New Northeast Indiana RDA Board Member Elected

August 6th, 2021

James Khan

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – James Khan, president and owner of BakerStreet Steakhouse, Proximo and The Hoppy Gnome in Fort Wayne, was elected to serve as a board member for the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA). Khan will fill the vacancy left by former board member and State Representative Craig Snow, who resigned his RDA board seat in June after becoming an elected official.

The RDA is overseen by a board of five members, who each serve a four-year term. Board candidates can be nominated by their respective counties and municipalities and are then elected by County Commissioners and mayors from the 11 counties and 16 cities that make up the Northeast Indiana region. RDA board members are committed to improving Northeast Indiana through work like the Regional Cities Initiative and the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) Program.

“I’m honored that the mayors and commissioners of Northeast Indiana’s cities and counties have elected me to serve on the Northeast Indiana RDA board. The RDA’s leadership with the Regional Cities Initiative transformed $42 million into $258 million of private-public investment and propelled our region forward. With the READI Program opportunities ahead of us, now is a critical time to serve on this distinguished board and continue the RDA’s positive impact in Northeast Indiana,” said Khan.

Each board member is required to have at least five years of professional work experience in one of the following industries: transportation, regional economic development, business or finance, the private sector, the nonprofit sector or academia. Board members may not be elected officials or employees of a member county or municipality.

“I am confident the mayors and commissioners in Northeast Indiana made the right decision to appoint James Khan to serve on the Northeast RDA Board. His talents and background in business development will help grow our region and improve the quality of life for our communities,” stated Mayor Steve McMichael, Chair of the Mayors and Commissioners Caucus. “The Northeast RDA Board is a great representative of Hoosier business interests in our community and James will be a great fit to the board to help continue strategically directing resources to attract talent, innovation, and investment.”

Mr. Khan will serve as a member of the board for the remainder of Rep. Snow’s four-year term (June 30, 2023).

RDA Board President Gene Donaghy noted that the RDA is working feverishly to advance Northeast Indiana’s regional development plan for the READI Program forward.

“We’re working quickly, there’s no doubt about that. As we work collaboratively with local economic developers and consultant TIP Strategies, now is a fantastic time for James to join the RDA board and jump into the READI Program process and make a significant impact,” said Donaghy.

Unless noted otherwise, the RDA’s public meetings are scheduled for 2 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every other month at the office of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, 200. E. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802. The location of the meeting is subject to change. To learn more about the Northeast Indiana RDA or to see a full list of board members, visit the website at www.neindiana.com/rda.

Mayors and Commissioners Caucus Background

The Mayors and Commissioners Caucus provides our government leaders from all 11 counties with a unified voice to advance economic development policies at the state level. The Caucus uses consensus-based decision making to reach agreement and relies upon cooperation and collaboration to address the region’s complex issues. To this end, the Caucus provides a forum for the discussion of common issues and multijurisdictional challenges and serves as a partner and sounding board for leaders from other sectors. 

Northeast Indiana RDA Board Background

The Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority Board was formed to apply for funds available through the state’s Regional Cities Initiative, which seeks to make Indiana a magnet for talent attraction by funding transformative quality-of-place projects. 

The selectors of the RDA board members are representatives of counties and cities that make up the Northeast Indiana Mayors and Commissioners Caucus. Each board member is required to have at least five years of professional work experience in one of the following: transportation, regional economic development, business or finance, the private sector, the nonprofit sector, or academia. Board members may not be elected officials or employees of a member county or municipality.

Click here to view the 11 counties that make up the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority Board. 

Khan Background

James Khan is the majority owner of BakerStreet Steakhouse, The Hoppy Gnome, GnometownBrewing Co., and Proximo. Born and raised in Fort Wayne, IN, James majored in Electrical Engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. However, after 12 months of working in the engineering field, James found his calling while working part-time in the hospitality industry at Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano in Fort Wayne. James quickly worked his way up into a management role. 

In 2009, James was offered an opportunity to take over BakerStreet Steakhouse, with the reward of ownership if he was effective at successfully leading the restaurant. Four years later, James was able to complete a deal to buy out his partners at BakerStreet. Shortly thereafter, James and his partners, opened up The Hoppy Gnome in downtown Fort Wayne, adding Gnometown Brewing in late 2016, and in 2018, opened Proximo in the Ash Skyline Plaza.

While very engaged with the success of his restaurants, James’ truest passion lies in helping others. James donates much of his time and resources to a multitude of local charities and individuals to help meet the more critical needs of the members of our community through mentorships, service project participation, board participation, and financial support.


About the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority

The Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA), currently the largest RDA in the state, consists of Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties. The RDA is overseen by a five-member board, each appointed by consent of the executives of the member counties and municipalities, and receives staffing support from the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. For more information, visit www.neindiana.com/rda

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Jaclyn Goldsborough
Director of Digital Marketing and Public Relations
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
574.596.0818
jaclyn@NEIndiana.com


Savannah Kerstiens
Director of Communications
Catalyst Public Affairs Group
812.309.1212
savannah.kerstiens@catalystpag.com

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