Kimball Office's Salem Plant Earns Indiana Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence

Kimball Office's Salem Plant Earns Indiana Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence

Kimball Office was one of only five Indiana businesses to receive the Indiana Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence for extraordinary efforts to protect and benefit residents and the environment. Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner presented the awards during the 16th Annual Pollution Prevention Conference and Trade Show last week in Plainfield, Indiana.

Specifically, the Kimball Office Salem plant was rewarded for five years of continuous improvement. The Salem workers minimized packaging, returned skids to suppliers, and recycled aluminum cans to result in a waste reduction of more than 12 million pounds; the plant also has achieved a cardboard recycling rate of 90 percent and more than $185,000 in savings through recycling. Energy efficiency projects, including lighting upgrades, motion lighting, energy audits and shut-down protocols, have saved more than $174,000 in 28 months. The company has also reduced the VOC emissions from their plants while their furniture contributes to improved indoor air quality through improved finish and application technologies.

"Kimball Office has been proactively adopting and developing sustainability practices for nearly 45 years," said Steve Brewster, Kimball Office's Operations Program Manager. "Over time, we've made continual progress as a responsible steward of resources and an agent of sustainable change in our industry. Our Salem plant is to be congratulated for this honor and their dedication."

The Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence is an annual program to recognize Indiana's leaders who have identified and implemented innovative environmental practices into their programs and facilities. The awards program is open to all Indiana facilities, state and local units of government, individuals, and technical assistance organizations that implement exemplary environmental projects with measurable results. Five additional environmental excellence awards will be presented on October 2, during the Association of Indiana Solid Waste Management District's Annual Conference in Bloomington. For more information about the 2013 Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence, visit

Kimball Office, a leader in sustainable office furniture products and solutions, has been transforming workspaces for nearly 45 years, with an ever-widening breadth of relevant, sustainable office furniture solutions. As one of America's most respected environmentally-conscious contract office furniture manufacturers, they provide architects, designers, facility managers, and employers with open plan system solutions, both modern and classic desking, and a range of seating options. The company is a brand unit of Kimball International Inc., (NASDAQ: KBALB), a $1.2 billion publicly traded company headquartered in Jasper, Ind. Learn how Kimball Office is changing workspaces by visiting
For additional information about this or any other Kimball press release, please contact Becky Schneider, Media Communications Manager, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 812-481-6486.


Southern Indiana Bait Company Wins Top Prize

Salem Team Wins Statewide Pitch Competition

Southern Indiana Bait Co. won the top prize. (photo courtesy of the IEDC)
Southern Indiana Bait Co. won the top prize. (photo courtesy of the IEDC)

INDIANAPOLIS - A team from Salem High School in Washington County has taken the top prize in the statewide Innovate WithIN pitch competition. The Indiana Economic Development Corp., which hosted the competition along with the STARTedUP Foundation, says a record 815 students from 128 Hoosier high schools participated in this year's event.


Southern Indiana Bait Co., founded by students Zion and Xavier Dunaway, won for its bait developed for recreational, semi-pro and professional anglers. Each team member will receive a $10,000 cash prize, $10,000 toward future education, as well as mentoring services and internship and additional scholarship opportunities. 


"Initiatives like this are growing Indiana's culture of innovation and entrepreneurship and empowering young Hoosiers to start using their creativity and entrepreneurial ideas," Governor Eric Holcomb said in a news release. "Seeing what these students have to offer at such a young age gives me a lot of hope for our state's future." 


DeKalb High School Students Sydney and Matthias Hefty took second place and will each receive $2,500 for their business, Acacia Ranch Show Goats. AR Odyssey LLC, founded by three students from The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship and Bloomington High School North will each receive $1,500 for their third place finish.


The other finalists in the competition include:

  • EveryBody (EB) Clothing Brand, led by Emmett Bowman from Crawfordsville High School;
  • Boost Box, led by Lauren Mitchell and Andrew Blessinger from Edgewood High School;
  • Aspire Group LLC, led by Trey Nebergall from Columbus North High School;
  • Omega Skin, led by Nimish Bhat from Carmel High School;
  • Cramps Revamped led by Allison Bradford from Hobart High School;
  • Sheap, led by Gadiel Montiel from Concord Community High School; and
  • FIA, led by Krishna Thiru, Emma Hamilton and Isaiah Branam from Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School/Zionsville Community High School.

The IEDC says each finalist team received mentoring services through the STARTedUP Foundation.



SCIED Economic Development Partner of the Year

SouthCentral Indiana Economic Development group receives Economic Development Partner of the Year from One Southern Indiana!

The SouthCentral Indiana Economic Development region includes: Bartholomew County, Clark & Floyd Counties, Decatur County, Harrison County, Jackson County, Jefferson County, Jennings County, Scott County, Washington County and River Ridge Commerce Center.




Washington County joins RDA

Washington County joining Southern Indiana regional development authority                     

Southern Indiana plans to apply for state funding

 SOUTHERN INDIANA — Washington County will join Southern Indiana's regional development authority, an entity that will allow the region to apply for state funding through the Regional Cities Initiative.

The Washington County Council unanimously voted during a meeting Monday to join the authority. It follows Floyd, Clark and Scott counties.

Together, they will appoint a five-member board tasked with forming a vision for the region, outlining how state funding would be spent. If granted, the appointed board would oversee money and execute projects aimed at enhancing the region's quality of life and economic development.

 "We did our homework and decided if that's the way the state of Indiana wants to dole out funding, then we want to get on board," Washington County Councilman Todd Ewan said.

One Southern Indiana president and CEO Wendy Dant Chesser said she is having "active conversations" with officials in Harrison and Jefferson counties.

"In the conversations with Jefferson and Harrison both, I think the anticipation is it's sort of like their last month to try this, because the other counties that are ready are ready to start," Dant Chesser said.

She expects officials in all participating counties (per law, that's up to the county commissioners) will appoint the five members to the board by the end of October.

Though Dant Chesser said officials are anxious to begin, the state hasn't yet announced an application deadline — or a total funding amount.

The Indiana General Assembly budgeted $15 million for two years to the Indiana Economic Development Corp. One of the ways it could implement the money is by funding a second round of the Regional Cities Initiative. Another option would be establishing a fourth Port of Indiana.

Though there's no certainty that any of the money will go toward the RCI, Dant Chesser said IEDC officials are well aware of Southern Indiana's interest.

Abby Gras, IEDC spokeswoman, said the state agency intends to finalize a plan for allocating these funds by the end of the year.

"In the governor's 2017-2018 budget, he requested $4 million to continue the momentum of the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative toward improving quality of place to attract and retain talent in Indiana," Gras stated in an email. "We are currently working to determine how to allocate funds to the Regional Cities Initiative within the $30 million that was budgeted for a variety of initiatives."

Two years ago, Washington County initially agreed to join the regional development authority as part of former Gov. Mike Pence's Regional Cities Initiative.

"We felt pressured to move and then at the last minute, we got shaky and decided to withdraw," Ewan said.

At the time, Clark and Scott counties also voted to form a regional development authority, but Clark rescinded its participation when the region failed to meet an application deadline.

Three regional development authorities received $42 million in state funding as part of the Regional Cities Initiative in 2015 — meant to make up 20 percent of the total cost of RCI projects. They were the North Central, Northeast and Southwest RDAs.

Since then, legislators have removed a regional development authority's ability to exercise eminent domain. Dant Chesser believes that was a "big sticking point" for many local officials.

Southern Indiana is the only region moving through the process to create an RDA, Dant Chesser said. It's possible this region could be competing for funding against the four RDAs that didn't receive money two years ago: three across Indiana's midsection — West Central, Central and East Central — plus the Northwest RDA.

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Strategic Vision for Southwest Central Indiana

Effort funded through planning grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

Published November 25th 2014

After more than a year of research, planning and community engagement, stakeholders in southwest central Indiana announced today the completion of a regional economic development strategy aimed at fostering new growth and capitalizing on existing assets in the region, including but not limited to, Indiana University and Naval Support Activity (NSA) Crane. The strategy, funded by a planning grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., was presented today to regional leaders representing business, education and government at an event in French Lick, Ind.

Since the $650,000 grant was awarded in July 2013, hundreds of meetings, interviews and focus groups have taken place at the direction of the planning initiative's steering committee, consisting of eight invested stakeholders and leaders from the region. The committee focused on an 11-county area, which includes Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen and Washington counties.

The steering committee worked with the project coordinator Energy Systems Network (ESN) and research consultants with Battelle Technology Partnership Practice. Together they conducted a regional assessment of current and emerging sectors and organized a number of community and stakeholder meetings. In addition, committee members traveled to three "benchmark" regions - Huntsville, Ala.;Knoxville, Tenn.; and Charleston, S.C. - meeting with local business and government leaders to gather additional information. Like the southwest central Indiana region, these benchmark locations benefit from being home to a major research university in close proximity to a federal laboratory.

"The benchmarking visits were a critical part of our strategic planning process," said Dan Peterson, vice president of industry and governmental affairs at Cook Group and chairman of the steering committee. "Each was selected as a result of its demonstrated success in coordinated economic, workforce and technology transfer activities. Their processes served as a launch pad for recognizing best practices and an overall sense of the type of strong community commitment required for regional advancement."

Listening sessions were also coordinated in all 11 counties by the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County and Radius Indiana - a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in south central Indiana - with support from other local community foundations.

"This region is ripe with opportunity, and we sought to hear from as many community members as possible," said Becky Skillman, president and CEO of Radius Indiana and a member of the steering committee. "Radius Indiana is keen on enlisting collaborative, regional support to bring success and growth to southern Indiana, and this strategic plan gives us a significant step forward in optimizing that effort."

The plan consists of six interconnected strategies focused on regionalism, workforce development and education, economic development, infrastructure, entrepreneurship, and R&D technology transfer. The assessment of current and emerging sectors within the region helped identify those areas in which high growth could be achieved.

Lilly Endowment's grant was awarded to the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership Foundation, which supports the charitable and educational activities of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), and is managed by ESN. "This plan provides a strategy and roadmap for transformational development that can position the region to compete on a global scale," said Paul Mitchell, president and CEO of ESN. "Now regional leaders will begin the hard work of realizing this vision and delivering results."

Click below to view the Report



Energy Systems Network (ESN) is a not for profit, industry-driven economic initiative focused on bringing alternative energy technology solutions to market, using innovation to confront global energy challenges with systems-level so lutions. ESN provides services to its members and industry through collaborative commercialization projects, consulting services, and strategic planning, research and workshops. In 2012, this initiative of Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) broke ground on the Battery Innovation Center (BIC} in the Southwest Central Indiana region. The BIC is a customer-driven single point of access for battery research, development, testing and commercialization. The $20 million facility is located at Westgate Technology Park in Crane, Ind. and opened operations in August 2013, providing significant economic growth to the area. For more information, visit


The steering committee for this strategic planning effort consists of regional leaders and stakeholders invested in the Southwest Central Indiana region:

  • Brian Blackwell, director, office of engagement, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane;
  • CMDR Timothy Craddock, commanding officer at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Crane
  • Duane Embree, national director of Military and Defense Initiatives, Ivy Tech Community College;
  • Paul Mitchell, president and CEO, Energy Systems Network (ESN);
  • Dan Peterson, vice president of industry and government affairs, Cook Group; steering committee chairman,:
  • Tina Peterson, president and CEO, Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County
  • Becky Skillman, president and CEO, Radius Indiana;
  • William Stephan, vice president for engagement, Indiana University


Lilly Endowment In c. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family -- J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli -- through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders' wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown.