2013 Forty Under 40: Katie Culp

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“It’s important to pick a couple of organizations, but not to spread ourselves too thin.”

Age: 35

Senior Managing Director, Principal, Cassidy Turley

Katie Culp has amassed enough frequent flier miles to move up to first class frequently. That’s good not only because she’s 5-foot-11 but also because she does a fair amount of traveling. As senior managing director for Cassidy Turley, she’s done business in 42 states, negotiating $115 million in incentives for 8 million square feet of office and industrial space.

Those are impressive numbers for someone who said she “fell into” economic development.

Culp went to Indiana University to study environmental science, but switched to public policy. She started her career with former Mayor Steve Goldsmith toward the end of his time in office and gained experience in economic development.

She moved on to the Boone County Economic Development Corp., then Indianapolis Economic Development (now Develop Indy). Cassidy Turley recruited her about eight years ago.

“My background before coming here had been almost exclusively Indiana economic development, so it’s been a great experience to see how other states and municipalities approach economic development,” she said. “That’s been a lot of fun and a wild ride.”

Culp and her team work with all kinds of businesses—heavy manufacturers, research and development, pharmaceutical companies, call centers—and assist them in finding the best location for their expansion or new operation. Their job is to prepare an in-depth analysis of whatever factors are relevant to the client’s decision, including the labor market, availability and cost of property, taxes, utilities and economic incentives.

“We spend a lot of time negotiating those packages and helping our clients realize the benefit,” she said.

Between work and home (she and her husband have two children, ages 5 and 3), there isn’t time for much else, but Culp volunteers with the Zionsville Boys and Girls Club and serves on its board.

“It’s meaningful to be engaged and spend time and invest money in an organization where you can see directly the benefits of the program,” she said.•

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