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2011 Forty Under 40: Michael Huber

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About me...
Michael Huber
Deputy mayor for economic development
City of Indianapolis
35
Web sites:
Social media:
On my hip:
iPhone
Most-used apps:
Twitter
mint.com
Wolfgang's Vault
ISO
Favorite stuff:
Friedrich Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom;" Virginia Postrel's "The Future and Its Enemies;" Jacques Barzun's "From Dawn to Decadence;" jazz musician Sonny Rollins and jazz pianists Bill Evans and Claude Sifferlen; Stevie Wonder; Sufjan Stevens; The National; Lewis Taylor and my rock band "The Population;" TV show "The Wire."
 

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.”•

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  1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

  3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

  4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

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