Friday, December 8, 2023

The Commons

$65 Individual Ticket
$390 Corporate Table

2023 Annual Meeting of Greater Columbus EDC
to feature Indiana Gubernatorial Candidate Forum

Indiana voters will select a new Governor during the 2024 election cycle, and with a crowded field of candidates, Columbus-area community and business leaders will have the opportunity to hear from six of the leading candidates during this year’s Annual Meeting of the Greater Columbus Economic Development Corporation (EDC). The ticketed luncheon event will be held Friday, December 8, 2023, at The Commons in downtown Columbus, Indiana, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM. Attendees will enjoy a brief report from the local EDC in advance of the featured Gubernatorial Candidate Forum. Advanced registration is required.

“Indiana’s Governor sets the tone and policy for statewide economic development efforts, and we know that local business and civic leaders are very interested to hear what the candidates have to say on important economic development issues,” said Jason Hester, President of Greater Columbus EDC. “Out of seven invited candidates from three parties (Republican, Democrat, and Libertarian), only one candidate sent their regrets, so there’s a good chance that our next Governor will be in the room.”

Confirmed participants for the Candidate Forum include the following, listed alphabetically:

  • Senator Mike Braun [R]
  • Brad Chambers [R]
  • Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch [R]
  • Eric Doden [R]
  • Curtis Hill [R]
  • Donald Rainwater [L]

As a non-partisan organization, the organizers invited all substantive candidates regardless of party affiliation, including Democrat candidate Jennifer McCormick, whose Campaign declined due to a schedule conflict.

Hester notes that attendees of past Annual Meetings will have heard a detailed report of Greater Columbus EDC’s efforts to support existing business growth, business recruitment, and quality of place investments within Columbus, Edinburgh, and throughout Bartholomew County. This year, to allow more time for the moderated Candidate Forum, Hester indicates that his remarks and those by 2023 Board Chairperson, Miranda Fox, will be limited but still hit the high points.

“Among the participating candidates, our Annual Meeting attendees will hear from a U.S. Senator, a Lieutenant Governor, an Indiana Economic Development Corporation President, a Secretary of Commerce, and an Attorney General – all representing the Republicans, and a Libertarian candidate who received a record number of votes last time,” said Hester. “I think our attendees are in for a treat as they hear different views on the issues.”

Candidates will be given time for opening and closing remarks along with equal time to answer questions. The moderator of the forum will be Gerry Dick, creator and host of the Emmy award-winning Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick television program and president of Inside INdiana Business.

“Gerry is a notable personality in his own right, and we are honored to have such a highly respected, independent business media representative serve as our moderator,” said Hester.

The December 8, 11:30 a.m., luncheon event is open to the public; however, advance registration and tickets are required. Organizers also note that space is limited, and a sold-out event is expected.

Individual tickets are $65 and reserved corporate tables of six are available for $390. Up to six corporate table sponsors will also have the opportunity to each host one of the candidates and their guest with the purchase of two additional two tickets.

Registration can be done online by clicking here, or by emailing by close of business, Monday, November 27th, or until sold out. Credentialed members of the media are also invited and welcome to attend the remarks portion of the event, with advance courtesy notice requested to be sent by email to

Media Contact: 
Jason Hester, President, Greater Columbus EDC | 812-906-0926 (Mobile)

Event Contact:
Beth Bailey or Kristen Goecker | 812-378-7300 (Office)

December 8, 2023

The Commons

$65 Individual Ticket
$390 Corporate Table

$130 Host a Candidate Corporate Table Add-On

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Jason Hester, CEcD

Greater Columbus EDC

440 Fifth Street
Columbus, Indiana 47201


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