Two longtime execs gone from Indianapolis Downtown Inc.

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Two longtime executives of Indianapolis Downtown Inc. are no longer with the not-for-profit.

Terry Sweeney, vice president of real estate development, and Julia Watson, vice president of marketing and communications, have left the organization whose mission is to market, manage and develop downtown. Both execs have been with the 19-year-old organization since its early years.

IDI did not provide a reason for the departures.

“IDI has chosen to go in a different direction,” IDI President Sherry Seiwert said in a prepared statement. "As of Friday, there were personnel changes with the VP of marketing and communications and the VP of real estate development positions."

Sweeney joined IDI in 1994 and has been involved in one way or another in every major downtown real estate project and initiative since his hiring. Watson has been with IDI since 1995.

No decisions have been made regarding replacements for the two, IDI spokeswoman Jennifer Hanson said in an e-mail.

Seiwert, the former executive director of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, replaced longtime leader Tamara Zahn in August. Zahn was IDI's first president and had been in the post 19 years.

As of August, IDI had 14 employees and an annual budget of $2.9 million.


  • It's time
    It's time for some fresh blood at IDI, and a new focus. Julia and Terry served their city and their organization well, but Circle Centre is failing, Georgia Street isn't working out as planned, and downtown's other needs are evolving. We need some new points of view.
    During the initial push for downtown revitalization that led up to the Pan Am Games and even up to the Super Bowl, it was hard for anyone outside the "Inner Circle” at IDI and CICP to see the elitist attitudes about the ownership and control of who should be downtown. Maybe they can all go get jobs with professional sports corporations like Miles did. I am glad we had them when we did. Now move on so we can talk about without fear of persecution. It’s hard to see how to move forward with urban revitalization when you are looking down your noses at the very consumers that you want to attract. They are handling the MASS-TRANSIT issue with the same distain. The same is true at DMD. The new leadership there can offer real and substantial change to bring us to a higher level – where all are welcomed and encouraged. History has shown that more roof-tops and families are the real engine of sustainable economic development. Pro-athletes really only spend their money at Keystone at the Crossing. A new generation of urban developers who understand housing and a broader reality is what is happening now. Let’s keep changing to the next level.
  • A loss
    My personal reaction to the departure of Julia Watson and Terry Sweeney is oen of shock and disappointment. I don't have an explanation. Both served earnestly, intelligently, creatively, and loyaly. Change begets change, I guess. However, familiarity to and knowledge of the subject matter involved in both job descriptions leads me to think that IDI is worse off for these talented two business professionals departure. I'm sorry they're gone.
  • What is really going on?
    Given how important this organization has become and everything it and others groups are trying to do to get downtown to continue to head in the right direction, this situation smells fishy. Long-time execs with a good org and out of nowhere two are gone? Hmmm?

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.