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    May 18, 2015
    ADVANCE East Central Indiana to host Regional Summit June 9th
    The Regional Summit for the ADVANCE East Central Indiana planning effort will be hosted June 9th, from 6 to 8pm at the Horizon Convention Center, 401 South High Street, in downtown Muncie. Anyone from Blackford, Delaware, Henry, Jay, Madison, and Randolph counties interested in providing input that will help shape the future of the region should attend. The program includes sharing the State of the Region report, discussing potential projects for inclusion in the regional development plan, and generating big ideas for the future of the region.

    As part of the Regional Cities Initiative, the state of Indiana is asking communities to develop regional plans that identify assets, including talent-base, infrastructure, business climate, quality of place amenities and more. The initiative’s incentive program could bring additional resources and attention to East Central Indiana.

    The summit is a key part of the ADVANCE East Central Indiana regional planning process and is an opportunity to build on current assets and think BIG about the future of East Central Indiana. According to steering committee member and president of the George and Frances Ball Foundation, Tom Bracken, “Through the Regional Cities Initiative, the State has challenged us to think strategically and to work collaboratively to develop a plan that will make East Central Indiana an attractive destination for the talented individuals who will drive our region’s economic future.”

    The Steering Committee has made a commitment to an open process and anyone with an interest in the continued prosperity of the region is encouraged to get involved. “This Summit will be interactive and informative and represents a really special opportunity for folks across the six counties to come together,” said Corey Murphy, steering committee member and President/CEO at New Castle Henry County Economic Development Corporation.

    Three county stakeholder roundtable meetings were conducted over the week of May 5th with Delaware, Henry, and Madison counties. The participants discussed the important initiatives happening within their communities and how these projects fit within a regional development framework. Scheduling for the remaining counties is ongoing.

    The state legislature set aside $84 million to be invested in projects over the next two years that are identified in regional cities plans across the state. These grants will be awarded on a competitive basis. To be eligible to compete for portions of this funding, a community must be part of a regional cities plan.

    More information on the project and the Regional Summit is available on the project’s website, www.advance-eci.org, where you can also RSVP for the event. If you would prefer to call or email your RSVP, contact Ashley Surpas at 765.751.9116 or asurpas@muncie.com.

    The program’s research and facilitation efforts are being led by Ninigret Partners of Providence, Rhode Island and planningNEXT of Columbus, Ohio. Phase 1 of the work will be completed by July 1st.

    For more information please contact Kyle May, Project Consultant, with planningNEXT, kyle@planning-next.com.
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Jay Julian
Chief Economic Development Officer, President/CEO
Jay is a native Hoosier, born and raised in Marion, IN. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Millikin University, Decatur, IL in 1979. Jay joined the Muncie Chamber of Commerce on July 1, 2009. Julian is the former Executive Director of Development Services with City of Marion, IN. Prior to this, he was the Planning Director for the City of Anderson, IN. Jay has received awards for IACT Economic Recovery, Historic Preservation Commission Award, and Indiana Black Expo Chairman’s Award.
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Traci Lutton
Vice President, Economic Development
In her role at the Economic Development Alliance, Ms. Lutton leverages economic development resources to sustain and enhance the economic growth, vitality and global competitiveness of Muncie-Delaware County as a superior business location. Lutton markets the community locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally to private investors, corporations, and site selectors through recruitment trips, website, tradeshows and other methods. Traci has knowledge and experience with a range of site selection and development services.