Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and Government & Economic Development and Economic Development

Greater Indy chamber elects new leaders

December 22, 2012
thompson Thompson

John Thompson, CEO of First Electric Supply, is the new chairman of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce.

Thompson replaces outgoing Chairman Steve Walker of Walker Information. Other officers are Vice Chairman/Treasurer Mike Bosway, Secretary Melissa Reese and President Scott Miller.

The officers lead a 120-member board, which includes a 21-member executive committee.

The board has three new members: Brian Geitner, president of Dealer Services Corp.; Kathleen Lee, chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College in central Indiana; and Lisa Schlehuber, president and CEO at Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union.

The chamber’s major accomplishment for 2012 was its merger with local economic-development organizations Indy Partnership and Develop Indy. Announced in May, the merger had been in the works since 2011.

The economic development groups kept their names and continue to operate as separate business divisions. The chamber is in the process of hiring new leaders for Develop Indy, which focuses on Indianapolis and Marion County, and the Indy Partnership, which promotes Marion and surrounding counties, a chamber spokeswoman said.

• Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon are pledging $750,000 each to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s fundraising campaign aimed at ending a labor dispute with its musicians.

Along with a $500,000 challenge grant from symphony board member Yvonne Shaheen, the donations announced Dec. 18 lifted the orchestra nearly halfway toward its $5 million fundraising goal by Feb. 3. The three donations represent $2 million of the $2.35 million the orchestra has raised.

If it meets the goal, the orchestra and the musicians will enter into a new five-year contract that cuts musicians’ pay 32 percent in the first year and reduces the year-round performance schedule by eight weeks during the first two years.

Deadlocked labor talks resulted in five weeks of canceled performances earlier this year.

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