The Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance’s president and chief executive officer, Charlie Sparks, is retiring later this year. Sparks joined the alliance in 2014 and highlights during his tenure include a $2.5 billion project announced this year by Stellantis and Samsung SDI.
During his 42-year career, Sparks also served as vice president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., as well as the organization’s director of business development.
“Having Charlie at the helm of the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance these past eight years has been invaluable to our community,” Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore said. “His prior experience with the Indiana Economic Development Corp. paid dividends year after year during his tenure here with the Alliance and helped Kokomo and Howard County stay competitive in our efforts to both retain and attract the quality of businesses and talent we have.”
The alliance says Sparks began his career in economic development in 1980 with the Kokomo/Howard County Development Corp. His career also includes positions with the Greater LaPorte Chamber of Commerce, the LaPorte Economic Advancement Foundation, and the Warsaw/Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce.
“Charlie has been a strong, steady advocate for our community,” Howard County Commissioner Paul Wyman said. “His depth of experience, as well as his ability to partner with the public and private sector, has led to a tremendous amount of success under his leadership at the Alliance. Charlie’s outstanding career is one that has had an impact not only locally, but across the State of Indiana. We will miss Charlie greatly, but certainly wish him well in retirement.”
Sparks will officially step down in September.