Then: Indiana Department of Commerce deputy executive director
Now: One Southern Indiana president & CEO
After working for the Indiana Department of Commerce, where her goal was to create policies and programs to help local communities develop and grow—and shortly after being named to Forty Under 40—Wendy Chesser left Indiana to work for a local economic development organization in southwestern Michigan. There, she helped implement the kinds of policies she’d helped to create on a state level.
Then, 4-1/2 years ago, she got a chance to do the same thing in Jeffersonville, her hometown. As president and CEO of One Southern Indiana, the chamber of commerce for Clark and Floyd counties, she’s able to advocate for the area she loves. In September, she bought a house one block from where she grew up.
“I love being home,” she said. “I sound like Dorothy, but I click my heels and, ‘There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.’”•
—Marc D. Allan