New agency’s goal to raise state’s profile will attract people and businesses — with help from us all
I am thrilled to begin my new role as secretary and CEO of the Indiana Destination Development Corp. (IDDC). For those who don’t know, before accepting this new role in November 2019, I served as president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. for more than two years.
I look forward to using my previous experience and building on the relationships made with partners across the state to help the formation of the new agency.
For background, the IDDC is a new public-private government entity that was approved by the Indiana state Legislature in 2019 and will enable us to brand, promote and tell Indiana’s authentic story.
The current Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD) will evolve into the new organization, effective July 1, creating a seamless experience for our tourism and talent attraction partners.
I am fortunate to already have this strong and knowledgeable tourism team by my side during the transition, and I am confident that the IDDC will further increase our ability to attract visitors to the state.
As we prepare for the July 1 incorporation date, our entire team is diligently working to research, plan and select both the corporate and foundation boards that will help govern the new corporation and take Indiana tourism and attraction to the next level!
Indiana has worked hard to position itself as one of the strongest and most business-friendly states in the country, and we cannot afford to lose our momentum. With record-low unemployment numbers, lower than even the national average, we need more workers to fill the jobs available. That is where the IDDC comes in!
People want to relocate and live in a place that has a high quality of life, with great restaurants, outdoor adventures and a thriving community environment. Indiana has all that and much more. As Hoosiers, we know we have an incredible story to tell, but we need to be much more intentional about sharing it with the rest of the country and the world. If we do this the right way, we will be able to attract and retain more businesses, talent, students and visitors to our great state.
In my current and previous roles, I have had the opportunity to meet with a number of business leaders and job creators who often are considering calling Indiana their new home. During those interactions, there seems to be a consistent takeaway: when they try to attract out-of-state talent, the candidate does not know much about Indiana.
Thankfully, it is not that the candidate has a bad perception of the state, they just have no perception at all. This is precisely where the IDDC can help. Our top priority is to create a strong statewide brand and to creatively market it so that businesses no longer have that problem. Our state has all the amenities and quality of life initiatives that people are craving; now we just need to take those experiences and expose others to them. And that includes educating our current Indiana residents, along with out-of-state visitors. Indiana is the best kept secret in the Midwest, but we want that secret shared!
To accomplish our goal, we are going to rely heavily on our state partners, because every single person in the state is a stakeholder. Creating that lasting impact in communities will require every single Hoosier voice working together and sharing the good news. State government, local government, education entities, local communities and businesses, many of whom are already working to lift our state for future generations, will be heavily involved in this effort. And I encourage those who have been on the sidelines to reach out to our team so we can involve you too.
Indiana has grown and advanced in so many ways over the years, and through all the changes, we have maintained our Midwestern Hoosier values that prioritize family, friendship and community. The combination of that all makes Indiana a great place to live.
For me, my Hoosier pride has never faltered. I have lived, worked and raised a family in this incredible state for my entire life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It has been a tremendous honor, and one I never could have expected, to serve our state the last few years in government. I’m excited to share this story with others, and I look forward to seeing what the IDDC can accomplish with everyone in the state working toward a common goal.