Governor-Elect Pence Appoints Two Regional Natives to Key Positions

Governor-Elect Mike Pence has appointed two individuals from Northeast Indiana to key positions within his administration. Eric Doden of Fort Wayne was appointed to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Corporation. He previously worked at Ambassador Enterprises before serving as a principal for Domo Enterprises, a private equity firm. Sean Keefer, who was appointed as Labor Commissioner, is a Fort Wayne native who has previous experience as a regulator in the Daniels Administration. Both Eric Doden and Sean Keefer have strong business backgrounds who understand the value of private investment as well as the risks taken by business that ultimately results in economic growth. The Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana congratulates Governor-Elect Pence on his selection of these appointments.

View full text of the news release.

New Study Shows Effects of Eliminating Personal Property Taxes

A study conducted for the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana indicates eliminating the personal property tax on Hoosier businesses could  cause stress on local government budgets in the 10-county Northeast Indiana region. The Regional Chamber urges lawmakers to review the study and fully understand the potential impact of changing tax law as they work to make Indiana more attractive to new business.

Regional Chamber Executive Director John Gerni said, “The study demonstrates that if the business personal property tax is eliminated in total, it would have a material impact on local government finance in many jurisdictions.  The Regional Chamber is an advocate for public policy that promotes a favorable business climate in Northeast Indiana, and supports efforts to make Indiana more competitive from an economic development perspective.”

Full text of news release.   Download full study here

Right to Work a Factor in Recent Job Announcement

Michigan-based automotive company, Android Industries, recently announced a project that will bring an $8.97 million investment and 33 jobs to Fort Wayne. Among many factors contributing to Indiana being their choice for relocation, the passage of Right to Work had a definite impact on their decision.

“Android chose Indiana and specifically Fort Wayne because it’s both an employee- and employer-friendly environment,” said David Donnay, vice president of human resources at Android. “Recently, Indiana became a right-to-work state and offers us a competitive location and a skilled work force to complement our state of the art technology. All of these factors went into choosing Indiana as an optimal location.”

To read more about the announcement, click HERE to visit the Indiana Economic Development Corporation website.

Indiana is Officially the 23rd Right to Work State

On Wednesday, February 1, the Senate voted on a very heated third hearing procedure to adopt House Bill 1001 (Right to Work).  The bill passed with a vote of 28-22. We strongly believe that this move will place Indiana as a competitor for 30-50% more economic development opportunities, and become an important tool for the highly skilled economic development professionals working in Northeast Indiana.


 I-69 Connector Proposed to Improve Safety, Flow of Goods

The Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana supports a unique collaborative effort to improve access between I-69 and US 24 at Roanoke, Indiana in eastern Huntington County.  The plan proposes an upgrade of  County Road 900 North/Lafayette Center Road to function as a connector between the two major highways.   Download a copy of the project RFI.  Read coverage of the proposal by The News Sentinel.


Northeast Indiana Ranks Poorly for Transportation Infrastructure Investment

A report commissioned for the Regional Chamber shows investment in Northeast Indiana’s transportation infrastructure is well below expectations when compared to a variety of funding determinants.  In particular, Northeast Indiana lacks funding for major new transportation projects.  Allen, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, and Whitley all underperformed funding expectations for in each of 18 funding variables.  The full report is available for download in the members only section of the Website.


The mission of the Regional Chamber is to promote an environment in Northeast Indiana in which individuals, businesses and communities thrive in a global economy. Historically, Northeast Indiana has not received its fair share of resources from the state and federal governments. If we cannot rise to the challenge of working together, our region is at great risk of falling further and further behind active participants in the global economy.

Today, there is momentum for regionalism that has seldom existed in Northeast Indiana. A well-implemented Regional Chamber can further that momentum by asking leaders from each of Northeast Indiana’s ten counties to help build the policy agenda we need to create the optimal environment for growth and development.