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South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership Welcomes New Staff

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (June 29, 2022) — The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership welcomed five new team members to its ranks this spring. The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership (Regional Partnership) is a collaboration of economic development partners in the South Bend – Elkhart region, which encompasses 47 communities in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan.

The new team members include:

  • Lisa Buchanan, Director, Education and Workforce Solutions: A recent transplant to the area, Buchanan brings 15 years of workforce development experience to the team. In this position, she manages and supports educational and workforce initiatives, increasing the availability of work-ready talent for key industry sectors in the region.
  • Lori Flotow, Manager, Office Operations: Performing a wide variety of office operations and executive administrative support, Flotow is the first line of communication with key constituents, executing multiple administrative duties of the office and performing a wide variety of duties.
  • Liz Folkerts, Manager, Digital Marketing and Public Relations: With a background in journalism and marketing, Folkerts creates and promotes content on behalf of the Regional Partnership. She oversees web content, from initial strategy to day-to-day updates and management of our public-facing platforms including social media.
  • Taryn MacFarlane, Vice President, Regional Initiatives: Bringing an expertise in grant writing, management and administration, MacFarlane serves as the primary staff administrator for the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Development Authority (RDA) and supports the Regional Partnership’s implementation of the READI grant program.
  • Bianca Tirado, Director, Strategic Initiatives: The previous Chief Deputy City Clark/Chief of Staff for the City of South Bend and a recent master’s graduate from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, Tirado provides management and coordination for the Talent Attraction and Retention, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives of the Regional Partnership.

“Our fresh staff members bring an array of skills and experience to our team,” said Bethany Hartley, newly named President and CEO of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership. “These new members, combined with our established team, allow us to increase the impact of our work for the region though data-driven decision making. This potential for growth is exciting for our organization and I look forward to guiding us in this new direction.”

The new team members join the rest of the Regional Partnership team:

  • Dan Buckenmeyer, Sr. Specialist, Economic Development: Buckenmeyer works with the South Bend International Airport to increase the direct and indirect economic benefits of airport operations throughout the region. This includes real estate development, international trade, FTZ use, cargo service development, public-private partnerships and more to move both people and goods.
  • Bethany Hartley, President and CEO: Hartley was named President and CEO of the organization in May of 2022. She has over a decade of experience in non-profit leadership, primarily focused on economic development and entrepreneurship. She previously held the position of Chief Strategy Officer with the Regional Partnership and led the organization as interim CEO.
  • Sarah Niespodziany, Vice President, Marketing and Communications: Niespodziany oversees planning and executing marketing and communications efforts for the Regional Partnership and acts as the primary media contact for the organization. She manages brand strategy, events, stakeholder relations, and execution of other initiatives.
  • Jill Scicchitano, Chief Operating Officer: Scicchitano oversees the key business functions of the organization, pursuing continuous improvement and operational excellence fostering growth and driving action toward positive community impact. Her enterprise-wide leadership role takes a holistic, systems view and works to advance the regional economic development strategy.

The Regional Partnership is looking to fill one more position within the organization. For more information on the Manager, Innovation and Entrepreneurship position, click here.

About South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership is a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47 smart connected communities in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership focuses on a long-term systemic approach to advance the region’s economy by aligning the efforts of various stakeholders around five key areas: educating a world-class workforce, recruiting and retaining great talent, attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing industries, promoting inclusion and sparking opportunities for minorities and helping entrepreneurs thrive. The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region to work together to achieve what cannot be done individually. For more information about the Regional Partnership, visit SouthBendElkhart.org.

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Media Contact
Sarah Niespodziany
South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
sniespodziany@southbendelkhart.org

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South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership Names Bethany Hartley President and CEO

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (May 18, 2022) – The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership named Bethany Hartley its new President and Chief Executive Officer , the second in the organization’s history. Hartley succeeds founder Regina Emberton, who stepped down in February.

Hartley assumes the role effective Monday, May 23rd. She currently holds the title of Chief Strategic Officer (CSO) at the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership (Regional Partnership), a position she has held since 2020, and has been acting as interim CEO since Emberton’s exit. As CSO, she was responsible for translating strategies across functions and driving organizational change, supporting new working relationships and synergies across the organization, and establishing greater transparency and accountability. She led the organization in a period of unprecedented team growth earlier this year. Hartley joined the Regional Partnership as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion in 2018.

“Bethany’s passion for the region, its people and its continued growth is unmatched,” said Pete McCown, chair of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership’s Board of Directors. “In her time with the organization, her impact has been felt across all the organization’s primary areas of focus: entrepreneurship, industry growth, education and workforce, talent attraction and retention, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She played a key role in winning the READI grant funds from the state and continued to grow as a leader not only for the organization, but the region and beyond. We expect her vision to carry the Regional Partnership into a new era.”

The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership worked with executive search consultants Waverly Partners for an exhaustive nationwide CEO search. A search committee, made up of members of the Regional Partnership board and key regional stakeholders, made the final decision.

“It is with great enthusiasm and humility that I begin serving as the next President and CEO of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership,” Hartley said. “We have a solid foundation, fostered by our team at the Regional Partnership, our dedicated board and committee members, and our partners across 47 smart, connected communities. I look forward to continuing to build on the momentum we have been developing for the past decade to create a region that is vibrant, innovative, and known across the country as a hub for startups, companies fueled by advanced technologies, and opportunity for all.”

Hartley has over a decade of experience in non-profit leadership, primarily focused on economic development and entrepreneurship. Prior to joining the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership, Hartley held leadership positions with RISE | Regional Innovation and Startup Education, Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County, Family and Children’s Center, and the Women’s Business Development Center.

Hartley holds a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago and certificates from the University of Notre Dame’s Master of Non-Profit Administration, Babson College, and Catalyst Inc. Hartley is also active in a wide range of community activities, including serving as a board member of Startup Moxie Elkhart County, a steering committee member of the Engaging Women Conference, a committee member for Beacon Health Systems, and a champion and fundraiser for Girls on the Run of Northern Indiana.

About South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership is a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47 smart connected communities in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership focuses on a long-term systemic approach to advance the region’s economy by aligning the efforts of various stakeholders around five key areas: educating a world-class workforce, recruiting and retaining great talent, attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing industries, promoting inclusion and sparking opportunities for minorities and helping entrepreneurs thrive. The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region work together to achieve what cannot be done individually. For more information about the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership, visit SouthBendElkhart.org.

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Media Contact
Sarah Niespodziany
South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
sniespodziany@southbendelkhart.org

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HustleSBE Graduate Highlight: Chef Monnese Plummer of Fancy Delights

HustleSBE Cohort Four Graduate: Chef Monnese Plummer

Name of Business: Fancy Delights

Website/Social Media: Click Here

Business Description: Fancy Delights is a catering business that specializes in desserts and comfort food from various forms of cuisines. We offer buffet, drop-off, and plated style catering for every occasion. We also participate in popup shops, markets, and many other community venues.

At what point did you realize the dream of your business was real?: “When my hobby developed into passion, I discovered that my dreams and desires were to serve others. The memories that I helped others create through my services as a chef made me realize that I could reach many more.”

What advice would you give to aspiring small business owners?: “To continue moving forward toward their inspirations and dreams. Take your time and build a support system for yourself. Utilize all resources around you and stay focused. Build positive relationships and stay true to your mission.”

Are you from the South Bend-Elkhart region?: “I am a South Bend native and was raised in this community. The South Bend – Elkhart region is a small, diverse community with a lot of leadership opportunities. Still lacking some cultural amenities, I hope to be able to help bridge the gap and continue to give back to the community. ”

Share your favorite business resource. Why is it your favorite?: “Mailchimp is a good business resource that I learned about while participating in HustleSBE. It helps create email marketing campaigns and keep track of your customer email listing. ”

To learn more about our HustleSBE Cohort Four graduates, click here.

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South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership Appoints New Chairs to Regional Economic Development Strategy Committees

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Feb. 10, 2022) — The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership recently appointed the following individuals as Chairs to the specified Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) committees.

  • Entrepreneurship Committee – Susan Ford, Partner, Graham Allen Partners
  • Talent Attraction and Retention Committee – Andrew Wiand, Executive Director, enFocus

Formed out of the region’s 2016 “Plan for Prosperity, Growth and Inclusion Version 1.0,” each committee represents the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership’s strategic drivers identified as the underlying principles for a comprehensive regional development plan:

  • Educating a world-class workforce
  • Recruiting and retaining great talent
  • Attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing industries
  • Promoting inclusion and sparking opportunities for minorities
  • Helping entrepreneurs

“Volunteer leadership roles require a significant commitment of time and energy,” said South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership Chief Strategy Officer, Bethany Hartley. “Our regional successes are a direct result of the collaboration and dedication of strong leaders representing our 47 smart, connected, communities.”

The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership has a robust committee structure which facilitates ongoing regional collaboration and functions to ensure efficient and impactful use of resources, rapid identification of challenges, and the coordination of solutions. Committees are comprised of industry leaders, public sector officials, post-secondary thought leaders, and entrepreneurs.

The slate of REDS Committee Chairs currently serving as committee representatives on the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership’s Board of Directors is listed below:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Education and Workforce Committee

Entrepreneurship Committee

Industry Growth Committee

  • Shelley Klug, Economic and Business Development Manager, American Electric Power
  • Committee Members

Talent Attraction and Retention Committee

The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership and their Board of Directors recognizes and thanks Matt Davis of ITAMCO, Chuck Lehman of Lehman & Lehman, and Phil Smoker of Smoker Craft for their leadership to their respective committees and to the South Bend – Elkhart region.

For more information on the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership’s Regional Economic Development Strategy, click here.

About South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership is a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47 smart connected communities in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership focuses on a long-term systemic approach to advance the region’s economy by aligning the efforts of various stakeholders around five key areas: educating a world-class workforce, recruiting and retaining great talent, attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing industries, promoting inclusion and sparking opportunities for minorities and helping entrepreneurs thrive. The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region to work together to achieve what cannot be done individually. For more information about the Regional Partnership, visit SouthBendElkhart.org.

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Media Contact
Sarah Niespodziany
South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
sniespodziany@southbendelkhart.org

The post South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership Appoints New Chairs to Regional Economic Development Strategy Committees appeared first on South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership.

HustleSBE Graduate Highlight: Nakisha Thompson-McGee of McGee Medical Advocates

HustleSBE Cohort Four Graduate: Nakisha Thompson-McGee

Name of Business: McGee Medical Advocates

Website/Social Media: Click Here

Business Description: We are health insurance brokers and educators. We specialize in group health insurance and education. Once an employer obtains a health care plan from McGee Medical Advocates their covered employees will receive health insurance education and advocacy as a concierge service.

At what point did you realize the dream of your business was real?: “I realized my business was my reality when every time I thought about what I should be doing to grow, I came back to my business without even trying.”

What advice would you give to aspiring small business owners?: “The advice I would give an aspiring small business owner will be to always be willing to learn but have discernment as to who to learn from and where to go to learn.”

Are you from the South Bend-Elkhart region?: “Yes, I am from South Bend. I was born in the area.”

Share your favorite business resource. Why is it your favorite?: “My favorite business resource liveplan.com. I like liveplan.com because it makes revising my business plan effective and efficient. You don’t have to complete the steps on the site, I use it as a tool to follow along what I have or if I need to add or remove a section. ”

To learn more about our HustleSBE Cohort Four graduates, click here.

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HustleSBE Graduate Highlight: Stephanie Coleman of Coleman Solutions, LLC

HustleSBE Cohort Four Graduate: Stephanie Coleman

Name of Business: Coleman Solutions, LLC

Website/Social Media: Click Here

Business Description: Coleman Solutions is a residential and commercial cleaning company providing healthy and safe spaces for work and play. Coleman Solutions’ services include office spaces, apartment turnovers, vacation rentals, special events, post construction, and hoarding cleaning.

At what point did you realize the dream of your business was real?: “We realized the dream of our business becoming real in 2020. My husband has 20+ years of cleaning experience and I bring business administration and organizational management. Together we have formed a dynamic business that continues to grow month after month.”

What advice would you give to aspiring small business owners?: “To all new aspiring small business owners, I say do your research and know your customer.”

Are you from the South Bend-Elkhart region?: “Yes, I moved to Elkhart, IN after being honorably discharged from the United States Air Force. I love this community and feel so supported. The South Bend – Elkhart region is a great place to live.”

Share your favorite business resource. Why is it your favorite?: “My favorite business resource is the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce. My favorite app/website is Jobber. My favorite meeting spot is The Electric Brew.”

To learn more about our HustleSBE Cohort Four graduates, click here.

The post HustleSBE Graduate Highlight: Stephanie Coleman of Coleman Solutions, LLC appeared first on South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership.

Regional Leaders Elected to South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership Board of Directors

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Jan. 24, 2022) — The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership (Regional Partnership) recently appointed the following individuals as members of its Board of Directors.

  • Susan Ford, Partner, Graham Allen Partners
  • Andrew Wiand, Executive Director, enFocus

The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership and their Board of Directors recognizes and thanks Chuck Lehman of Lehman & Lehman and Phil Smoker of Smoker Craft for their leadership and service to the board and to the South Bend – Elkhart region.

“We are extremely grateful to welcome two incredible community leaders to our board,” said South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership Board Chair, Dr. Pete McCown. “Susan and Andrew provide our board with unique backgrounds and perspectives, and we look forward to their leadership during a transformative and exciting time at the organization.”

The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership catalyzes economic growth across the South Bend – Elkhart region by improving wages and livability to attract and grow the best industries and workers. This is the shared vision of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership’s Board of Directors, who provide strategic leadership to the organization.

The slate of Board members currently serving on the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership’s Board of Directors is listed below:

  • Dave Behr, Indiana Economic Development Corporation
  • Shannon Cullinan, University of Notre Dame
  • Michael Daigle, South Bend International Airport
  • Susan Ford, Graham Allen Partners
  • Larry Garatoni, Garatoni Family Office
  • Jon Hunsberger, Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Levon Johnson, Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce
  • Jim Keenan, Judd Leighton Foundation
  • Shelley Klug, Indiana Michigan Power
  • Andy Kostielney, St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners
  • Pete McCown, Community Foundation of Elkhart County
  • Rose Meissner, Community Foundation of St. Joseph County
  • Gary Neidig, ITAMCO
  • Kevin Overmyer, Marshall County Board of Commissioners
  • Kristin Pruitt, Lake City Bank
  • Jeff Rea, South Bend Regional Chamber
  • Amish Shah, Kem Krest
  • Andrea Short, 1st Source Bank
  • Chris Stager, Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County
  • Rebecca Stoltzfus, Goshen College
  • James Turnwald, Michiana Area Council of Governments
  • Laura Walls, Marshall County Economic Development Corp Corporation
  • Suzanne Weirick, Elkhart County Board of Commissioners
  • Andrew Wiand, enFocus

For more information on the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership’s Board of Directors, click here.

About South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership is a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47 smart connected communities in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership focuses on a long-term systemic approach to advance the region’s economy by aligning the efforts of various stakeholders around five key areas: educating a world-class workforce, recruiting and retaining great talent, attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing industries, promoting inclusion and sparking opportunities for minorities and helping entrepreneurs thrive. The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region to work together to achieve what cannot be done individually. For more information about the Regional Partnership, visit SouthBendElkhart.org.

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Media Contact
Sarah Niespodziany
South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
sniespodziany@southbendelkhart.org

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South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership Names Chief Operating Officer

The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership announces the promotion of Jill Scicchitano to Chief Operating Officer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Jan. 19, 2022) — Today, the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership announced that Jill Scicchitano, an executive with over 13 years of leadership experience with nonprofit and for-profit organizations has been named as Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Scicchitano previously served as the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership’s Director of Industry Growth where she focused on advancing regional employment in higher pay traded industry clusters by providing business support and improved infrastructure for the region’s growing companies and industries. Since 2018, she has worked directly with the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership’s Industry Growth advisory committee and local economic development organizations, as well as municipal, county, and state leaders to develop and implement key strategies.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead as COO at a very important time for the region,” says Scicchitano. “As we move into a new stage of growth, I look forward to working with the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership team pursuing continuous improvement and operational excellence empowering the organization to be the best we can be. I am excited to support our partners and stakeholders working diligently to chart a course for the region that will continue to benefit businesses, residents, and ultimately, our communities.”

As COO, in addition to continuing to lead Industry Growth strategies, Scicchitano will oversee Education and Workforce strategies and assume organizational management activities for the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership.

“The work done by Jill is critical to the success of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership team and to advancing the region’s economic development strategies,” says South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership President and CEO, Regina Emberton. “I am confident that in her new role, they will continue to have a positive impact on our efforts to grow the regional economy.​​​​”

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About South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership is a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47 smart connected communities in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. The Regional Partnership focuses on a long-term systemic approach to advance the region’s economy by aligning the efforts of various stakeholders around five key areas: educating a world-class workforce, recruiting and retaining great talent, attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing industries, promoting inclusion and sparking opportunities for minorities and helping entrepreneurs thrive. The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region to work together to achieve what cannot be done individually. For more information about the Regional Partnership, visit SouthBendElkhart.org.
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Media Contact
Sarah Niespodziany
South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
sniespodziany@southbendelkhart.org

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HustleSBE Graduate Highlight: Andre Jackson of Alphajak Sealcoating, LLC

HustleSBE Cohort Four Graduate: Andre Jackson

Name of Business: Alphajak Sealcoating, LLC

Website/Social Media: Click Here

Business Description: AlphaJak Sealcoating, LLC is a Digital Marketing and Sales company that offers an asphalt maintenance service. The company mission is to express creativity through innovative and unique paving solutions.

At what point did you realize the dream of your business was real?: “I think the day I fired myself from my day job.”

What advice would you give to aspiring small business owners?: “Imagine who you want to be, the way you speak, think, dress, the amount of money you make, etc. Then start acting as if you already have those things.”

Are you from the South Bend-Elkhart region?: “Yes, I am a native of the region. I stay because I believe in the potential our region has to offer, especially for small business owners.”

Share your favorite business resource. Why is it your favorite?: “Google! I pride myself on being an information literate individual and knowing where to go to find the resources I need!”

To learn more about our HustleSBE Cohort Four graduates, click here.

The post HustleSBE Graduate Highlight: Andre Jackson of Alphajak Sealcoating, LLC appeared first on South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership.

HustleSBE Graduate Highlight: Jessica Lopez of Tacos 9 Juan Juan

HustleSBE Cohort Four Graduate: Jessica Lopez

Name of Business: Tacos 9 Juan Juan

Website/Social Media: Click Here

Business Description: Mobile food truck servicing the South Bend – Elkhart region. Specializing in quick flavorful Mexican food.

At what point did you realize the dream of your business was real?: When I was leaving what I would have considered a job and not my career.

What advice would you give to aspiring small business owners?: To never think of yourself as being incapable. Strive and work hard to set new goals and growth.

Are you from the South Bend-Elkhart region?: I was born in Goshen, IN. I have tried to leave but I just love this place so much and I gravitate home again. It feels like home here.

Share your favorite business resource. Why is it your favorite?: My favorite business resource would be the contacts I have made along the way. I have been in the food industry since I was 11. It is not something I just wanted to start doing because I liked food. I enjoy making food and I enjoy people. So, when I do this, it truly makes me feel like this is my career. The people I have met along the way have by far been my biggest resources.

To learn more about our HustleSBE Cohort Four graduates, click here.

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