Jason Hester, CEcD
Jason Hester brings more than twenty years of local and state-level economic development experience to his role as President of the Greater Columbus (Indiana) Economic Development Corporation. Building on the area’s strengths in advanced manufacturing, design, and foreign direct investment, Hester leads the area’s business retention and expansion efforts as well as business recruitment activities focused on targeted domestic and international opportunities. Since joining Greater Columbus EDC in August of 2010, collaborative efforts have supported over 115 local expansion and attraction projects calling for more than $1.0 Billion in new capital investment and 3,270 new direct jobs. Jason also places value on supporting international relations and is active at both home and abroad with local Sister City initiatives in Japan, China, Germany, and India.
Before joining Greater Columbus EDC, Jason served as the Central Region Director for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, where he led business attraction and expansion efforts in the state’s largest region. Over three years, he and his team successfully closed more than 220 competitive projects, calling for $5.1 billion in new capital investment and the creation of 38,000 new jobs. Prior to IEDC, Jason served locally in two other Hoosier communities – Elwood and Kokomo.
A native Hoosier, Jason obtained his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University and a B.A. degree with honors from Oral Roberts University (Tulsa, OK), majoring in International Community Development. Jason is also a graduate of the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma, and in 2004 he earned the coveted Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation given by the International Economic Development Council.
Executive Assistant & Office Manager
Beth Bailey joins EDC after seven years’ service as the Executive Assistant to the Chief Credit officer at First Financial Bank located in Columbus, IN. In that role, she regularly prepared reports for the Board of Directors, securely processed confidential information, and kept an organized work environment for the CCO.
Prior to her work at First Financial, Bailey served as the Administrative Assistant for First Christian Church in Columbus. Bailey holds an Associates Degree in Business Administration from Indiana Business College, and she brings over 14 years of administration experience to the Columbus EDC as she fills the position of Executive Assistant & Office Manager.
Business Development Manager
Anita brings to her role several years of experience in business development and national account management, serving clients in the automotive and finance sectors. Originally from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Anita relocated to Columbus with her family and before joining Greater Columbus EDC worked as a National Account Manager for global manufacturer Vernet. In Port Elizabeth, Anita worked in project management for the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Department of Economic Development, Tourism & Agriculture. She earned a B.A. in Industrial Psychology & Sociology from the University of Port Elizabeth (“Nelson Mandela University”) and is currently pursuing her Masters in Economic & Community Development through Penn State. In her role with Greater Columbus EDC, Anita manages expansion and attraction projects, while also assisting with new business prospecting efforts.