FORT WAYNE — The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership announced today that President and CEO John Sampson has decided to step down from the organization, effective March 31.

Sampson has served as the president and CEO of the Regional Partnership since its founding in 2006. No reason was given for his departure.

Sherilyn Emberton, chair of the Regional Partnership Board of Directors, said, “Under John’s leadership, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership has been the primary stimulus behind the exceptional regionalization of our 11-county region. John and the Regional Partnership team have focused relentlessly on the goal of building a globally competitive economy in northeast Indiana along with critical partners from both the private and public sector.”

“I am entirely grateful for this unique privilege and responsibility to have led the Regional Partnership," Sampson said in a news release. "This has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with the Regional Partnership team of professionals as well as regional leaders from all sectors. Working together, our region has overcome challenges and achieved major milestones many thought not possible. In collaboration with our partners from the private and public sectors throughout the 11 counties, we have built a foundation of regional strength and momentum that will serve the residents of northeast Indiana for years to come.”

The Regional Partnership will immediately begin a national search for Sampson’s successor. A search committee will be formed, comprised of members of the board and representation from partners in the community.

“The collaboration that has been critical to the creation and success of the Regional Partnership will be at the forefront of our search criteria for the organization’s next leader,” said David Findlay, Regional Partnership board of directors executive committee member. “It will be important that we focus our search on identifying a leader who will expand upon and carry forward the vision of our region to support business, build community and market our region to the world.”

Mark Millett, Regional Partnership board vice chair added, “John’s vision and passion for the Regional Partnership created a unique collaboration of regional constituents to drive economic development in northeast Indiana. It is the envy of the State, if not the country, in the business development arena.”

Emberton concluded, “We are fortunate to have a cohesive and focused team at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. The board of directors is excited for the opportunities that our future brings. We are confident that the Regional Partnership team will continue to move the vision and goals forward during and following John’s transition. On behalf of the current board of directors and all of our predecessors, we thank John for his passion, dedication and strategic focus on the region’s economic strength and growth.”

The Partnership represents 11 member counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit

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