The three longest-serving members of the Indiana Economic Development Corp.’s board of directors, including John Mutz, are being replaced.
All three of the members—Mutz, along with James Marcuccilli of Fort Wayne and Bob Koch of Evansville, have been part of the IEDC’s board since the agency was established by then-Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2005.
The IEDC is the state's lead economic development agency. Board members are appointed by the governor.
Mutz, 81, told IBJ that he got a call several days ago from IEDC President Elaine Bedel asking him to step down from the board effective immediately so that Gov. Eric Holcomb could appoint someone new.
Mutz, a former state legislator and Republican who served as Indiana’s lieutenant governor for two terms under Gov. Robert Orr in the 1980s, said he didn’t know the call was coming but wasn’t shocked by the request. New governors traditionally clean house when they take office so that they can appoint their own people, Mutz said.
When he and Orr took office in 1980, Mutz said, “We sought and got letters of resignation from almost all the boards and commissions.”
“That’s not an unusual activity.”
After Daniels left office, Mutz said, “Frankly, I was surprised that Mike Pence asked me to stay on.”
Holcomb took office in January.
In addition to his political experience, Mutz is a former president of both the Lilly Endowment Inc. and PSI Energy, a predecessor to Duke Energy Corp.
Holcomb’s press secretary, Stephanie Wilson, did not say why the governor was making the changes.
On Friday afternoon, the governor's office said the three would be replaced by:
— John C. Lechleiter, former president, CEO and chairman of Eli Lilly and Co.
— Mark D. Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co.
— Fred J. Merritt, owner of Riverside Manufacturing.
The terms of Miles and Merritt expire March 21, 2021. Lechleiter’s term expires April 1, 2021.
IEDC board members serve four-year terms. Mutz, Marcuccilli and Koch were among eight IEDC board members whose terms expired on March 2 but the other five were reappointed, Wilson said.
The IEDC board members who were reappointed were Angela Braly, Richard Johnson Jr., Michael Kubacki, Dayton Molendorp and John Thompson.
The IEDC has its next quarterly board meeting on Tuesday.
Marcuccilli, 65, who serves as president and CEO of Fort Wayne-based STAR Financial Bank, said he also received the news via a phone call from Bedel.
“The three of us had been on the board for 12 years. I think they’re just looking to put fresh blood on the board,” Marcuccilli said. “It’s been a great honor to have served under the two governors.”
Koch told IBJ in an email, “It is time for me to step aside and be replaced with a younger individual.”
Koch, 77, is the chairman of Evansville-based Koch Enterprises Inc., a fifth-generation family business whose holdings include seven companies in such industries as manufacturing, distribution, equipment design and information technology.