After nearly seven years of service in the Evansville Region, and more than two decades as a chamber executive, Tara Barney will retire as CEO of the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership, a unified economic development and chamber organization, in 2024.
“It has been an honor of a lifetime to lead the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership and work in an industry I love,” said Barney. “We have evolved E-REP into an essential community partner and are a key enabler in the region’s strategic growth. Perhaps most importantly, we also now have the most talented team we have ever had, with the entire staff and board working together to move the organization forward for the betterment of the entire Evansville region.”
Appointed in March 2018 as President & CEO of the Southwest Indiana Chamber, Barney led the strategic alignment between the Chamber, the Growth Alliance of Greater Evansville and the Economic Development Coalition which merged on April 1, 2021.
“Tara has provided great leadership and has prepared us well for the next phase of E-REP’s mission,” said Curt Begle Chair of E-REP and President of Health, Hygiene & Specialties at Berry Global. “The list of accomplishments Tara has had during her career is too long to list, but she has exemplified what makes the Evansville Region so special through her collaborative and innovative efforts.
Since serving as CEO, Barney has been awarded several prestigious leadership awards including the 2023 Women of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana and the 2021 Woman of Empowerment Award from the Junior League of Evansville. She has also been twice recognized as one of Indiana’s top 250 most influential business leaders.
Barney said she is looking forward to spending more time with family, especially her two; soon to be three, grandchildren, and expects to stay active in community advancement after she steps down from her position as E-REP CEO. Barney plans to retire within the next 12 months.
E-REP’s board has established a committee to conduct a nationwide search for Barney’s replacement. The search committee is led by Vice Chair Beth McFadin Higgins of McFadin Higgins and Folz, LLP and Vice Chair Christine Keck with American Water.
“We are forever grateful for all that Tara has accomplished over this tenure. She leaves a legacy which will not be forgotten and will hand over a very successful and effective business advocacy organization to her successor,” said Curt Begle.