1,040 Northeast Indiana residents share their vision for the future at Regional Economic Summit

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Press release from the Northeast Indiana Fund:

1,040 Northeast Indiana residents share their vision for the future at Regional Economic Summit
Real-time voting technology used to gather public input on strategies for economic growth and plans for implementation were shared

(June 24, 2010) – The Vision 2020 Regional Economic Summit, held at the Grand Wayne Center in Fort Wayne on June 23, sought broad input from community leaders and residents for all Northeast Indiana-and that’s what it got.

1,040 wireless voting keypads were registered during a single question and about 30 polling questions were posed to the region during the evening. Topics of questions ranged from which counties attendees lived and worked in to whether attendees were willing to help implement the vision.

The full presentation and results from electronic voting can be found at www.NortheastIndianaVision.com.

“This attendance is outrageous,” Mark Becker, executive director of Northeast Indiana Fund, said. “We’ve shown there is tremendous momentum to move forward – together as a region – and reverse the downward trend of our regional economy.”

“A community reinvented every day! Vibrant, progressive, innovative, and full of opportunity,” was the vision statement revealed to the audience during the Summit. Northeast Indiana will use the vision to shape the region’s economic vitality.

At the event, the public was able to pledge a commitment to the effort. Attendees were asked to sign a “Declaration of Outrageous” and pledge cards promising to use regional collaboration and new ways of thinking to fight the troubles of the regional economy. Vision 2020 confronts the region’s extended economic decline; it aims to reverse a 15-year downward trend in earnings.

The real-time voting technology allowed the public to see immediate polling results on the importance of various strategies specific to the five pillars of 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. The Northeast Indiana regional community includes Adams, Allen, DeKalb, LaGrange, Huntington, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties.

Vision 2020, a six-month process guided by a coordinating group of 27 community leaders, including co-chairs Mike Packnett, president and CEO of Parkview Health, and Keith Busse, president and CEO of Steel Dynamics, spent the first half of 2010 reaching out to the leaders from government, foundations, education and business throughout the 10-county region, encouraging bold and “outrageous” ideas for the future. The Regional Economic Summit was culmination of the process, as well as the kick-off to sustained implementation throughout the community.

The Summit was unique from other programs or events in past. Broad, public input was collected on an unprecedented scale from every corner of the 10-county region. The opportunity allowed for the people of Northeast Indiana to participate in charting a bold and exciting vision for the region’s economy.

Attention is now being focused on moving recommendations from the Vision 2020 process and Summit forward. Northeast Indiana Fund will provide staff support for a new regional vision steering group that will see Vision 2020 to implementation.


About the Northeast Indiana Fund
The Northeast Indiana Fund’s mission is to support the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and its ten member counties through the funding and coordination of charitable activities which directly contribute to increasing the region’s capacity to support new business investment and the creation of high quality jobs for the region.

About Vision 2020
Vision 2020 brings together business leaders, educators, foundations and government entities for collaboration to develop a compelling and actionable vision for the ten-county Northeast Indiana region and improve the vitality of the regional economy. Immediate and long-term strategies will focus on competitive business climate, 21st century talent, quality of place, infrastructure and entrepreneurship. Funding support for Vision 2020 is provided by: the Northeast Indiana Corporate Council; the Northeast Indiana Fund; the Cole Foundation; the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne; the Dekko Foundation; the English Bonter Mitchell Foundation; the Foellinger Foundation; the Robert Goldstine Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; and the Lincoln Financial Foundation. More information can be found at www.NortheastIndianaVision.com.

The Regional Economic Summit was made possible by: AVI, Parkview Health, Lincoln Financial Foundation, Steve and Lisa Ford, Pretzels, Inc., Ellison Bakery, Kraft Foods, and Inventure Foods.

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