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Regional Alignment Results in Big Legislative Wins

March 19th, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 19, 2014

Regional Alignment Results in Big Legislative Wins

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Securing $30 million in INDOT funding for the Lafayette Center Road extension, phasing down of the Corporate Income Tax to 4.9% and a new statewide utility policy are just a few of the results created by Northeast Indianas alignment in the 2014 state legislative session that concluded last week. These and other legislative wins were announced by Senate President Pro Tempore David Long and Representative Kathy Heuer at a joint media conference held today by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana and Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

"The clear and unified voice with which Northeast Indiana spoke during this past session enabled us to act confidently and decisively to support the priorities identified by this region," said Senator Long. "The collaboration between Northeast Indiana business and government leaders ensures that we are setting the best policy possible, and at the end of the day, our economy will benefit."

Senator Long also serves on the Partnership's Regional Opportunities Council, which oversees the Vision 2020 initiative. Northeast Indiana has aligned around the five key economic growth areas identified by Vision 2020 to move Northeast Indiana forward: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life.

As a result of this alignment, the region was able to act nimbly in response to legislative issues during the session. Business leaders offered testimony; the LEDO Council adopted a resolution; and the Mayors' and Commissioners' Caucus wrote letters of support--all to advance priorities in line with the region's vision. These acts visibly demonstrated the region's collaboration and resulted in a clear and open dialogue with state legislators regarding Northeast Indiana's top priorities.

"Today is another milestone for regional collaboration, and it drives home the critical nature of the work we are doing in Northeast Indiana," said John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. "Our thanks are extended to all of our partners for standing together on our regional priorities and to our legislators for their service to Indiana and our region. This is a key moment in our region's history as we move forward speaking with one voice through the priorities identified in Vision 2020 and becoming the top economic competitor we know Northeast Indiana can be."

Vince Buchanan, executive director of the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana, also added, "A big thank you to the business leaders who provided testimony and answered our calls to action to communicate with Northeast Indiana legislators during this legislative session. Our delegation has worked tirelessly to move Northeast Indiana's priorities forward. We are thankful to them and our local advocacy partners Greater Fort Wayne Inc. for a successful legislative session."

The Regional Chamber advocates at the state level for the Northeast Indiana region, while Greater Fort Wayne Inc. advocates as the single point of contact for economic growth in Allen County. "As a partner committed to the advancement of our Northeast Indiana region, Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is grateful to the Northeast Indiana delegation for their work during this legislative session," said Mark Becker, CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. "We are especially thankful for their continued leadership over the past ten years on the Allen County single executive legislation and for addressing the transportation needs of the region."

About the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership creating business investment by generating business leads, developing product and fostering regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. The 10 counties of Northeast Indiana include Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit www.NEIndiana.com.

About the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana

The Regional Chamber is a membership organization of more than 85 businesses from the 10-county Northeast Indiana region. Through advocacy and collaboration, the Regional Chamber promotes policies that yield a limitless future in Northeast Indiana on the strength of 21st century talent, world-class infrastructure, and a business climate that fosters investment, growth and success. For more information, contact Vince Buchanan, executive director, at vince@neinadvocates.com.

About Greater Fort Wayne, Inc.

Greater Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is the new organization that unifies the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance and the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, serving as a single point of contact for economic growth in Greater Fort Wayne. In addition, Leadership Fort Wayne and the Downtown Improvement District are also working toward an affiliation with Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Together, we're growing a more prosperous, vibrant community in Greater Fort Wayne. To learn more about Greater Fort Wayne Inc., visit www.GreaterFortWayneInc.com.

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Courtney Tritch
Marketing Director
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
260.469.3460
courtney@NEIndiana.com

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