Articles

Tourism chief excited to sell world on Indianapolis: Former Seattle exec will have work cut out for him

Few in Indianapolis’ hospitality community knew what to think when Donald Welsh announced he was leaving Seattle to lead convention and tourism efforts here. But Seattle insiders say their loss is Indianapolis’ gain. “He’s behind a lot of the energy in the [Seattle] organization and getting people engaged,” said Anthony Anton, president of the Washington Restaurant Association. That energy will be needed at the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, which is working to fill an expanded Indiana Convention Center and…

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UPDATE: New tourism chief known for energy

Seattle hospitality leaders say Indianapolis made a good choice in selecting current Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Donald P. Welsh as its new tourism leader. “[Welsh] has been a driving force in getting the state to talk about tourism and engaging the governor and mayor,” said Anthony Anton, president of the Washington Restaurant Association. […]

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Humane Society CEO steps down

Six years after taking the helm of the struggling Humane Society of Indianapolis, CEO Martha Boden has left the not-for-profit as the agency’s board looks to transform it into a “smaller, leaner organization,” Chairman David Horth said. “It became obvious to the HSI board, and to Martha, that it no longer made sense for any […]

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Analysts: Flooding to sap barge builder

Flooding on the Mississippi River will wipe out second-quarter profit for American Commercial Lines Inc., analysts at Stifel Nicolaus said in a report yesterday. Stifel Nicolaus had anticipated profit of 10 cents a share; now, the analysts expect the company to only break even. American Commercial Lines, which is headquartered in the Ohio River town […]

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Installation of Booker art moves to July 14: Nine works sprinkled downtown were inspired by auto industry, Madam Walker, among others

Now the city is ramping up to show off 10 pieces from New Yorkbased artist Chakaia Booker-all but one of which she is creating specifically for Indianapolis. Set to roll out July 14, the ambitious outdoor show features nine pieces Booker came up with after three visits to the city. One existing piece, a 6-foot sculpture made of steel and tires that resembles a palm tree, will be installed at the Indianapolis Art Center’s ArtsPark. Her new work was inspired…

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IMA Art & Nature Park outdoor exhibits will change regularly

Already draped in an ever-changing natural backdrop, the site for the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Art & Nature Park will
come to life in 2009 through eight pieces of art commissioned for the setting. But unlike traditional sculpture parks that
feature permanent artwork, the IMA’s $25 million outdoor gallery will change regularly.

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Local mental health centers caught in funding limbo: Federal effort to shift costs to states on hold, but not-for-profits’ budgets for next year must be completed now

At Indianapolis-based Adult and Child Mental Health Center Inc., Executive Director Bob Dunbar has developed a contingency plan as he works on the agency’s $25 million budget for next year. He has two versions of a spending plan for the center, which provides mental health services for 4,200 children and adults a year. One includes moderate cuts tied to state funding changes, and the other deals with massive cuts pushed by the federal government. In the worst-case scenario, as much…

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IRS requires not-for-profits to disclose more info: Organizations gearing up for new rules in 2009

For the first time in decades, the Internal Revenue Service is making a major revision to the way not-for-profits disclose information about their finances, governance and operations. Coming in the wake of scrutiny from federal lawmakers and regulators alike, the changes to IRS Form 990 that take effect next year require not-for-profit leaders to provide more information on executive compensation and potential conflicts of interest, for example. And for the first time ever, most organizations will be required to file…

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Shoe Carnival upgraded despite profit setback

A Soleil Securities analyst upgraded the stock of Evansville-based Shoe Carnival Inc. today despite a lackluster earnings report from the company yesterday. Jeffrey Stein, who declined to discuss his reasoning, moved the retailer to “Hold” from “Sell.” Shoe Carnival said net profit in its fiscal first quarter ended May 3 plummeted nearly 35 percent, to […]

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Retail survivor: resale: Consignment, thrift shops doing well despite nation’s economic slowdown

As gas prices approach $4 a gallon and economic growth grinds to a standstill, many retail shops are feeling the pain. Consumers who don’t have as much disposable income are cutting back on clothing and accessories purchases. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index dropped to its lowest level in 26 years last month, and several reports find that consumers will likely be spending their so-called economic stimulus payments on bills, not shopping sprees. But one retail category already is…

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Central Canal might get floating stage

A floating stage for concerts and a submarine memorial are in the works for Indianapolis’ Central Canal, adding to the downtown
waterway’s growing base of attractions. Efforts to develop a one-acre site at the heart of the canal, meanwhile, remain stalled.

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Stadium contractor Irish ends operations

The Frank E. Irish Co., a large Indianapolis mechanical-contracting firm that’s been working on Lucas Oil Stadium, has ceased operations, according to company President John T. Irish. Irish said the company is striving to find alternative financing in the wake of current lender National City Bank’s move on Friday to shut down the contractor’s operations. […]

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Crime-scene cleanup company eases burden of trauma victims

On any given day, employees of Bio-Trauma 911 Inc. could be dealing with everything from the mess left by a decomposing body
to a home that’s been declared a biohazard. What may sound like a scene out of “CSI” is in fact a day at the office for the
seven-person crime-scene cleanup company housed in unassuming offices in a strip center on East 56th Street at Interstate
465.

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Wheeler Mission backers to kick off fund drive: Push to address building needs, ease financial strain

In February, Indianapolis’ Wheeler Mission Ministries cut non-residential programming to stave off a budget shortfall as donations flat-lined and more homeless people came through its doors. Now the mission is facing more tough times, projecting as much as a $500,000 shortfall for the fiscal year that begins June 1. To help close the gap, supporters are kicking off Operation Restoration, a fund drive they hope will raise $11 million to help the mission expand, pay building debts, and build a…

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Black history museum loses site, may land on Indiana Ave.

The clock is running out on plans to build the Indiana Museum of African American History in White River State Park, but the
ambitious project may find a new home on nearby Indiana Avenue. Less than two weeks before the museum’s option on a two-acre
parcel of park land expires, backers were talking with IUPUI about locating the museum on unspecified university-owned land
along Indiana Avenue.

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Racing trade show not returning to Indianapolis

Performance Racing Industry, a trade show that drew 39,000 visitors when it last was hosted in Indianapolis in 2004, said today it won’t return to the city, even after the Indiana Convention Center expansion is complete. When backers were making the case for the convention center expansion, they regularly trotted out California-based PRI as an […]

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Biz cards get creative: Smaller firms turning to bolder graphics to stand out

In the face of tough economic times, many small businesses are cutting back on advertising and canceling direct mailings as they tighten their financial belts. But some are still looking to stand out by jazzing up a basic: business cards. That’s good news for local graphic design firms that specialize in business-card customization-an industry that generates an estimated $1.2 billion each year nationally. “Business has improved in this economic climate because creative cards are a cheap marketing tool,” said Don…

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Housing slump not all bad news: Slow residential market boosts some small businesses

Many homeowners watching the housing market are fretting about their property values as for-sale signs linger, foreclosure postings dot neighborhoods and credit is harder to come by. But the housing turmoil is actually helping some local businesses-particularly those specializing in marketing properties and helping to sell them. “There are positives and negatives to the housing slump,” said Brian Mayo, owner of Life Homes Inc., an Indianapolis-based property-sales and -management company started in 2005. “Purely from our business’s perspective, we’re one…

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