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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. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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