On January 3, Colten Pippenger and Patrick Hickey joined the E-REP Economic Development team as Project Coordinators. They will be focused on tackling all things quality of place and community development under the leadership of Jenna Richardt. “I am thrilled to add Colten and Patrick to the Economic Development team! Both bring a unique set of skills and I am looking forward to their great work that will elevate our proactive planning efforts for the Region.” said Jenna Richardt, VP of Economic Development.
Learn more about Colten and Patrick:
Colten bio: I am originally from Richmond, IN and moved to Evansville to attend the University of Southern Indiana where I received a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management and my MBA. I have lived in the Evansville Region for 6 years now and am recently married to my wife, Monica. I have previously worked at Cedar Hall as the Community Learning Center Coordinator and at the YMCA of Southwestern Indiana as the Director of 21st Century Programs.
Patrick bio: I am a proud native of Grand Rapids, Michigan. My family moved here before my sophomore year in high school, where I attended Gibson Southern and then continued at the University of Southern Indiana. There, I studied journalism and went on to enjoy a seven-year career in the newspaper industry – mostly as a sports reporter at the Evansville Courier & Press. After that, I spent nearly four years coordinating all things outreach at Crossroads Christian Church in Newburgh. In the summer of 2021, I married the love of my life, Amy, a science teacher at Evansville Day School. We live in McCutchanville.
Q: What I’m looking forward to most in my new role:
Patrick: In addition to working with the incredible team here, I’m excited to go out and meet people. I’m looking forward to utilizing my background as a journalist as it lends itself well to this role. I can’t wait to be immersed in different communities, building two-way relationships, gathering information and doing research. Instead of producing an article, it’ll be fun to throw support alongside those who share a common mission of regional transformation. I see myself as a natural connector and am confident I can help E-REP continue to grow into being as big of an asset and resource as possible.
Colten: I am looking forward to being part of the positive change in the region to make the Evansville Region a better and more attractive place to live while continuing to enhance the lives of the current residents.
Q: Why I’m passionate about the Evansville region:
Patrick: As a teenager, I went to three different schools and made friends with kids in the city, suburbs, and cornfields. When I was at the newspaper, my affinity for regionalism only grew as I made countless trips all throughout southwestern Indiana to report on the life experiences of various communities. My passion has multiplied over the past few years, too, as others have encouraged and inspired me to participate in building something new and great where we live, work and play. There are terrific assets in the region that we get to steward and cultivate.
Colten: I am passionate about the region because of the community. There is a special feel to the Evansville Region where people know and look out for each other but has many of the ‘big city’ amenities.
Q: What Quality of Place means to me:
Patrick: The word “belonging” most comes to my mind. If quality of place is inclusive to everyone, then ultimately it seems like the result is a healthy self-image. If that exists, then I feel like it’s contagious. Word of mouth marketing is still the king. I’m blown-away inspired by the work Merrick Korach and DeAndre Wilson are doing with the Bedford Collab. What do you think that could do for thousands of people (and young kids) on the South Side of Evansville? That’s a prime example of asset-based community development that enhances life, solves a real-world problem, and it’s a vibe – it’s authentic and distinctive. That’s what comes to my mind.
Colten: Quality of Place means that people feel welcomed, have a variety of options to enjoy the region, and have a place to call home. It extends from having events and regional amenities to being excited to tell people from out of town about the great things that happen in this region.
To contact Colten or Patrick, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 812-423-2020.