Take Part in the Innovation Showcase: Deadline to Enter is May 30

innovator picParticipate in the 8th Annual Innovation Showcase, where each entrepreneur will have the opportunity to pitch to an investor panel for a chance to win cash and tangible services. (Note: Applications are due May 30!)

Featuring three competitive tracks:

  • University
  • Start-Up
  • and Scale-Up

Exhibiting companies will also get exposure to more than 30 venture capital funds from around the country, and be selected by them for one-on-one meetings. See what representatives from the 2015 winner, Pi Labs Inc. (aka Edwin the Duck), are saying about the importance of the showcase in this video.

Other key dates:

  • First round pitch and selection: June 24
  • Final pitch competition and winners announced: July 14

Top 100 Best Places to Work in Indiana Ranked!

chamber peepsHoosier organizations with a strong workplace environment were recognized Thursday at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. Before a crowd of 1,200, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce unveiled rankings for the 100 companies that made the 2016 Best Places to Work in Indiana list (released in February).

Winners were selected in four categories. Taking top honors:

  • Small companies’ category (between 15 and 74 U.S. employees): Luther Consulting, LLC, a Carmel-based public health software company
  • Medium companies’ category (between 75 and 249 U.S. employees): Mainstreet, a national group specializing in real estate development, value investments and health care; located in Carmel
  • Large companies’ category (between 250 and 999 U.S. employees): CPA firm Katz, Sapper & Miller, LLP, headquartered in Indianapolis
  • Major companies’ category (1,000 or more U.S. employees): technology giant Microsoft Corporation, which has a local office in Indianapolis

It marks the first time that Luther Consulting, Mainstreet and Katz, Sapper & Miller head their respective groups. It’s also a return for Microsoft to the top spot, where they have been a record five times.

“A big congratulations to the No. 1 organizations. Their leaders and each company on this list understand how important it is for the success of a business to have a culture that respects and values employees,” states Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar.

“These businesses demonstrated that in a variety of ways – from fostering open communication and teamwork to providing training opportunities and more unique job benefits. We are pleased to acknowledge the efforts of all 100 honorees.”

At the dinner, presented in partnership with Hylant, representatives from all designated companies received Best Places to Work awards of excellence.

Organizations on the 2016 list that have displayed sustained excellence during the program’s 11-year history received additional recognition with Best Places to Work in Indiana Hall of Fame and Pinnacle designations.

Hall of Fame companies are those that have been named a Best Place to Work in Indiana at least two-thirds of the time in the program’s history; a total of 15 organizations on the 2016 list meet that criteria. Two companies – Edward Jones and Katz, Sapper & Miller – have made the Best Places to Work list all 11 years of the program.

The Pinnacle designation is reserved for those that have finished first in their category three or more times in a five-year period. The four Pinnacle companies are Edward Jones (tops in the large employer category from 2006-2008); Hollingsworth & Zivitz, P.C. (first in the small employer category from 2011-2014); Microsoft (tops in the major employer category in 2013-2014 and in the large employer category in 2011-2012); and Sikich LLP (first in the large employer category from 2013-15).

More information about the Best Places to Work companies is available via a special section of the May/June issue of the Indiana Chamber’s BizVoice® magazine, a statewide publication released tonight and accessible online at www.bizvoicemagazine.com.

Other program partners are Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, the Best Companies Group, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indiana State Council of SHRM and the Wellness Council of Indiana.

In addition to Hylant, Best Places to Work in Indiana is sponsored by: Moser Consulting, Inc.; University of Indianapolis; Comcast Business; Conner Insurance; Eaton; Formstack; Human Capital Concepts; Kings Island; OurHealth; Smithville Fiber; and Trilogy Health Services.

The Best Places organizations were determined through employer reports and comprehensive employee surveys. The Best Companies Group, which handled the selection process, oversees similar programs in 27 other states.

All companies that participated in the 2016 Best Places to Work program receive an in-depth evaluation identifying strengths and weaknesses according to their employees. In turn, this report can be used in developing or enhancing employee retention and recruitment programs.

For more information on the Indiana Chamber’s Best Places to Work program, go to www.bestplacestoworkIN.com.

The full list of the 2016 Best Places to Work in Indiana companies by ranking:

*Hall of Fame companies

Small Companies (15-74 U.S. employees) (48)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

1. Luther Consulting, LLC / Carmel
2. E-gineering, LLC / Indianapolis
3. Indiana CPA Society / Indianapolis
4. American Income Life Indiana / Indianapolis
5. JA Benefits, LLC / Bedford
6. Delivra, Inc. / Indianapolis
7. Hanapin Marketing / Bloomington
8. Diverse Tech Services / Indianapolis
9. Inovateus Solar LLC / South Bend
10. Lakeside Wealth Management / Chesterton
11. Visit Indy / Indianapolis
12. Conner Insurance, Inc. / Indianapolis
13. Magnum Logistics, Inc. / Plainfield
14. VOSS Automotive / Fort Wayne
15. Formstack LLC / Indianapolis
16. PolicyStat / Carmel
17. Apex Benefits / Indianapolis
18. Oak Street Funding LLC / Carmel
19. eImagine Technology Group / Indianapolis
20. MVO USA, Inc. / Indianapolis
21. Wessler Engineering / Indianapolis
22. IDSolutions / Noblesville
23. The Skillman Corporation / Indianapolis
24. Schmidt Associates* / Indianapolis
25. SmartFile / Indianapolis
26. netlogx, LLC / Indianapolis
27. Guidon Design Inc. / Indianapolis
28. Found Search Marketing / Indianapolis
29. Community First Bank of Indiana / Kokomo
30. CloudOne / Fishers
31. Diverse Staffing / Indianapolis
32. Design Collaborative, Inc. / Fort Wayne
33. Cripe / Indianapolis
34. United Leasing, Inc. / Evansville
35. BLASTmedia / Fishers
36. Bohlsen Group / Indianapolis
37. Leaf Software Solutions / Carmel
38. Bloomerang / Indianapolis
39. OrthoPediatrics / Warsaw
40. Network Solutions, Inc. / Granger
41. Pathfinders Advertising & Marketing Group, Inc. / Mishawaka
42. Goelzer Investment Management, Inc. / Indianapolis
43. BlueSky Technology Partners / Noblesville
44. Weddle Bros. Construction Company, Inc. / Bloomington
45. Indesign, LLC* / Indianapolis
46. LHD Benefit Advisors / Indianapolis
47. Accutech Systems / Muncie
48. FirstPerson / Indianapolis

Medium Companies (75-249 U.S. employees) (21)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

1. Mainstreet / Carmel
2. Performance Services / Indianapolis
3. Software Engineering Professionals (SEP)* / Carmel
4. J.C. Hart Company, Inc. / Carmel
5. Moser Consulting / Indianapolis
6. Purdue Federal Credit Union / West Lafayette
7. Project Lead The Way, Inc. / Indianapolis
8. WestPoint Financial Group / Indianapolis
9. Allegient, LLC / Indianapolis
10. Sheridan Community Schools / Sheridan
11. First Internet Bank / Indianapolis
12. HWC Engineering / Indianapolis
13. Gibson / South Bend
14. Indiana Oxygen Company / Indianapolis
15. Blue Horseshoe / Carmel
16. Heritage Petroleum, LLC / Evansville
17. Butler, Fairman & Seufert, Inc. / multiple locations
18. OurHealth / Indianapolis
19. Merchants Bank of Indiana and PR Mortgage & Investments / Carmel
20. Bierman ABA Autism Center / Indianapolis
21. Peoples Bank SB / Munster

Large Companies (250-999 U.S. employees) (19)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

1. Katz, Sapper & Miller, LLP* / Indianapolis
2. Traylor Bros., Inc. / Evansville
3. FORUM Credit Union / Fishers
4. Sikich LLP / Indianapolis
5. Kemper CPA Group LLP / multiple locations
6. IPMG / West Lafayette
7. Duke Realty Corporation* / Indianapolis
8. Hylant / multiple locations
9. Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company* / Fort Wayne
10. The Kendall Group / Fort Wayne
11. Monarch Beverage / Indianapolis
12. Appirio / Indianapolis
13. Ontario Systems / Muncie
14. Magna Powertrain / Muncie
15. SmartIT / Indianapolis
16. Blue & Co., LLC* / Carmel
17. Mike’s Carwash / Fort Wayne
18. Centier Bank* / Merrillville
19. MOBI / Indianapolis

Major Companies (1,000+ U.S. employees) (12)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

1. Microsoft Corporation* / Indianapolis
2. Horseshoe Casino Hammond / Hammond
3. Edward Jones* / statewide
4. Colliers International / Indianapolis
5. Eaton / South Bend
6. Salesforce* / Indianapolis
7. Aerotek / multiple locations
8. RCI* / Carmel
9. Hilliard Lyons* / multiple locations
10. Cushman & Wakefield* / Indianapolis
11. Total Quality Logistics / Indianapolis
12. Capital Group* / Carmel

2016 Primary Illustrates Rapidly Changing State, National Political Landscape

60498552To describe the 2016 primary elections in Indiana as anything less than dramatic and jarring seems an understatement. Two years ago, record low turnout tipped the balance to ideological sub-groups of motivated voters. This year, unprecedented turnout in both parties was the environment.

In the same election where Hoosier voters overwhelmingly chose “anti-establishment” leaders in Donald Trump (R) and Bernie Sanders (D) in their respective party primaries for president, Hoosier Republicans preferred by a 2-1 margin Todd Young over the conservative, Freedom Caucus poster-boy Marlin Stutzman. This seeming contradiction carried down into state legislative races.

A large majority of Hoosiers detest the federal government, distrust both political parties, and want someone or something to lash out at. With Republicans in charge of both houses of the General Assembly by strong quorum-proof majorities, if you’re looking for some political payback in Indiana, the Republicans are the ones calling the shots.

In the 2016 primary elections, only one Democrat incumbent legislator faced a primary election challenger. However, 14 Republican legislators faced primary election challengers. The 2016 primary elections – just like in 2014 – were about the Republicans.

Two years ago, candidates at the primary election faced a likewise frustrated and ideologically-driven electorate feeding tough challenges from the right. In 2014, the very low turnout election resulted in highly-energized subgroups of voters – those angry and motivated to vote against someone – to turnout to vote. This year, huge volumes of new GOP primary voters, motivated by the presidential race and “anti-establishment” anger, washed over races like tsunamis of discontent.

In state legislative races, incumbents and new candidates alike who distinguished themselves in both aggressive personal contact with voters, organized and efficient campaign operations and who positioned themselves solidly to the right or left with their party’s bases were generally successful. There were exceptions, but this continues to be the formula to win in primary elections.

A fundamental, foundational shift appears to be underway in the Hoosier electorate. This is not unique to Indiana, but the state does appear to continue to be on the cutting-edge of political conflict and change. A relatively “conservative” state in terms of culture and political attitudes, Indiana has not been a sleeper state in terms of policy and political conflict.

Back-to-back legislative battles over highly-charged social issues of abortion, LGBT civil rights protections, RFRA, and gay marriage aren’t the only policy battlegrounds. Infrastructure, tax cuts, education reforms, right to work, and more have been a focus.

There hasn’t been much “sleepy Indiana” to be found in policy debates or political activities in the state for some time. The ingredients of conflict in this political soup are a product of significant and often rapid changes in our culture, society, economy and workplaces. Our political system is where these competing priorities and often difficult personal and societal transformations are debated and competed over at the ballot box.

Indiana Business for Responsive Government (IBRG), the non-partisan political action program of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, was heavily engaged in the primary election cycle to help elect pro-jobs, pro-free enterprise candidates to the Indiana General Assembly. Unlike most other PAC programs, IBRG is not in the business of “picking the winners,” but being there to defend incumbents with strong voting records and to challenge those who do not.

IBRG continued its record of election successes with 18 of 22 endorsed primary election candidates winning.

Health Care to be Focus of Connect & Collaborate Events in 2016 (Coming to a City Near You!)

97867199Six years after the Affordable Care Act became law, employers and employees continue to be impacted, and sometimes confused, by its various rules and regulations. You can learn about new tools to answer your questions and benefit your organization as part of the 2016 Connect & Collaborate series.

The events – presented by the Indiana Chamber in partnership with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and free for Chamber members – will take place in 11 cities across the state. In addition to breakfast or lunch and networking with business leaders from your area, the health care emphasis will include these three important benefits:

  1. Advocacy: The Chamber’s longstanding role in seeking implementation of the best possible public policies at both the state and federal levels
  2. Education: Conferences, publications, the affiliated Wellness Council of Indiana and additional member services to assist companies and their workers
  3. Navigation: New options being made available this year, in conjunction with Anthem and additional partners, to help you produce cost savings while best meeting your employee needs. These products are structured for organizations of all types and sizes

Past Connect & Collaborate series have focused on workforce development, workplace wellness and energy saving guidance. Chamber Communications VP Tom Schuman, Director of Membership Brock Hesler and Anthem representatives will be featured presenters at each event.

The series begins May 4 in Carmel and concludes June 21 in Fort Wayne. Additional stops are Terre Haute, Richmond, Anderson, Lafayette, Bloomington, Evansville, Gary, Winona Lake and Elkhart. Pre-registration is required for the 90-minute programs.

Full lineup and registration. If you have additional questions, contact Nick Luchtefeld (nluchtefeld@indianachamber.com) at (317) 264-6898.

2016 Legislative Returns on Indiana Chamber Investment

in chamberThe 2016 General Assembly saw the Chamber advocate for and achieve numerous public policy victories that will have a lasting positive impact on the state’s economy and the prosperity of its residents. Additionally, the Chamber defeated several measures that would have cost businesses over $200 million.

In total, the Chamber’s work yielded savings of $1.435 billion for Hoosier businesses OR $546 per employee. Specific savings are listed below by bill and subject matter, in total and per employee. Also noted is the indeterminable value of a vital policy area: education and workforce development; the majority of which cannot be quantified.

Business Savings:
$1.435 billion or $546 per employee

Civil Justice
– Reasonable and controlled increased medical malpractice limits (SEA 28):
$50 million; $19.02/employee
– Restrictions on legal practice known as “lawsuit lending”
(HEA 1127): $40 million; $15.21/employee

Economic Development and Infrastructure
– Supplemental distribution of local income tax for local infrastructure (SEA 67): $400 million; $152.13/employee
– Short-term road funding and allowance for additional Regional Cities initiative (HEA 1001): $300 million; $114.10/employee
– Defeated – Unreasonably high data breach fines (HB 1357): $10 million; $3.80/employee

Employment and Labor
– Prohibition against ordinances restricting employee scheduling (SEA 20): $75 million; $28.52/employee
– Defeated – Option for prevailing wage (SB 319 and SB 346): $50 million; $19.02/employee
– Defeated – Mandated paid leave policies (HB 1139 and HB 1328): $30 million; $11.41/employee
– Defeated – Mandated increases in minimum wage (HB 1265): $25 million; $9.51/employee
– Defeated – Loss of business license for employing unauthorized aliens (SB 285): $25 million; $9.51/employee
– Changes to unemployment insurance procedures (HEA 1334): $20 million; $7.61/employee

Energy and Environment
Long-term water infrastructure maintenance funding (SEA 257 and SEA 383)
$100 million; $38.03/employee
More efficient solid waste handling (SEA 256 and SEA 366) $20 million; $7.61/employee
Underground tank remediation fund (SEA 255) $10 million; $3.80/employee
Planning future water usage needs (SEA 347) $10 million; $3.80/employee

Health Care and Insurance
– Prescribing authority for telemedicine (HEA 1263): $80 million; $30.43/employee
– Codification of Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 (SEA 165) $70 million; $26.62/employee
– Defeated – Mandated health insurance coverages (SB 370) $25 million; $9.51/employee
– Defeated – Provisions for prescription drug requirements (HB 1390) $25 million; $9.51/employee

Taxation
– Repeal and replacement of commercial assessment mandates (HEA 1290)
$40 million; $15.21/employee
– Defeated – Egregious income tax reporting provisions (SB 323) $30 million; $11.41/employee

Total Savings for Indiana Business: $1.435 Billion
Total Savings Per Employee: $546

Your Return on Investment
10 employees = savings of $5,460
25 employees = savings of $13,650
50 employees = savings of $27,300
100 employees = savings of $54,600
200 employees = savings of $109,200
500 employees = savings of $273,000

Plus the Value of Education and Workforce Development Initiatives:
The Indiana Chamber also played a leading role in the development and passage of important education and workforce development legislation. While difficult to quantify the specific fiscal impact of these changes, we know from economic research, economic development professionals, site selection consultants and our own membership the importance of these matters to the cost of doing business. Thus, we note the important accomplishments in education and workforce development as a significant – albeit unquantifiable – return on investment.

IMPORTANT NOTES: Business impact calculations are based on fiscal impact estimates of the Legislative Services Agency, independent studies, other available data and research materials, and Indiana Chamber analysis. Business impact per employee is calculated by using the estimated number of employed workers statewide in March 2016 (2,629,300).

Regional Coordinator Helps Build Intern Relationships in Central Indiana

Chelsea-DuKate-graphicIn 2015, Indiana INTERNnet launched regional initiatives to increase the number of experiential learning opportunities available to Indiana students. Chelsea DuKate, founder and president of Red Envelope Consulting, is working with employers in Central Indiana at every stage of internship management from development to recruiting to evaluation.

Indiana INTERNnet: Why are internships more important than ever for employers?

Chelsea DuKate: Besides the general benefits of enhanced productivity and gaining a potential new diverse perspective, employers also have an opportunity to better engage with the early career community. Internship programs can serve as a ‘selection method’ of sorts for full-time positions within their organization.

Studies have shown that interns hired full-time tend to be more loyal to that organization, which directly impacts labor and turnover costs. Other benefits include the company marketing that goes along with having interns and the increased name recognition and employment branding opportunities.

IIN: How are you helping Indianapolis area employers connect with the best and brightest talent for their internship programs?

DuKate: Red Envelope Consulting has partnered with the Indy Chamber and Indiana INTERNnet to connect with local employers in Marion and surrounding counties and help with identifying student opportunities within their organizations. I am working with employers on how to attract early career talent and, most importantly, how to manage both the program and the student employees.

IIN: What can Indiana INTERNnet do for employers?

DuKate: Indiana INTERNnet hosts a web-based platform to connect employers with internship-seeking individuals. Employers can post unlimited internship opportunities at www.IndianaINTERN.net, review the extensive database of student resumes in numerous fields, and apply for EARN Indiana reimbursement.

Indiana INTERNnet also provides several resources for employers to develop or improve their internship programs, including Intern Today Employee Tomorrow: The Indiana Employer’s Guide to Internships.

IIN: How should employers get started?

DuKate: Employers interested in discussing options related to building or enhancing their internship programs can contact Red Envelope Consulting by visiting www.redenvelope.consulting/contact or emailing directly at chelsea@redenvelope.consulting.

NOTE: This post originally appeared on the Indiana INTERNnet blog

A Big Jump in the Minimum Wage: Will It Help or Hurt Low-Skilled Workers?

Reason.TV’s Nick Gillespie sat down with George Mason University economist Don Boudreaux to discuss raising the minimum wage and its impact on not just businesses, but workers.

Some states and cities have moved to increase their minimum wage to $15, and results have yet to be determined. Boudreaux is adamantly against the increase, however, and expects many workers will lose not only their jobs, but opportunities to gain skills to move up the economic ladder.

BizVoice Earns Three SPJ Awards for 2015

bizvoice coverThe Indiana Chamber’s BizVoice® magazine earned three recent Indiana Society of Professional Journalists awards for work completed during 2015.

The honors include:

BizVoice has received 78 national and state awards over the past 17 years. The bimonthly publications is Indiana’s leading statewide business magazine, reaching 15,000 decision-makers and a broader business consulting/site selection audience. Learn more at www.bizvoicemagazine.com.