updated: 5/24/2011 3:52:06 PM

Kokomo Organizations Finalize Management Deal

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

Two business groups in the Kokomo area are joining forces. The Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance and the Howard County Convention and Visitors Commission have announced a final management agreement. Alliance Chief Executive Officer Jeb Conrad says the deal creates a "bigger support system" for long range plans.

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May 24, 2011

News Release

KOKOMO, IN – On the heels of the recent announcement at the Great Connect, both the Board of Directors for the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance and the Howard County Convention and Visitors Commission have reached a final management agreement allowing the two organizations to join forces.

In September 2010 the CVB approached the Alliance, and signed a MOU in the fourth quarter when they moved to the Main Street office. At that time, both organizations agreed to do their due diligence to explore relationship synergies while seeking a strategy that would join and organize the role of tourism within the overarching goals of economic development.

An alignment proposal was reached in March 2011, thanks to the work of the joint task force which included Tammie Bock, Jeb Conrad, Debbie Cook, James Glaub, Jan Hendrix, Peggy Hobson, Kelly Karickhoff, Richard Miller, Laura Sheets, Crista Tharp, Paul Wyman, and Cynthia Yazdani. The task force was able to review the missions of both organizations, and propose a cohesive alignment of the two organizations. This will enhance operations and programs of each organization in a way that will strengthen our community’s overall impact, and create new synergies with regard to economic development and programmatic outcomes, organizational effectiveness, financial leverage, reach, and operational efficiencies.

The Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance was formed in 2009 to combine the Kokomo/Howard County Chamber of Commerce, Kokomo Downtown Association, Inventrek Technology Park, the Urban Enterprise Association, Kokomo Howard County Economic Development Corporation, and in partnership with city and county government. The Alliance strives to align economic development initiatives, resources and innovation; build quality connected places, world class brainpower and new patterns of civic leadership; create jobs and investment.

The Howard County Convention and Visitors Commission Innkeepers Tax legislation was passed in 1982, bringing the Howard County Convention and Visitors Commission into existence. The commission’s mission is to promote the economic growth and development of the visitor industry in Howard County. “Our mission will be enhanced by this partnership. It gives our organization a bigger support system for the CVB’s projects and long range plans,” Peggy Hobson, Executive Director CVB.

According to Jeb Conrad, President and CEO of the Alliance, " This alignment gives both organizations the power to achieve consistent defined levels of growth and peak performance. We are excited to have the CVB join our team, and help us all make Kokomo great."

"This collaboration greatly enhances the opportunities for both organizations. I believe bringing together the CVB and the Alliance will positively impact the efforts and initiatives of tourism and economic development in our community," Kim LaFollette, CVB Board President. Steve Daily, Chairman of the Alliance Board agreed, "Our community will benefit from collaboration that broadens our quality of place, and leads to new investment."

Source: Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance

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