Booster groups Indy Partnership, Develop Indy to merge

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Local economic development boosters Indy Partnership and Develop Indy plan to merge operations to save money and more effectively pitch the city and region to businesses that could create jobs.

The organizations—Indy Partnership represents the nine-county metro area and Develop Indy focuses on Marion County—will retain their individual brands and economic-development specialties but will operate together out of the Develop Indy offices on the 24th floor of Chase Tower. The groups will share marketing, fundraising, accounting and human resources functions.

The merger, which the groups announced in a joint statement Tuesday, will result in the elimination of four or five positions, mostly through attrition. Indy Partnership has about 10 employees; Develop Indy has about 16.

Indy Partnership, which launched in 2001, will eliminate two open positions in its marketing department and an administrative position. CEO Ron Gifford will leave to become executive vice president for policy at Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, an alliance of CEOs and university presidents that absorbed Indy Partnership in 2007. Indy Partnership's senior director of business development, Scott Fulford, will become executive director.

“We have two organizations with pretty robust operations doing similar work,” Gifford said in an interview. “This lets us effectively promote the Indianapolis region and bring more business and jobs here.”

Develop Indy CEO Scott Miller will remain in the same role at the Indianapolis-focused group, which was launched in 2007 after Indy Partnership became part of CICP.

“We’re in a very tough competition for new opportunities, often going up against cities and regions that can’t match our business climate but do have more money to tell their stories,” Miller said in a statement. “This new model will allow us to maximize every dollar spent so we can aggressively pursue new job opportunities and investment from around the globe.”

The consolidation will take effect at the end of February. The groups plan a joint fundraising campaign to ensure corporate donors don't receive multiple requests to support business recruitment.


  • IndyC is right
    You said all that needs to be said. I'm done.
  • Still waiting
    I did disclose my association with the groups in my first post. I am, however, no longer marketing director for Indy Partnership or CICP. Doesn't change my position that people should try to offer something more than an anonymous attack. Didn't we just have a national discussion about civility? I adore people who disagree with me because they make me smarter, in the long run. The unsupported blather serves only to make us all stupider. Yes. Stupider.
  • what screw-up?
    Instead of the name-calling, why don't we get back to the original point - if these two organizations are getting together to save money, how is that a screw-up? Everybody's trying to consolidate government...economic development is quasi-governmental at least...why not merge?
    • Full Disclosure
      Josh you might want to disclose that you currently work for Mark at CICP as his marketing director.

      • No teeth
        I'm guessing Nick is Bob in disguise. At least offer an opinion as to why you think what you think instead of throwing mud with zero support. As Mark Twain said, "the clothes make the man, naked people have little or no influence on society." You sir, are naked.
      • Spinning makes Joshua Dizzy
        Everyone knows Bob is right.
        • Bob is a coward.
          If you are going to blame someone for something you should at least have the sand to sign your name to the accusation, Bob.

          From my perception as a former Indy Partnership team member, Develop Indy and Indy Partnership have both done some great work on behalf of Central Indiana/Indianapolis and grown their influence over the past several years as separate entities. I have no doubt that Scott Fulford, Scott Miller and their teams will continue to be highly successful at attracting new jobs here.
          • CICP
            Great job Mark Miles! you sure screwed this up.

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          1. It is nice and all that the developer grew up here and lives here, but do you think a company that builds and rehabs cottage-style homes has the chops to develop $150 Million of office, retail, and residential? I'm guessing they will quickly be over their skis and begging the city for even more help... This project should occur organically and be developed by those that can handle the size and scope of something like this as several other posters have mentioned.

          2. It amazes me how people with apparently zero knowledge of free markets or capitalism feel the need to read and post on a business journal website. Perhaps the Daily Worker would suit your interests better. It's definitely more sympathetic to your pro government theft views. It's too bad the Star is so awful as I'm sure you would find a much better home there.

          3. In other cities, expensive new construction projects are announced by real estate developers. In Carmel, they are announced by the local mayor. I am so, so glad I don't live in Carmel's taxbase--did you see that Carmel, a small Midwest suburb, has $500 million in debt?? That's unreal! The mayor thinks he's playing with Lego sets and Monopoly money here! Let these projects develop organically without government/taxpayer backing! Also, from a design standpoint, the whole town of Carmel looks comical. Grand, French-style buildings and promenades, sitting next to tire yards. Who do you guys think you are? Just my POV as a recent transplant to Indy.

          4. GeorgeP, you mention "necessities". Where in the announcement did it say anything about basic essentials like groceries? None of the plans and "vision" have basic essentials listed and nothing has been built. Traffic WILL be a nightmare. There is no east/west road capacity. GeorgeP, you also post on www.carmelchatter.com and your posts have repeatedly been proven wrong. You seem to have a fair amount of inside knowledge. Do you work on the third floor of Carmel City Hal?

          5. I don't know about the commuter buses...but it's a huge joke to see these IndyGo buses with just one or two passengers. Absolutely a disgusting waste of TAXPAYER money. Get some cojones and stop funding them. These (all of them) council members work for you. FIRE THEM!