Details Announced for Chamber’s 2017 D.C. Fly-in

Hoosier business leaders can discuss public policy with their congressional members during the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s annual D.C. Fly-in event on September 27-28.

The Washington gathering offers the opportunity for business leaders to meet with members of Indiana’s congressional delegation and let the lawmakers know how policies and bills being debated on the national stage will impact the state’s economy back home.

A highlight of the agenda: Sens. Joe Donnelly and Todd Young will lead a policy discussion following a dinner on the event’s opening night.

Day two includes a breakfast program that will feature Marc Lotter, special assistant to the President and press secretary to Vice President Mike Pence. Lotter is a native Hoosier with decades of experience in Indiana politics and was also Pence’s press secretary through the 2016 campaign and transition.

Group visits to congressional offices will take place after the morning program.

Zimmer Biomet is the dinner sponsor. Allegion is the cocktail reception sponsor. Build Indiana Council is the Legislative Briefing Sponsor.

“Zimmer Biomet is proud to be a long-time sponsor of the Indiana Chamber’s D.C. Fly-in. This is a unique opportunity to interact with members and staff of the Indiana Congressional delegation. There is no better way to discuss a wide range of policy issues affecting the Hoosier business community and to see firsthand what is happening on Capitol Hill,” says Chris Cerone, vice president of global government affairs for Zimmer Biomet of Warsaw.

Register for the D.C. Fly-in online or by calling customer service at (800) 824-6885. Cost is $199 per person, with group discounts available. Each attendee is responsible for securing travel arrangements. Discounted hotel rooms are available for Indiana Chamber Fly-in guests at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

Event sponsors are AT&T, The Boeing Company, Duke Energy, The Kroger Co., Old National Bank and Wabash Valley Power.

Connect, Make an Impact at D.C. Fly-In

congressIndiana Chamber members go to Washington each September to discuss key policy issues with the Indiana congressional delegation. In 2016, a little politics might be worked into those conversations. Either way, it’s your opportunity to make an impact.

The event is the annual D.C. Fly-In on September 14-15. It features a roundtable discussion with Indiana’s congressional delegation on the opening night. Day two includes a panel of national and state issue experts, followed by group visits to congressional offices.

Expect to learn more and advocate on key issues such as transportation, trade, immigration and the Every Student Succeeds Act.

“It’s a very interesting time in Washington,” remarks Caryl Auslander, Chamber vice president of federal affairs. She points to a few (of many) reasons why: “Indiana will have a new member of Congress with Sen. Coats retiring. And with the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice nominee on the line, the potential for a change in power in the Senate and the Presidential race is extremely important.”

Register today for the D.C. Fly-In online or by calling customer service at (800) 824-6885. Cost is $149 per person, with group discounts available. Each attendee is responsible for securing travel arrangements. Discounted hotel rooms are available for Chamber Fly-in guests at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

Zimmer Biomet is the dinner sponsor. The breakfast program sponsor is Allegion PLC. The hospitality sponsor is Build Indiana Council.

Event sponsors: The Boeing Company, Duke Energy, Hartman Global IP Law, The Kroger Co., Old National Bank and Wabash Valley Power.

Additional sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Jim Wagner at (317) 264-6876.

“The entire Indiana congressional delegation is typically involved in some way in this event,” Auslander comments. “To bring everyone together in the same room is pretty amazing and an incredible benefit for our members.”

Linking Veterans With Jobs and More

sThe Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs will be visiting eight Hoosier communities over the next several weeks, holding Community Outreach events that will offer veterans, active duty members and their dependents opportunities to connect with services and prospective employers.

All events are free. Registration is requested for planning purposes. Each event will be held from 1:00-6:00 p.m. (local time) in the following communities:

  • October 27 – Valparaiso – Porter County Expo Center, 215 E. Division Road, Valparaiso. Register
  • October 28 – South Bend – Ivy Tech Community College, 220 Dean Johnson Blvd, South Bend. Register 
  • October 29 – Ft. Wayne – Ivy Tech Community College, Coliseum Campus, Room 1640, Fort Wayne. Register
  • November 6 – Terre Haute – Ivy Tech Community College Terre Haute Main Campus, The Community Room, 8000 South Education Drive, Terre Haute. Register
  • November 13 – Bloomington – Ivy Tech Community College, 200 Daniels Way, Hoosier Times Student Commons, Bloomington. Register
  • November 20 – Columbus – Ivy Tech Community College, 4475 Central Avenue, Columbus Learning Center, Columbus. Register
  • December 4 – Lafayette – Ivy Tech Community College, Grand Hallway, 3101 S. Creasy Lane, Lafayette. Register
  • December 9 – Kokomo – Indiana Wesleyan, Kokomo Education and Conference Center, 1916 East Markland Avenue, Kokomo. Register

Additional outreach events will be planned for Muncie, New Albany, Bedford and Jasper. Those interested in attending events in these communities can find more information here or call (800) 400-4520.

“Each event will provide information and assistance with VA benefits, claims processing, remission of fees and even what to do if someone wants to enroll or return to college,” said Deanna Pugh, Director of Veterans Employment and Education. “The Indiana State Police, Dish, NiSource, United States Postal Service, Kroger and Lowes will be among the companies and organizations looking to hire employees to work in these communities.

“We will also offer Dale Carnegie sessions to help veterans prepare for interviews. We’re very excited about connecting our resources to our veteran communities and helping link those who have served our country with the many services designed specifically to assist them.”

A new state law that took effect July, 1, 2014, allows for approximately 26,000 post-911 veterans to apply for assistance through the Military Family Relief Fund. This new law eliminates the three-year restriction on access to the fund, which provides grants that may be used for needs such as food, housing, utilities, medical services, transportation and other essential family expenses. The Military Family Relief Fund has a balance of more than $7 million and lifting the cap will ensure those funds are available to support Hoosier veterans and their families.

Since its establishment in 1945, the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) has remained focused on aiding and assisting “Hoosier” veterans, and qualified family members or survivors, who are eligible for benefits or advantages provided by Indiana and the U.S. government.

Indy Eleven Hosting Craft Brew Night at Aug. 23 Match; Get Your Tickets Now!

Indy Eleven will host “Craft Brew Night” (presented by Kroger) on Saturday, Aug. 23 at Carroll Stadium 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. prior to the match vs. Ottawa Fury FC.

The event, dubbed “The World’s Game, Indiana’s Beer,” will feature offerings from many of the state’s top craft brewers. On hand will be:

  • Barley Island (Noblesville)
  • Carson’s Brewery (Evansville)
  • Chapmans (Angola)
  • Cutters (Avon)
  • Daredevil (Shelbyville)
  • Flat 12 (Indianapolis)
  • Fountain Square (Indianapolis)
  • Oaken Barrel (Greenwood)
  • People’s Brewing (Lafayette)
  • Quaff On (Nashville)
  • Scarlet Lane (McCordsville)
  • Sun King (Indianapolis)
  • Taxman (Bargersville)
  • Tow Yard (Indianapolis)
  • Tin Man (Evansville)
  • Triton (Indianapolis)
  • Upland (Bloomington)

A highlight of the evening’s festivities will include Flat 12 Bierwerks’ unveiling of the name and logo for their new English Pale Ale, created in honor of Indy Eleven and the team’s independent supporters group, the Brickyard Battalion. Fans are encouraged to visit Flat 12 Bierwerks’ blog to see the five name and logo pairings for this delicious new addition to the Indy Eleven corporate partner’s stable of beers.

A limited number of tickets will be available for this Craft Brew Night event, so fans interested in securing their spots can go online to purchase their $25 game/tasting ticket combo pack or $11 Craft Brew tasting event passes or call (317) 685-1100 during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.). Fans should also be on the lookout for contest offerings surrounding Craft Brew Night on Indy Eleven’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels and Reddit throughout this week, including free ticket packages and Indy Eleven merchandise.

Kroger Celebrates 130 Years!

We recently featured our friends at Kroger Co., but also want to make you aware of the company's latest milestone as it celebrated its 130th birthday yesterday. A release has more:

The Kroger Co. celebrates the 130th anniversary of the company’s founding today. On July 1, 1883, a young, hard-working German immigrant named Bernard “Barney” Kroger opened his first store in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In this 130th year, Kroger is poised to pass $100 billion in annual sales, provides employment to more than 343,000 associates, is one of the largest retail companies in the world, announced an industry-leading 37 consecutive fiscal quarters of positive identical sales growth and has been named the most generous company in America.

The heritage of exceptional customer service, passionate community service and entrepreneurial innovation established by Barney Kroger continues today. Highlights include:

  • A new strategy beginning in 2013 that will: strongly invest in existing stores, introduce a variety of new store formats, expand market share in existing markets and take Kroger into new markets across the United States.
  • More than $250 million in community support in 2012, including more than 200 million meals to regional food banks

Kroger: An Indiana Staple

Kroger's web site outlines the history of the supermarket chain, describing how Barney Kroger invested his life savings of $372 to open a grocery store in downtown Cincinnati in 1883. The son of a merchant, he ran his business with a simple motto: “Be particular. Never sell anything you would not want yourself.”

Step forward to now, and if you live in Indiana, there's a likely chance you know someone employed by a Kroger store. Here are some numbers and reasons why this supermarket is a pillar in the state's grocery economy:

  • 18,128 – Kroger associates employed in Indiana
  • $13.3 million – in food, cash, foundation grants and sales-based fundraising was distributed in 2012 from Kroger's Central Division
  • 1,940 – jobs in Indiana created over the last seven years
  • 1,630 – contractors employed statewide
  • 146 – food stores with a variety of options
  • 105 – pharmacies
  • 79 – fuel centers
  • 4 – distribution centers (Bluffton, Shelbyville, Seymour and Indianapolis)
  • 4 – manufacturing plants
  • 2 – division headquarters (Seymour and Indianapolis)

Gas Discounts Could (Slightly) Ease Pain at the Pump

This gas price situation is a real downer. I haven’t been this depressed about something since Duane Bickett left the Colts in 1994.

It not only directly takes more money out of commuters’ pockets, but it also causes the costs of transporting goods to skyrocket, which of course gets passed on to consumers. It’s madness, I say. But the Indy Star ran a report today showing what types of gas discounts are available at some Hoosier businesses.

Costco
Members who use the Costco American Express co-branded credit card to buy gas at Costco stations receive 3 percent back at the end of the year. The cash reward can be redeemed at Costco.

Kroger
Kroger lets consumers accumulate fuel points on their loyalty cards in 100-point increments. Each 100 points is worth 10 cents off a gallon of gas. There are three ways to earn 100 points. Buy $100 in the store, fill two qualifying prescriptions in the pharmacy or buy $50 in gift cards.

You can accumulate up to 1,000 points and get up to $1 off per gallon of gas up to 35 gallons.

Use a Kroger-branded Visa card and get 5 cents off per gallon on top of that.

The grocer also has a partnership with Shell stations. Customers can use Kroger points there by swiping their loyalty card but can redeem only 100 points at a time. So 10 cents off per gallon is the maximum.

Meijer
Use a Meijer store credit card or Meijer-branded MasterCard and get 5 cents off per gallon. There are limited-time promotions when that discount is bumped up to 10 cents per gallon. Occasionally, store purchases generate a free gas coupon at the checkout for $2 or more off.

Ricker’s
Sign up for the loyalty program and receive up to 10 cents off every gallon of gas. You have to be at least 18 years old and have a U.S. checking account and an active email address. The cards are used like a debit card and are linked to your checking account. To get the fuel discount, you must pay with the loyalty card.

Sam’s Club
Members receive 5 cents off per gallon at Sam’s Club fuel centers.

Shell
Use a Shell MasterCard and receive a 5 percent rebate on fuel purchased.

Speedway
Earn points on a membership card by making purchases. For example, receive 20 points per $1 spent, excluding restricted items, for purchases of food, drink and merchandise. Also receive 10 points per gallon of fuel purchased. Customers can redeem the points for discounts on gas. Earn 1,750 and receive 10 cents off per gallon; 4,375 and earn 25 cents off; 8,750 and earn 50 cents off.

Swifty
This one’s easy. Pay with cash and get 3 cents off per gallon.

Walmart
Buy a Walmart gas gift card and save 3 cents per gallon. Any amount from $10 to $1,000 can be added to the card. In some cases, consumers who use their Walmart store-branded credit card to buy gas will get 5 cents off per gallon.

Kroger Just Keeps on Giving

Kudos to long-time Indiana Chamber member Kroger. Recent announcements from the food store/pharmacy/fuel center enteprise include:

Now comes word of an effort in which Cincinnati-based Kroger and Procter & Gamble will team together with Kroger donating a substantial dollar amount to the USO of Indiana. Shoppers can get in on the opportunity to thank U.S. soldiers for their service by virtually "shaking the hand of a hero." The details are at the Honoring Our Heroes web site.

Indiana is fortunate that Kroger (and many other companies) continue to give back and help make our local communities stronger.

Seymour Grocer Nourishing Southern Indiana Since 1863

Jay C Food Stores have been serving southern Indiana for many years. In that time, the stores have seen many changes. However, the company’s dedication to serving Seymour and the surrounding community remains unwavered by the winds of time — and the pains of recession. Jay C’s story is one of adaptation, evolution, and ultimately success. Here are some key points of progress, as told by the company:

  • It all began in 1863. John C. Groub, a young Swiss immigrant, made his way to Seymour, Indiana. He sold matches to pay his way from Louisville, Kentucky to Rockford, Indiana.
  • In 1863, John C. Groub opened his first store in a building on South Chestnut Street. The front portion was a grocery store; the back was used for living quarters. 
  • The business grew and Mr. Groub secured a downtown location on West Second Street in 1871.
  • Deliveries by truck started about 1919, and satellite warehouses were established in Mitchell and Connersville.
  • As the number of stores increased, so did the need for more warehouse space, and in 1938 a new two-story warehouse, one-half block in size, was built at the south end of Ewing Street.
  • In the late 1950s, the Jay C leadership made a commitment to teamwork when it made the promise, “As the Company Progresses, So Shall Its People.” At the same time, a cash profit sharing plan was inaugurated. As a result of this team effort, profit sharing has been paid every year since its inception.
  • A new name, and a new kind of store operation became a part of the company during the 1980s-90s.  Four Foods Plus Stores were opened in Bedford, Madison, Columbus, and Seymour.  The concept of these stores involved giving customers a role in creating savings for themselves by bagging their own groceries and taking them to the car. 
  • By the end of the 1990s, Jay C consisted of 25 Jay C Stores, 4 Foods Plus Stores, and 2 Ruler Discount Foods Stores.
  • In August,1999 the John C. Groub Company merged with the Kroger Company, the largest grocery retailer in the United States.
  • The company has prospered as an independent division of the Kroger Company, retaining its name, people, traditions, values, leadership, and products.

Congrats to Jay C, an Indiana Chamber member, for so many years of success — and thanks for showing other Indiana businesses what can be accomplished with determination and forward thinking.