NEWSMAKER: Lathrop named new CIB chief

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Year In Review

When Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard shook up the Capital Improvement Board’s leadership in December, local attorney Bob Grand stepped down and Ann Lathrop stepped up.

CIB oversees the city’s professional sports stadiums and the Indiana Convention Center. It struggled all year to close a projected $47 million budget deficit, slashing a $78 million annual budget to just $51 million in actual expenses.

Ann Lathrop

Lathrop, an executive with Oak Brook Ill.-based public accounting firm Crowe Horwath LLP, had served as CIB’s treasurer. Her prior career included a stint as Indianapolis city controller under Republican Mayor Steve Goldsmith. Those skills proved invaluable in 2009, when the deepening recession forced CIB to quickly replace millions of dollars in bond insurance on its outstanding debt.

“You think about the perfect storm of the recession beating down our normal revenues, whether operating or tax revenues and the perfect storm of the financial crisis meltdown … there’s been some pretty big challenges over the last 18 months,” she said.

As its leader, Lathrop has four priorities for CIB: maintaining financial stability, growing revenue, opening the expanded Indiana Convention Center, and finalizing “next steps” with the Indiana Pacers in determining future funding costs at Conseco Fieldhouse, where the team plays.

Her challenge next year will be to keep lights on and their doors open at the three facilities without making so many CIB budget cuts that they affect services, and thus game or event attendance. Lathrop said CIB can’t cut its way to prosperity. Next year it must focus on revenue generation.

“What we do not want to do is cut to a level that it starts to impact the ability to book that building. That is essential,” she said. “We have to keep services at a level people want to continue to come here as a destination. That is the balancing act.”•



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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.

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  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.