Thank you for joining us at Engage West Central Indiana-Terre Haute! We hope you walked away informed by the frank discussion of efforts to solve housing and childcare shortages in the area and energized by the Terre Haute region’s appetite for attracting visitors and investment and making West Central Indiana a great place to call home. We’re excited to see what’s ahead.
Speaker / Moderator
Bradley B. Chambers
Secretary Chambers was appointed Secretary of Commerce for the state of Indiana and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation by Governor Eric Holcomb in the summer of 2021, serving as a member of Governor Holcomb’s cabinet and leading the state’s economic development efforts.
For more than 37 years, Chambers has been a leader in the investment, development and management of high-quality multifamily and mixed-use properties across the nation. As founder, president and CEO of Indianapolis-based Buckingham Companies, Chambers has led the strategic direction of the company’s integrated divisions since he started the company as a student at Indiana University in 1984.
In addition to his role at Buckingham Companies, Chambers also serves as a founder and board member of the Buckingham Foundation Inc., a philanthropic organization focused on making a positive impact on communities within the mission areas of affordable housing, community and economic development, arts and culture, and childhood hunger. To date, the foundation has awarded more than $2.5 million in grants and sponsorships to 600 nonprofits.
Among his other community activities, Chambers serves as the chair of the Indiana State Fair Commission. He also is a member of the National Multi-Housing Council and Young Presidents’ Organization and serves as trustee for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
In June 2000, broadcast news veteran Gerry Dick and technology entrepreneur Scott A. Jones formed Grow INdiana Media Ventures, LLC, a media company created to deliver Indiana business news and information through multiple media sources. Mr. Dick is president and managing editor of Inside INdiana Business, a division of IBJ Media.
GIMV properties include the EMMY-award-winning Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Indiana’s most-watched local business television program; InsideIndianaBusiness.com; Inside INdiana Business Radio, The INside Edge Morning Briefing and Midday e-newsletters and a variety of interactive and mobile media products.
Mr. Dick is also a frequent keynote speaker and moderator on issues related to the Indiana economy and serves as a business analyst for CBS4 & FOX 59 (Indianapolis) and 93.1 WIBC (Indianapolis).
Mr. Dick's broadcast news background includes 14 years as a principal reporter and field anchor at WRTV (ABC) in Indianapolis. While at WRTV, he reported on issues facing communities throughout Indiana and neighboring states. His work received an Emmy nomination for a 1993 series on Indiana companies doing business along the U.S.-Mexico border. He has also held reporter and anchor positions at television stations in Fort Wayne and Terre Haute.
Prior to the creation of Grow INdiana Media Ventures, Mr. Dick served as senior vice president of the Indianapolis Economic Development Corporation, where he was responsible for a broad range of initiatives, including marketing, communications, advertising and media relations.
Mr. Dick has three times been presented with the state’s top honor, the Sagamore of the Wabash, by Governors Kernan, Daniels and Pence. He has also received Ernst and Young’s prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award and been recognized by the Small Business Administration as its Journalist of the Year. Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick has received an EMMY five times for best interview/discussion program/series or special.
Mr. Dick is a native Hoosier, born and raised in the Vermillion County community of Clinton. He is a graduate of Indiana State University, which has recognized his professional accomplishments with its Distinguished Alumni Award.
He is a member of the board of directors of The International Center and past board member of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, serves on the Board of Advisors at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the Dean’s Executive Council at the Scott College of Business at Indiana State University and is a founding member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Indiana University School of Informatics. Mr. Dick also serves as chairman of the Scholarship Selection Committee for Vectren Corporation and is an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Indianapolis.
Mr. Dick is married to the former Roz Redman of Dana, Indiana. Roz and Gerry are residents of Lawrence Township in Indianapolis and have three children.
Deborah J. Curtis
Deborah J. Curtis began her tenure as the twelfth president of Indiana State University on January 3, 2018. She is the first female and only the second graduate of Indiana State to serve as president. She came to Indiana State from the University of Central Missouri where she had served as provost and chief learning officer since 2012.
Prior to becoming provost at Central Missouri, Curtis served as dean of the College of Education at Illinois State University from 2006 to 2012, interim dean from 2005 to 2006 and as director of the Cecilia J. Lauby Teacher Education Center and Clinical Experiences and Certification Processes from 2001 to 2005. She served on the faculty of Illinois State for 26 years, advancing to the rank of full professor.
Curtis earned her Ph.D. from Indiana State University in curriculum and instruction with specializations in secondary education and supervision of instruction. She holds a master’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois and a bachelor’s degree in music education from MacMurray College.
Throughout her career, Curtis has served her community and profession through engagement in a variety of service roles in Illinois, Missouri, and now Indiana. Some of these include the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce Board, the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, Indiana Chamber Board, Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation Board, Indiana Campus Compact Board, NCAA Division I Presidential Forum, and the Indiana Chamber 2025+ Task Force.
Curtis and her husband, Lynn, are the parents of five children and nine grandchildren. Lynn worked in public education for nearly 40 years as a teacher, coach, athletic director, principal and school district superintendent.
Rachel Joann Leslie is the face behind the name at RJL Solutions. With a fierce desire to bring good things to Indiana, Rachel’s journey has been lined in understanding her community and fighting for what it needs.
Rachel founded RJL Solutions in the summer of 2017 where she recognized the importance and value of advocacy and representation. The firm began as an advocacy firm and has since expanded to the marketing, public relations and community development industries.
As an experienced collaborator and registered lobbyist, Rachel advocates on behalf of her clients, strategically bringing them state and federal relationships and unique resources while also working to educate others on specific issues and promote public/private partnerships. Rachel has over 15 years of experience in government relationships, strategic communications, community development, event management and intentional collaboration.
Rachel holds a Master of Leadership Development degree from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a B.S. degree in Speech Communication Public Relations and Journalism from Indiana State University. She is a graduate of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Executive Association Chamber University, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute of Organizational Management and the Indiana Leadership Forum. She served the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce in many capacities for seven years, including Executive Vice President, and was the Vice President for External Relations at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College for five years.
Rachel participates on a number of community and professional boards and committees, including the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Governor’s Defense Taskforce. She has previously served as President for the National Defense Industrial Association Greater Indiana Chapter, President of the Terre Haute Regional Airport Board Authority, and Vice President of the Indiana Defense Network.
Rachel lives in Terre Haute, Indiana with her husband, Broc, and their two boys, Beau and Luke. Often times, you can find their family outside, whether that be hunting or fishing or somewhere near a baseball mound.
Ryan Keller is the Executive Director at Thrive West Central, a nonprofit organization. Ryan and his team repositioned Thrive West Central in 2020 as an innovative regional driver with a mission to create thriving communities in West Central Indiana by improving the overall quality of life and economic prosperity for all. Thrive does this by offering over 50 unique programs and services, from aging-in-place programming to rural transit, housing, a revolving loan fund, other community development, and quality-of-life programming. Thrive’s services and programs focus on building age-friendly communities, improving the quality of life, promoting population growth, and increasing the per capita personal income throughout West Central Indiana.
Ryan has a background in nonprofit organizational development, K-16 education, instructional design, marketing, entrepreneurship, strategic planning, and leadership development. Prior to West Central, Ryan was the Chief Operating Officer at Certell, a worldwide nonprofit focused on digital social studies education, personal finance, and good citizenship courses.
Before Certell, Ryan worked for major and minor league baseball teams, the NFL, national and local agriculture companies and taught in K-12 and collegiate institutions. He earned a master’s degree in Leadership Development with a focus on nonprofit organizations from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College and a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in Plant Science and Agronomy, with an emphasis in turf science.
Ryan lives outside Brazil, a small West Central town, with his wife and three children. Ryan serves as a school board member for Clay Community School Corporation, on several nonprofit boards, and volunteers his time creating a better quality of life for members of his community.
Gregory L. Gibson resides in Terre Haute, Indiana and is known for his strong track record of entrepreneurial success in a variety of business ventures located throughout the United States, with business operations including commercial real estate development, the hospitality and food service industry, trucking, excavation, the coal industry, solid waste landfill development and waste industry advisory services.
Gibson has owned and developed several privately held companies which were later sold to publicly owned companies located throughout the United States. In particular, over the past 30 years, Gibson has obtained extensive experience in the successful development and operation of waste management companies, including both integrated and non-integrated business operations. He has owned and operated landfill, hauling and transfer station operations in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Wyoming, Idaho, Arizona and Texas. He is highly knowledgeable of the waste management industry as demonstrated by his ongoing role as a consultant to several major publicly held waste management companies. Gibson’s background has enabled him to develop critical political and regulatory expertise, which has resulted in a good working relationship with many local and state regulatory agencies.
Gibson serves his community and state in many capacities. He was appointed to the Indiana Judicial Commission, by the Governor of the State of Indiana, which is responsible for the nomination of judiciary candidates for the Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana Court of Appeals. He currently serves on the Indiana Port Commission by appointment of former Governor Mike Pence and reappointment by Governor Eric Holcomb. The Indiana Port Commission oversees operations at the Ports of Indiana in Burns Harbor, Jeffersonville and Mt. Vernon. The Port Commission is involved in assisting economic development projects throughout the State. He also served on the Nominating Board for the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission at the request of Governor Mitch Daniels. Currently, he serves as chairman of the Terre Haute Convention and Visitors Bureau.
In addition to his waste management, political and regulatory backgrounds, Gibson has a B.S. Degree in Civil Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where he serves on the Board of Trustees. In 2017, his Alma Mater awarded him with an Honorary Doctorate. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors for First Financial Bank and its holding company, First Financial Corporation. He is involved in several charitable organizations which include the Methodist Health Foundation, the Bird-Gibson Sports Center, Hospice of the Wabash Valley, Visiting Nurse Association and the Weatherby Foundation. He serves as Board Chairman for the Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of the Wabash Valley. He was formerly affiliated with the Terre Haute Children’s Museum, Salvation Army, Sheldon Swope Art Museum, Family Service Association, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, and was a founding member of the Vigo County Capital Improvement Board.
Greg was born and raised in Terre Haute. He is married to Amy (Zwerner) Gibson, who also grew up in Terre Haute. They have two children, Jack and Lucy.
He is an avid sportsman and has hunted all over the world. His hunting activities include 30 trips to Africa. He is a member of several hunting and fishing organizations, including Safari Club International and the Shikar Safari Club.
Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management
Indiana State University
Terre Haute, Indiana
Dan has more than 40 years of experience and practice across various management disciplines. His construction and management responsibilities at Garmong have included all facets of project delivery while interfacing with clients, subcontractors, risk managers and government officials.
Today, Dan continues to represent clients with the development and construction of municipal, county, private industrial projects, and electric utility facilities. Additionally, as a retained consultant and mentor to the White County Commissioners and White County Economic Development Organization, to the City of Lawrence, IN, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), and to the Jackson County Redevelopment Commission, Dan assists and/or is responsible for economic development strategies and attraction, land use strategies and regulations, industrial park development, and the management of their construction projects.
Dan has been married to his wife Joan since 1977. They are blessed to have a son (Josh) and daughter (Jackie) who serve as the CEO and COO of JOINK, a Vigo County based provider of underground broadband fiber, ISP, and hosting services. They have three granddaughters. Dan has received numerous honors throughout the years for public service. His personal hobbies include shooting competitive sporting clays plus collecting and developing highly accurate and technically engineered air rifles.
PROJECT EXPERIENCES INCLUDE:
City of Lawrence, IN
Acting under contract through Garmong to the City of Lawrence, Dan serves as the community’s Director of Economic Development. In this capacity, Dan assumes responsibility, oversight, and/or provides input in the following areas:
- Consultation to Mayor Collier
- The City’s real estate holdings and development
- Zoning and variances – advisor to the BZA
- Economic development attraction and/or support
- Business retention and expansion
- Serves as Indiana Governor Holcomb’s appointment to the Indiana Defense Task Force
Midwest Energy & Communications SMART Park – Cassopolis, MI
MEC engaged Dan to lead every aspect of developing a new 420 acre rail served industrial park along CN Rail’s mainline double track serving Chicago to Detroit. This park features massive amounts of power, broadband, and other supporting utilities, all initially developed under Dan’s leadership. MEC recently attracted Norsk Hydro, a $150M aluminum recycling plant to the park, anticipated to be completed and fully operational in 2024.
Jackson County I-65/ST Road 250 Interchange Development – Uniontown, IN
Currently, Dan is leading the deployment of critical water and wastewater collection infrastructure, plus the implementation of new land use policies and statutes, to allow an area of 600+ acres to allow the County’s commercial, residential, and industrial development objectives to be achieved.
National Hot Road Association (NHRA) & Commerce Park at Brownsburg
Dan is serving as a consultant to the NHRA, anticipated to result in significant campus improvements to the Indianapolis Raceway Park. In addition, Dan is leading the development of a new 50 acre Commerce Park that has been specifically zoned to promote the development of Indiana’s Motorsports industry.
White County, Indiana Commissioners – Monticello, IN
Dan’s services as consultant to White County have been retained by the County Commissioners since 2011, when he was engaged to lead the development of a new rail served industrial park, now consisting of 2,200 acres under TIF, with the first phase consisting of 660 acres, located half way between Chicago and Indianapolis only 1 mile off of I-65. The Park has successfully attracted two major industries resulting in more than $100M in private capital investment to date. $15M in additional infrastructure upgrade projects were completed in 2022 to spur additional investment and facilitate large economic development opportunities.