The incoming director of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs says the challenges facing economic development in small towns and cities revolve around work force. Bill Konyha says quality of place is also important to attracting jobs and talent. He currently serves as president of the Economic Development Group of Wabash County and will begin his post in Governor Mike Pence's cabinet in January. Konyha's previous career experiences include more than 20 years as a collegiate baseball umpire. He says those experiences have taught him that “building a sandbox” for a variety of stakeholders is a key component to accomplishing objectives.

Konhya is also the current president of the Indiana Main Street Advisory Council.

November 19, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann today announced the appointment of Bill Konyha as Director of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). Beginning on January 5, he will lead a staff of 15 that provides capacity building programs and technical assistance to rural towns and cities for community and economic development and will be a member of Governor Pence's Cabinet.

In her announcement at the Indiana Economic Forum today, the Lt. Governor noted Konyha's outstanding record of accomplishments in both the private and public sectors, “OCRA's mission is to provide capacity-building solutions which assist Indiana's rural communities in pursuing economic growth and quality of place. We are extremely pleased to have someone with Bill’s experience in economic and community development lead our OCRA team.”

Konyha comes to OCRA after 18 years in the private real estate development industry and 24 years in community development. His first venture into community-based economic development was with the highly successful Eastside Community Investments, Inc. in Indianapolis where he established for-profit divisions to support the not-for-profit activities. He later held leadership positions with economic development organizations in Tipton, Fayette and most recently Wabash County.

A past president of the Indiana Economic Development Association, Konyha is currently president of the Indiana Main Street Council and the Wabash City School Board. At the state level he served as Vice Chairman of the Indiana Bond Bank Board. In honor of his dedicated service to Hoosiers and their communities, Governor Pence recently named Konyha a Sagamore of the Wabash.

The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs' (OCRA) mission is to promote rural community prosperity to strengthen Indiana’s economy by providing capacity-building solutions to assure ready, marketable and competitive opportunities for economic growth. For additional information on OCRA and its programs visit

Source: The Office of Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann

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