Boone County agency taps native as eco-devo leader

A nine-year veteran of state government has been hired to lead Boone County’s economic development agency.

Molly Whitehead joined Boone Economic Development Corp. as executive director Aug. 18, a little more than a month after predecessor Bryan Brackemyre left for a job at Ernst & Young.

molly whitehead mugMolly Whitehead

Whitehead, who declined to disclose her age, was raised in the growing county north of Indianapolis, graduating from Western Boone High School in 2001. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Indianapolis in 2004, and an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2011.

For the past two years, she has worked as a project manager at Indiana Economic Development Corp. Before that, she worked for then-Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman and the Indiana Office of Energy Development.

"Molly's experience in economic development and love for Boone County made her a natural fit for the executive director position," Boone EDC board President Eric Estes said in a prepared statement. "We have no doubt Molly will continue the economic success of Boone County."

Whitehead has spent the bulk of her time on the job getting reacquainted with the community, meeting civic and business leaders.

“The first order of business is to work on business attraction and expansion,” she said. “That’s the priority project right now.”

While at IEDC, Whitehead worked with economic development officials in 11 central Indiana counties. Although Boone County wasn’t one of her assignments, she’s familiar with its challenges and opportunities.

On the plus side: plenty of developable land and some existing buildings to give business prospects options.

And the county’s part-suburban, part-rural makeup—“What Zionsville needs isn’t the same as what Lebanon needs,” she said—will keep Whitehead on her toes.

“My job is figuring out how I can help,” she said.

Whitehead and her husband, Christopher, live in Brownsburg.

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