Chamber Communications Team Earns APEX Award

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce communications team earned an APEX (Awards for Publication Excellence) Award of Excellence in a 2013 national competition conducted by Virginia-based Communications Concepts.

The winning entry was a membership advocacy video that has been used in demonstrating the Chamber’s impact on public policy and the return on investment for its members. Eight members of the Chamber board of directors from throughout the state were interviewed regarding the organization and its efforts to help produce the best possible business climate. The Chamber partnered with WFYI Productions in compiling the video.

More than 2,400 entries in a broad variety of categories were evaluated in the APEX competition. Approximately one-third earned some type of recognition.

The Chamber’s BizVoice magazine has received 63 national and state awards over the past 14 years, including the prestigious APEX Grand Award in 2012. 

A Big Day on the Education Front

Ask Indiana business men and women what the state needs to do better and sooner (often first on the list) rather than later the topic will be: improve the education of our young people. Two developments Friday were good news:

  • Current State Sen. Teresa Lubbers was unanimously chosen this morning as the next Commissioner of Higher Education. She will assume that role once the legislative special session ends. Lubbers was one of the first members of the General Assembly I had a chance to interview as she was awarded the Chamber’s Government Leader of the Year award in 1998. In working on that story, and in dealing with her on subsequent legislative topics and education initiatives, Lubbers has always been straightforward and simply dedicated to getting the job done. She has endured staunch opposition at times in the K-12 arena, but I’m confident she will partner with other innovative thinkers at the higher ed level to move Indiana forward.
  • Later in the morning, the first class of Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows was introduced in the governor’s office. The Fellows (59 of them will be attending Purdue, IUPUI and UIndy; Ball State will also be part of the program in future years) receive a $30,000 stipend to complete a master’s program. In exchange, they commit to three years of teaching in high-need schools in both urban and rural communities. This first class focuses on the hard-to-find math and science teachers with nearly all holding a STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) degree.

In addition to putting highly qualified and talented professionals (both recent grads and those with years of workplace experience) in the classroom, one of the best things about this effort is that Indiana is first in the country for this Wilson fellowship program. Both Gov. Mitch Daniels and Wilson Foundation President Arthur Levine used the words "Rhodes Scholars of teaching" in their remarks.

In Indianapolis, public television station WFYI will be producing a documentary, following the Fellows through the learning process and into the classroom. We look forward to the story as it unfolds — and the benefits for Indiana students for years to come.

The Wilson Foundation has the details.

Economic Club Hits the Road, Bringing Speakers to More Indiana Cities

The Economic Club is pleased to announce a series of presentations throughout Indiana during the summer months of 2009. These events, dubbed the "Economic Club Summer Series," will feature the same high-quality speakers that the regular season events have become known for.

"We are very excited to be bringing the (Economic) Club, in a physical sense, to other parts of the state," comments Steve Walker, president of the Economic Club.

An arrangement allowing WFYI to produce statewide broadcasts of current presentations has helped generate a great deal of interest outside of Indianapolis over the past two seasons. Hosting events in other cities is part of the continuing effort to bring the Economic Club to all Hoosiers.  

The first stop on the 2009 Summer Series tour is set for June 9 in Merrillville — featuring tax policy expert and nationally published opinion leader Scott Hodge. Indiana Pacers president Jim Morris will be the keynote speaker for a July 14 event in Evansville, and Fort Wayne will play host in August. Details for the August event and other specifics are still being finalized but will be announced soon.   

Current sponsors for the 2009 Summer Series include Ivy Tech, ProLiance Energy, Franklin College, Schmidt Associates and ESW Inc. Speaker’s Reception sponsors include NIPSCO – June; Old National, Regency Commercial Associates – July.

A variety of sponsorship opportunities remain. Contact Jim Wagner for details at jwagner@indianachamber.com.

It’s All in the Timing: Kristol, Chicago Fed President on Tap for Econ Club

The Economic Club of Indiana has a who’s who of community volunteers who take their role and the fortunes of the Club most seriously. We can be thankful that’s the case.

While the history of the Club is intriguing, this season’s lineup of speakers is a blockbuster. There were early signs that Eli Lilly chief John Lechleiter was going to use his opening address to tackle a large topic — the company’s future. He did. WFYI has the archived speech.

Coming up: political commentator William Kristol (agree or not with his philosophies, he is an equal-opportunity criticizer) on October 27 (that’s eight days before the election) and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President and CEO Charles Evans on November 21. Do you think he’ll have anything to talk about?

Sounds like a good way to spend 90 minutes at lunch time.

Gerry and Friends Keep Moving on Up

In the interest of full disclosure, the Indiana Chamber has been a partner with Inside INdiana Business (IIB) throughout its eight-year history (even though we don’t always agree with their coverage). But few would argue with this statement — Gerry Dick and his team do a great job of dispensing the state’s business news through a variety of mediums.

Indianapolis public televsion station WFYI has also been a long-term partner of IIB. The WFYI move two blocks north on Meridian Street (to the former Indiana Gas building) is also big news for IIB. The weekly TV show has a new studio to call home and the IIB team will be moving full-time to the fourth floor of the same building.

Gerry and crew are excited about the opportunities for more original web site and other content, along with coming closer to the heart of the city. We say an early welcome to the near downtown and keep up the great work in telling the state’s business stories.

The Intern Chronicles: Hoosiers Waste 2.8 Hours at Work Daily; What Time Does Deskchair Basketball Start?

I recently had the opportunity to meet Inside INdiana Business Host Gerry Dick, which highlighted yet another enjoyable and insightful week on the job. I saw him when fellow intern Hannah and I tagged along with VP of Communications Tom Schuman to the recording of a TV interview he conducted at WFYI.

It marked one of the last duties Tom will have for a while, as he took off for sunny California earlier this week to spend some much deserved vacation time with his family.  Before he left, he talked to everyone in our department to go over what we should be doing until he returns.

It’s funny; I don’t remember roller-chair rallies or office twister being on the list.

Seriously though, it looks like I’m more or less in charge of myself now that Tom, who was more or less in charge of me, happens to be 1947.3 miles away (more or less).

Now, my mother will tell you that I do possess a mischievous streak. She’s gotten rather good at deploying the “don’t even think about it” look when she can see my wheels turning (nonverbal communication at its best), but while I might be a handful at home from time to time, I know that the workplace is obviously a place for work.

Apparently, this opinion isn’t very popular among many Hoosiers, who waste more hours per day (2.8) than employees in every other state besides Missouri. This was found in a study by America Online and Salary.com, which also shows that Indiana loses $25.1 billion in wasted-time salary a year. 

If you’re reading this, Tom, you can be rest assured that your employees are not contributing to Indiana’s abysmal work behavior. Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe I’m next in line for the slip n’ slide.