2013 Forty Under 40: Katie Culp

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“It’s important to pick a couple of organizations, but not to spread ourselves too thin.”

Age: 35

Senior Managing Director, Principal, Cassidy Turley

Katie Culp has amassed enough frequent flier miles to move up to first class frequently. That’s good not only because she’s 5-foot-11 but also because she does a fair amount of traveling. As senior managing director for Cassidy Turley, she’s done business in 42 states, negotiating $115 million in incentives for 8 million square feet of office and industrial space.

Those are impressive numbers for someone who said she “fell into” economic development.

Culp went to Indiana University to study environmental science, but switched to public policy. She started her career with former Mayor Steve Goldsmith toward the end of his time in office and gained experience in economic development.

She moved on to the Boone County Economic Development Corp., then Indianapolis Economic Development (now Develop Indy). Cassidy Turley recruited her about eight years ago.

“My background before coming here had been almost exclusively Indiana economic development, so it’s been a great experience to see how other states and municipalities approach economic development,” she said. “That’s been a lot of fun and a wild ride.”

Culp and her team work with all kinds of businesses—heavy manufacturers, research and development, pharmaceutical companies, call centers—and assist them in finding the best location for their expansion or new operation. Their job is to prepare an in-depth analysis of whatever factors are relevant to the client’s decision, including the labor market, availability and cost of property, taxes, utilities and economic incentives.

“We spend a lot of time negotiating those packages and helping our clients realize the benefit,” she said.

Between work and home (she and her husband have two children, ages 5 and 3), there isn’t time for much else, but Culp volunteers with the Zionsville Boys and Girls Club and serves on its board.

“It’s meaningful to be engaged and spend time and invest money in an organization where you can see directly the benefits of the program,” she said.•


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  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.