Special to TH
Washington Times Herald
BEDFORD — Lt. Governor Becky Skillman will become the new president and CEO of the eight-county Radius Indiana economic development regional partnership after she leaves office in January, according to Ken Sendelweck, Radius board chair.
“With Lt. Governor Skillman’s in-depth experience in energy, commercial defense, tourism, advanced manufacturing, agriculture and other key issues affecting the eight-county region of Radius Indiana - coupled with her experience in leading international trade missions - this appointment represents nothing short of a superb match between opportunity and experience,” said Sendelweck. “With the Lt. Governor in this position, we expect to achieve an even higher rate of acceleration toward accomplishing our regional goals, based on the solid foundation that has already been laid for growth and development.”
Skillman replaces former Radius CEO R.J. Reynolds, who died unexpectedly in November. She will formally assume her duties on Feb. 1, 2013.
“There has never been a more exciting time to build a globally competitive economy in the region,” said Skillman. “The I-69 expansion brings great potential for growth, as do the diverse assets in the eight counties. The advancement and development of the $14 million Battery Innovation Center, the French Lick-West Baden Resort, the flourishing WestGate technology park at Crane, Vincennes University’s new advanced manufacturing center in Dubois County, and the East Gate Business and Technology Center in Bedford represent but a few of the many assets on which to build cooperative growth.
“I also very much look forward to working in tandem with the local elected officials, economic development professionals, and business leaders to develop a truly team-based cooperative effort and continue to move the region forward,” she added.
The position will involve working collaboratively to continue generating high-quality employment opportunities, improving the workforce through expanded educational resources, diversifying the region ‘s economic base,and working to raise the standard of living for the residents of the eight-county region, according to Sendelweck
Established by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation in 2009, Radius Indiana serves eight counties in south central Indiana, representing Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington. Skillman will be returning to her native Lawrence County, which she represented for 12 years in the Indiana Senate prior to being elected Indiana’s first female Lt.Governor in 2004. Her lifelong home is in the Bedford region, where Radius Indiana maintains its main office.
The appointment was applauded throughout the region, including Ron Arnold, executive director of the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation, who serves on the Radius Indiana executive committee.
“When we learned of the possibility that the Lt. Governor might be interested, I considered that to be amazingly good fortune,” Arnold said. “Becky is coming out as one of the key leaders in one of the most successful gubernatorial administrations in Indiana ‘s history and there are so many positive things she brings to the table that it’s hard to list them.”