Training adds tools to regional economic development efforts

December 5th, 2013

December 5, 2013

Training adds tools to regional economic development efforts

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Economic development officials in Northeast Indiana recently completed The Sandler Trusted Advisor program designed to maximize business development efforts in the region. The program was custom designed for economic development officials through the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and sponsored by NIPSCO and the Cole Foundation.

Sandler training

The five-session program covered more than 22 hours of topics such as trust-building, understanding communication styles, qualifying well-chosen opportunities, disqualifying non-strategic interests and gaining agreement within strategic relationships. Sessions were led by sales trainer Tim Roberts using the resources of his organization, Trustpointe.

"This was an exceptional training opportunity for our region. We learned how making small adjustments to communication and listening behaviors can greatly impact our overall effectiveness in business development," said John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

Participants worked on strategies for uncovering long-term, business opportunities while resisting the urge to court short-term, unqualified leads. The sessions encouraged new thinking toward negotiation, targeted questioning techniques and highlighted the importance of decision making in the sales process.

Economic development officials who participated in the training included:

  • Vince Buchanan, Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana
  • Dale Buuck, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
  • Tim Ehlerding, Wells County Economic Development
  • Linda Fortner, Indiana Economic Development Corporation
  • Keith Gillenwater, LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation
  • David Koenig, Steuben County Economic Development Corporation
  • Bill Konyha, Economic Development Group of Wabash County
  • Larry Macklin, Adams County Economic Development Corporation
  • Ken McCrory, DeKalb County Economic Development Partnership, Inc.
  • Scott Naltner, Greater Fort Wayne Inc.
  • John Sampson, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
  • Rick Sherck, Noble County Economic Development Corporation
  • Katy Silliman, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
  • Brook Steed, Indiana Economic Development Corporation
  • Ashley Steenman, Greater Fort Wayne Inc.
  • Alan Tio, Whitley County Economic Development Corporation
  • Mark Wickersham, Huntington County Economic Development

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



Courtney Tritch
Marketing Director
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

Categories Press Releases