship along with an incomparable work ethic and a high prioritization on customer service and satisfaction on every single job. He and his team also incorporate modern technology and specialized software that allow

them to be more efficient, cost-effective and to cut down on lead times. They also specialize in refacing existing cabinets for those looking to update their “look” rather than to completely remodel their living/ workspaces. “Because we own our own shop, we’re able to do any necessary adjustments in real time,” Adams shared. “As many people know, when you have custom work done in your home, things may fit exactly as planned or an item might get dinged or scratched in the installation process. A business that sells prefabricated cabinets will have to wait while a replacement is made and shipped—which could run a six to eight-week lead time. We can make the adjustments or a new door in our shop and delay the project only a day or two. That is one of the biggest advantages that we can provide designers, contractors or remodelers.” OPEN TO THE PUBLIC American Cabinets and Closets sells to the general public as well as to professional designers and contractors. Its showroom is open to the public as well, but appointments are strongly encouraged to ensure exceptional customer service. “In the showroom, customers will see samples of the different types of cabinets that we make, learn about how they’re constructed, as well as see a variety of samples of our high-end cabinet refacing options,” Adams stated. “They will see the difference between some of the franchised brands that do refacing and our refacing work. Additionally, customers can view doors styles, stain samples and color options right here in our showroom.” Adams added, “We carry five or six different lines of hardware for them to look at as well. We are more than happy to show people our workshop and walk them through our design/build/finish processes. We have customers who come in while we’re actually building their cab-


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inets, and they love to walk through and see their cabinets, etc., being built.” A COMMUNITY-MINDED COMPANY In addition to making everything locally, American Cabinets and Closets sources everything locally—either in state or from within the U.S. and Canada. “Our hardwood supplier, our trim and millwork supplier are local to Indiana,” Adams explained. “We use domestic plywood, and our finishing company is headquartered here locally. When somebody

is buying from us, they’re doing business with other local businesses as well. There are tons of ‘local’ cabinet shops, but they’re just dealers for mass-produced brands that may be produced in the U.S. or Mexico or China, whereas we make everything and use locally sourced materials and supplies as much as possible.” American Cabinets and Closets also prides itself on being a member of its Hoosier community in addition to being a reputable member of the local business community. Adams and his team support Magical Meadows, a therapeutic horseback riding center to help children and adults with physical and mental challenges, as well as sponsor Freedom Week. Freedom Week is an annual event for veterans and first responders. Each year over the 9/11 commemoration, Adams and his fellow hosts take a group of veterans and first responders on an all-expenses-paid fishing trip in Minnesota. “We take our boats up to Minnesota and take a group of guys out fishing ev-

ery day on the lakes,” Adams shared. “It’s a chance to decompress and relax. Last year, we had 17 guys on the trip with us. To see their reactions and what it means to these guys is unbelievable. It becomes addictive and makes you want to do it more and make it bigger every year. We’re looking for more guys with boats so we can take more [veterans and first responders] up.” So, if you’re looking to work with industry experts on your next cabinet, closet, wet bar, garage storage or custom built-ins project and would like to support a local business with a passion for customer satisfaction as well as for giving back to the community, please contact John or Melissa Adams at American Cabinets and Closets to schedule your visit to his showroom. Be sure to follow them on Instagram at american_cabinetry and call (317) 875-7453 or visit for location, hours of operation and to schedule your appointment!

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World Class Cabaret at Carmel City Center

September 2

September 9

“All the Way” A Frank Sinatra Tribute with Don Farrell Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael presents “All The Way” A Frank Sinatra Tribute with the talented Don Farrell

(See story our interview with McComas on next page!) Todd McComas is a former Marine and retired police detective who now makes his living as a standup comedian, podcaster and radio personality.

September 12

September 10 & 11



Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael is excited to premiere a Jazzy Brunch featuring the talented Phelps Connection! Gather and dine on a Creole inspired buffet brunch while taking in the sounds from some of Indy’s finest musicians. Kenny Phelps is known for his explosive groves and intuitive sense of musicality and has influenced countless musicians around the world of all ages. Kenny’s twenty-five years’ experience of playing and touring has allowed him to masterfully adapt to a wide range of musical styles. He has performed with an elaborate list of artist from Wynton Marsalis, Eartha Kitt, Michael Brecker, The Debarge Family, to Slide Hampton, Wycliffe Gordon, Chuchito Valdes to The New York Voices. Currently Kenny is a member of the Dee Dee Bridgewater Quintet.


BULLETPROOF SOUL BAND Indianapolis native trumpeter, singer, song writer, Derrick-Droq Muncie, has been a major driving force behind the original, jazz and soul scene. As front man for the Bulletproof Soul Band, his soon-to-be-released premier album, recorded at Pop Machine Studios Indianapolis, by Grammy nominated producers, Marc and Eric Klee Johnson, has already garnered international attention.


September 25

“I’ll Follow the Sun” – The Songs of Lennon & McCartney featuring Marissa Mulder Stephen Holden, Nightlife Critic for the New York Times wrote, “a sparkling, perfectly pitched vocalist...Ms. Mulder sang as if the songs were torn from inside her and reduced the room to a hushed silence. Far and away this year’s best cabaret show.”


“Feeling Good” featuring Award Winning Vocalist Nicole Henry Award-winning jazz vocalist Nicole Henry follows up her Cabaret Award nominated show I Wanna Dance with Somebody: The Songs of Whitney Houston with a fresh and reviving line up of songs to celebrate her new single release, “Feeling Good.” Songs from Broadway, jazz standards and 1970s pop will take you on a journey through life, love, self-discovery and acceptance.

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1 Carmichael Square, Carmel, IN For tickets go to or scan QR

2021-08-24 10:50 AM

Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021 Doors 6:00 p.m. Showtime 7:30 p.m.


Comedian Todd McComas! Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Submitted

Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael is proud to present comedian Todd McComas! Todd McComas is a former Marine and retired police detective who now makes his living as a stand-up comedian, podcaster and radio personality. Many people know him from his time hosting Heartland Radio, as a member of “The Pat McAfee Show,” “Barstool Heartland” and his frequent appearances on “The Bob & Tom Show.” Todd now hosts the popular true crime podcast “10-41 with Todd McComas” and the comedy podcasts “Doc Heads” and “FUNTOWN.” His comedy album “Cop Stories” is available on Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify and Pandora. Todd can also be heard regularly on “Raw Dog Comedy” on Sirius XM.


njoy a prix fixe menu before the show. There is a $25 food and beverage minimum per person. Tickets are available at Janelle Morrison: I’m curious about the evolution of your career. You were a Marine and police detective for 21 years before you became a comedian and professional podcaster. Let’s start from the beginning— where are you originally from? Todd McComas: Originally, I am from Decatur County—just outside of Greensburg. I was raised in the country. We ended up living on my grandfather’s farm, and I would have to ride my bike probably 45 minutes to my nearest friend. We were out in the middle of nowhere, and I was not a “farm” kid. It just wasn’t in my DNA. I was a city kid plopped in the middle of a gigantic family tree that was meant to live in the country. They loved to hunt and fish and skin things, and I was a mild-hearted little kid that fell immediately in love with animals and didn’t want to eat them.


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JM: Is this when you started to develop your sense of humor—as a survival tactic? McComas: I embraced the fish-out-ofwater part of myself, and to do so, you have to be self-deprecating. I had to accept that I wasn’t as tough as my cousins, and I wasn’t going to grab this chicken and hold it down while somebody cuts its head off. But I’ll sit in the background and make jokes about it. So, yeah, I think that’s how it all started. JM: What made you decide to join the U.S. Marine Corps and then join the Indiana State Police Department? McComas: I was a good athlete. I mean, I wasn’t going to go pro or anything, but I was going to play college basketball in Vincennes University, but I just blew it off because I had zero discipline. I decided to join the Marine Corps. My dad was a Marine, and what better place to learn how to be disciplined? I became a Marine, and by the time I left there to go back to school, I was a hard worker and knew how to devote myself to projects and became obsessed with completing things. I was a military policeman in the Marine Corps. I was actually a Marine Corps reservist but was activated during the Gulf War. And when you’re a very elite member of the Marine Corps like I was, something that they do in every war is take a group of people like me and put them as far away—geographically—as possible from the actual war. So, they put us in Norway. In case Saddam Hussein was going to take a turn and come at us from the very far north— like the North Pole. JM: Did you decide that you wanted to be a cop based on your experiences as an MP?

McComas: I worked on a base for about a year because they had frozen rotations for the Marines [in the Gulf] to come home, and so we were fulfilling active-duty roles, and I ended up in South Carolina. Being an MP was not really police work. It’s more like you stand around a [military] plane and make sure nobody messes with it or you are standing at a front gate and wave cars in. When there’s an officer in the car, you salute them. That’s your job, and it was boring. I had all these members in my units that were police and state troopers, and they would tell these awesome stories about car chases, bank robberies, and I was like, “Wow—I want to do that!” When I got out of the Marines, I applied at every big police department in the Midwest—probably 12 different departments, including Indianapolis, Carmel and Indiana State Police. The Indiana State Police hired me, and the rest is history. JM: You weren’t in uniform long before you became an undercover cop. McComas: I only spent 15 months in unform. I became a detective very quickly. That was another point in my life where humor was very important. As a cop, you’re in competition with some of the greatest storytellers that walk the planet. There are cops that are amazing storytellers. There’s always competition for who’s going to tell the parts of the story [from a big raid or chase that happened], and eventually, everybody would leave it to me to tell the story. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was practice for how my comedy would eventually end up.

JM: Where does Pat McAfee come into your story? McComas: I started [my comedy routine] with short little jokes and observational stuff like, “Don’t you hate this at the airport…”and stuff like that. Eventually, a buddy of mine was like, “Hey, you’ve got all these cool stories that you tell us from back when you were a cop. You need to tell those stories.” That person was Pat McAfee. He had heard me tell these on open mic night. They weren’t part of my hourlong set yet. And I wasn’t allowed to talk about [being a cop] for a long time. The fact that I was [actively] undercover, on a stage in front of a group of people, doesn’t lend itself well to “Hey, you guys wanna hear about me being a cop?” When I left undercover [duty], I was allowed to start talking about being a cop and incorporated those stories into my headlining set. I work so hard in comedy, and thankfully when Pat McAfee gave me an opportunity to do radio and podcast shows and standup comedy, I jumped at it. JM: Was there a moment or moments that impacted you so greatly that it helped develop you as the person you are today? McComas: There are a couple of moments in my career that were real milestones, that gave me a sense of why I was put on this earth. There was a case where me and another large group of detectives rescued a woman who was kidnapped and held for ransom. It was just like the movies—she was taped up in a hotel room with a person holding a gun. We were able to covertly find her, kick in the door and save her. That was a moment where I was like, “OK—this is real. There are lives at stake.” I had worked a variety of crimes—everything from check fraud to murder—but that was one of the moments that was intensely real for me. As far as who I am as a person, I went into the world of undercover for so long, I really developed an appreciation for who was on the other side of this. There is evil walking the planet. I’ve seen it. I’ve looked it in the eyes. But there are also people who commit crimes who are otherwise good people. They came up


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me a broad familiarity with the world. No matter where I’m at, I can always relate to people.

under different circumstances or fell into a desperate situation or were weak in a moment. It’s so easy to develop an “us vs. them” mentality, but when you go undercover and you’re spending time with people, I saw more causation of crime— environmentally and situationally. It really changed my mindset, and it gave

JM: Throughout 2020, the entertainment industry took a big hit not being able to perform live shows. We lost these outlets at which we could come together and explore and create humanity. What are your thoughts on the pandemic’s impact on comedy and on our society? McComas: When we lost our ability to travel and to mix with strangers, we went to our primal instincts. The world developed an “us vs. them” mentality because we weren’t mixing with people with different opinions, religions and backgrounds. We were locked down in our own little neighborhoods. This will make an interesting behavioral analysis study at some point. As far as comedy was affected, if you can get everyone to laugh at the same thing, which is not as easy as it looks, you see people start to relax and let loose

with laughter. I’m still seeing crowds take longer to let their guard down, but it’s my job to make sure this happens, and it’s super rewarding because you see their mind’s eye go back to a time when they didn’t have to worry so much about things, and it feels really good. JM: What can people expect to experience at your show when you come to Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael? McComas: I love nothing more than an intimate show. I will tell my story through my experiences as a child, a Marine, a cop and a father. I’m sharing the funny moments that shaped me. They weren’t necessarily funny when they were happening, but in retrospect— they’re hilarious. Follow Todd McComas on social media @ToddMcComas and check out his website at for a complete listing of his appearances, comedy schedule and documentaries. And be sure to check out his project involving the pop culture phenomenon “Tiger King.”


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Kelly Krauter

Joel Kirk

Kyle Caress

Season Finale D iscov er ing Br oa dway In c. F e at u re s Loc a l Ta le n t in

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of Discovering Broadway and staff

This month, the creative team of the new musical “Hamlet” participated in Discovering Broadway Inc.’s writers retreat program in Central Indiana. Discovering Broadway premiered songs in concert from the new musical, starring Jordan Donica (“My Fair Lady”) as Hamlet, Samantha Pauly (“Six”) as Ophelia, Adam Pascal (“Rent”) as King Claudius, and Bryonha Marie Parham (“Prince of Broadway”) as Gertrude in the Frank and Katrina Basile Theatre at the Indiana Historical Society. “Hamlet” is the third show to participate in Discovering Broadway Inc.’s writers retreat program, following May’s “Ever After” and February’s “The Devil Wears Prada.” The new musical is the final show of the nonprofit’s inaugural season.



ounded by Carmel native and CEO Joel Kirk, Discovering Broadway Inc. hosts Broadway creative teams in Indiana so they can develop their Broadway-bound new musicals and offer the public educational opportunities to learn about the process of making a musical. Discovering Broadway’s “Hamlet” featured eight performers and musicians from Carmel and Zionsville. Indiana cast members include Eric Wiegand (“Plaza Suite”), Kelly Krauter (“Waitress” second national tour), Christina Barnes (“Frankenstein”), Kyle Caress (“Cinderella” national tour), Jenn Maurer (“Elf the Musical” national tour), Sophie Miller, Jack Ducat and Jake Letts. When asked what the likelihood is

of some of the Carmel cast members to end up in the finalized production of “Hamlet”—on Broadway—Kirk shared, “Discovering Broadway is a launchpad for shows, and it’s also a launchpad for talent,” Kirk stated. “Most casting comes down to availability, and it comes down to what the writers of the characters envision their characters to be. This is really our first examination of what the music that has been written for those characters and what these actors do with the characters that they are given. I’m a kid from Carmel who’s directing a Broadway-bound show, so I believe that anything is truly possible.”

MEET SOME OF THE CAST FROM CARMEL AND ZIONSVILLE CHS Director of Choirs Kathrine Kouns shared her thoughts on what it

means to Kouns and her fellow directors to see seven of their former students continuing to develop their talents and follow their dreams. “We are so excited to be able to have so many of our Carmel Choir Alumni involved with Discovering Broadway and this current ‘Hamlet’ project,” Kouns stated. “In addition to the actors [highlighted in this article], Grace Plaskett and Elie Anania [CHS Choir Alumni] are also interns with the [Discovering Broadway] organization. This is such a great way to recruit young talent, try out exciting new projects and bring a bit of Broadway to our hometown here in Indiana. We are so grateful to Joel Kirk and the entire team of Discovering Broadway for their willingness to maintain their connection to Carmel High School and this entire community.”


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JAKE LETTS—CARMEL HIGH SCHOOL (2017) I love the idea of taking classic pieces like “Hamlet” and making them into more modern adaptations that would get younger audiences interested in the stories. I am very excited to work on this show with Discovering Broadway, not only because it is giving an opportunity to get back into a performing space but also because it allows me to meet and work with artists who I had always hoped to. For example, Cody Fry is one of the writers for the show, and I love his music, especially the song “Underground.” And Adam Pascal, who I’ve heard on so many albums and seen in videos, is playing Claudius, and he is such a respected performer in the Broadway community, so I am very honored to work with him. This place gives big opportunities to young performers, and that is really awesome. Just another way Carmel supports the arts!

college to New York. But my mind goes back to being in “Les Miserables” at Carmel High School in 2012. Joel Kirk played Thenardier, my brother Ryan played Jean Valjean, and it felt like every friend I had was in the show. It was a huge example of how magic a production can be when everyone pours their love and commitment into it. I’m so grateful and excited to work with Discovering Broadway. It’s such a privilege for any group of artists to get to gather in a room and dig into a piece, not just to make it to a curtains-up deadline but to be curious and discover how to get it to its fullest, most beautiful potential.

JACK DUCAT—CARMEL HIGH SCHOOL (2021) Since I learned about Discovering Broadway, I always wanted to do a show with them. I am more than overjoyed to be working with Discovering Broadway. To have a place like Discovering Broadway right here in Indiana is something that I have never seen before. The incubation process of art is brand new to me, and I think that Discovering Broadway’s creation and support of new works will open more students up to all the possibilities in theater, whether that is on the stage or behind it. I feel so lucky to get to work for this nonprofit. Not only will it be benefiting and educating students, but it will also support actors and writers, and it will be giving a space for artists to interact, meet and create something bigger than themselves.

JENN MAURER—CARMEL HIGH SCHOOL (2010) I’ve auditioned for a few of Joel’s shows before, but this is the first time we are working together in a professional setting. I grew up in Carmel, and when I heard about Discovering Broadway, I knew the city of Carmel would love an opportunity to support Broadway shows and performers. I think Joel is doing a wonderful thing bringing Broadway shows to Carmel. Without Discovering Broadway, Carmel has a booming performing arts culture. But with this addition, it can really bring some of the nation’s top talent to the city. Carmel has obviously already welcomed this endeavor with open arms, and I’m very excited to be a part of it all.

ERIC WEIGAND—CARMEL HIGH SCHOOL (2014) I’ve been so fortunate to have a lot of wonderful experiences in theater, from

SOPHIE MILLER—CARMEL HIGH SCHOOL (2018) This show caught my eye as Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” is already one of my favorite pieces of theater. I love the story and think that each of the characters has depth and a unique outlook on life.


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I was intrigued by the pop musical take on the story and really thought it would be amazing to take part in this new work, written by a team of incredible artists. Working with Discovering Broadway has been a dream and continues to provide me with so many opportunities to learn from and perform with some of the best and most hardworking talent in the business. Artists can truly benefit from working with this nonprofit organization, while collaborating with a greater community of fellow performers and artists. Zionsville Showchoirs, Inc. Co-director/ZCHS Vocal Instructor Deana Broge shared her thoughts on Christina Barnes. “Christina was an enthusiastic and talented vocal music student of mine at Zionsville Community High School,” Broge said. “It was clear that she had a passion for performing at a young age, and it has been a pleasure to watch her follow her musical theater and acting journey. The tenacity, continued growth and patience it takes to be an actor in the middle of a global pandemic cannot be understated. I

am thrilled that Christina has connected with Joel [Kirk] at Discovering Broadway to continue her dreams in NYC. I am anxious to see what will be next for this amazing young woman!”

ately. Young artists become professionals, so without community support for young artists, there are no professional artists and no future for this industry! It is a NECESSITY for the community to support our young artists. I think Discovering Broadway is the greatest thing to come to the Indiana theater community. It has brought so many artists of all types/abilities/experience levels to Indiana and has really put our state on the map in the Broadway community. For artists like me, it creates amazing opportunities and connects us with these extremely successful, talented theater professionals. For more information about Discovering Broadway and its programs, visit


CHRISTINA BARNES—ZIONSVILLE COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL (2015) The first time I ever met Joel, he told me about this project, and I remember being obsessed with the concept immedi-


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The Guilded Leaf 17th Annual Book & Author Luncheon


Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Submitted

The Carmel Clay Public Library (CCPL) Foundation and its dedicated guild are pleased to be hosting The Writers at the Pavilion event on Oct. 6 at the Ritz Charles Garden Pavilion and The Guilded Leaf 17th Annual Book & Author Luncheon on Oct. 7 at Ritz Charles.


he Guilded Leaf events are the foundation’s signature annual fundraiser and help support the library’s expansive catalog of programs for all ages.

An Accomplished Author and Illustrator In addition to being a witty and likeable guy, Rob Harrell is an accomplished author and illustrator. Harrell resides

in Zionsville with his supportive wife, Amber. We had the pleasure of featuring Harrell on our cover of Zionsville Monthly back in October of 2018. Since that time, Harrell has published “Wink” (2020)


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I turn off my critical writing brain, and I get to let my imagination completely off the leash. It’s been so ridiculously fun to write and illustrate.”

and his latest release, “Batpig: When Pigs Fly.” The accolades are pouring in and are much deserved for this author’s unique ability to make his children’s books relatable to all ages and for being to transfer his talents as an illustrator/comic strip creator to writing and illustrating books for children. His book “Wink” has been

published in over 10 languages. A native Hoosier and DePauw University graduate, Harrell has previously shared his remarkable story of surviving an incredibly rare form of ocular cancer in his right eye that cost him his sight in that eye but has led him on an incredible journey as an author and artist.

Harrell’s past and current works include illustrator and creator of the syndicated daily comic strip “Big Top” and the creative source behind the long-running daily strip “Adam@Home,” which runs in more than 140 newspapers across the globe. He is the author and creator of the popular kids’ series “Life of Zarf.” His first hybrid novel, “Monster on the Hill,” was published in 2013 and was picked by Paramount and ReelFX and inspired a CGI animated film, “Rumble,” that is in production and slated to be released in 2022. Rob Harrell’s book “Wink” has gained critical acclaim nationally and was named by Time magazine as one of the 10 Best in the Young Adult & Children’s category. His latest novel, “Batpig: When Pigs Fly,” features a super-swine hero fighting for justice.

Meet Batpig—A Middle School Super-Swine “This graphic novel is the first of the Batpig series, which is sort of a spin-off


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from my novel ‘Wink,’ which featured a lot of cartoons drawn by the main character [a young middle school boy] that he dubbed ‘Batpig,’” Harrell shared. “The character worked through some of the things he was going through, like his cancer diagnosis, by drawing this superhero pig.” When “Wink” came out, Harrell said he received a huge response to “Batpig,” and his publishers asked if he’d have any interest in pursing a series on “Batpig.” “Of course, I had interest, those pages were so much fun to write,” Harrell expressed. “I turn off my critical writing brain, and I get to let my imagination completely off the leash. It’s been so ridiculously fun to write and illustrate. I’ve completed two [books in the series], and I’m about to do a third. There are a few lessons dropped in here and there, but more than anything, ‘Batpig’ is just ridiculous fun!”

When asked what it means to be invited as one of the six authors attending the The Guilded Leaf 17th Annual Book & Author Luncheon, Harrell said, “I can’t wait! Authors are some of my favorite people, and I love hearing them talk and hearing their stories. I am incredibly excited, and there’s something about being recognized in your home area. It’s really cool to be included [in these events] with the other authors.” Be sure to get your tickets to the The Writers at the Pavillion and The Guilded Leaf 17th Annual Book & Author Luncheon events! For more information, call (317) 814-3984 or visit And keep up with all the exciting news and official releases on Rob Harrell’s website,

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Fabio Viviani Carmel Welcome’s Osteria by Celebrity Chef

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Submitted

Carmel Market District is reimagining its restaurant space and is collaborating with renowned chef Fabio Viviani to open a new vibrant Italian restaurant—Osteria by Fabio Viviani. Fabio Viviani Hospitality Group expects to hold its grand opening in Carmel, Indiana, this fall. Chef Viviani is excited to share his rustic-yet-refined food-forward menu and restaurant that will exude a communal, neighborhood appeal. About Fabio Viviani Hospitality Group


hef Viviani is a celebrity chef, hospitality developer, bestselling cookbook author and TV host, well known for his appearance on the reality television competition series “Top Chef.” In 2005, chef Viviani moved from Italy to California where he opened his first U.S.-based restaurants and hospitality

ventures, all in the Los Angeles metro Area. In 2013, Fabio Viviani Hospitality Group decided to expand the hospitality business to the Midwest, Northeast and South, teaming up with several local operators to open several more restaurants in Chicago, Florida, Detroit and Oklahoma. Today, Fabio Viviani Hospitality Group owns and operates 40 food establishments across 28 different concepts in venues

including hotels, airports and casinos, plus fine dining restaurants. With over 10 million meals served each year, Fabio Viviani Hospitality is one of the leading restaurant groups in the U.S. “We’ve had a long-lasting relationship with Market District and Giant Eagle,” Chef Fabio shared. “They have several restaurants associated with their venues and are in need of operators. We are ex-


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We’re always trying to keep it traditional and keep it really truthful to the region where I grew up.”

panding, and it was just a good fit. Carmel is a great demographic for us. And the ability for us to be associated with such a great grocery store—as a restauranteur in the food and wine business—is like having Disneyland in our backyard.” Carmel Market District will serve as Osteria by Fabio Viviani’s largest pantry of fresh products with additional sourcing from chef Viviani’s most trusted partners, both domestic and overseas. In collaboration with the incoming executive chef team, Osteria’s menu will be carefully curated by chef Viviani and include a variety of authentic Italian flavors mixed with Indiana-inspired staples.

A Return to Rustic Italian Roots Chef Viviani and his highly skilled team have completely transformed the former Table by Market District located at 11505 North Illinois Street, adjacent to Carmel Market District. This fall, guests of Osteria by Fabio Viviani can expect to enjoy an upgraded restaurant layout, updated stone-edged bar top, clean and crisp

design elements and elevated artwork capturing Osteria’s rustic Italian roots. “Italian cuisine is Italian cuisine, after all,” Chef Viviani stated. “Every new chef, every new person who opens an Italian restaurant brings their perspective, their culture and their taste to the table. We have vast knowledge of Italian food, not only because I was actually born and raised there—which gives me the [home] field advantage—but because we already operate several restaurants in the genre in many different communities.” Chef Viviani continued, “We always try to bring the better mousetrap to the table. How many meatballs can you possibly do? We’re always trying to keep it traditional and keep it really truthful to the region where I grew up. We also implement what the local communities have to offer and shop local. We’re going to include the [local] players in the community and bring their elements to our table.” Chef Viviani is known for continually developing new flavors and sharing recipes that inspire a seasonally charged


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menu. Guests can expect to find robust dishes on the Osteria menu like Fabio’s famous meatballs, refreshing and crisp chopped salads, savory Italian pizzas, sizzling steaks and seafood cooked to perfection and more. “Everything is made from scratch and is made according to a traditional method of cooking,” chef Viviani said. “What we’re trying to do is provide a dining experience that pleases different aspects of the

community. Whether you’re a family with kids that want to come in for a quick pizza and good food, or you want to have meal to impress your loved ones and friends, or [you want to] come in for a business lunch or dinner, Osteria will wear many hats based on the time of day, the day of the week and the occasion.” To accommodate the grand opening, Osteria by Fabio Viviani is actively recruiting servers, cooks, hostesses and other

positions for the restaurant with plans to have a staff of at least 50 employees. To view current openings, please visit OsteriaJobs.” To learn more about Carmel Market District, visit For updates on Osteria by Fabio Viviani, connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Instagram.

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Carmel Clay Schools Offers Its Expedition Program for Carmel Residents Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of CCS

Did you know that since 2011, Carmel Clay Schools (CCS) has offered a program—Expedition Program— that offers eight educational sessions to a select group of Carmel residents. The program provides these residents an exclusive educational journey and in-depth understanding of the operations, programs, incredible educators and outstanding students of CCS.


hroughout the year, participants are immersed in CCS’ school buildings and participate in extended dialogue and hands-on activities as they explore the following topics: • Business & Finance • Curriculum • Extracurriculars • Food Services • Human Resources • Role of the School Board

• Student Services: Mental Health; School Safety; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion • Technology • Transportation Participants also have fun meeting students and staff, dining on healthy school meals and uncovering the culture of excellence at CCS.

Some Words From Former Participants The first “class” who completed the Expedition program in 2011–12 consisted


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of men and women from various backgrounds and professions, including Carmel Dads’ Club President Jack Beery. Beery shared his thoughts on the program and why people from the community should register for this program. “I felt the expedition was kind of a behind-the-scenes tour of Carmel Clay Schools,” Beery shared. “It was a great experience to learn more about things that I really didn’t understand. Having grown up in the [CCS] school system and having the partnership between CCS and Carmel


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Dads’ Club, I realized from this program that there are so many other aspects [of CCS] that were a pleasure to learn about.” Beery continued, “I also found CCS to be very organized and very prepared for the [program]. I really enjoyed getting to hear from some of the administrators and students about a lot of positive things in the school system. And I think the greatest thing [about the program] was learning the financial picture and how the state and federal funding impacts Carmel Clay Schools.” Another Carmel resident and business owner, Joe Kempler, broker/co-owner at WestClay Realty, shared some thoughts about his experience with the program. “Being in real estate, I think it’s important that we know as much about the local schools as some of the people who move to our markets for the schools. I was excited to have the opportunity to participate in the [Expedition] program because I did learn a lot about the school administration, security and different aspects of the

schools. For example, I didn’t know [before attending the program] that CHS has over 100 [extracurricular] clubs that students can get involved with.” Another topic that Kempler specifically thought was useful to all Carmel residents and business owners is how the schools manage taxpayer dollars. “It is important to see who’s in charge and what [CCS] is doing with our tax dollars,” Kempler said. “I think, overall, Carmel’s doing a good job. And from a real estate standpoint, we don’t have an issue trying to sell the local schools to people because they are moving here [Carmel] specifically for its schools.”

How Does One Get Selected to Participate? CCS Director of Community Relations Emily Bauer shared some details on how Carmel residents can participate. “There are around 25–30 participants a year, and they are selected through an application process,” Bauer said. “The goal is to give a wide variety and diverse

audience participation, and so people are chosen based on their roles in the community. The program covers a broad range of topics, and we bookend [the program] with a welcome and wrap-up celebration at the end.” The Expedition Program begins in September and consists of two to three hours once a month. The participants will get to tour and observe different areas of the district’s schools. “We will have different teachers and students speak about different topics,” Bauer said. “This [program] is a learning tool for everyone involved.” The Expedition Program is open to any Carmel resident interested in learning more about our school system. This program typically runs on a monthly basis, September 2021 through May 2022. The program is full, but folks who are interested in participating in the next available class should contact Emily Bauer at This program fills up quickly!

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Carmel Swim Club Head Coach Chris Plumb:

On Creating a Culture of Excellence Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Submitted

Carmel Swim Club and Carmel High School (CHS) head coach Chris Plumb has been with the CHS swim program since 2003 and has been with the Carmel Swim Club since 2006. Plumb oversees all aspects of the club and coaches the High-Performance Group. Since stepping into these roles as head coach and CEO of Carmel Swim Club, Plumb, his staff and his swimmers have continued to build upon an iconic foundation of success and excellence.


e spoke with Plumb about how these programs have been able to produce state champions, national champions and Olympians. Additionally, we spoke about what the secret is behind developing and sustaining a legacy club, such as the one the boys and girls swimming and diving teams and their coaches have established over the last decades.

DESTINED TO BE A GREAT COACH Plumb, an accomplished swimmer himself, was a four-year letter winner at Indiana University. He earned six All-American honors and was an Academic All-Big Ten selection each year from 1994–97. He was also awarded team MVP in 1996 and captained the team as a senior. Prior to joining the Carmel staff, Plumb worked toward his master’s degree and served as


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assistant coach at the University of Miami (Florida) for four years, where he was involved in all aspects of a program that ranked among the nation’s top 20 every year. Plumb began his coaching career as head coach of the Bloomington South High School boys swimming and diving team. Plumb lives in Carmel with his wife, Emily, who is a teacher at CCS. The couple has two sons, William and Nicholas.


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Hold people to a high standard, hire people that care about the sport and about other people they’re working with, create a culture that is about the daily expectations that are expected when you walk in the door and continue to ask, ‘How can we get better?’”

“I grew up around the water—in the Lake Erie/Buffalo area,” Plumb shared. “Swimming has always been a part of my life. I wanted to create a program in Carmel that I wish I had growing up and to provide a safe place that inspired people to be their best, to be ambitious and to take this sport to the highest level possible; at the same time, teaching the lessons that are necessary to be successful in life. And I think swimming teaches you so much from time management to discipline, building relationships and

being able to push through tough times.” Throughout Plumb’s tenure as CHS head coach, the girls teams have won every state championship, continuing their high school record streak, and the boys have won seven state championships, making him the winningest coach in IHSAA swimming and diving history. To add to these extraordinary accomplishments, the Carmel High School girls team was named “Public High School National Champions” by Swimming World Magazine eight times (2009–11 and 2013–

17), and the boys earned the same honor for the first time in 2017. In addition to other accolades, Plumb was voted as the 2008 IHSAA Girls High School Coach of the Year and the 2008 Indiana Swimming Senior Coach of the year. Under his helm, the Carmel High School girls teams have broken the National Public High School Record in the 400 freestyle relay twice, the 200 freestyle relay three times and the 200 medley relay five times.

PERPETUALLY RAISING THE BAR In case you missed all the excitement over the last 30 days, the Carmel Swim Club had eight athletes and alumni compete in this year’s Olympic trials. For decades, the CHS swim teams and Carmel Swim Club have dominated the state competition but never had an athlete make an Olympic team—until Drew Kibler and

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Jake Mitchell qualified and competed, representing not only the U.S. but Carmel in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. Drew Kibler was a member of the U.S. men’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay that finished fourth in the finals. Kibler is a 2018 CHS graduate and swims at the University of Texas. Jake Mitchell finished eighth in the men’s 400-meter freestyle in Tokyo. Mitchell graduated from CHS in 2020 and swims for the University of Michigan. Plumb spoke about the value of the community’s unwavering support of its young athletes as publicly demonstrated by the public viewing parties that took place at Carmel’s Midtown during the Olympic swim finals. “The support [from the community] is just unparalleled and unmatched,” Plumb said. “The community understands that they’re not just great athletes, but they’re great people. Kibler and Mitchell were not just representing themselves and the U.S.A., they were representing Carmel, and they did it with class and with their abilities.” In addition to several other talented athletes in the Carmel Swim Club, Alex Shackell is also making news, having made her No. 3 performer all-time for 13–14 girls at the 2021 Speedo Summer Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina. “The future is so bright with Alex and the younger people that we have coming up in the program,” Plumb expressed. “They see the success of the other athletes, and there’s something really powerful about seeing people in your own pool and community doing it. It’s been proven that it [success] can happen here, and I think the sky’s the limit. Alex is energetic and ambitious—I’m excited for her future.”

THE SECRET TO CARMEL SWIM CLUB’S SUCCESS When asked “What’s the secret behind your success?” Plumb replied, “The secret is that there are no secrets. There’s nothing revolutionary about what we’re doing. But there are four important things: hold people to a high standard, hire people that care about the sport and about other people they’re working with, create a culture that is about the daily expectations that are expected when you walk in the door and continue to ask, ‘How can we get better?’” Plumb concluded, “I ask myself and our coaches, ‘How can we improve upon this?’ We’re never satisfied, and we’re always trying to push the envelope in terms of what we can do to improve our product, to improve our customer service, and we’re always looking for ways to identify different pockets to improve. Do this every day and hold yourself to those standards every day. My goal has been to make this the best program in the Midwest and one of the best in the country, and then to compete against the best in the world. We’ve done that by taking it step by step.

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For more information on the Carmel Swim Academy, please visit And be sure to follow Carmel Swim Academy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for club updates!


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Profile for Collective Publishing

Carmel Monthly-August 2021  

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