Site Consultant Visits 10 Years Apart

By: Brandon Noll on November 5th, 2020

Bob Ady

How Northeast Indiana's Story Changed in 10 Years

In 2009, Bob Ady, a national site selection consultant known as the Father of Modern Day Site Selection, uttered the following remarks to our stakeholders after touring Northeast Indiana, “I will never, let me emphasize, I will never, show your buildings and sites to my clients.”  

I had just wrapped up college at that time, and I had no idea that someday the Bob Ady quote would be etched in my brain as a historical moment for the region, spurring the continual growth of the region and the Regional Partnership.

Fast forward to today and a lot has changed. Recently, we hosted two site consultants, each during a different visit. Both consultants had different interests and observed distinct benefits of doing business in Northeast Indiana.

Ultimately, the two site consultants came to a similar conclusion—Northeast Indiana has an array of significant, if sometimes hidden, strengths.

Now, 10 years later after Ady told us plainly how site consultants perceive the region, it’s clear Northeast Indiana has changed, and there’s a different story to tell consultants.

Wadley Donovan Gutshaw Consulting (WDGC)

It was just a year ago when we hosted Larry Moretti and Dennis Donovan from Wadley Donovan Gutshaw Consulting (WDGC), a site selection company based out of New Jersey. WDGC analyzed Northeast Indiana’s competitiveness for corporate office operations, and, during that project, they spent much time touring the region to gain an intimate understanding of Northeast Indiana’s strengths and challenges.

From the region’s lakes and history to entrepreneurship and innovation, there was an audible shock and awe as we toured the 11-county region. Moretti and Donovan were thoroughly impressed with what they saw.

So, what does change in perception mean to the region? Well, it drives home the point that the best way to sell our region is to have people here to see Northeast Indiana and experience the region for themselves. 

Following their trip, WDGC provided the following excerpt from an analysis on how they perceive Northeast Indiana.

“The region has a highly regarded quality of life, balancing urban and suburban amenities with wide expanses of farmland, woods and lakes interspersed with small towns—all providing a wide range of lifestyle options for residents. The region ranks high on affordability, considering home prices and other cost factors in the context of area income. Fort Wayne has emerged over the past several years as a key attractor for the region and a hub for corporate office and mixed-use development and related residential, restaurant, recreation and entertainment amenities—a true ‘live-work-play’ environment in an uncongested, affordable, yet urban setting.”

Mike Grella

Grella Partnership Strategies

In fall 2020, CEO and Founder of Grella Partnership Strategies Mike Grella made his way from New York City to Northeast Indiana. 

With over 25 years of economic, community, and workforce development, as well as site selection experience, the mission of Grella’s visit was two-fold:

  1. Tour and learn about the region, and
  2. Speak to the Regional Opportunities Council (ROC), the investor board of the Regional Partnership

Grella spent time with the Local Economic Development Organization Council (LEDO Council), the ROC and toured most of Northeast Indiana’s 11-counties, and he summarized his trip this way:

“It was one of the most entertaining, engaging, fulfilling trips I’ve had the pleasure of making in my 25-year career as an economic developer/site selector. It was my first visit to the region, and there will be many more to follow…. While I did not know exactly what to expect upon arrival I was enlightened and amazed during my two days driving around both Fort Wayne and surrounding counties. I was shown what kind of home I could live in if I relocated from New York, which blew my mind – talk about quality of life!”

Without being in the room when Ady made his remarks, it’s clear that Northeast Indiana is much different than it was in 2009. Yet, thanks to Ady and his candor, we continue to propel Northeast Indiana forward to carve out our future in the global marketplace.

Photo Credit: Ady Advantage

If you’re as serious about business as we are, then give us a call today and let’s chat about how business in Northeast Indiana can benefit your company.

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