Deputy mayor for economic development
City of Indianapolis
Michael Huber doesn’t get a lot of praise in his job. As Indianapolis’ deputy mayor for economic development, his phone calls and e-mails mostly come from people who want something.
“That’s just part of the job,” he said. “So many neighborhood leaders, community leaders, business leaders, they’ve got your cell phone, they’ve got your e-mail and they have really urgent needs and they expect you to respond really quickly.”
After starting his career working in management consulting, Huber, 35, went to the Kelley School of Business for his MBA. In his second year of business school, he got involved with the Mitch Daniels campaign, and then went to work for the governor after graduation. After three years, he went to work for Indianapolis mayoral candidate Greg Ballard, joining the administration after Ballard was elected.
He can boast about the efforts behind the $150 million plan to transform the South Street corridor, Indiana University Health’s (formerly Clarian) expansion ($192 million capital investment creating an estimated 1,100 jobs over the next seven years) and the parking meter modernization proposal. But Huber said the highlight so far has been passing the proposal to transfer the city’s water and wastewater utilities to Citizens Energy Group. He was project manager for that initiative.
“We were able to come up with a plan that we feel is transformational, and now we’re beginning to see the economic effects around Indianapolis when we see construction signs all over the city,” he said. “Michigan Road is getting a sidewalk on the northwest side, which they’ve been requesting for years and years and years. I think that’s been the most gratifying thing.”
Huber, who sits on several not-for-profit boards, including Indianapolis Downtown Inc. and the youth-intervention program Stopover Inc., has lived in Indianapolis for 10 years. His wife is from California. Both have a passion for the city.
“This position puts you in touch with so many people—the business community, the non-profit community, the government,” he said. “There are people who are doing really amazing things. That part of the job, for me, is really exhilarating.”•