Two longtime execs gone from Indianapolis Downtown Inc.

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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?

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