Indianapolis Business Journal – March 22-28, 2019


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In This Issue

Front Page

Not-for-profit CEO who duped board tries to make most of second chance

ProAct, an Indianapolis not-for-profit that focuses on engaging at-risk youth and corporations in public service projects, is trying to rebuild after a challenging year in which the entire board quit over disagreements with CEO Derrin Slack.

$3M grant puts Big Car on fast track

The Lilly Endowment is paving the way for the renovation of a 40,000-square-foot vacant factory in the Garfield Park area into artist studios, performance spaces, a public cafe and more.

Tech veteran Becker fights to save SteadyServ

A longtime tech leader has stepped in to try to turn around one of the most-ballyhooed startups in state history but one that has perennially underachieved and burned through $30 million in capital.

Top Stories

Hotel Tango preps for statewide push

The craft distiller’s products already are available at about 700 of the state’s 4,000 outlets licensed for retail alcohol sales, but company officials have far higher ambitions.

Eleven Fifty moves into next gear, enhances accessibility

The coding academy is offering part-time boot camps for the first time, introducing a new way for students to finance tuition, and targeting veterans for its programs.

Legislation would increase physical therapists’ autonomy

A bill advancing through the General Assembly would allow PTs to be regulated by their peers, a move that would remove much of the medical hierarchy from the process.

Q&A with Robert Hearst, owner of meat and produce grocery

In January, Hearst and his wife, Sonya, opened A&I Variety Meats and Produce, a grocery at the corner of East 38th Street and North Post Road.

Lucas Oil Stadium in line to get $7M in Wi-Fi improvements

The wireless infrastructure at Lucas Oil Stadium could see significant improvements in the coming months as part of a three-way deal between the Colts, the Capital Improvement Board and Verizon.

Disciplinary commission accuses Attorney General Hill of misconduct at party

A complaint filed Tuesday by the Indiana Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Commission alleges that Curtis Hill committed criminal acts of battery by groping four women at a party after the 2018 legislative session. The misconduct charges could impact Hill’s ability to continue serving as AG.

Challengers withdraw effort to replace IPS teachers union, but pledge to try again

The Indianapolis Teachers Society, an upstart group led by teachers who had lost faith in the Indianapolis Education Association, launched a push to replace the union earlier this year after IEA’s president stepped down amid allegations of financial mismanagement.

New owner of historic White Castle building ordering up rehab

Jason Hartman plans to fix up the turreted downtown building—one of White Castle’s first generation of fast-food restaurants—and lease it to a new user as retail, office or live-and-work space.


Data-privacy expert Cate: Cybersecurity will continue to be ‘growth industry’

Fred Cate, vice president for research at Indiana University, says data and privacy issues in the United States will always be difficult because an open society means people weigh their independence against the inconvenience of security.

RON PELLETIER: Take these steps to reduce your risk of a security breach

According to data-threat researcher the Ponemon Institute, you are more likely to have experienced a data breach of at least 10,000 records than you are to have caught the flu this winter—and, mind you, it has been a bad flu season.

Are too many tech firms seeking ‘Goldilocks’ employees, rather than developing pipelines?

tech watch video icon fisherGiven the talent shortage in Indiana and nationwide, companies must learn to "build capacity internally," TechPoint CEO Mike Langellier told a crowd at IBJ's Technology Power Breakfast on Friday.

In new book, Lessonly’s Max Yoder urges bosses, employees to ‘be vulnerable’

“We clearly don’t have all the answers, but sometimes we posture as though we do,” Yoder tells IBJ. “And when we do that, we really can decrease the amount of communication on the team.”

Sharpen Technologies lines up $15M in growth capital

The customer-service software firm plans to use the investment to add products and sales staff.

Facebook says service hindered by lack of local news

The social media giant said it has found that 40 percent of Americans live in places where there weren't enough local news stories to support its new service.


Editorial: Hoteliers’ objections up pressure on city to be more transparent

It’s time for the Hogsett administration to put all the numbers on the table. They may be justifiable. But keeping the public in the dark isn’t.

GREG MORRIS: How an office move can help reignite a company

An efficient, modern space is already paying off for IBJ Media and its employees.

Brian Schutt: Next Level Jobs is critical to state economy

Through a Next Level Jobs grant, Homesense recently facilitated testing and training on the popular assessment tool Gallup StrengthsFinder, which provided a unique lens for our team to see themselves and others and has deepened our internal relationships and teamwork. This investment wouldn’t have taken place without Next Level Jobs.

JEFF SMULYAN: Federal child care support is good for business

Without affordable, high-quality child care, working parents are understandably distracted by thoughts of the most important thing in their lives: their children.

Charlotte Westerhaus-Renfow: Why millennials say they avoid negotiating

It may be argued that the importance of negotiating for consumer goods, even big-ticket items, is not as important as big business deals. However, most big deals are built on a series of smaller deals that use effective negotiation strategies and techniques.

BOHANON & CUROTT: Use incentives, not mandates to improve the climate

From an economist’s perspective, the simplest and most straightforward way to speed the evolution from fossil fuels to clean energy—if that is what we want—is by directly taxing the attribute of fossil fuel that is offending: its carbon emissions.

KIM: Kraft Heinz debacle proves not even Buffett immune to mistakes

Buffett subsequently acknowledged Berkshire/3G overpaid when they arranged for Heinz to buy Kraft to form Kraft Heinz in 2015, noting, “the business does not earn more because you pay more for it.” 

Ed Feigenbaum: Here’s why the budget negotiations are unpredictable

The inter-chamber dynamics are fascinating, but there’s no time for petty politics in shaping this budget.

Letter: Will indifference save Brainard?

Fred Glynn’s challenge in Carmel is not the incumbent mayor but the epidemic indifference of the city’s voters.

LETTER: City should have one school system

You would think all these years since Unigov that we should have finally gotten around to one public school system, not nine.

In Brief

City-County Council approves $7 million tax abatement for Eli Lilly

The council voted 19-6 to approve Lilly’s request, which is tied to the firm’s pledge to spend $91 million on a building at its Lilly Technology Center that will house the company’s biosynthetic human insulin production operations

Indiana’s neighbor sees big surge in hemp sales

New annual sales figures solidify Kentucky’s reputation as a leader in the comeback of hemp, which was removed from the list of federally controlled substances in last year’s federal farm bill.

Attorney renovates bank near criminal justice center campus, seeks office tenants

The owner of Dean-Webster Legal LLC and her husband bought the 1.7-acre parcel last year and hope to attract other professionals who want a straight shot up Southeastern Avenue to the campus.

South Side Landfill planning $25 million methane-conversion project

The landfill is teaming up with two energy companies to capture methane at the landfill and convert it into renewable energy. The partnership is seeking a tax abatement on the project.

Indiana Black Expo purchases east-side building for new headquarters

Indiana Black Expo said it plans to spend $4 million to renovate the Crossroads Bible College building in several phases.


MIKE LOPRESTI: Led by a Trojan, IU swims back to top of sport

Ray Looze made Indiana a powerhouse again. Even Marge Counsilman would approve.