The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has named Elaine Bedel the 2022 Birch Bayh-Richard Lugar Government Leader of the Year. Bedel, who is secretary and CEO of the Indiana Destination Development Corp., was selected for her work to attract and retain talent, as well as her efforts to boost tourism through the “IN Indiana” marketing campaign.
Bedel will be presented with the award at the chamber’s Annual Awards Dinner next month.
“Elaine is a successful Hoosier businesswoman who has now dedicated herself to this new role leading the IDDC,” said Chamber CEO Kevin Brinegar. “She’s passionately putting Indiana’s best foot forward to recruit visitors and new residents to help meet Indiana’s talent needs of today and tomorrow. The ‘IN Indiana’ campaign is a prime example of where the state needs to go to compete with surrounding states and others that actively market to visitors and potential new workers.”
In 1989, Bedel formed financial planning firm Bedel Financial. In 2017, she took on the role of president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and was asked to lead the IDDC in 2020.
“I never expected to be recognized in this manner,” Bedel said of the honor. “I appreciate it and it’s reassurance that we’re making progress – and together we can do something very good for the state. I want Indiana to be seen as one of the best states in the country. I think we can achieve that, and the award helps me feel good about other people thinking it’s important as well; it’s not just me talking in the wilderness. That’s very gratifying.”
Last year’s award was given to State Senator Mark Messmer (R-Jasper).
The Indiana Chamber’s 33rd Annual Awards Dinner will take place November 16 in Indianapolis. The ceremony will include presentation of the Cummins Community of the Year to the city of Columbus, the NextEra Energy Resources Dynamic Leader of the Year to Rupal Thanawala, and the Ogletree Deakins Business Leader of the Year, which will be announced at the awards program.