Pat Kiely, president of the Indiana Manufacturers Association the past 23 years, will retire July 1, the organization announced Monday morning. In line to replace him is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Brian Burton.
Kiely, 63, has been a fixture at the Statehouse since he was elected a state representative from Anderson in 1978. In 1982, at age 31, he was appointed chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee at a time the state was reeling from back-to-back Rust Belt recessions.
He starting at the IMA in 1991.
Kiely said he felt comfortable with both the House and the Senate of the Indiana General Assembly in Republican super-majorities and with what he described as a good relationship with the Governor’s Office.
“It’s probably stupid that I’m doing it,” he said of retirement. “But you know things are working well. lt’s time to make a transition.”
Kiely said he will spend part of his time at his second home in Florida and playing golf.
Ed Feigenbaum, who publishes Indiana Legislative Insight, recalled that Kiely was so respected as a Republican legislator that, when he was an investment adviser at City Securities Corp. in Anderson, Democratic House member John Gregg turned to him to manage his personal investments.
“His insight on the budget and Indiana economy—both public and private—have helped a generation of lawmakers shape the budget and fiscal policy,” Feigenbaum said.
An IMA committee unanimously recommended Burton, 57, succeed Kiely. A vote of directors is scheduled for Jan. 20.
Before joining the IMA, Burton was executive director of the Indiana Junior Chamber of Commerce and its charitable foundation.
Feigenbaum said Burton is a “known and trusted quantity who has earned his own reputation at Indiana's most influential largest business organizations, and his knowledge, relationships, and understanding of the legislative and political dynamics will enable IMA to not skip a beat going forward—even as his work might be a bit less flashy and public than that of Kiely.”