Spreading the Word in Kokomo

The proverbial "15 minutes in the sun" can last a lot longer — particuarly if one takes proper advantage.

Case in point: Kokomo and its 2011 Indiana Chamber Community of the Year award. It was announced on October 3 and will be officially presented at the 22nd Annual Awards Dinner on November 17.

The good people in Kokomo are doing things right, showing in part why they earned the award in the first place. The downtown announcement a few weeks ago attracted a good crowd and featured the unveiling of a large banner on the side of City Hall.

Community members were genuinely emotional about receiving the honor. They plan to be out in full force on November 17, celebrating along the way at the city’s own annual Alliance event on November 3.

Throw in a new logo commemorating the award and other steps to leverage the recognition and "15 minutes" has already been blown out of the water. The multi-year effort by so many to earn the title is rightfully being matched by strategic follow-up and execution.

Congrats again, Kokomo, and we look forward to hosting you next month. 

Community Winner Kokomo Overcomes ‘Rocky’ Road

The Chamber’s press release calls Kokomo — being recognized as the 2011 Community of the Year at the upcoming 22nd Annual Awards Dinner — a "comeback kid." Maybe it should have termed the city the longest of longshots since Rocky Balboa entered the boxing ring against Apollo Creed for the first time in 1976.

While Rocky didn’t win that battle in the ring (off subject: too bad they didn’t stop that Rocky series after the first two entries), Kokomo emerged from its four leading businesses being in bankruptcy at the same time and unemployment that soared above 19%.

During several recent visits to Kokomo to document its story for our BizVoice magazine and the video at the November 17 awards event (no Rocky, but Terry Bradshaw will be the featured speaker), it’s clear that sheer determination of community leaders was one of the primary reasons for the turnaround. People like their hometown, and they didn’t want it to become a victim of an economic downfall that was largely out of their control.

Congratulations, Kokomo. We look forward to sharing the story of how it all happened in the weeks ahead.

Bradshaw to Headline ‘Super’ Event

OK, we can’t be absolutely sure there will be football this summer (training camps and preseason contests) or early fall, but does anyone really believe that players and owners can’t figure out a way to compromise when $9 billion in revenues is at stake.

And Indiana, of course, has even more on the line than normal with Super Bowl XLVI (that’s 46 for those needing a Roman numeral translation) coming to Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012.

But the Indiana Chamber can guarantee football on November 17 of this year when Terry Bradshaw highlights our 22nd Annual Awards Dinner. In addition to four Super Bowl titles as a Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback, Bradshaw shines as a commentator, actor, singer, author, motivational speaker and more.

It’s always an outstanding business celebration (ask any of the 1,500-plus who attended in 2010), but it’s great to tie in to Indiana’s latest opportunity to shine on the sports world stage.

Check out today’s press release; more on Bradshaw; and a 2010 Annual Dinner highlight video.