Regina Emberton, President of the Indiana Economic Development Council,
Spoke to the Club
President Grodnik called the meeting to order by reminding everyone there are five more meetings in his presidential term. There was applause. Many guests were then introduced including Honorary Rotarian Art Decio.
Elkhart and Memorial High Schools presented their highest achieving academic seniors. Memorial’s top students were: Daniel Asbury, Nicholas Brewers, Stephanie Chapman, Allyson Crane, Lilith Efsits, Elizabeth Hayes, Kathryn Keifer, Vanessa Lopez, Cameron Maxwell, Felix Mayorga, Taylor Musialik, Mackensie Swift, Collin Whittaker, & Corinn Whittaker. Central’s students were: Amanda Dibley, Joseph Holtz, Nicklaus Iavagnilio, Sarah Lindholm, Courtney Lynch, Nathan Munet, MacKenzie Pairitz, Kelly Ronan, Kyle Short, Alexandra Smith, Ross Tepe, & Elizabeth Yeakey. Of note, nine of the 26 students (33%) will attend Indiana University at Bloomington. 
The Sergeant was Brad Miller with historical questions about the Elkhart Rotary in days gone by. Monies raised by the sergeant’s committee are granted to local charities at the end of the year.
The speaker was Regina Emberton, President of the Indiana Economic Development Council. She spoke of the long range goal to get communities to think of themselves as economic regions rather than specific counties or cities. True regional prosperity comes when there is population growth, per capita growth, and increased business investment where everyone wins, she said.
Along with the recently approved Regional Cities initiative by the State of Indiana, this regional vision is focused on non-partisan goals that build a quality-of-place to attract and keep young talent (much like the top graduating students in attendance) through a bold vision to build broad civic infrastructure. Cutting business taxes is not the answer if there is not a rich cultural community for a business to move into.
The IEDC provides a regional Wages & Benefits survey for Elkhart, St. Joseph, Kosciusko, Fulton and Marshall Counties in Indiana plus Berrien and Cass counties in Michigan. The organization is funded in part by state and local governments (40%) and private monies (60%).
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For those interested in additional background, Regina recommended reading “The Coming Jobs War” by Jim Clifton and the Brookings Institutes’, “Rise of Innovation Districts: Beyond Regional Cities.”
Upcoming Rotary Programs:
No Meeting May 25th (Memorial Day)
June 1st – Mike Crabill, Rotary Foundation
June 8th – Elkhart County Commissioners