Valparaiso is a community gifted with many amazing leaders and citizens. Yet, if there is one individual who can be attributed with true dedication to the improvement and well-being of our community, it is Tina St. Aubin. As Executive Director of Valparaiso Events, she has a hand in everything from the Farmer's Market in the summer months, to the Popcorn Fest in September, to any other fun, enticing happenings going on downtown. It is evident that Valparaiso would not be thriving as it is now without the hard work and passion St. Aubin has dedicated to our community.
Born and raised right here in Valparaiso, St. Aubin has had the opportunity to see Valparaiso's growth and development right before her eyes. Prior to her position in Valparaiso events, though, she managed to truly do a little bit of everything. Graduating with a degree in art from Valparaiso University, she began working in the catering and banquet industry upon graduating, then worked with a home builder, worked with special events at the Chamber, helped her husband Jeff open the local favorite, "Duffy's", and finally ended up at Valparaiso Events (where she has now been since 2008).
She said, "Every step taught me something that I'm able to apply to what I do today."
It is this diversity of interests and experience that clearly accounts for the creative outlook St.Aubin has been able to bring to the growth of our town. 2008 was the year that the beautification and revitalization of downtown began, and it was then that St. Aubin knew she wanted to be a part of this transformation.
"I saw all these great things happening and thought to myself, 'This is where we chose to make a living and raise our family, this is the best fit for me.' I wanted to be a part of all the progress that was on the upcoming front," she said.
With everything Valparaiso Events has accomplished both downtown and in our general community since 2008, St. Aubin certainly has been busy with various events and projects, but it is these opportunities that make all of the hard work pay off.
"Whether I'm handing out candy at Fall Harvest looking at all the little faces saying 'Thank you!!', or observing Popcorn Fest where thousands of people come downtown to enjoy the day, it all comes together for me and is awesome to witness," St. Aubin said.
Most important to St. Aubin, though, is the connection to the downtown that is now being instilled in young and old generations alike. With opportunities like movie night or even the splash area for children, and a variety of restaurants that children, adolescents, and adults alike can enjoy, there is always something for everyone available, with many of these opportunities being attributed to St. Aubin and the rest of the board of Valparaiso Events.
"If we can create a safe and family friendly environment, then we can be successful," she said.
There is no denying the gratitude deserved by Tina St. Aubin given all she has done for us here in Valpo. Regardless of where you may find her around town, you're sure to find her with a smile on her face, eager to talk to anyone who may approach her. She truly has benefitted our community, and continues to be a vital part of all the awesome things yet to come.