Tag Archives: Jeffersonville


Maker13: A Community Workshop


Story and Photos by JD Dotson

I was first introduced to the idea of Maker13 by the owners in a tent at Harvest Homecoming 2015. I bought some small, laser-cut wood pieces to use in my jewelry making and picked up a brochure about the Maker Mobile and a future “makerspace,” a place where people from all walks of life would have access to resources, equipment, technology and knowledge they otherwise might not have the opportunity to use.

I have always been an artist and crafter, but the expense of equipment and space has left me relying on others. The thought of a makerspace in Southern Indiana made my head swim with possibilities.

With backing from the Ogle Center, John Riley and Brian Niehoff designed and brought to life a mobile version in the Maker Mobile, a non-profit, fully functioning maker studio on wheels. Maker Mobile is a 32-foot trailer outfitted with laser cutters, 3Dprinters, Vinyl Cutters, computer stations and more. It travels to schools, organizations and robotic competitions all over Southern Indiana and Kentucky educating and exposing people to opportunities to create and build.

With their engineering expertise in the field, Riley and Niehoff enlisted a finance and accounting specialist and a marketing entrepreneur to join in opening Maker13 in Jeffersonville. Together, husband and wife teams John and Christy Riley and Brian and Lauren Niehoff, have built a space for dreamers and artists, small business owners, crafters, builders and curious people like me wanting to be all of the above. The unassuming. charcoal gray building in Jeffersonville houses a beautifully-decorated interior, and an incredible collection of tools and machines, some I am familiar with and some I am itching with curiosity to learn.

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Maker13 has many options for membership, including ones for individuals, families and businesses. There is a weekender membership, monthly memberships or rates for the year. There are even scholarships available for qualifying makers. Classes are offered for each of the machines in the space for a small fee. Once the class has been completed, you are free to sign up to use the machine of your choice. Maker13 also offers events, one-time classes, date nights and group events, and parent and child classes to members and non-members alike. Some of the classes and events include handmade cutting boards, trivets, paint and stencil classes, mason jar candy dispenser class and an Etch and Brew with a local beer distiller.

The list of equipment at Maker13 is extensive. Surrounding several work tables and computer stations is a bank of Ultimaker 3D printers, which lay down thin layers of melted plastic to build your three-dimensional design. Maker13 is an authorized reseller of the Ultimaker 3D printer as well.

Next to the printers are three different sizes of laser-etching and -cutting machines. Materials ranging from wood to slate, metal, plastic and glass can be etched or cut using these machines. Sewing machines and an embroidery machine cover an area in the corner. A vinyl printer and digital vinyl cutter align the wall with capabilities of printing on all types of material, including vinyl stickers, heat transfers for t-shirts, and printing on canvas. The woodshop in the back of the Maker13 space is home to your basic wood shop tools: hand power tools, miter, band and table saws as well as some not-so-basic machines. The CNC ShopBot Router and CNC Metal Mill are cutting, drilling, carving and machining powerhouses. These smart machines are perfect for furniture making, machine part manufacturing, sculptural pieces, sign making and any type of woodworking a creative mind can dream up.

The staff does an amazing job training curious novices in the operation of all the machines, as well as in safety procedures and finding online resource material. The machines can be intimidating at first, but the classes have given me confidence and boosted my creativity with endless possibilities to realize a dream of starting or enhancing a small business, jumpstarting creativity, the ability to design something and see it come to life, and the tools to build everything imaginable. I am starting to rethink my year-long membership. I should’ve signed up for the lifetime option.


Open House 6:30-8:30 p.m.

June 7

629 Michigan Ave.

www.maker13.com info@maker13.com


Signature Countertops: All About Their Clients

Chris Garten and his team pride themselves on being a company that puts their clients’ needs first.

Garten is president of Signature Countertops, which has a showroom in Jeffersonville on Fabricon Blvd. Their manufacturing facility is in Scottsburg. Garten, who served as a Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corps reserves for 14 years and just recently transferred to the inactive ready reserve, said his philosophy stems from something a commanding officer taught him. “One of the best commanding officers I ever served for gave me this advice, he said ‘It doesn’t matter what industry or business you are in, it’s all about people.  Always serve other first first and the rest takes care of itself.”


Signature Countertops, Inc. celebrated its 10-year anniversary on March 1. The company is a natural stone manufacturing and installing company. “Our core products are countertops, shower surrounds, and vanities,” Garten said. In addition to granite, they also specialize in Marble, Quartzites, Soapstone, and many brands of quartz including LG Viatera, Silestone, Caesarstone, Colorquartz, and Hanstone just to name a few.

“We import directly from granite quarries in Brazil, Italy, and China,” he added. He added that there are two things that set them apart from their competitors: “The first is our unwavering commitment to our clients. If you choose to do business with us, we take that very seriously and we are committed to the relationship long term. The other is our team. Our team has been through some of the industry’s most high level training thanks in part to a few industry associations: the Marble Institute of American and the Stone Fabricators Alliance.”

Signature’s showroom has as shock and awe effect that will stun the senses and encourage the most creative design ideas. It also has a kid’s play area with artificial turf and a slide. “It has to do with taking care of families and our clients. We want them to feel comfortable bringing their kids while they look around the showroom,” he explained. “It is about serving and focusing on the needs of the family right from the very start of the process.”

Garten said there is about 6,000 square feet, including inventory. “We probably warehouse about 500 more slabs at any given time.”

Signature Countertops has completed projects in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Kentucky.

The company currently employees 22 people. “We call them team members at Signature. We don’t use the word employee at our company. They are either team members or family members and that is it. It is all about putting people first,” he said. “We believe in growing our team through accountability, extensive training, and leadership by example.”

Garten also said his company gives back to the community throughsc2 organizations such as the Kiwanis program and United Way. Signature Countertops also is a member of the Greater Scott County Chamber of Commerce, where Garten serves as vice president; as well as a member of One Southern Indiana.

Garten also is a board member for the Building and Development Association of Southern Indiana (BDASI), and his team recently participated in the BDASI’s Habitat for Humanity Build Day in March.

In addition, Garten has declared his candidacy for Indiana State Senate District 45, which represents Switzerland, Scott and Jefferson counties in Indiana, as well as a portion of Jackson and the northern half of Clark county. “God has blessed me with a very unique set of life experiences that I believe will serve Hoosiers well. From growing up in a broken home and being adopted, to 2 combat tours in Iraq, to starting a small business in my 1-car garage over10 years ago, I can relate to most people and fully understand the true meaning of commitment.”

Above all else, Garten takes great pride in his family. He will have been married to his wife, Beth, for 13 years this October. They have three sons ages 11, 9 and 4. Having the boys adds “all the chaos you love. We have Nerf wars, wrestle, shoot guns and they play every sport known to man. I would not have it any other way.”

Garten said they have a fully-digital manufacturing facility. “”From templating, to our digital dual table sawjet cutting solution, to our automated CNC routers, Everything we do is fully automated,” he said.

Prospective clients can take advantage of Signature’s cutting edge and interactive design tools on their website – www. signaturecountertops.com – Clients can engage in their Kitchen design tools which allows prospective clients to select details like different types of flooring, cabinets, countertops, and even wall colors to ensure the best design possible. The website also allows browsing customers to make simple sketches and submit them for a hassle free estimate.

Garten served in Iraq in 2003 and back again in 2005-2006. After being home for almost a year he birthed Signature Countertops, Inc. on March 1, 2007. “Frankly, I just saw needs in this industry and in our market that weren’t being met and felt like I could contribute in a positive way.”

Garten says although the products he uses may look that same as a lot of companies, there can be vast differences in stone quality. “Most consumes have no idea that all granites are not created equal. Some of our competitors push commercial grade slabs in hopes they can make higher margins. We warranty everything we do and only source the highest quality stones.”


1611 Fabricon Blvd. | Jeffersonville


8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday

8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays



Signature Countertops | Jeffersonville Grand Opening

In honor of Signature Countertops’ move to Jeffersonville, a Grand Opening event was held welcoming the community to experience the new showroom. Here’s a glance into the festivities, covered by Extol, with interviews from President Chris Garten and his wife, Beth.

For more information go to http://signaturecountertops.com


1611 Fabricon Blvd.


Photos by Danny Alexander

Adrian Brown

Adrian Brown

Tynisha Handley, Tiffany Denison, Alcia Sharp, Emily Young, Troy Stiller and Keith Rager

Tynisha Handley, Tiffany Denison, Alcia Sharp, Emily Young, Troy Stiller and Keith Rager

Meredith Potthast and Maria Polio

Meredith Potthast and Maria Polio

Sylinia Thompson, James Boswell and Beth Bizianes

Sylinia Thompson, James Boswell and Beth Bizianes


Shawn and Lynnette Barger and Carla Zellers

Shawn and Lynnette Barger and Carla Zellers

14 16 17

Mike & Jeanie Allgood

Mike & Jeanie Allgood

Jerry Leonard

Jerry Leonard

Shawn and Lynnette Barger and Carla Zellers

Shawn and Lynnette Barger and Carla Zellers



Beth Beyers, Amanda Ward and Leah Armfield

Beth Beyers, Amanda Ward and Leah Armfield

Jim Donahue and Matt Konkler

Jim Donahue and Matt Konkler

Jennifer Naive, Bob and Andrea Stauble and Angie and Joe Brewer

Jennifer Naive, Bob and Andrea Stauble and Angie and Joe Brewer

Beth Garten and Angie Brewer

Beth Garten and Angie Brewer


Want To Help Set An Example?


When Extol debuted in February 2015, we committed to being a magazine on a mission. That has included partnering with organizations in need, which includes Exit 0, the homeless outreach based in Jeffersonville that was started by Paul and Michele Stensrud.

But we knew we couldn’t do it alone.

iThanks to dozens of volunteers and local companies who continue to step up, we’ve been able to help feed hundreds of adults and children.

We’ll provide dinner once again for up to 100 diners in May — and several other times throughout 2017, including on Thanksgiving — and are seeking groups and individuals willing to donate food and help serve, like PD’s Produce, Wick’s Pizza, Bearnos and Topp’t Handcrafted Pizza did in February.

If you are interested in any way, please email angie@ extolmag.com.

And, if you know of a person, business or organization that is setting an example in our community by giving back, we’d like to hear from you. Send an email to extol@ extolmag.com or message us on Facebook.



Bass Group Business Spotlight | Lavender Hill

In this latest installment of Bass Group Real Estate’s Local Business Spotlight, we list Lavender Hill, located in the heart of booming Jeffersonville, IN. We talk to Carolyn Minutillo, owner and principal designer at Lavender Hill.

Lavender Hill strives to make their customers very, very happy. They offer daily deliveries to both residential and business locations. Their knowledgable staff is there for you, be it a celebration, loss of a loved one, wedding or, for no reason at all. They’ll guide you towards the perfect florals or fine specimen plant.

Be sure to subscribe to our channel!
Visit Us: www.bassgroupre.com
Visit Lavender Hill: www.lavenderhillfloral.com

JD Dotson

Explore | Jeffersonville

Story and Photos by JD Dotson

I spent much of high school exploring Southern Indiana. Many adventures are lost to memory, but one thing stands out vividly. I remember discovering “The Lady” by accident one day, cutting from Clarksville to Jeffersonville on a road I had used before, but hadn’t paid much attention. Until that day when she caught my eye, jd1gleaming and standing tall, holding a rose, her hair and scarf blowing in the wind. At more than 20 feet tall and made of hubcaps and metal, “The Lady” still stands between the railroad tracks and piles of wooden pallets just as I remember her from more than 30 years ago. The art installation stands in front of scales and next to words carved into wood that seem to have more impact on me today than ever before:

I REMEMBER what a surprise it was to see this beautiful artwork in the least likely of places. She still has quite an impact. The difference today is she is not a lonely piece in the city of Jeffersonville. Artwork abounds in this town. Creative businesses have popped up in this river town and the streets guide you around with magical sculptures, painted utility boxes, murals and bike racks.

My favorite cupcake-shaped bike rack always leads me directly to one of my favorite spots. I cannot be in Jeffersonville without stopping by Sweets by Morgan. The cinnamon swirl with icing is just about the best sweet thing I have had in my jd2life, and I have tried nearly everything sweet under the sun. It’s huge so I usually cut it in half to save for later or take home to my better half. About five minutes after devouring my half, I ask myself who I think I’m kidding and eat the rest of it, so delicious and gooey, perfectly sweet and decadent. It is quite literally my favorite thing on the planet right now and gives me sugary fuel for walking through this little town and exploring.

Jeffersonville’s downtown is bustling with new businesses mixed in with the classics: Schimpff’s Confectionary, Inner Spring Yoga, Red Yeti Brewing, Glo Spa, Sapphire on Spring and Lavender Hill, all connected with whimsical Michael Wimmer sculptures and fantastical crosswalks.

I spend the day walking to Big Four Park through the artistically-decorated retaining wall to the waterfront. Jeffersonville provides plenty of eye catching beauty right jd4along the river, from the amphitheater, peaceful places to sit and watch the river with a view of the Big Four Bridge to the natural beauty of the Falls of the Ohio. I spent the unusually warm January day walking the riverfront and exploring fossil beds, working off the cinnamon roll calories.

My walk back from the falls took me past the flood wall murals, realistic styled murals depicting the history of Jeffersonville by artist Robert Dafford. Some of the history I knew, some was new to me and I took one of these murals in particular as jd3a sign that I needed to explore a building I had driven by for decades but have never been inside. The Howard Steamboat Museum sits just off the river east of downtown and is a spectacular 22-room mansion built by the same workers building steamboats across the street. The house is full of model boats, memorabilia, photographs and beautifully preserved history from the combination gas and electric light fixtures, to original indoor plumbing, both firsts for the area. The family’s influence on the country and the history of the steamboat is detailed incredibly in this three-story, gorgeous archive. The staff is very enthusiastic about this beautiful place and eager to answer questions. By the end of the tour, I was planning on expanding my exploring to include travel by steam ship.

Whether by foot or steamboat, Jeffersonville is a small town with huge possibilities for exploration, surrounded by art, inspired by the past and definitely looking forward to her future.

The Lady

I am your mother


I am a women 

standing into the “winds of change” 

expected to be strong

yet gentle 

expected to be better 

then good

yet not reflect 

that I know

I am good 

the words force me 

to change 

yet I do not want 

To be any more than I am 

A Woman Your Mother 

take my hand

We will stand together

into the “Winds of change” 


533 Spring St.





1101 East Market St.




SoIN Style with Kye Hoen

President and Owner of Kye’s

Photo by Danny Alexander

Whenever I am choosing something to wear I always think, “Is it fun? Am I comfortable? Is it current? Is it classy?”

What I love most about Southern Indiana are the people. I taught school here for 14 years, owned and operated my business for 23 years and lived here for over 50 years. The relationships and bonds that I have been fortunate enough to develop over the years are one of my life’s greatest joys. The small town feel with big city amenities very close by is such a positive – and of course “my” river.

Most people don’t know that I once did the dance the Y.M.C.A with the Cowboy from the Village People. Also, I am a licensed and ordained minister and have had the pleasure to officiate many marriage ceremonies at Kye’s and elsewhere.

My life quote is “No matter how you feel. Get up, dress up, show up, and never give up.”

My professional goal, as it has been for 23 years, is to strive to improve Kye’s and the service we offer our clients. Personally, my goal is to appreciate each day, no matter what it brings and to truly live in the moment.

Even though my Mother passed away several years ago, her influence has remained with me throughout my life. She taught me to work hard, always be a lady and above all else love with all my heart.


500 Missouri Avenue





One Southern Indiana | Sales & Marketing Success Series: Allan Howie – Idealogy

Photos by Extol Staff | Info below photos provided by www.1si.org and www.idealogy.biz

Pastries provided by download-1 www.cakestoday.com

Friday January 20 marked the night of One Southern Indiana’s event, in partnership with Ideology for an expose on how to get more sales this year than last year. Attendees learned how to acquire more profitable customers or clients.

Author, speaker and Idealogy founder Allen Howie shared a wealth of practical ideas for making your marketing work harder in 2017, regardless of your marketing budget.  Large companies, small businesses and individuals all left with new ways to make their marketing more effective and brand more powerful.

If you missed the event, be on the lookout for more, as this idea-packed session only kicked off our revamped, revitalized, re-imagined Sales & Marketing Success Series.

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INFORMATION BELOW TAKEN FROM www.1si.org on their Sales & Marketing Success Series:
Baptist Health
1850 State St. Paris Health Education Center
New Albany, IN 47150



Mailing Address
P.O. Box 293
Georgetown, IN 47122-0293

Street Address
6500 State Road 64
Georgetown, IN 47122

Phone: 812.399.1400  Fax: 812.399.1405

Email: allen@idealogy.biz

“Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”

– Mark Twain

PRESS RELEASE | LeadershipSI to host Generational Workshop Series

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN: Starting on January 24, Leadership Southern Indiana will kick off its new generational workshop series event, “They Drive Me Crazy,” sponsored by Mountjoy Chilton Medley. This four-part series takes place at Kye’s in Jeffersonville from 11:30am-1:30pm on January 24, January 31, February 7 and February 21st.
The experts from Crescendo Strategies, including President & Chief Retention Officer, Cara Silletto, MBA will offer a dynamic series beginning with a keynote of the generational divide, followed by three additional sessions that cover Communication, Talent Attraction and Retention, and Civic Engagement. The dynamic team from Crescendo Strategies will discuss the issues on the T.A.B.L.E. (technology, authority, balance, loyalty and entitlement). This workshop series fuels eye-opening discussions about which traditional business principles may need a revamp to be effective in today’s changing workplace. This four-part workshop series is a must-see for those who need to build stronger relationships across the generational spectrum.
LeadershipSI Executive Director Mark Eddy says, “In today’s market, we have four different generations working together.  Those who can grasp and challenge those generations will be the organization that will attract new talent while retaining their experience workforce.  I am very excited Leadership Southern Indiana is bringing this opportunity to our community with the experts at Crescendo Strategies.” The workshop series is open to the public, and can be sold by individual tickets or tables of eight. LeadershipSI encourages you to bring your own boss!

Cost (includes lunch):

$35/ Individual Ticket/single session
$100/Individual ticket/full series
$400/half table (4 tickets) full series
$600 table (8 tickets) full series
To register, visit http://leadershipsi.org/home/payregister/.

Media Contact: Jamie Ogles, jogles@leadershipsi.org



Portage House: A Riverfront Winner

By Angie Fenton | Photos by JD Dotson and Grant Vance

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The riverfront view in Jeffersonville just got even better with the addition of Portage House, 117 E. Riverside Drive, a restaurant featuring Midwestern cuisine – and oysters; oh, the oysters! – as well as plenty of local-to-Indiana products.


The Roasted Oysters – with chipotle butter, lime and Texas toast – are divine.

Housed in a home built in the 1870s, the goal was to create “a welcoming atmosphere,” said Chef Paul Skulas, most recently of Holy Grale and Gralehaus in Louisville. “We focused on creating a vibe more than (being known for) an exact dish.”

Part of Doers LLC, whose first project was Citizen 7 in Prospect, Portage House boasts several large windows that allow natural light to stream in, which helps to create an inviting environment. The “majority of the design was (conceptualized) through Alex Tinker, one of the Doers partners,” Skulas said. Nathan Weaver of StrADegy Advertising Group “was the main designer.” (Note: Looking for a way to repurpose an old painting or print? Weaver’s talents, on display throughout Portage House, will give do-it-yourselfers and Pinterest lovers plenty of inspiration for your own homes. Simply put, what he’s done is really, really cool.)


Kathy’s Pork Blade Steak is served with tomato butter beans, fennel and celery salad. This is a popular dish and for good reason: It’s delicious.

The view of the Ohio River, especially from the second floor, is lovely no matter the weather, but what stands out the most about Portage House is Skulas’ simple, sincere execution of the dishes on the menu. “We’re not overly pretentious,” he said, which is an understatement. Skulas makes food that is accessible to nearly everyone, regardless of pocketbook or palate. Though, don’t mistake that for being ordinary, because the menu is anything but.

Raw radishes paired with nothing more than butter and salt are a popular appetizer (just try them; you can thank us later).

Unaltered vegetables are the stars in the Raw Vegetable Salad – served with an herb vinaigrette, pear and feta – which made one nearby diner exclaim, “My god, this is good!”

Other highlights include the absolutely wonderful Roasted Oysters, Whole Roasted Cauliflower, Boneless Half Chicken, and Indiana Steak, which comes in two sizes.

Skulas’ go-to dish is Bucatini: spicy nduja sausage, shiitake, tarragon cream and parmesan, though he also favors the Half Dozen Oysters, served with mignonette and horseradish.

While on a visit during Sunday brunch, our table found the Grilled Cheese Sandwich a delectable dish of taleggio, Indiana goat cheese, fried egg and sorghum. A side of bacon from Hensley Homegrown farm was the perfect accompaniment.

The cocktail program, headed up by Bar Manager Daniel Mahony, is one of the best we’ve seen. “I approached the program off of Paul’s menu. He’s not a spoon drag kind of guy. He takes quality things and knows how to present them for what they are.”

So does Mahony.

Try a locally-made craft beer, Hop-Washed Whiskey or one of the punches that come in either 16-ounce or 32-ounce Mason jars. “They’re very conducive to being shared,” he said.

None of the menus – drinks and dishes – are extensive. That’s because Skulas “would rather do 15 things really well than 30 things mediocre. … I wanted something that was not like a Louisville restaurant. I wanted an Indiana-proud restaurant,” he said. “People really seem to be enjoying us.”

We sure did.

Portage House

117 E. Riverside Drive




4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday