Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dialing Changes Coming to Southern Indiana in Early 2015



How you dial out on your your cellphone or land line phone will be affected by some changes coming in early 2015. Our friends at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce sent out this great summary on the upcoming dialing changes that will affect the southern third of our state. Take a moment to read through and check out the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) web site or view their FAQs at

We, and many others, have told you about the new area code coming to the southern third of our state. The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, and its IN 812 industry group, prepared the following update (including effective dates and equipment upgrade procedures, if necessary) for Indiana Chamber members and the broader community.Consumer Counselor, and its IN 812 industry group, prepared the following update (including effective dates and equipment upgrade procedures, if necessary) for Indiana Chamber members and the broader community.

To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the new 930 area code will be added to the area served by 812. The new 930 area code will serve the same geographic area currently served by the existing 812 area code, which generally covers the southern third of the state of Indiana serving communities such as Bloomington, Columbus, Evansville, New Albany and Terre Haute. This is known as an area code overlay.

What is an area code overlay?

An overlay is the addition of another area code (930) to the same geographic region as an existing area code (812). An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code.

How does this affect Chamber members?

As a result of the overlay, a new local dialing procedure requires callers to dial area code + telephone number. This means that all local calls in the 812 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using area code + telephone number.

Chamber members that have services and equipment currently located in the 812 area code and programmed to dial only seven digits must be updated or reprogrammed to dial area code + telephone number for all calls in the 812/930 area code.

What will be the new dialing procedure?

To complete local calls, the new dialing procedure requires callers to dial area code + telephone number. This means that all calls in the 812 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using area code + telephone number. The same dialing procedure will apply to telephone numbers assigned to the new 930 area code.

When will the change begin?

Beginning February 7, 2015, you must use the new dialing procedures, as described above for all calls. After this date, if you do not use the new dialing procedures, your calls will not be completed and a recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again.

Reprogramming of alarm equipment should take place between March 1, 2014 and February 7, 2015. This period allows either the old or new dialing procedure to be used to complete calls. All chamber members must make their programming changes during this period.

To enable you to verify that equipment can complete calls to the new 930 area code, a special test number, 930-930-1930, will be in service beginning July 7, 2014 and it will remain active through April 7, 2015.

Beginning March 7, 2015, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the new 930 area code.

What will remain the same?

• Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change.

• The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.

• What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.

• You can still dial just three digits to reach 911.

• If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are currently available in your community, you will still dial these codes with just three digits.

Who may you contact with questions?

Customers with questions about the dialing procedure change should be directed to their local service provider, or they can visit the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) web site.

Chamber Board Chair Reflects on the Past Year

William Stephan Indiana University - Vice President for Engagement

William Stephan
Indiana University – Vice President for Engagement

It has been my pleasure to serve as Chair of The Chamber’s Board of Directors for the past year. As that term comes to a close, I can’t help but reflect on the progress and the impact we have made. As the voice of business for our nearly 1,000 members, The Chamber has continued to advance the interests of business in our community. At the heart of this effort are our many volunteers, members and staff who are committed to building better business and better community for the greater Bloomington/Monroe County area.

Our mission to provide leadership through member engagement, business advocacy and civic partnerships to strengthen our community and business environment is an ongoing effort supported by several strategic goals. I’m proud to say that we have continued to advance this mission and make progress in each of our strategic goals.

One of the most direct ways that The Chamber represents its members is in the area of advocacy and public policy. The Chamber staff, Advocacy Council, Legislative Council and various committees, all serve as the voice of business at the local, state and federal levels.

Perhaps no issue reflects our commitment to Bloomington’s future more than the ways in which we have helped lead, facilitate and manage negotiations related to Section 5 of I-69.  Brokering discussions among INDOT representatives, local elected officials, and business and community leaders has enabled constructive dialogue and progress consistent with community expectations for reasonable and beneficial outcomes.

The Chamber is also leading the way on broader discussions as we plan for the I-69 Regional Summit this October. This event will bring together representatives from the business, government, higher education, defense, economic development, tourism, agriculture, trade and logistics sectors to examine ways to enable collaboration and leverage the new and existing I-69 corridor from a statewide perspective.

Chamber leadership on downtown parking issues has offered an opportunity to engage in collaborative discussions with stakeholders and influence decisions by City leaders as more permanent policies are established.  We continue to carefully monitor issues related to downtown building and signage along with the full array of regulatory and zoning matters that impact our members. We will continue to participate in discussions surrounding safe and civil city initiatives and other broad issues that impact our members and the vitality of our community.

The Chamber’s ongoing leadership with the Franklin Initiative—our education retention and attainment program–remains one of our most significant efforts and one that has dramatically impacted the lives and futures of scores of Bloomington area students.  We remain especially grateful to our supporters, such as AT&T, Smithville Charitable Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County for their generous support that has enabled program success and continuity.

Honoring our community’s leading educators earlier this year at our Educators of the Year Awards dinner was both heartwarming and a compelling reminder of the commitment our teachers and counselors make to our youngsters and the impact they have in their lives and on our community.

Events are one of the primary ways we provide opportunities for our members to network with peers, potential customers, community leaders and elected officials. This year, we were able to bring in some very influential and well-known speakers. Hosting former US Senator Evan Bayh as the keynote speaker at our Federal Focus Luncheon was a Chamber highlight, as was our annual Governor’s Luncheon featuring Governor Mike Pence in IU’s newly refurbished Alumni Hall.  These two annual events are just a couple of ways the Chamber provides a forum for our members to hear from our federal and state elected officials.

And in August, we will hold our annual Health in Business luncheon with G. William Hoagland who is a senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. Hoagland will share insights on the impacts of healthcare reform for employers and carriers, and discuss the effects of the political climate in Washington on healthcare reform.

Finally, just a note of sincere thanks to my fellow board members, whose commitment to a better Bloomington cannot be overstated.  Their dedication and spirit of volunteerism is truly inspirational and so indicative of what makes Bloomington a truly remarkable community and a great place to do business!

New Year! New Legislative Agenda!

With the New Year comes a new legislative session!  The Indiana General Assembly reconvened on Monday, January 6, 2014 and there is no doubt that many critical issues will be up for discussion and debate.  As the voice of business, The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce will be monitoring and advocating for those issues that affect our member businesses.

StatehouseThe Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce released its list of legislative priorities which the 1,100 member organization will monitor and advocate for during the 2014 legislative session.  The five priority areas include business taxation and regulation, education, healthcare, infrastructure & job creation and local government advancement.  Prepared by The Chamber’s Legislative Council and approved by the organization’s Board of Directors, the 2014 Legislative Agenda was presented at the organization’s Legislative Preview Luncheon.

As an advocate for business, The Chamber selected the five priority areas based on relevance and potential to impact the local business community. Member feedback received as part of the annual Business Climate and Legislative Survey, which was sent out to The Chamber’s full membership in early fall, was also carefully considered as the agenda was being crafted. The organization also considered priorities that they could realistically advance and impact through their advocacy process.

“The 2014 Legislative Agenda will guide The Chamber’s policy work through this year as we represent our members who have communicated their business issues and interests,” explains Jeb Conrad, president & CEO for The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. “We believe by giving these five priority areas our full attention, we will help to strengthen our region’s economy and help our businesses succeed.”

The Chamber’s Legislative Council will actively continue to update, educate and involve members in its advocacy efforts during the upcoming legislative session through electronic communications like Advocacy Matters, Legislative Updates and The Chamber’s weekly newsletter Membership Matters.  A Legislative Wrap-Up event is planned for April 11 after the General Assembly’s adjournment.

Formed in 2007, The Chamber’s Legislative Council was chartered by The Chamber’s Board of Directors to monitor the lawmaking process, aid Chamber staff in educating its members on legislative issues affecting business, and to help develop relationships with organizations and other chambers with shared interests.  The volunteer Council, representing a diverse cross section of The Chamber’s membership, provides leadership and guidance on business issues at the State and Federal level.

For more information about The Chamber’s Public Policy & Advocacy efforts, contact Liz Irwin, Director of Advocacy & Public Policy at 812.336.6381. To download a copy of this year’s agenda visit 

2014 Legislative Agenda

advocacyAs the voice of business, The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce has identified legislative priorities that encourage economic development, innovation and strategic growth.

BUSINESS TAXATION AND REGULATION: foster a pro-business climate to attract and retain businesses in Bloomington and Indiana

  • Support the repeal of the medical device tax
  • Support comprehensive tax reform efforts that lessen tax burdens on business
  • Encourage regulatory reform efforts that lessen burdens on business and restore Congressional accountability in the rulemaking process
  • Support a local option for exemption of personal property tax on new business machinery and equipment
  • Support policies that empower businesses to attract and retain a world-class workforce

EDUCATION: Create educational opportunities to ensure an intelligent, high-skilled workforce 

Preschool and K – 12 Education 

  • Emphasize importance of funding for early childhood education, preschool, and kindergarten
  • Improve the school funding formula to focus on equitable per pupil funding and multiple student count days
  • Promote the importance of STEM-related programs & career training
  • Encourage development of entrepreneurship programs & vocational training for technical fields to develop a qualified workforce

Higher Education

  • Encourage institutional innovation and flexibility to best meet student needs
  • Encourage federal lawmakers to help close the innovation deficit by decreasing the gap in needed and actual federal investment in research

HEALTH CARE: Promote education and awareness opportunities that help local businesses manage their health care costs

  • Educate members on developments of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • Educate members on the plan(s) in the Federal Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace as details emerge (Note: The SHOP website will not be available until November 2014)
  • Support continued enrollment in the Healthy Indiana Plan and continued waiver for and expansion of the plan in 2015

INFRASTRUCTURE AND JOB CREATION: Develop and maintain a superior state and local framework that supports the needs of business

  • Prioritize ongoing construction and funding of I-69 , focusing on planning and design of Section 5
  • Promote and protect Crane as a primary regional job provider
  • Support policies that incentivize investment in rural telecom for gigabit connectivity
  • Support development and implementation of a strategic water resource plan

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ADVANCEMENTS:  Ensure that local services are delivered with the most effective and efficient administrative structure

  • Support measures to increase accountability, transparency, and effectiveness of government at the local level

HJR-6: Understanding Why The Chamber is Considering a Formal Position on This Issue

As we approach the 2014 Legislative Session, there’s been a great deal of speculation about which issues will be addressed by the Indiana General Assembly. One issue is known. This is the state constitutional amendment called House Joint Resolution 6 (HJR-6). This piece of legislation has prompted much discussion, confusion and debate in the media and in communities around the state.

The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce has not taken
a position on HJR-6, and it’s possible we won’t.

 But there are several key questions about this amendment that make it deserving to be vetted through our thoughtful advocacy process. Our Legislative Council, Advocacy Council, Executive Committee and Board of Directors – a diverse group of volunteers who represent our 1,100 members – are reviewing and discussing HJR-6’s potential impact on businesses, our members and our region’s ability to do business. It is a discussion on how our legislators spend the next session and how to protect our community, region and State’s business climate.

The Questions
With the growing debate come questions: Why have Indiana’s major employers like Eli Lily and Cummins, higher education institutions like Indiana University and Ball State, and chambers of commerce like the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce come forward in opposition to HJR-6?

More importantly, why is the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce considering taking a position on HJR-6? Why would The Chamber enter what appears to be a moral issue? Shouldn’t The Chamber’s focus remain on business issues? All good questions that I hope to answer, while beginning with a quick overview of what this amendment is.

Background on HJR-6
Since 1997, Indiana law has stated that same sex marriage is prohibited. HJR-6 would convert the current state law defining marriage to an amendment to the State’s Constitution. What HJR-6 would do is put the prohibition into the Indiana constitution, a status which would be very difficult to change and to do so, would take another completely new constitutional amendment process. It would not only prohibit same sex marriage, as the statute already does, but any “legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage.” The Indiana General Assembly will consider this amendment for the second and final time early next year. If the legislature approves the amendment, Indiana voters will be asked to vote on the amendment in a statewide referendum in November 2014.

Now that we know what it is, let’s address the bigger question:

Why is The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce
considering taking a position on HJR-6?

Possible Impact to Business
The issue being debated by the business community is not the moral aspect of this issue. On the surface, HJR-6 appears to be a moral issue involving same sex marriage and where individuals stand on this issue. But, HJR-6 has far-reaching ramifications for businesses currently operating in our state and those that we might attract to set up shop here in the future.

Efficiency in Government
The Chamber is the voice of business and, through our 2014 Legislative Survey, our members have let us know the critical issues for our local businesses remain: Education, Workforce Development, Regulatory Reform, and Infrastructure. These concerns will be overshadowed by the political capital expended discussing an issue that already has a law in place. The Chamber believes in efficient, effective government at all levels. With a law already in place, HJR-6 is redundant and a strain on law makers’ time and taxpayer money.

Ability to Attract & Retain Workforce Talent
Along with being the voice of business, The Chamber also works to protect a favorable business climate to retain and attract jobs, talent and commerce in our community and region. Indiana has made great progress in adding business-friendly laws to the books, such as corporate income tax reduction, investment in roads and infrastructure, and in workforce development, with more always needing to be done. In addition, more and more businesses and institutions now offer, or are considering adding, benefits specifically for those with partners or same-sex spouses, stating that these benefits are necessary and assist with their talent attraction/retention efforts. Those major Indiana employers who have stepped out in opposition to HJR-6 have stated that certain provisions of HJR-6 would limit their ability to offer benefits that they currently provide to their employees and could inhibit their ability to attract a talented workforce from around the globe, thereby negatively impacting their ability to compete. Eli Lilly & Co. and Cummins, two of Indiana’s corporate heavyweights, have been very vocal about the amendment’s potential effect on their ability to recruit talent and stay competitive. Our community’s largest employer, Indiana University, echoed the same concerns with their opposition to HJR-6.

Legal & Policy Quagmire
With several states – including our neighbor Illinois – passing laws legalizing same-sex marriages, other businesses have stated that adding such limitations to the Indiana Constitution gives the perception that we are not a progressive, business-friendly state. The Indianapolis Chamber, in opposing the amendment, suggested it could affect employer-provided domestic partner benefits, municipal human rights ordinances, legal contracts and other legal protections for unmarried couples, gay or straight. This then creates a legal and policy quagmire for our businesses and institutions.

The Process Going Forward
We are reviewing the legislation through our due diligence process. We are listening to feedback and concerns from our members. Our volunteers that serve on our Legislative Council, Advocacy Council, Executive Committee and Board of Directors are asking hard questions, ever mindful of the role they play in representing our membership. There are no easy answers when debates involve personal beliefs. But The Chamber and its volunteers are looking at HJR-6 in the context of business and the effect it will have on business. That’s our role as the voice of business in our community.

How to Communicate Better at Work

This article is from We take no credit for this. It is written by Susan Adams a member of the Forbes staff. 

The title of Karen Friedman’s new book isn’t exactly subtle. Shut Up And Say Something: Business Communication Strategies to Overcome Challenges and Influence Listeners lays out her no-nonsense philosophy about how to best get your point across, drawn from her 35 years of experience as a professional communicator. As a TV news reporter, she worked at local stations in cities from Milwaukee to Huntsville, Ala. For the last 15 years, she’s headed up Karen Friedman Enterprises, a communication coaching firm in Philadelphia.

How does she apply her ideas in the workplace? Her No. 1 rule, gleaned from two decades in the TV news trenches: “It is absolutely critical to be as direct, to the point and concise as possible,” she says, in a lively, forceful voice with a Philadelphia tinge. Vagueness is all too common in the workplace, she observes, and you easily remedy it by following the newscaster’s drill of spelling out who, what, where, when and why.


“Bosses often say, ‘Can you have that report to me? It’s really important, and I’d really like to have it,’” Friedman says. A more effective way to deliver that message: “Can you please get that report to me? I’d like it on my desk by 5 p.m. Friday.”

Another strategy Friedman draws from newscasting: Hit the headline first. Too many of us are just plain long-winded, she says. “People don’t need to know everything we know,” she explains. “Think about what the single most important point is that you need to make, the central idea. If your computer died or the fire alarm went off, what would be the one thing they needed to hear?”

Your attitude while talking is also important. “It’s not just your words that convey a message,” Friedman says. “It’s all of you.” If you slouch, jam your hands into your pockets, shuffle your feet and avoid eye contact, people will get the impression you don’t want to communicate with them. Pry your eyes and thumbs away from your electronic devices, she admonishes. “Pretend that your colleague is your adorable five-year-old who you would drop everything for if she walked into the office,” she suggests.

Remember that the world doesn’t revolve around you. For Friedman, this was a tough lesson to learn, coming from the ego-driven world of television. If you open yourself to other opinions and perspectives, you’ll find it much easier to get your own message across. “Take a poll at your next meeting,” she suggests. “Draw the other people out.”

Do ask open-ended questions. They can buy time, clarify where another person is coming from and prevent misinterpretation. For instance: “I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying, so could you give me an example?”

Friedman is also fond of the bromide that if you can’t say something nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all. “Don’t talk about other people. That identifies you as a gossip and someone who can’t be trusted,” she advises. You may think you’re being entertaining or engendering closeness, but “you meet the same people on the way up as on the way down.”

Another Friedman rule: No bull. If you have bad news to deliver, lay it out plainly. It’s difficult to talk about layoffs and belt tightening, but if you’re in a situation where you have to convey that sort of information, your employees and colleagues likely already know something is up. It is far better to be straight with them than not to communicate at all, even if you can’t give them the answers they’d like.

Always deliver bad news in person. It may seem easier to convey negative information via e-mail, but imagine how you’d feel if you learned electronically that your best work friend had been sacked, vs. hearing it from another human being.

Finally, don’t be a naysayer. Even if you think your colleague or boss is completely wrong about something, you can counter with an open-ended question that shows respect and a can-do spirit. One possible response: “Have you had a situation where that strategy worked?” Says Friedman, “You can learn from the answer to that, and not be a negative Nellie.”

Investing In Your Employees

“Innovation” is a hot concept right now. As well-known author and speaker Guy

Kawasaki sums it up, “‘Innovate or die is how the world works.” Usually when people

discuss innovation and business, it’s associated with a company’s new product or

revolutionary process. But those are actually just the outcomes. True innovation stems

from a company’s workforce. So when you see a business with the inability to innovate,

the heart of the problem actually lies in the leaders’ inability to hire and retain quality


Finding and keeping top talent is what will make or break a company in the “new

economy,” so it is vital that as leader you do what it takes to ensure your business’

success. In order for your employees to become innovative in their responsibilities and

your employers ahead of the competition, you have to do three things. Building trust,

cultivating passion, and inspiring loyalty must be at the top of your to-do list if you want

to protect your workplace from one of today’s top business challenges – the inability to


Build Trust

Trust is a two-way street. First, your employees must trust you in order to have the

freedom to be innovative or motivation to work hard. This only comes through honest

communication and consistent follow-through from your leadership. On the flip side,

you also have to trust your employees. Kawasaki points out that you have to, “Trust

your employee(s) enough to make the right decision for customers. When you show this

level of trust and empower employees, they do the best work that they can.”

Cultivate Passion

Today’s successful businesses have the most engaged and enthusiastic employees.

But that passion has to originate at the top. “The leadership team must be passionate

in order for the rest of the organization to be passionate,” said OtterBox founder and

CEO Curt Richardson in a recent article. “Who wants to come to work for

someone who is just going through the motions and working for the next professional

advancement?” So make sure you’re excited about your company’s goals and mission,

then work to spread that excitement.

Inspire Loyalty

Maintaining an innovative workplace means that you must also foster a loyal workforce.

Hiring top talent is the first step, but keeping your talented workers engaged and

invested in your business is the only way to achieve long-term success. There are many

ideas out there on how to build employee loyalty, but it really boils down to leadership.

As the leader, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, says

Kawasaki. “Employees need to know that you’ll do the dirty, hard, and frustrating jobs


If you want your business to be successful and stay ahead of the competition, then you

must realize that hiring and retaining top talent is the only way. A passionate, engaged

workforce is the key to becoming an innovative industry leader. But, it’s up to you to

provide an environment that allows your employees to innovate. Give them what they

need, and they’ll return the investment, ten-fold.

Superintendent Glenda Ritz At Our 2013 Education Forum

Glenda RitzWe are excited to announce that the Chamber will have Democratic School Superintendent Glenda Ritz  here in Bloomington as part of  our 2013 Education Forum!

Since we scheduled Ritz back in April, many issues have come up regarding our state’s education system.

These include the dropping of the A-F grading system in the state of Indiana, Core Competencies  regarding  the most effective ways to teach our youth , and our most recent issue regarding Grade Transparencies.

Attendees of the forum will be able to have a Q&A session with Ritz.

She will be here on October 1st from 4-5pm at Deer Park Manor.

For more details, click here 

7 Steps to Productive Business Use of Social Media

forbesForbes posted and article written by Ric Dragon, an expert on online marketing, about the best ways that a business can use its social media. Here is our summarized version of the article.

1. Focus on desired outcome first

Figure out what your “platform” is. Is it to increase brand awareness, lead generation, service and support, management? And make sure you focus on it. Pick one or two

2. Incorporate brand personality and voice

Make sure that all team members that administer your social media use the same voice. Customers these days want a “humanized” voice.

Ex: NPR has a twitter account called “today in 1960″ that tweets headlines from the corresponding day in 1960. How unique is that?!

3. Find the smallest segments of your constituents

Dont make your tweets, Facebook posts or what have you so general. Try to create a community that will engage with you and feels a connection with your company.

Here’s an example, Lady Gaga refers to her fans on twitter as “Little Monsters” and she is “Mother Monster.”Of course we do not suggest you calling your customers this, but you get the idea.

4. Identify the communities for these micro-segments

This aligns a lot with number 3. The best communities become your best advocates.

5. Identify the influencers of these communities

In the generation of social media, feedback is immediate compared to the old days of waiting months for results. Use this to your advantage and spend those months “influencing the influencers”

6. Create an action plan with metrics

Create a plan that aligns with your goals. The most common/useful plans include a listening plan, channel plan, SEO plan etc. Also make sure that you are using social media to build relationships and to start conversations.

7. Iteratively execute and measure results

You cannot expect to get the results you want immediately. So you have to make sure to tweak and adjust your plans according to the results you get. And its not something you do once.



Kudos from one of our Community Partners About hYPe!

We at the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce are very prohype logo for wordpressud of our hYPe (Helping Young Professionals Excel) program. It was started a few years ago as a way to engage our community’s young professionals, helping to deepen their roots here in Bloomington. As part of that program, we honor ten young professionals under the age of 40 at our “10 Under 40″ Awards. Not only is it a fun evening, but incredibly inspiring too as we see the achievements of the ten honorees.

You can’t blame us for being proud.   It’s a great program with resounding benefits for all involved. But what makes us even more proud is when others in our community take note and publicly applaud the program too. That’s what Ron Walker, President of the Bloomington Economic Development Corp., did recently. He used his Sunday column to talk about hYPe and the 10 Under 40 honorees.

We’d “proudly” like to share Ron’s words with you:

I’d like to use this month’s update to congratulate this year’s 10 Under 40 winners and encourage support for “helping Young Professionals excel” (hYPe), a program of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce that provides professional development and personal enrichment opportunities for young professionals.

The importance and role of hYPe and specifically, the annual 10 Under 40 awards, can easily be underestimated. However, if you look closely at what is happening among this growing group of young professionals you will find yourself inspired and impressed, and it will give you confidence in the quality and character of Bloomington’s growing millennial population.

I previously thought of this cohort of our population as comprised of future leaders.  I’ve since come to realize that many of them are already leading. Besides working here, they volunteer, serve on boards and commissions, organize events, and help new young professionals integrate into the community.

Helping people integrate into the community and feel welcome is a valuable and needed activity. A ready and talented labor pool is the critical factor affecting our economic success. Greater Bloomington’s ability to attract and retain talented young adults directly influences our capacity to be a creative, innovative and entrepreneurial community. It also affects the success of Monroe County’s existing employers in creating new jobs.

Knowing we have hYPE, and that our community recognizes the contributions and value of young professionals, gives the BEDC another resource to promote Bloomington. It is also another reason why greater Bloomington is a great place to live and work.

The BEDC’s approach to economic development is aimed at improving job opportunities, creating new wealth, increasing the tax base and serving the long-term vision of the community. We can be reached by visiting our website at

Thanks, Ron! We couldn’t have said it better!

Seven Incredible Women to be Honored with a Women Excel Bloomington Award

Seven local women have been chosen to be honored at the upcoming Women Excel Bloomington (WEB) Awards Lunch hosted by The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. This event is scheduled for Tuesday, July 9 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Liberty Ballroom in Bloomington.  Doors open at 11:00 a.m. for registration.

Those to be honored at the Women Excel Bloomington Awards Luncheon are:


  • Lisa Fulkerson – Children’s Organ Transplant Association, Vice President & C.F.O
  • Melanie Hart – TASUS Corporation, President
  • Beth Lodge-Rigal – Women Writing for Change Bloomington & Writing for Change, Owner/Founder & Creative Director
  • Natalia Rayzor – IU Credit Union, Employment Development Officer
  • Jean Willey Scallon – Bloomington Meadows Hospital, Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director
  • Melinda Seader – World Wide Automotive, Director of Marketing
  • Alisa Wright – BioConvergence, LLC., Chief Executive Officer & Compliance Officer

The honorees were selected based on their outstanding leadership and spirit in both the community and/or in their organization.  Like past awardees, this year’s recipients come from all areas of the community – both business and not-for-profit,  and from all levels within their organizations. They will be featured in the July issue of BizNet.

“This group of women exemplify the very definition of leadership and have made lasting contributions to their organizations and the community.  Their stories inspire and serve as wonderful examples for others – which is why they were selected to be honored this year,” said Kelley Brown, director of marketing & public relations for The Chamber.

This year’s keynote speaker is Jennifer Browning Holmes, founder and president of Integrating Woman Leaders, Inc., a WBE Certified Women Business and management consulting firm focused on helping women in all aspects of business.  Holmes is a dynamic executive coach who uses her more than 25 years of corporate and teaching experience to develop women’s leadership through empowerment, support and connections.

Brown adds, “Along with the examples set by our seven honorees, Jennifer’s message will resonate with our attendees as well.  We are honored that she will be with us on July 9th to reinforce the significant contributions women make in business and the community.”

This is the fourth year for the event which is expected to draw more than 250 people in attendance.  Cost is only $37 per person, and $450 for a table sponsorship. Advanced registration is required to attend the event, and space is limited. To learn more about the 2013 Women Excel Bloomington Awards or to reserve your seat, visit The Chamber’s website at or call the Chamber at (812) 336- 6381.