The Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority's new board president said the group plans to focus on finding sustainable funding this year.

After four years, the partnership has leveraged $42 million of state Regional Cities Initiative funding to generate over $258 million of total public-private investment in 24 quality-of-place projects in northeast Indiana’s 11-county region, according to a statement from the RDA.

The RDA membership elected the RDA board of directors, and in a meeting Aug. 13, the board elected the next slate of officers. The RDA is overseen by a five-member board that serves a four-year term. Appointed by their respective counties and municipalities, the Northeast Indiana RDA board members are committed to improving northeast Indiana and supporting the ambitious Road to One Million plan. The region is seeking to improve its communities through economic development projects to attract workers and increase the population from 2015's 789,015 to 1 million by 2031.

The new board officers are:

• President Gene Donaghy, retired from Northeastern REMC

• Vice President Craig Snow of Silveus Insurance Group

• Secretary Bob Marshall of Campbell & Fetter Bank

• Jeff Turner of Metal Technologies

• Andrew Briggs of Farmers & Merchants State Bank

Donaghy said the Northeast Indiana RDA is focused on two key initiatives this year: developing a plan for a sustainable funding model and refreshing the Road to One Million plan.

“As a board, our goal is to determine next steps in regard to funding quality-of-life projects and how to sustain the impactful work of the Northeast Indiana RDA for years to come,” Donaghy said.

The board’s most recent president, Brad Bishop, executive director of OrthoWorx, is stepping down from the board. He said serving on the Northeast Indiana RDA board was a pleasure and a privilege.

“It’s exciting to see the State of Indiana and communities across our region prioritizing quality-of-place projects as tools to improve talent attraction and retention. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity over the past four years to help advance those important projects and look forward to seeing the meaningful work of the board continue,” Bishop said, according to the RDA statement.

Michael Galbraith, director of the Road to One Million at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, facilitates the RDA board and said the impact of investment in quality of life has made a significant difference in the lives of the region’s residents and regularly attracts new people to the region, too.

“With 16 of 24 projects already complete, I hear stories frequently from northeast Indiana residents who enjoy RDA-funded projects like the Michiana Event Center in LaGrange County, the arenas at Trine University in Steuben County, the Russel and Evelyn Fahl Aquatics Facility in Whitley County and the Clyde Theatre and the newly opened riverfront Promenade Park in Allen County,” he said, according to the statement. “These projects fill a critical need by providing quality-of-place assets to retain current residents and attract new residents. We want people to love the community they live in, and thanks to the RDA’s innovation and creativity, we’ve maximized funding to benefit each regional county.”

The Northeast Indiana RDA’s public meetings are scheduled for 2 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every other month. The location of the meeting is subject to change. Receive updated information on the RDA, by contacting Galbraith at michael@neindiana.com.

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