In 2019, Elaine Bedel was the first executive named to head the new Indiana Destination Development Corp. by Gov. Eric Holcomb. The organization replaced the Department of Tourism, and Bedel has led its transition to a broader mission that includes enhancing the state’s economic development efforts by attracting new workforce talent. A certified financial planner, she also is founder and CEO of Bedel Financial Consulting, which manages more than $2 billion in investment portfolio assets. She is chair of the Hanover College board and has served in the past as chair of the Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards and the Women’s Fund and as vice chair for Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana.
I grew up on a farm, so my first job was chores and at a young age! Feeding and watering livestock, driving the tractor during planting and harvesting, slinging bales of hay in the haymow in the barn, working in the garden, etc.
What it taught: Work hard and get tasks done so you can move on to other activities. There was no “get out of the work” option. You had to take care of the livestock each day (can’t put that off!), and you had to plant/harvest when it was the season to do so and weather permitting. Parents and siblings all worked hard, too. Creates a strong work ethic and learned responsibility at a young age.
I’m very happy with the career I have had in financial planning. I can’t imagine doing anything else!
I find that serving the state of Indiana is rewarding in a different way.
Favorite thing about being a leader
Feeling the success of accomplishing the objective and achieving the goals. Building a team who are dedicated, focused and who work well together—because they like each other! And they believe in what we want to accomplish.
Being competitive, in a good way, provides the motivation to do my best, not just in sports, but also in business and life.
Too many to name: Women who have blazed the trail and opened opportunities for other women. Those are the women who say, “I may be the first, but I won’t be the last.”
As a leader, put ethics above all else. Set a high standard for yourself. Build a strong reputation for being a good person and protect it. Then, when others want to make disparaging remarks/accusations, there is less chance those comments will be believed. Your reputation will speak louder than their words.
In business, always do the right thing for the clients, even if it is less profitable. It will build trust resulting in greater rewards down the road.
Favorite sports teams
My grandsons’ soccer, baseball, flag football and basketball teams! And the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Fever and Indiana Pacers!•