Columbus, IN (August 23, 2016) – One of the longest running local economic development organizations in Indiana marked its 40th Anniversary on Monday and celebrated $2.6 Billion of capital investments and thousands of new jobs announced by more than 365 corporate expansions and relocations to Columbus and Bartholomew County, Indiana, during its four decades of work. Attendees at Monday’s Annual Meeting learned that during its forty years of efforts, the Columbus Economic Development Board has welcomed the operations of 66 new companies who today employ more than 7,600 persons among those firms who remain. More than 300 corporate expansions have also been recorded.
“All these companies and the thousands of people they employ today have diversified our community, strengthened our economy, provided jobs for our residents, and so much more,” said Julie Del Genio, chairperson of the organization’s board of directors.
As the Columbus Economic Development Board paused on Monday to reflect on 40 years of community engagement and successful economic development efforts, the organization also announced plans for the future, including its new name and corporate brand. The member-supported organization will now do business as the Greater Columbus Economic Development Corporation. In making the announcement, organization president Jason Hester noted that the new name better reflects the non-profit corporation’s operating structure while also communicating its mission to grow the area’s economy, including Columbus and all of Bartholomew County.
“We have always been about making the Columbus area greater through increased economic opportunities for our residents and businesses, and we serve all areas of Bartholomew County; so, that’s two reasons for inclusion of “Greater Columbus” in our name,” said Hester. “Replacing “Board” with “Corporation” also more accurately reflects that we are an independent non-profit corporation and not a division of local government.”
The new corporate logo very closely aligns with the community’s popular “unexpected unforgettable” brand, by using the official font and color scheme. Where the community brand has a cropped view of the Paul Rand inspired letter “c”, the new logo for Greater Columbus EDC features an uncropped “c” that is surrounded by open and overlapping arcs.
“The featured Columbus “c” and surrounding arcs help communicate the organization’s open, inclusive and growing work to serve all Bartholomew County while also giving a nod to our community’s engineering and technical prowess,” said Todd Dickerson of TD Advertising, the local marketing firm chosen to create the new corporate logo. “It was important to all of us, though, that the new Greater Columbus EDC logo stay connected to the “unexpected unforgettable” Columbus brand, and we appreciate the involvement of Karen Niverson of the Columbus Area Visitors Center as we developed it.”
Attendees at Monday’s meeting also enjoyed a keynote presentation given by Indiana University President Michael McRobbie, who is a frequent visitor to Columbus from the nearby main campus of Bloomington. During his remarks, McRobbie announced plans for an IU Master in Architecture program that would be delivered through the IU Center for Art + Design in downtown Columbus. McRobbie also acknowledged the ongoing work of the local campus of Indiana University Purdue University of Columbus (IUPUC) in delivering exceptional educational opportunities to the residents of the greater Columbus area.
As a new name and new logo for the Greater Columbus EDC were unveiled Monday, officials of the organization stressed that it will remain true to the core principles that have served it well over its first 40 years, while always pursuing continuous improvement in its efforts to grow the local economy.
“Our board of directors, staff, and community-wide partners are all still in place and unchanged, and we continue to work each day to grow economic opportunities and improve the quality of life that our residents enjoy in the greater Columbus area,” said Hester.
“The organization has benefited from tremendous leadership and community engagement over the years, and we look forward to many more years of successful efforts as we continue to work together with our community partners, members and supporters,” said Del Genio.
Additional information on the organization and the opportunities that are available to businesses considering their next or expanded base of operations can learn more by visiting www.ColumbusIN.org.
About the Greater Columbus Economic Development Corporation
The Greater Columbus Economic Development Corporation, formerly the “Columbus Economic Development Board”, is an independent, non-profit economic development organization serving Columbus and all Bartholomew County, Indiana. The organization’s strategic goal is to grow & attract well-paying, high value-added, community-minded businesses by influencing and leveraging the area’s distinct capabilities in advanced manufacturing, design, and Science Technology Engineering & Math (STEM) education resources. Current industry targets include Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Engineering/R&D Services, and Office Administrative Services. Greater Columbus EDC’s approach is three-fold: (1) Work with existing primary employers to help them grow in Columbus and Bartholomew County, (2) attract and recruit new companies, and (3) work with local community partners to build upon and continuously improve the area’s desirability to businesses and residents.
Since the EDB’s founding in 1976, recruited companies today employ more than 7,600 persons, and those jobs support approximately 1,100 additional local jobs and generate an estimated $282 million in annual household spending. More than 360 local expansions have also been recorded, and combined, new projects and expansion have called for $2.6 billion in initial investments. For more information on the Greater Columbus Economic Development Corporation and the services it offers, please visit www.ColumbusIN.org.