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CEO Letter

A message from CEO, Tara Barney


With nonstop service to three of the six busiest airports in the U.S. (#1 ATL, #2 DFW and #6 CLT), our Region’s airport

e-REP’s annual meeting and dinner is just weeks away. This is our region’s largest business gathering. I encourage you to be with us as we recognize businesses and individuals who are providing catalytic leadership to our region. You and your organization are part of our success story. Be with us as we craft a shared vision for regional transformation and economic growth for all. If you have not reserved your seats yet,
I encourage you to join us on September 21.

The theme for the annual meeting and dinner this year is “Envision the Future: Build and Empower our Communities.”
I guarantee that you will leave with a vision for the future of our region and a clear picture of the value of you and your business has in securing our brighter tomorrow, together.

Pete Yonkman, President of Cook Group & Cook Medical in Bloomington will be joining us for the evening as the event’s keynote speaker. Pete has served in a variety of roles for Cook, including leading one of the local manufacturing sites and being executive vice president for 10 business units. Pete was named president of Cook Medical in 2014, and in 2015 added the role of president of Cook Group.

In addition to his professional success, Pete is actively involved in community issues, including adult education, substance use disorder, workforce development, fostering start-ups and creating a business culture that supports entrepreneurs.

Pete’s experiences have led him to believe that businesses don’t yet fully understand the power they possess to make dramatic improvements in their community. He firmly believes the more deeply connected a company is in its community the more successful it will be.

Cook is a business known for stepping up to solve business and community challenges together. Committed to helping remove some housing barriers for the middle-income workers in the south-central Indiana region, Cook Medical announced an initiative in April to build 300 homes to address the critical need for workforce housing. Last year, Cook Medical’s construction of a $15 million factory in Indianapolis taught all of corporate Indiana an important lesson: It’s not that difficult to find minority contractors to do the job. Hiring 100% diverse contractors to build the medical-device manufacturing facility was considered difficult, if not impossible, but Cook found a way.

Cook Medical understands that a community wins whenever everyone contibutes. Our region’s e is for everyone initiative is an invite to rally together to celebrate the vibe that is our community and local economy. It is an invite to contribute by getting involved in whatever capacity we can – by taking ownership, pitching in and doing our part to make the Evansville Region thrive. Contributing to our region’s future can be as easy as helping us tell our unique story. We are all brand ambassadors for our region, and we have the power to change perceptions, both positively and negatively. Let’s speak with pride, with enthusiasm and with a united spirit about our region’s strengths, and let’s take responsibility for our challenges – because after all, e is for everyone – and it looks good on you!