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NATE FELTMAN: Move to Circle shows commitment to city

June 22, 2018

feltman-nate-commentary-2018We’re moving on up! Not to the east side, but to Monument Circle. Did you get “The Jeffersons” reference? I thought it appropriate because the show was one of the most popular sitcoms airing when IBJ was founded in 1980.

After more than 20 years at the corner of Washington and Pennsylvania streets, IBJ will move its corporate headquarters in March to One Monument Circle. We will reside on the third floor of the “electric building” that also serves as headquarters for Indianapolis Power & Light Co.

Our move to the very heart of our city represents our commitment to Indianapolis and the importance of our publications and reporting to the city. IBJ was sold to an out-of-state conglomerate of business journals in 1986, and changed hands again before Mickey Maurer and Bob Schloss bought the company in 1990, bringing IBJ back under local ownership and reinfusing its original entrepreneurial spirit.

Since I became a co-owner last fall, I have been astonished by the number of people who have told me how much they rely on IBJ for their news and information. This is a source of pride—as well as a sense of responsibility—to all of our 50 employees and to me and my business partners, Mickey and Bob. Our team works incredibly hard to get the facts right and highlight issues that are important to the vitality of our community.

As IBJ approaches its 40th anniversary in 2020, it is fitting that we are moving to one of the most historic and important addresses in our state. The dedication of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument occurred in 1902. The monument was the first in America dedicated to the common soldier. The building we will move into was constructed for the Continental Bank in 1924; IPL moved its headquarters there in 1935.

Since our city’s founding in 1821, the Circle has been its most prominent gathering place. From the Circle of Lights tree lighting to the July 4 fireworks, Strawberry Festival, and the many parades and pep rallies, the Circle is the symbolic heart of our city.

We are excited to join our new neighbors on the Circle, and I’m especially excited to look up often at the 30-foot, 10-ton “Goddess of Victory” crowning the monument with her symbolic sword representing victory, her torch representing the light of civilization, and an eagle representing freedom. Although officially her name is “Victory,” Col. John W. Foster, who served as secretary of state under Hoosier President Benjamin Harrison, referred to her as “Goddess of Victory”—I’m going with the colonel.

Many, including most recently the Indy Eleven, have incorporated the Goddess of Victory into their logos. Given that we are in the media business and therefore passionate about freedom of the press and the importance of the press to a free society, I love the reminder of battles won, the sacrifices of those who fought for our freedoms, and the importance of liberty that the Goddess of Victory will provide us every day.

A big thanks to Rafael Sanchez, former CEO of IPL, for making the possibility of a move to the Circle a reality. We are excited about the enhanced visibility our new address will bring as we continue our traditional role of keeping you informed of the latest happenings in business and work to develop more products and services that keep you connected and in the know.•

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Feltman, an attorney and former Indiana secretary of commerce, is a shareholder in IBJ Corp., which owns IBJ. To comment, send email tonfeltman@ibj.com.

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