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Current News

White County Annual Meeting

Friday, April 10, 2015

The keynote speaker was Jay Garner, president of Garner Economics LLC, who shared an interesting take on what he said are the three processes of economic development, which he categorized as hunters, gardeners and nurturers:

“There’s the recruitment side, which a lot of people call the ‘hunters.’ The hunters include recruitment through tourism and retail. That’s what primarily gets most of the national attention, most of the local attention when a new company comes to town. Then, there are the gardeners; that’s the entrepreneurial side. That’s where most of the new jobs are coming from, especially what we call mature entrepreneurs. Typically an entrepreneur, if you get past the five-year range, you become a more mature company and that’s the jump; that’s the job creation component. Then, there are the nurturers. That’s the existing businesses that are here. And somewhere, depending on the community, between 50 percent and 80 percent of new jobs are created by existing business. So if you have a holistic economic development program that includes recruitment, entrepreneurship, existing industry growth, then you have an effective initiative that should mean success,” Garner said in his speech.

Close to the end of the event, WCED President Randy Mitchell invited Diane Thalmann of NIPSCO, who also is chairperson of the WCED Board of Directors, for a special announcement. Taking the stage, Thalmann introduced NIPSCO Public Affairs Manager Erin Whitehead and four area school superintendents.

“NIPSCO is proud to be an employer in White County,” Thalmann said, “and we strive to be a good community partner. To that end, we’re always looking for good people who are doing good things, and then trying to find a way to help them do more of it. The great work being done under the leadership of these four schools superintendents is second to none…One of the most exciting initiatives is the ongoing dialogue between White County educators and our manufacturing businesses.”

Whitehead then presented the superintendents with a $20,000 check to support their career and technical education (CTE) programs, which introduce students to the manufacturing community, ensuring them the necessary skills and employers the necessary skilled workforce.

Diane Thalmann, Economic Development Manager

Erin Whitehead, Public Affairs Manager



Dr. Tom Fletcher of Twin Lakes School Corporation; Cathy Rowe of Frontier School Corporation; and Dr. Kathy Goad of Tri-County School Corporation and Erin Whitehead, Public Affairs Manager of NIPSCO.



Jay Garner, president of Garner Economics LLC