IDI taps not-for-profit veteran to succeed Zahn

Indianapolis Downtown Inc. announced late Monday afternoon that it has named Sherry Seiwert, executive director of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, as its president.

Seiwert, who replaces longtime leader Tamara Zahn, will begin her duties on Aug. 6. Zahn was IDI's first president and has been in the post 19 years.

IDI, a not-for-profit charged with marketing, managing and developing the downtown area, had said Zahn would leave once a successor was found. The group had set a target date of June.

Seiwert has been executive director of the state authority since 2005 and manages a staff of 90, an annual operating budget of $14 million and project budget of more than $500 million.

“Sherry’s expertise and talent make the perfect combination for IDI,” board Chairman Dennis Sponsel said in a prepared statement. “She is an excellent leader who understands downtowns and the importance of listening and collaborating. Her ability to set a vision, lead a staff and raise funds will be invaluable.”

Seiwert previously spent eight years as program director for Local Initiatives Support Corp. She also was an administrator and project manager for Indianapolis’ Department of Metropolitan Development from 1993 to 1997 and executive director of United Northwest Area Development Corp. from 1989 to 1993.  
She serves on the board for the Economic Club of Indianapolis and the advisory committees of LISC and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis.  
An Indianapolis native and 1986 graduate of Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, she and her husband have a teenage daughter.

IDI hired a national executive search firm, DHR International, to find a replacement. Jeff Fusile, senior vice president at WellPoint Inc. and a member of IDI’s executive committee, led the search committee.

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