Executive Director, White River State Park Development Commission
Jake Oakman is the Executive Director of the White River State Park Development Commission. The executive director leads the team that manages all aspects of the Park’s operations including marketing, property management, sales, maintenance, guest experience, and future development. Before joining White River State Park, Jake was Special Assistant to Governor Eric Holcomb, serving as the governor’s primary speechwriter, liaison on international engagement, and adviser on communication strategies. Beginning in late 2019, Jake led all marketing and communications efforts related to the governor’s historically successful reelection campaign.
Jake has extensive experience in Indiana’s travel & tourism and sports industries. He was Director of Communications and Media Relations for the Indiana Office of Tourism Development (Visit Indiana). In this role he helped develop and launch the state’s first multi-state tourism branding campaign in nearly a decade, leading to record numbers of visitors and tourism spending each year the campaign was active. Jake’s first job in Indianapolis was at White River State Park, working as a ticket sales executive for the Indianapolis Indians at Victory Field.
Additional experience includes serving as then-Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb’s Director of Communications, Deputy Press Secretary to Governor Mitch Daniels and Director of the IUPUI Student Foundation at the Indiana University Foundation. Jake is a member of the Indiana Arts Commission, former member of the Natural Resources Commission, and former member of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association Executive Committee. He’s a supporter of the Indiana Arts Trust, Indiana Public Broadcasting and the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.
Oakman earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education with concentrations in US history, world history and political science from Indiana University where he served as student body president his final year on campus. Jake was born in South Bend, Indiana and grew up in Springfield, Ohio. A history buff, Jake enjoys reading biographies and histories, especially those about World War II. He is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox and the Indiana University Hoosiers. Jake lives in downtown Indianapolis’ Holy Cross Neighborhood.