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Indy chamber names economic development exec

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An Austin, Texas, economic development manager with Indiana roots will soon be in charge of bringing new businesses to Indianapolis.

The Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday morning announced the hiring of Brian Gildea as vice president of Indianapolis economic development. He will start in early February.

Gildea, 40, is economic development manager for Austin, where he's worked for the city of 750,000 people since 2009, He previously did the same job in his hometown of Elkhart in northern Indiana. He will move back to Indiana this month and start work in February.

Gildea’s hiring was recommended by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, the Indy chamber said.

"Adding Brian’s expertise to our already successful efforts will continue to make Indianapolis a top choice in the Midwest for new and growing businesses,” Ballard said in a prepared statement.  “Austin is typically one of the most successful cities in America when it comes to economic development.”  

The chamber absorbed the city’s former economic development agency, Develop Indy, last May and has been searching for a new executive since then. The last Develop Indy director, Scott Miller, was hired as CEO of the chamber.

The chamber will stop using the “Develop Indy” brand and conduct the city's economic development work, as well as other business, as the "Indy Chamber," spokeswoman Molly Deuberry said.

Post-merger branding was a major concern for economic development officers from suburban counties, who worried that the regional effort, branded as "Indy Partnership," would be further diluted. The Indy Partnership brand is still in use but may change in the future, Deuberry said. The chamber is interviewing candidates for vice president of regional economic development now, she said.

The chamber also announced that Mark Fisher will lead its lobbying efforts as vice president of government relations and policy development. Fisher was on the Develop Indy staff and served as interim director after the merger.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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