Hasler Hitting an Economic Development Home Run

An Indiana Chamber member who listened in on Friday’s Policy Conference Call termed the message from IEDC chief Dan Hasler as one filled with "infectious enthusiasm." As the one fortunate to moderate that call, I wholeheartedly agree.

Hasler did an outstanding job describing the work of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and his own approach to business attraction and retention. Among his comments:

  • While the facts are all on Indiana’s side, "selling" is still a personal, emotional event
  • "You can’t make a bad move good with incentives"
  • The IEDC goal for 2012 is 250 deals, up from 219 a year ago. The early results are ahead of pace
  • "Our best leads still come from peer-to-peer referrals. You (Indiana business leaders) are the most important lead source we have"
  • Areas of improvement needed: more shovel ready sites (currently average one per county; need three or four per county) and better advertising or selling of shovel ready sites and existing facilities

Hasler reminds that the three roles of IEDC are to attract new businesses, support existing small and medium businesses, and help fund young enterprises.

Although noting he never expected to have a .gov e-mail address during his business career, Hasler admits he’s "having a ball" in his current role. Based on the hour we were able to spend with him via the phone, I say that’s a very, very good thing for Indiana.

The next call, for Chamber members, is Friday, June 1 with Todd Young, Indiana’s ninth district congressman. Register today.

Members: Attend May 4 Policy Call on State of Economic Development

The economic development headlines evolve from, in simple terms, “getting new businesses to come to the state.” But the role of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is also heavily focused on helping existing companies grow. It has a variety of initiatives, programs and strategies to accomplish both missions.

Indiana has fared better than most in the job creation game in recent years. What are the secrets to the state’s success? What are the biggest challenges to an even stronger performance? How can your company benefit from the state’s efforts?

Dan Hasler, Indiana’s secretary of commerce since September 2011, will join us to discuss these issues and more during our Policy Issue Conference Call on Friday, May 4 (9 – 10 a.m. EDT). It will be your opportunity to learn about the early impact of right-to-work, the competitive world of business attraction and much more. Your questions and comments are always welcome. This is for Indiana Chamber members only, and you can register online.