Three Evansville-region economic and community development groups on Friday announced a merger to become one, unified organization that will align the interest of business, community institutions, and residents to drive regional prosperity and community growth.
The Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana, Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville, and the Southwest Indiana Chamber are merging effective April 1, 2021,
“All three organizations have a proud tradition of accomplishment,” said Greg Wathen, President and CEO of the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana. “By pooling and unifying essential economic development functions into a single structure, we have an opportunity to better serve the region with a bolder vision for the future.”
After merging, the unified organization plans to work to advance prosperity in the Evansville region by advancing the interests of businesses and fueling economic growth in the area. The group will focus on areas of business attraction, retention, and expansion, community development, entrepreneurship, and more.
“While many pursue a merger or organizational realignment in response to challenges, we did so in recognition of, and in pursuit of, heightened opportunity,” said Tara Barney, President and CEO of the Chamber. “The new partnership is a proactive alignment of complementary efforts to unify as one voice to deliver economic development services for the region and to market our strengths to businesses and talent looking for a great location to operate a business, to live, and to thrive.”
The new partnership will operate within Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick counties while continuing strategic partnerships with the entire MSA, some of which is in Kentucky.
Though the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana, Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville and Southwest Indiana Chamber will combine business operations during the coming year, they say details of a new brand and name will be released by early April 2021.
During the transition, the executives of the Coalition and the Southwest Indiana Chamber, Greg Wathen and Tara Barney, have agreed to serve as co-CEOs.
An early order of business for the new group will be the selection of executive leadership as well as the appointment of the new entity’s first Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
A temporary landing page for the new economic partnership has been created: evansvilleregion.com.