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CEO Letter

A message from Co-CEO’s Tara Barney and Greg Wathen

It’s Official – We can be stronger and more efficient together

Well …the day is finally here when three great organizations – the Southwest Indiana Chamber, the Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville, and the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana – have merged into a new organization called the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership, or E-REP for short. The new partnership was not a shotgun marriage but a true collaborative opportunity that has been developed based on a shared vision of the future we want for our community. Over the past year the experience of supporting our region through the many impacts of COVID-19 has clarified the imperative of this new organization’s focus on advancing prosperity for all parts of the Evansville region.

Our future depends on our region’s relevance in the global economy. A decade ago, most of our customers were in the Tri-State and our collection of independent organizations was well-suited to our needs. Now that even small businesses have customers, suppliers and business-dealings worldwide, it is our responsibility to change with the times. E-REP is the thoughtful combining of organizations which have a proud tradition of accomplishment. Each has delivered on its purpose as an independent organization, but, together, as one, we are better equipped to carry forward the important work marketing our region’s strengths to our customers, of helping businesses to grow and supporting of our key infrastructure needs. Among them are transportation, access to broadband, more talent, as well as the equally critical need for our citizens to have access to the training needed to fill the thousands of jobs that are available today.

This has been a lot of work! A successful merger does not happen without support, and we thank our partners for theirs. The members of the Chamber, the many individuals who have served on the Boards of our three legacy organizations, the stakeholders and our colleagues have entrusted us with important work. We are up to it; we have a great staff, we have the advice and counsel of our public and private partners, and we intend to continue to deliver outcomes that are more than the sum of our parts. At the end of the day, the proof is in how we deliver on the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership mission “to promote regional economic development and vitality through catalytic leadership, collaborative planning and coordinated investment.”

In the coming weeks, we will be sharing new programs, events and initiatives of E-REP, leading off with lunch with our Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch on April 16. Go to for the latest information on the new partnership and links to the three legacy websites. Stay tuned for more information about our board of directors and our work on your behalf.

Tara Barney

Greg Wathen