A previously-announced merger of three economic development organizations in southwest Indiana is now complete and operating under a new banner and leadership.
The newly-named Evansville Regional Economic Partnership, or E-REP, says it will focus on new business attraction and retention, support of existing industry expansions, and advancing pro-economy public policies in the four-county region of southwest Indiana.
The newly-launched organization is a result of the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana, Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville, and Southwest Indiana Chamber formally joining forces.
E-REP says it will work to advance regional prosperity in Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick Counties. Its headquarters will remain in Evansville.
“Now is the right time for this new public-private partnership to seize the opportunities that build on the regional cohesion that our three organizations have cultivated,” said Jim Ryan, the initial chair of the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership. “We are coming together to build an organization that is greater than the sum of its parts; an accomplishment which we can all be proud.”
For now, the organization will operate with two co-chief executive officers, Greg Wathen, who served as the president and CEO of the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana, and Tara Barney, who was president and CEO of the Southwest Indiana Chamber.
In July, one CEO will be named.
“E-REP’S foundational principles are based on our commitment to equitable prosperity and to keeping small business front and center,” said Barney. “We look forward to listening and learning from regional residents and businesses to deliver purposeful services that will enhance the quality of life and prosperity for all.”
E-REP will be supported by a regional board of directors representing the public, private and non-profit sectors.
“In a very competitive environment for talent and opportunity, working together will significantly strengthen our region’s capacity to promote the unique assets of the region and increase opportunities for measurable success,” said Wathen.