Signs suggest CICP will pick inside candidate to replace Miles

The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership might announce a successor to CEO Mark Miles as early as Dec. 18, just a month after Miles said he was leaving to become CEO of Hulman & Co.

Mark Miles Miles

The speedy process suggests the CICP board had zeroed in on an internal candidate and is comfortable moving forward without doing a full-blown search, said Indianapolis human resources consultant Karl Ahlrichs.

CICP’s remaining management team includes an executive vice president—Ron Gifford—along with vice presidents Chris Watts and Latoya Alexander and Chief Financial Officer Peggy Boehm.

Gifford, a former CEO of the economic development group Indy Partnership and a former partner at Baker & Daniels, declined to discuss the selection process or whether he was a candidate.

“The board’s going to make this decision, and that process is under way,” said Gifford, who oversees public policy matters as part of his CICP role.

CICP is a coalition of CEOs and university presidents that runs four economic development initiatives: Conexus Indiana (manufacturing and logistics), BioCrossroads (life sciences), TechPoint (technology) and Energy Systems Network (energy and clean technology).

Each initiative has its own leader. Steve Dwyer oversees Conexus; David Johnson, BioCrossroads; Mike Langellier, TechPoint; and Paul Mitchell, ESN.

Miles, 59, led the organization, which has a $7.5 million budget and a 50-person staff, for seven years.

He announced Nov. 20 he was leaving to become CEO of Hulman & Co., which owns the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the IndyCar Series and other businesses.

Miles, who earned about $380,000 a year at CICP and received another $43,000 in benefits, starts at Hulman Dec. 17.

He told IBJ earlier this month that he expected CICP to select its new CEO at its regular board meeting Dec. 18.

CICP did not line up an interim CEO to cover the scenario of Miles’ leaving before his successor is hired, Gifford said.

A seven-person executive committee, chaired by Ball State University President Jo Ann Gora and Duke Realty Corp. Chairman and CEO Dennis Oklak, is leading the search.

The committee agreed not to speak publicly until it reaches its decision, said Watts, CICP’s vice president of communications and research.

Watts said the organization hasn’t limited potential CEO candidates to people from the industries it covers.

“But obviously, having an understanding of these” is a benefit, he said.

The new CEO will run an organization that has pushed for low corporate taxes and limited regulation, investing in entrepreneurship, reforming government, developing the state’s work force, and establishing mass transit.

As CEO, Miles was involved in nearly all facets of community leadership, including helping win the bid for the 2012 Super Bowl and then serving as chairman of the host committee.

Miles expressed confidence that CICP’s mass-transit efforts would be undeterred by his departure.

A task force led by Gifford failed to win passage last year of a bill that would give voters in Marion and Hamilton counties a chance to vote by referendum for or against a regional mass transit system. The measure was derailed in the House Ways & Means Committee in January after the chairman insisted it include language stipulating that workers in such a system couldn’t be forced to join a union.

“I think the right people will continue working on this, and the groundwork has been laid for success,” Miles said.

As CICP’s CEO, Miles was able to tap a vast network of contacts in business and politics to advance the group’s agendas.

He first became involved in politics in 1974, when he worked as a campaign aide during Richard Lugar’s first, unsuccessful race for U.S. Senate.

He moved on to run campaigns for Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut and for Dan Quayle when he ran successfully for U.S. Senate.

Miles led the organizing committee for the Pan American Games in 1987. Three years later, he stepped down as Eli Lilly and Co.’s executive director of public affairs—replacing himself with friend Mitch Daniels—to become CEO of the Association of Tennis Professionals.

Ahlrichs said the CICP would logically want Miles’ successor to have similar levels of connections and influence.

“This kind of an organization, the leaders are people that have the relationships that get things done,” he said, “however you want to describe ‘getting things done.’”•

Anthony Schoettle contributed to this story.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets in {{ count_down }} days.