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.