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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

In The News

Who's making things happen in local business and industry.

Featured News

Maliah White
Hadley Mitchell

Tucker Publishing Group has hired Maliah White as a graphic designer. The Evansville native and F.J. Reitz High School alumna is a December 2023 graduate of the University of Southern Indiana and was visual editor of The Shield, USI’s student newspaper, as well as layout designer of Candid, USI’s student magazine. TPG also announced the hire of Hadley Mitchell as digital marketing coordinator. Mitchell grew up in Providence, Kentucky, and in May 2023 graduated from Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky, with a Bachelor of Arts in communications and media studies. Mitchell completed a summer externship with TPG prior to being hired.


New Hires/ Promotions

Newly elected Evansville Mayor Stephanie Terry announced several key appointees in her administration. Deputy Mayor Lindsay Locasto was most recently president of the Henderson, Kentucky, Chamber of Commerce. Communications Director Joe Atkinson has spent 16 years at the University of Evansville teaching and in various communications roles. City Controller Robert Gunter served as finance director for the City of Henderson since 2004. Executive Assistant Amanda Joest has held several public and private sector positions for 19 years. Department of Metropolitan Development Executive Director Kolbi Jackson has worked as a community development specialist and coordinator for 10 years. Evansville Water and Sewer Utility Executive Director Vic Kelson most recently served as utilities director for the City of Bloomington, Indiana. Evansville Vanderburgh Central Dispatch Director Carrie James marked 30 years with the department in 2023. Danielle Crook, a recent appointee of former Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, will stay on as executive director of the Department of Parks and Recreation. Climate Action Director Lauren Novell has experience in education and conservation projects at Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve, Howell Wetlands, and Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden. Evansville- Vanderburgh Human Relations Commission Executive Director Diane Clements-Boyd will continue to serve in that role after joining in 2004. Also staying on are Transportation Executive Director Todd Robertson, Evansville/ Vanderburgh County Emergency Management Agency Director Cliff Weaver, City Engineer Michael Labitzke, Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden Executive Director Erik Beck, Levee Superintendent Michael Herke, Human Resources Executive Director Tamara Payne, and Chief Information Officer Vernon Lutz.


Explore Evansville has named Kate Reibel its director of marketing and development. Reibel previously was executive director of Evansville’s Public Education Foundation and spent 15 years in marketing roles with multiple companies. Aaron King also has joined Explore Evansville as assistant director of sports development, with a focus on recruiting sports events to the area. He previously was assistant director of championships and alliances with the NCAA and has held event management roles for multiple college athletic conferences and associations.


Recent Evansville Police Department retiree Kevin Corbin has been appointed the University of Evansville’s director of public safety. Corbin — who retired after nearly 22 years with EPD with experience in the Crisis Intervention Unit and Honor Guard, among other units — succeeds prior director Jason Cullum and began his new post in mid-November.


Melanie Atwood is the new chief development officer for the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, and in this role, she also is president of the EVSC Foundation. She’s a former executive director of Cancer Pathways Midwest.


Justin Groenert has joined the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership as its new chief strategy officer. He joins E-REP’s leadership team after four years as the vice president of public policy for the Chamber of Commerce in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Indiana native’s prior experience includes serving as the Indiana treasurer’s chief of staff and legislative director, the Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s government relations and public policy director, and campaign manager and senior adviser for U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon.


Catholic Diocese of Evansville Bishop Joseph M. Siegel has named Megan Erbacher as the diocese’s director of communications and mission promotion and editor of The Message. Erbacher replaces the retiring Tim Lilley, who served the diocese for more than 10 years. She had been assistant director of communications and assistant editor of The Message since 2018. The Indiana University graduate is a former Evansville Courier & Press reporter.


Hafer has hired Savannah Barnhart as a graduate architect in its Evansville of- fice. Bryant holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and master’s degrees in architecture and historic preservation from Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana.


Nathan McCullough- Haddix has been named interim executive director of the Koch Family Children’s Museum of Evansville. He succeeds Stephanie Terry, who in November was elected Evansville’s new mayor and took office on Jan. 1. McCullough-Haddix has served as the museum’s deputy director for five years and, prior to that, held leadership positions at FOX 7 WTVW and CBS 44 WEVV. The museum’s board of directors has created a search committee to find a permanent executive director.


Evansville Surgical Associates has announced the appointment of Justin Harris as chief executive officer. He succeeds the retiring Jim Butterfield. Harris is a former CEO and chief financial officer of Southern Orthopedic Associates and Southern Illinois Orthopedic Center in Herrin, Illinois. He’s also held several executive positions with hospitals in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama. Harris’ wife, Kaitlyn, grew up in the Henderson, Kentucky, area.


Oakland City University, Indiana, has named Cathy Robb its new provost and vice president of academic affairs. The 30-year education veteran joined Oakland City in 2013 and most recently served as dean and professor of the School of Business. Robb has helped develop nearly 20 business classes during her tenure and will continue teaching in her new position.


Legence Bank has hired Taylor Scott as a mortgage loan officer at its Cross Pointe branch. She will focus on strategy, growth, and community development in the Evansville market. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois. She serves as an Evansville Regional Economic Partnership ambassador and owns two businesses: Simply Handmade and Sweets by Simply Handmade.


University of Southern Indiana has named Aaron Trump vice president for government affairs and general counsel. Trump had served as USI chief government and legal affairs officer since December 2018. USI has tapped Sam Preston as the interim director of public safety following Steve Bequette’s retirement. Preston spent 34 years with the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office. Amy Ubelhor is USI’s new director of University Creative and Print after having been assistant director of creative/designer since 2014. Ubelhor replaces Terri Bischoff, who is retiring after more than 16 years. USI also has promoted Jeff Sickman to assistant vice president for finance and ad- ministration and Jina Platts to director of university accounting. Sickman has been with USI for 30 years, most recently as controller and assistant treasurer. Platts, who has 24 years with the university, had been serving as assistant controller.


Ada Cuadrado, a 30- year energy industry veteran, has been named CountryMark’s new vice president of operations and will lead the oil company’s refining, project management, regulatory, and safety groups. CountryMark’s assets include a refinery in Mount Vernon, Indiana, that produces 450 million gallons of fuel each year. Cuadrado replaces Kim Smock, who retired in January.


Koch Enterprises has announced Neil McDonald as chief financial officer, replacing retiring Susan Parsons, who will assist with the transition through summer 2024. McDonald has served as CFO of AmeriQual and was a controller at MasterBrand Cabinets in Jasper, Indiana.


Departures

Mary Bower will step away this year as the John Streetman Executive Director of the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science. In her 45 years at the museum, she has served as art curator and chief curator, led four accreditation evaluation teams, and managed the development of a master plan. Her retirement will take effect May 30.


Evansville Civic Theatre, Inc.’s Managing Artistic Director Kevin Roach tendered his resignation in late December. Roach has served in the role since 2016.


David Bower has announced plans to retire from the University of Southern Indiana on June 30 after three decades. He was president of the USI Foundation for 18 of those years and vice president of development for seven.


Awards/Recognition

The Lilly Endowment has granted $1 million to the University of Southern Indiana and $500,000 each to the University of Evansville and Vincennes University. The funds, awarded through the Lilly Endowment’s Advancing the Science of Reading in Indiana program, will promote local literacy programs and train future elementary reading educators. Twenty-eight Indiana colleges and universities received grants to integrate Science of Reading-aligned principles into teacher preparation programs.


Explore Evansville has been named the 2023 Company Supplier of the Year by the Indiana Society of Association Executives. Noted in its accomplishments was its bringing the ICON23 convention to the region. Explore Evansville also won Supplier of the Year in 2020.


Boys & Girls Club of Evansville dedicated its Panda Cares Center of Hope, sponsored by Panda Express. The center is a newly renovated space with a new library of books, as well as laptops, SMART board technology, STEM sup- plies, and comfortable lounge furniture. Panda Express also made an additional $10,000 donation to the Evansville club.


Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana has announced three new laureates in the Evansville Regional Business Hall of Fame. The 2024 class includes Lloyd Winnecke, who in 2023 completed 12 years as Evansville mayor and now is the CEO of the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership; former Toyota Indiana CEO Leah Curry, who retired in December after a 26-year career with the company; and the late George Mesker, founder and president of George L. Mesker & Co., whose ornamental sheet metal facades and cast iron storefront components influenced architecture in Evansville and beyond. The laureates will be honored May 21 at a ceremony at Old National Events Plaza.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded Morton Solar & Electric a $171,000 technical assistance grant to help implement a three-year solar informational program called Solar is for Everyone. The program aims to inform farmers and small businesses how to navigate and apply for the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program.


Former Evansville Deputy Mayor Steve Schaefer has been named a Sagamore of
the Wabash. At a ceremony Nov. 16, 2023, then-Mayor Lloyd Winnecke presented the Sagamore of the Wabash award — the highest honor a person can receive for distinguished service to the state of Indiana — on behalf of Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb. Schaefer, Evansville’s first deputy mayor as well as the recent interim executive director of the city’s Department of Parks & Recreation, joined Garmong Construction in late November as its vice president for the Evansville region.


The University of Evansville’s educator preparedness program has received national accreditation. UE is among 34 institutions that met standards put forth by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. UE’s Center for Innovation & Change also landed a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. With the Evansville nonprofit Circular Venture Lab, UE will spearhead innovative initiatives in clean energy manufacturing.


University of Southern Indiana President Ron Rochon has been appointed chair of the American Association of State College and Universities’ board of directors. His one-year term was announced Nov. 7, 2023, at the AASCU Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to his term as president, Rochon served on the AASCU’s executive committee and chaired the Millennium Leadership Initiative Steering Committee.


Evansville-based Advantix Development Corporation is one of 17 Indiana agencies to be awarded 2024’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. The tax credit will apply to Advantix’s new affordable housing projects in Kokomo, Elkhart, and South Bend, Indiana.


CenterPoint Energy Foundation and United Way of Southwestern Indiana have partnered to offer the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to Spencer County, Indiana, children. The utility company’s charitable arm has provided United Way with more than $26,000 to begin the pro- gram, which mails a free new book each month per child from birth to age five. Launched in 1995 in Parton’s home state of Tennessee, the Imagination Library has provided more than one million books to children and expanded into a total of four countries.


104.1-FM WIKY has concluded a yearlong celebration of its 75th anniversary by nam- ing the winner of the radio station’s grand prize. Listener Sheila Dale on Nov. 18, 2023, received the keys to a 2023 Ford Bronco Sport provided by D-Patrick Ford/Lincoln.


For the second year, Berry Global has earned a spot on 3BL’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens list, which recognizes outstanding environmental, social, and governance transparency and performance among the country’s 1,000 largest public companies. Started by Business Ethics Magazine in 1999, the annual list ranks companies in the Russell 1000 Index on their transparency and performance on 184 environmental, social and governance factors. In 2023, Berry Global ranked 60th.


The D-Patrick family of automobile dealerships has made several donations to area agencies. D-Patrick Ford/Lincoln awarded $2,500 each to Ballet Indiana and Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ohio Valley. D-Patrick Boonville Ford presented $2,500 to Boonville Square Flair Festival and $1,000 to Puttin’ for Presents.


Vanderburgh County Commissioners have donated $50,000 to the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at Ascension St. Vincent Evansville. The children’s hospital plans to use the funds, derived from the American Rescue Plan Act, to grow its dental clinic, which has served more than 1,500 since 2000.


United Way of Southwestern Indiana has announced nearly $1 million in grants
as part of its Empowering Employment Pathways to Potential initiative. ARK Crisis Children’s Center will receive $231,060 for its Working Parents Program; Carver Community Organization is awarded $231,060 to increase the number of childcare spaces available; Grow Southwest Indiana Workforce Board will get $165,000 to support neighborhood-based employment assistance in Vanderburgh, Warrick, and Spencer counties through Neighborhood Employment Navigators; Missing Pieces Community Development Corporation will receive $125,000 for its worksite transportation program; and $11,000 will go to Legal Aid Society of Evansville to support a software upgrade legally required for processing expungements and storing protected client information.


Growth/Development

TrueScripts Management Services, which has an office in Evansville, now is a team member-owned pharmacy company. Employees hired before Nov. 13, 2023, at all U.S. branches of the Prescription Benefit Management company now are part of its employee stock ownership plan, which will fall under the direction of an ESOP committee as well as TrueScripts’ leadership and executive team.


The National Youth Advocate Program has launched an office in Evansville, its ninth in Indiana. The national foster care organization partners with the Indiana Department of Child Services to help license homes and provide resources for foster children and families in 11 Southwestern Indiana counties.


Tri-State Orthopaedics has entered into a partnership with University of Southern Indiana to provide medical services for the university’s varsity athletes. Dr. Tim Hamby will lead an orthopaedic team consisting of Dr. Shayne Kelly, certified physician assistants Katelyn Schneider and Sydney Kelly, and certified nurse practitioner Kurtis Anthony. The contract begins with the Fall 2023 term and runs through Spring 2028.


Business Closings/Reductions

Howie and Tina Rumjahn closed The Rumjahn Gallery & Framery, 5901 Vogel Road, at the end of December 2023.

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Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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