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2015 Forty Under 40: Betsy McCaw

January 31, 2015
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vice president of strategy and operations, Central Indiana Corporate Partnership

Growth potential: Even those who aren’t aware of Central Indiana Corporate Partnership know about the organizations under its umbrella, including TechPoint and BioCrossroads. Lesser known is Betsy McCaw’s work at the higher, partnership level. She works on projects and helps commissions with strategies to grow the region long term. “My work is spread across projects,” said McCaw, “working with various government and not-for-profit entities on projects that lead to long-term growth in the region.” One of those projects involved working with the Indiana Economic Development Corp. in examining cities and regions outside Indiana that transformed their economies and national reputations to outperform U.S. averages.

Change of plans: McCaw came to Indy after working as an executive for Bayliner, a division of Brunswick focused on the boating market. After seven years at Brunswick, she took the bold move of leaving without a safety net, asking herself, “What’s the worst that could happen if you change careers or quit your job? I can survive that. People believe they are forced to take the first thing for stability,” she said. “But to take a risk—to trust yourself and the skills you’ve built—that can go a long way in one’s career and one’s life. I feel blessed that I was in a position and had the support to be able to take the risk.”


AGE 38
Hometown: Carmel

Family: husband, Carson; stepdaughter, Grace, 6; infant daughter, Caroline


Risky business: And it paid off. After a year spent consulting on education reform, the Duke University MBA was wooed to work at a position being created at CICP. “It was exactly what I was looking for,” she said, “a position that uses my business skills and makes a direct impact on long-term progress and sustainability of a community.”

Next steps: McCaw said CICP’s mission isn’t just to enhance what’s here, but to forecast what’s coming next. “How do we make sure our region is set up to take advantage?”

Board sensible: She serves as co-chair of the urban commission for the Indiana University Public Policy Institute’s Thriving Communities, Thriving State initiative. She is also a member of an Indy Chamber economic strategy committee. Last year, she served on the Indiana Career Council Sector Strategies Taskforce, led by Indiana’s secretary of commerce. She also serves on the board of Visit Indy’s Tourism Tomorrow, where she is co-chair of its Tourism Master Plan. “I wear a lot of hats,” she said.•

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