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2011 Forty Under 40: Paul Okeson

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About me...
Paul Okeson
Vice president of business development
Keystone Construction Corp.
38
Web sites:
On my hip:
iPhone
Most-used apps:
E-mail
iPod
Word MS office products
Excel
Favorite stuff:
Running; triathlons; reading hand-me-down Sports Illustrateds; playing school with daughter Cate; music groups, including The Fray and Living Proof.
 

As chief of staff to Mayor Greg Ballard for two years, Paul Okeson helped Ballard make the transition from candidate to chief executive. In his current job as vice president of business development for Keystone Construction Corp., he’s helping the company expand into areas such as health care, life sciences and higher-education construction.

But Okeson, who also sits on the Capital Improvement Board, 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee and Indiana Sports Corp. board, likes to talk about a different area of his life: being the “proud father” of a 5-year-old daughter.

“Too often the focus is on material-type achievements,” he said. “Real success comes in making sure you have time to spend with people you care about and you love. Life’s about the human experience, not just dealing with issues.”

That said, Okeson has spent a lot of his work life dealing with issues. Before joining the Ballard administration, he served as chief of staff to Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita, as a director at the Indiana Department of Public Health and as branch manager for the Indianapolis planning firm Bernardin Lochmueller & Associates Inc.

In the mayor’s office, he helped make government more efficient. “We’ve been able to honestly balance the budget the first few years of the administration—not spending a penny more than we took in.”

And he’s particularly proud of the Super Bowl Host Committee’s work, especially its effort to revitalize the city’s east side.

“People say it’s more than just a game,” he said. “We wanted to say it’s far beyond that for Indianapolis. It’s about leveraging the sports city we built into revitalizing some areas of our community. Hopefully, that will be a template that can work its way around the city.”•

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

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