The Washington Times-Herald
---- — FRENCH LICK — Radius Indiana and Purdue University presented the 2014 Economic Development Summìt on May 15 at the French Lick Resort.
The summit provided the opportunity for elected officials, economic development professionals and other community leaders to engage with experts in economic development from around the state and Purdue University.
The program began with speakers setting the stage by defining economic development, and presenting regional industry and economic data.
Featured keynote speaker, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership President/CEO John Sampson, highlighted successful strategies and best practices implemented in the northeast region.
Bo Beaulieu, Director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development, presented an industry sector analysis as well.
“Our work to make sure that the Radius Indiana region thrives and is prosperous is critical,” stated Becky Skillman, President/CEO of Radius Indiana. “We continue to collaborate with experts and advocates to move the best ideas forward. In this way, the summit provides the opportunity for key connections to be made between employers, civic leaders, and state and local officials.”
“Every region of the state has its own unique story to tell,” said John Sampson, President/CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. “I am very pleased to represent Northeast Indiana as a part of this summit to share our experiences. Collaboration is one of our core values.
“It’s only by sharing lessons learned that we can develop the creative approaches needed to advance the economies of our individual regions and the entire state of Indiana.”
Three moderated panel discussions were held on key topics facing economic development today; including, supporting and growing existing businesses and nurturing a climate of entrepreneurship, attracting new businesses, and effective collaboration.
The moderators of each panel were David McKinnis, Director of the Purdue Technical Assistance Program, Ron Arnold of the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation, and Bo Beaulieu, Director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development.
According to Barbara J. Alder, Director of Purdue University Office of Engagement for Indianapolis: “Purdue was honored to partner with Radius Indiana to demonstrate additional ways in which the capabilities of the University can be used to further economic development and business growth efforts in this region of the state. As Indiana’s only land-grant university, we have a long-standing commitment to engagement and outreach, and this is one of the ways we can work toward achieving that important mission.”
The focus of the panels included re-emphasizing the continued need for collaboration between all stakeholders and localities in the eight-county Radius Indiana region, and beyond.
“Regional cooperation is no longer a buzz phrase,” Skillman commented. “For the Radius Indiana region, it’s a blueprint for action.”