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    December 16, 2015
    Regional Cities Funding Announced
    In 2015, the Indiana Regional Cites Initiative brought together 48 counties across the state, and hundreds of local city leaders with one goal in mind: “Making Indiana a great place to both live and work.” Seven regions presented their visions for the future and competed for a chance at $84 million in funding. At a meeting held in Indianapolis yesterday, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) announced it has awarded three Phase I regional development plans, North Central, Northeast, and Southeast $42 million each in funding to help address projects identified in those regions’ plans.  Members of the Strategic Review Committee and the IEDC both noted the difficulty of the decision, as they felt that all seven region’s plans were outstanding.

    “East Central Indiana’s plan, Advance – A Vision for East Central Indiana, was not one of the grant recipients in this funding round, but that does not diminish the value and importance of building and implementing an innovative regional economic development plan. Addressing opportunities to enhance quality of life in our cities and region are critical to our growth and prosperity,” said Dennis Tyler, Mayor of Muncie. “The execution of the plan will continue, as we have created a roadmap that is bold, yet achievable,” added Tyler.

    The Advance plan is truly a regional effort, and was born from hundreds of people attending planning summits, providing feedback via the Advance website, and interacting through email and social media platforms. The focus of the plan is on talent attraction and retention, which centers around five core challenges facing the region. Those challenges are (1) demographic shifts, (2) real estate values, (3) talent attraction, (4) industry value capture, and (5) new business starts. The East Central Advance Plan identified 14 projects totaling $147.9 million, and included a Regional Cities grant request of $23.4 million. The Advance eight-year plan and is a working document, and it is anticipated that new projects and/or directives will be added in the future as the East Central Indiana region continues to evolve.

    "I salute the IEDC for their leadership and our local and regional government, community, and citizen leaders that came together to develop this important document that will help grow our Region in the decades ahead," said Steve Moore, past Chairman of Delaware Advancement Corporation and Vision 2016.

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Traci Lutton
Interim 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.
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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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Ashley Surpas
Economic Development Coordinator
Ashley Surpas, from Muncie, Indiana, came to the Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance in July of 2012 after graduating from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Political Science, a Master of Public Administration, and a Master of Executive Development for Public Service. Surpas volunteers with Project Leadership in Delaware County and serves on the Anderson-Muncie Public Transportation Coalition.