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Convening Meeting

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Background/Strategic Plan


Swezey Commerce Center

337 Columbia Street, P.O. Box 348, Lafayette, Indiana 47902

765/742-4044, Fax 765/742-6276, Web:


A focused business assistance organization combining the resources of Downtown Business Center

 Greater Lafayette Community Development Corp.

 Lafayette Urban Enterprise Association

 Lafayette-West Lafayette Chamber of Commerce

 Lafayette-West Lafayette Economic Development Corp.

Vision 2020




Convening Meeting




Lafayette-West Lafayette, Ind. May 23, 2006  Members of the board of directors of the newly formed Lafayette-West Lafayette Development Corp. met for the organization's first meeting Tuesday, May 23, at its headquarters, the Swezey Commerce Center at 337 Columbia St.


The nonprofit business assistance organization, overseen by a board of 25, combines the resources of six groups: Downtown Business Center, Greater Lafayette Community Development Corp., Lafayette Urban Enterprise Association, Lafayette-West Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Lafayette-West Lafayette Economic Development Corp. and Vision 2020. Those organizations elected board members for the new corporation, whose bylaws also call for government, education and at-large representatives.


"This signals a new day in economic and community development," said Don Gentry, co-transition manager. "Combining the resources and expertise of these organizations will exponentially increase our individual strengths and our ultimate accomplishments." 


Among the Development Corp's first tasks are merging operations of the six organizations and hiring a president and chief executive officer. Executive search firm Waverly Partners LLC is conducting a national search for someone with top-level experience to fill that post.


Representatives of the corporation spoke at a news conference following the convening meeting.


Tippecanoe County commissioner K.D. Benson said, "Tippecanoe County government well recognizes the need to invest in community development, and to do it wisely. We see this combined organization as a superbly viable way to monitor our resources and time and to work together for the good our county. It's not a job any one entity can do alone. A great deal of preparation has gone into forming the new group and to involving government, education and business."


"Purdue University, certainly, is playing an important role. And so, too, will Ivy Tech Community College, who this year is educating some 6,000 students, preparing them for today's work world. I'm pleased with the inclusiveness that is bringing so many groups to the table with one goal: our community's stability, growth, jobs and quality of life."


Lafayette mayor Tony Roswarski gave his endorsement, too. "Gone are the days when we could just hope that industries will launch here and stay here. Communities that want to make sure their residents have good jobs and a great quality of life have got to go after them and work to keep them," he said.


"Lafayette has a shining record in this regard, but we can't rest on our laurels," Roswarski said. "We must pull together with West Lafayette and the county, tap Purdue and Ivy Tech, and include our business and industry sector as we speak as one voice, well-focused on development. 'Lafayette means business' has been my mantra, and this new development corporation is just one way we're turning those words into action."


West Lafayette mayor Jan Mills, who could not attend the news conference, expressed similar enthusiasm in a statement: "Developing our community into all it can be takes cooperation and vision, something we've always done well, but now must do better than ever if we are to thrive. The City of West Lafayette is eagerly participating in the new Development Corporation. We think it's the right step forward for the future of our life science and knowledge-based businesses, our industries and our quality of life."


Victor Lechtenberg, Purdue University vice provost for engagement and a member of the new corporation's board, also released a supporting statement: "From my perspective, it's really important for communities like ours to have a coordinated, focused effort to address the broad aspects of development, both economic and quality of life. That's the array that has been covered by the six organizations represented in this new corporation, which now brings us all together so all our arrows are pointing at the same target."


Joseph Hornett, senior vice president and treasurer of Purdue Research Foundation and a member of the board, said, "The unified economic development organization and the leadership announced today will give the greater Lafayette area a competitive advantage when pursuing high-tech, high-wage jobs. With the largest cluster of high-tech jobs in Indiana, the Purdue Research Park and others locally will reap the benefits of an organization that will be known for speed, flexibility, creativity and unparalleled cooperation."


The new corporation will have a staff of 18 and annual budget of $1.7 million. Its assets include a business loan and real estate investment fund of nearly $1 million.


The convening meeting follows work that began in October 2004, when the 19-member Lafayette-West Lafayette Economic & Community Development Working Group formed and consulted with Ticknor & Associates of Winnetka, Ill. The group's report, "From Good to Great: The Organizational Strategy to Build a Unified Lafayette-West Lafayette Economic & Community Development Corp.," was released in October 2005, with a request that the organizations consider merging.


Since then, all six voted to participate in the new corporation.


About the Lafayette-West Lafayette Development Corp.


Founded in 2006 and headquartered in the Swezey Commerce Center, 337 Columbia St., Lafayette, the Lafayette-West Lafayette Development Corp's mission is to advance economic and community prosperity for a superior quality of life.


Board Members 





Lafayette-West Lafayette, Ind.  May 23, 2006  Twenty-five members have been named to serve as the convening board of directors of the newly organized Lafayette-West Lafayette Development Corp. They include seven designated members, who serve because of their government or education posts; 12 chosen by the boards of the six organizations who merged to form the new nonprofit corporation; and six others.


Designated members include the chief elected officers of the three local governments: Tony Roswarski, Lafayette mayor; Jan Mills, West Lafayette mayor; and K.D. Benson, Tippecanoe County commissioner. Serving by way of their education posts are: Martin Jischke, Purdue University president; Joseph Hornett, Purdue Research Foundation senior vice president/treasurer; Victor Lechtenberg, Purdue vice provost for engagement; and David Bathe, chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College.


Those elected by the six merging organizations include JoAnn Brouillette of Demeter Inc., Lisa Decker of Greater Lafayette Health Services Inc. and David Williams of Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union, chosen by the Lafayette-West Lafayette Chamber of Commerce; and Gary Henriott of Henriott Group, Tom Freeman of Regions Bank and Joseph Seaman of Chase Bank, named by Lafayette-West Lafayette Economic Development Corp.


The Greater Lafayette Community Development Corp. elected Richard Cosier of Purdue, Robert Reiling of Reiling, Teder & Schrier LLC and Alysa Christmas Rollock of Purdue. Mike Gibson of Mulhaupt's was named to the board by the Lafayette Urban Enterprise Association; David Zimmerman of Lafayette Community Bank by the Lafayette/West Lafayette Downtown Business Center; and John Corey, retired from Lafayette Savings Bank, by Vision 2020.


Members elected at large are Sarah 'Sally' Byrn of SSCI Inc., Don Gentry of Purdue University, Gary Lehman of Fairfield Manufacturing, Doug Mansfield of Kirby Risk, Mike Piggott of Purdue and Steve Shook of Coldwell Banker/The Shook Agency.


Alphabetical listing of board members:


David Bathe, Ivy Tech Community College

K.D. Benson, County commissioner

JoAnn Brouillette, Demeter Inc.

Sarah 'Sally' Byrn, SSCI Inc.

John Corey, Lafayette Savings Bank, retired

Richard Cosier, Purdue University

Lisa Decker, Greater Lafayette Health Services Inc.

Tom Freeman, Regions Bank

Don Gentry, Purdue University

Mike Gibson, Mulhaupt's 

Gary Henriott, Henriott Group

Joseph Hornett, Purdue Research Foundation

Martin Jischke, Purdue University

Victor Lechtenberg, Purdue University

Gary Lehman, Fairfield Manufacturing

Doug Mansfield, Kirby Risk

Jan Mills, West Lafayette mayor

Mike Piggott, Purdue University

Robert Reiling, Reiling, Teder & Schrier LLC

Alysa Christmas Rollock, Purdue University

Tony Roswarski, Lafayette mayor

Joseph Seaman, Chase Bank

Steve Shook, Coldwell Banker/Shook Agency

David Williams, Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union    

David Zimmerman, Lafayette Community Bank






Lafayette-West Lafayette, Ind.  May 23, 2006  The board of directors of the newly formed Lafayette-West Lafayette Development Corp. has elected its first officers.

  • Don Gentry, Purdue University special assistant to the provost, has been elected chairperson of the board of directors and will serve as interim chief executive officer.

  • Sarah 'Sally' Byrn, president and chief executive officer of West Lafayette's SSCI Inc., is the nonprofit corporation's vice president.

  • Anthony Benton, a lawyer with Lafayette's Stuart & Branigin, will serve as secretary and general counsel.

  • Gary Lehman, president and chief executive officer of Fairfield Manufacturing Co., Inc., is the corporation's treasurer.



Lafayette-West Development Corporation


The Corporation. The Lafayette-West Lafayette Development Corporation is an economic and community development organization serving Tippecanoe County and west central Indiana with resources that include a business loan/real estate investment fund of nearly $1 million. The corporation was created in 2006 by merging these organizations:

  • Downtown Business Center

  • Greater Lafayette Community Development Corp.

  • Lafayette Urban Enterprise Association

  • Lafayette-West Lafayette Chamber of Commerce

  • Lafayette-West Laf. Economic Development Corp.

  • Vision 2020

Mission. The corporation's mission is to advance economic and community prosperity for a superior quality of life. Key characteristics:

  • Advancement of economic, educational and cultural growth, vitality, and assets

  • Enhanced productivity and competitiveness of all private and public sector economic partners

  • A unified voice in comprehensive regional leadership, advocacy, and visioning for economic and community development supported by key organizational partnerships

  • Expanded economic, educational and cultural opportunities, incentives, and resources

  • Expanded workforce and higher incomes with breadth of talent, skills and knowledge.

Vision. The vision is to achieve preeminence as a place of choice for businesses to thrive, and for people to live, work, learn and raise families. Key characteristics:

  • Promotion of economic, educational and cultural opportunities for all residents, business and industry, and other community organizations

  • Visionary initiatives that respond to evolving economic trends and support cultural development

  • Innovations in workforce development and growth in the capacity of the community's human resources

  • Synergy among economic and cultural development resources, fostering resonating growth in economic vitality, community quality and a rich sense of place

  • Promotion of human and intellectual diversity toward a vibrant multicultural environment that is valued and celebrated by the community.

Goals. The corporation's goals are to achieve:


Thriving Business and Industry. Promote the recruitment, retention and expansion of businesses in synergy with community and neighborhood vitality. Key characteristics:

  • Increased profitability and growth of existing and new business and industry

  • Breadth of quality jobs and increased employment bases in the community that are sustained over time

  • Successful entrepreneurship and partnerships in advancing the economy

  • Synergistic, balanced relationships between business/industry growth and community development.

Growing Capital Resources. Enhance financial and physical resources with creative approaches to achieve breadth of funding and improve community property. Key characteristics:

  • Financial institutions with agility and creativity in support of business, industry and community development

  • Robust tax base for the community and its capacity for financial growth

  • Increased public and private funding for business and industry growth and community development

  • Systematic master planning for community development and property redevelopment.

Advancing Workforce Capacity. Improve human resources through a diverse, future-oriented, high quality workforce with opportunities for lifelong learning. Key characteristics:

  • A talented workforce that is qualified with current, emerging and prospective knowledge and skills toward a thriving economic environment and community development

  • A vibrant multicultural workforce with the richness of diversity at all levels

  • Abundant opportunities for professional and personal growth and change through continuing education and lifelong learning programs

  • A progressive and high quality preschool through college educational system that addresses the needs, interests and challenges facing a diverse workforce.

Engaging Leadership and Advocacy. Foster collaborative approaches and a unified voice to harmonize the networking of economic and community development leadership. Key characteristics:

  • Collaborative leadership among economic and community development partners in attracting, retaining and developing business and industry in a friendly environment

  • A progressive and high quality preschool through college educational system that addresses the needs, interests and challenges facing a diverse workforce.

  • Unity among economic and community development partners signified by a single voice for planning, priorities, approaches, implementation and organizational roles

  • Engagement of the arts and cultural organizations to create an enriched community environment that is sensitive to diverse cultures and populations

  • A community environment promoting public participation and development of new community leaders.

Staff. The Lafayette-West Lafayette Development Corporation will employ a staff of 18 full- and part-time employees, including a new president and chief executive officer. Current executive staff are:

  • Downtown Business Center: Business Development Manager (position open)

  • Greater Lafayette Community Development Corporation: Sanders W. Howse, Jr., President

  • Lafayette Urban Enterprise Association: Dennis H. Carson, Executive Director

  • Lafayette-West Lafayette Economic Development Corp.: Cinda Kelley, Executive Director

  • Lafayette-West Lafayette Chamber of Commerce: Dana Smith, President

  • Vision 2020: Kathy Dale, Executive Director.



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Lafayette Urban Enterprise Association
Greater Lafayette Commerce | P.O. Box 348 | 337 Columbia Street | Lafayette, IN 47902-0348
phone: 765.742.4044 | fax: 765.742.6276 | e-mail:


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