Jake Oakman

Executive Director
White River State Park Development Commission

Governor Eric Holcomb appointed Jake Oakman Executive Director of White River State Park in 2022. In this role, Jake leading all aspects of the park’s operations and future development. Jake has extensive experience in Indiana’s tourism industry. Jake previously served as director of communications and media relations for the Indiana Office of Tourism Development (now the Indiana Destination Development Corporation). In this role he helped launch the state’s first tourism branding campaign in nearly a decade, leading to record numbers of visitor and tourism spending each year of the campaign. He was also part of the team that developed the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay through all 92 Indiana counties in celebration of the state’s 200th birthday. Serving as the park’s executive director brings Jake’s career full circle as his first full-time job in Indianapolis was in White River State Park working as a ticket sales executive with the Indianapolis Indians at Victory Field.

Before leading White River State Park, Jake was special assistant to Governor Eric Holcomb, serving as the governor’s primary speechwriter, liaison on international engagement and development, and adviser on communication strategies. During the 2020 reelection campaign, Jake was director of strategic communications and part of the governor’s senior campaign team that saw Governor Holcomb reelected with the most votes cast for a gubernatorial candidate in state history.

Additional experience includes serving as Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb’s director of communications, deputy press secretary to Governor Mitch Daniels and director of the IUPUI Student Foundation. Jake is a member of the Indiana Arts Commission, the board of trustees for the National Institute of Fitness and Sports (NIFS), a board member of Indianapolis Downtown Marketing, Inc & Tourism Tomorrow Indy, and an ex-officio board member of Visit Indy.

Oakman earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education with concentrations in United States history, world history and political science from Indiana University where he served as student body president his senior year. Jake was born in South Bend and grew up in Springfield, Ohio. A self-professed history nerd, Jake enjoys reading biographies and histories, especially those about World War II and the Old West. He is a movie buff, enjoys listening to Frank Sinatra and the Who (not at the same time), and is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox and the Indiana University Hoosiers. Jake lives in the Holy Cross Neighborhood in downtown Indianapolis.


Joe Bill Wiley

Commission Chair
Principal | Capital Cities, LLC

Jim Isch

Commission Vice-Chair & Treasurer

William A. Brown, Jr.

Principal/President | Ratio Architects Inc.

Lou Gerig

President | Sease Gerig & Associates

Scarlett Andrews

Deputy Mayor of Economic Development | City of Indianapolis

Brad Rateike

Principal | Bar Communications

Dawn Tabler

Emeritus Commissioner

Adam D. Thies

Associate Vice President of Capital Planning | Indiana University

Laurie Thornton

Director of Government Affairs | CenterPoint Energy

Robert Wagner

Emeritus Commissioner

Thomas Wheeler

Partner | Frost Brown Todd LLC


Jack Sandlin

Republican – District 36

Andrea Hunley

Democrat – District 33

Justin Moed

Democrat – District 97

Bob Cherry

Republican – District 53

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