City’s top economic development leader exits for private company

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Scarlett Andrews (IBJ photo)

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett needs to address the loss of two major players in his administration who dealt with economic and development issues.

Scarlett Andrews, the former Deputy Mayor of Economic Development, left her role in December to join Carmel-based real estate developer T&H Investments. Andrews’ exit came at the same time as former Director of Metropolitan Development Rusty Carr’s transition to The Parks Alliance of Indianapolis.

“We’re incredibly grateful for both Scarlett and Rusty’s leadership at the helm of the administration’s economic and community development work, executing Mayor Hogsett’s vision for our city that has resulted in a $9 billion development pipeline for downtown alone,” Aliya Wishner, spokeswoman for the Mayor’s Office, wrote in an emailed statement.

Asked about the mayor’s plan for filling Andrews’ position, Wishner didn’t have a definitive answer.

“We’re working to design the architecture of the administration around Mayor Hogsett’s vision for economic development, public safety, education, and more over the next four years,” she said. “We will have further details around personnel transitions in the coming weeks.”

In an interview with IBJ, Andrews said that she had been considering moving to the private sector and that the timing, at the end of Hogsett’s second term and the beginning of his third, seemed right.

“I had been at the city for seven years at the end of the year, and I’ve been thinking for a while that it might be time for me to transition to something and I have really been interested in private real estate development,” Andrews told IBJ. “So it was a pretty natural transition when this opportunity came along.”

“I think it makes a lot of sense to bring in new people in a third term and have a lot of new energy around policies and vision for the next four years,” Andrews said.

Andrews, now vice president of development with real estate firm T&H Investments, began her tenure with the administration as a mayor’s office project manager in 2017.

Prior to becoming a deputy mayor as part of a December 2022 reorganization, Andrews was the director of the Department of Metropolitan Development. As a deputy mayor, She oversaw Develop Indy, DMD and the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services. Andrews was paid $106,122 in 2022, according to public records. A state report for 2023—the year she spent the majority of as deputy mayor—is not yet available.

She is a board member of Tourism Tomorrow Indy and the White River State Park Commission. Andrews graduated with an undergraduate degree in International Studies and Spanish from the University of Mississippi and holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane.

Carr, who had previously served as deputy director and interim director of DMD, joined The Parks Alliance of Indianapolis as CEO Jan. 2. He was hired to the DMD director post in December 2022 after Andrews’ promotion.

He previously worked for the city as a revenue/budget analyst in the controller’s office focusing on primary revenue streams and tax increment financing. He joined the administration in 2016.

The administration named Jennie Fults as DMD’s interim director last week, according to Wishner. Fults is the administrator of community investments for DMD. She has worked for the city for over 30 years, according to her LinkedIn profile.

A job posting for the next director of DMD advertises a six-figure salary. It closes to applicants Feb. 2.

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One thought on “City’s top economic development leader exits for private company

  1. Scarlett and Rusty have been great public servants and tremendous assets to the city. I look forward to seeing them continue having a strong impact in community on the private sector side.

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