Ascend Indiana names new CEO

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Brad Rhorer

The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership on Thursday announced Brad Rhorer as the next president and CEO of Ascend Indiana, the partnership’s talent and workforce development initiative. Rhorer will succeed Jason Kloth, who is stepping down from the role next month.

Rhorer currently serves as chief operating officer and chief talent officer for Conexus Indiana, the CICP’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative.

Prior to joining Conexus, Rhorer spent 26 years in various roles, primarily in human resources, at Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. in Lafayette.

“I am honored to join Ascend Indiana as its next leader and to guide the organization as it continues to connect educational institutions and employers to in-demand talent,” Rhorer said in written remarks. “During my time at Conexus, I had the good fortune to work closely with Ascend and found their mission to be directly aligned with my core values. I look forward to continuing and advancing this incredibly important work.”

In October, Kloth announced he would step down as Ascend’s CEO Indiana “to focus on his family and spending more time with his two young children.” He will continue to consult with the organization after the new leadership takes over, the CICP said.

Kloth helped establish Ascend Indiana in 2015. The corporate partnership said since that time, the organization has received more than $50 million in philanthropic funding and has connected more than 4,700 people to jobs, internships and training throughout the state.

“As I reflect on my nine years leading Ascend, I am grateful for the exceptional team we have built, the partnerships we have developed and the impact that the organization has had in making Indiana a place of economic opportunity for all,” Kloth said.

Kloth will officially step down on Jan. 1, at which point Rhorer will assume the role.

Additionally, Ascend Indiana Board Vice Chair Bridget Boyle has been named chair of the board. Boyle, head of people and culture for Roche Diagnostics, succeeds founding chair Mark Hill, who is also stepping down at the beginning of the year.

“As I assume the role of Ascend Indiana Board of Directors Chair in 2024, I know that the year will start off strong by having an experienced leader like Brad continue the exceptional work of Jason Kloth and the entire Ascend team,” Boyle said in written remarks. “The Board looks forward to working with Brad.”

The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership is the parent of five talent and industry sector initiatives: AgriNovus Indiana, Ascend Indiana, BioCrossroads, Conexus Indiana and TechPoint.

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