Develop Indy, Indy Partnership to Consolidate Operations for More Efficient, Effective Economic Development Effort
(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind – February 15, 2011) Two of Central Indiana’s leading economic development organizations will formally join forces to create a more streamlined effort to maximize business attraction and marketing for Indianapolis and the greater region.
Indy Partnership, the regional group representing the nine‐county Indianapolis metro area, and Develop
Indy, the local economic development engine for Indianapolis/Marion County, will consolidate their marketing, fundraising and administrative operations to create a more efficient and effective enterprise.
The two groups will maintain their separate brand identities while pursuing their respective economic development missions.
Since 2001, Indy Partnership has promoted the Indianapolis region in partnership with local economic development organizations (known as “LEDOs”) in each of the metro counties. Indy Partnership works to attract new businesses to the region, and provides research and project management support to the LEDOs for their local business development efforts.
Develop Indy was launched in 2007 as the stand‐alone LEDO for Indianapolis/Marion County, and works primarily to help existing businesses grow and expand in Marion County. It has grown its organizational capacity significantly over the last three years.
“We have two organizations pursuing similar missions – one representing the region, one representing
Indianapolis, the core of the region,” said current Indy Partnership President and CEO Ron Gifford. “It makes sense to bring them together in a more formal fashion to achieve our strategic goals, realize financial efficiencies, and give investors more ‘bang for their buck.’”
“We’re in a very tough competition for new opportunities, often going up against cities and regions that can’t match our business climate but do have more money to tell their stories,” said Scott Miller,
Develop Indy’s President and CEO. “This new model will allow us to maximize every dollar spent so we can aggressively pursue new job opportunities and investment from around the globe.”
The two organizations will combine operations in areas like marketing, fundraising, accounting, human resources, and IT. Develop Indy will continue to focus on local Indianapolis business development issues, while Indy Partnership will continue focusing its marketing and business attraction efforts on behalf of the entire region.
A new Indy Partnership Executive Committee, made up of private sector business leaders and representatives from each of the county LEDO partners, will oversee the regional effort. The Develop
Indy Board of Directors will serve as the legal governing entity for fiscal and administrative matters for both entities and will continue to oversee matters related specifically to Indianapolis/Marion County.
Veteran economic development professional Scott Fulford will become the Executive Director of Indy
Partnership, as current CEO Ron Gifford assumes the position of Executive Vice President for Policy for the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), the regional alliance of CEOs and university presidents.
Gifford will also become a member of the Develop Indy Board of Directors. Scott Miller will remain as
CEO of Develop Indy.
“Since 2007, Indy Partnership has been part of CICP, and that relationship has fostered collaboration with CICP’s industry‐specific initiatives – BioCrossroads [life sciences], Conexus [manufacturing and
logistics], TechPoint [technology] and the Energy Systems Network [energy and clean technologies],” said Mark Miles, CICP’s President and CEO. “We see this new alignment between Indy Partnership and
Develop Indy as creating an even stronger regional platform to promote these clusters to new business prospects.
“At the same time, we are committed to maintaining the synergies among these groups focused on economic growth in Central Indiana,” Miles continued. “Ron’s new roles with CICP and Develop Indy will help ensure that industry expertise from the private sector is available on call to support economic development for the entire region.”
The new structure will also enhance regional efforts by giving the county LEDO partners a larger role in the expanded Indy Partnership Executive Committee, and by encouraging more direct participation in the region’s marketing and business attraction efforts. A formal agreement on regional cooperation will also ensure that each member county has a fair chance to make its case to new companies looking at the region.
“To companies located around the country, ‘Indianapolis’ is the brand that we’re all selling, whether we live in Marion County or not,” said Dax Norton, Executive Director of the Boone County Economic
Development Corporation. “By combining the marketing efforts of these two organizations, we can more effectively promote the region while giving every county a seat at the table.”
A joint fundraising campaign will take place for both organizations, ensuring that corporate supporters will not face multiple solicitations on behalf of the area’s business attraction efforts.
The consolidation of operations will become effective at the end of February. Indy Partnership will share office space with Develop Indy in the Chase Tower in downtown Indianapolis.
Melissa Todd, Develop Indy
Chris Watts, Central Indiana Corporate Partnership