President Donald Trump says he is nominating the former president of Lilly USA LLC to be the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Alex Azar left Lilly in January following leadership restructuring announced by Chief Executive Officer Dave Ricks.
Fort Wayne tables proposed events center: Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry says the city will "delay further action" on a previously-proposed downtown event center. In a statement Thursday morning he said the sports, concert and entertainment project would've required funding from the General Assembly, and "I don't feel as though it would be fair to ask for their support during the 2018 legislative session when our community hasn't yet embraced the project." A $105 million vision for the venue was first presented to the Allen County Capital Improvement Board in February.
E-Retailer celebrates Greenwood growth: The co-founder of a plus-size women's clothing company says workforce and economic development programs led the company to choose Greenwood for a distribution center and hundreds of new jobs. Dia&Co. cut the ribbon on its $2.7 million Johnson County distribution center today, and President Lydia Gilbert says the company expects to grow in Greenwood "for many years to come."
'Stay-at-home economy' fueling Terre Haute startup: The ecommerce boom and popularity of subscription boxes like Birchbox are driving growth for a Terre Haute-based manufacturer. BoxUp Chief Executive Officer Curt Stephens says the "stay-at-home economy" offers unlimited potential for the year-old business with a growing staff of nine. The Subscription Trade Association estimates the industry's current value at $5 billion. BoxUp offers custom boxes and designs in quantities from 12 to 5,000 to customers including Hoosier subscription box providers DAPR Club, Shred Box Monthly and Everyday Sanctuary. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, BoxUp CEO Curt Stephens says the Wabash Valley has provided a number of benefits to the startup.
South Bend schools details reorganization: South Bend Community School Corp. Superintendent Ken Spells has announced a major reorganization proposal designed to address lower enrollment and district finances, as well as maintain United States Justice Department compliance. "Focus 2018: Design For The Future" involves closing or repurposing multiple schools and returning middle schools to a six-through-eight model. The reorganization plan, the district says, will not affect the grade-level makeup of its high schools.
Berry Global to acquire Ohio company: Evansville-based Berry Global Group has announced plans to acquire Ohio-based Clopay Plastic Products Company. The deal, valued at $475 million, is expected to close in early 2018.
Indiana Racinos acquired in $1.7B deal: Las Vegas-based Caesar's Entertainment Corp. (Nasdaq: CZR) has announced it is acquiring the owner of Hoosier Park Racing and Casino in Anderson and the Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville. The deal for Centaur Holdings is valued at $1.7 billion. Caesars calls Indiana "an attractive region for investment," based on what it calls under-penetration and favorable economic fundamentals.
Merritt: Companies relaxing rules to deal with opioid issue: An Indiana senator who has been a major voice in the battle against the opioid epidemic says addiction is causing companies to relax their drug testing rules. "People are having to not drug test when they ordinarily would to get employees," says Jim Merritt (R-31). He believes those companies are hopeful that, if an employee has addiction issues, they can resolve them in-house without termination. The recently-released Indiana University Kelley School of Business economic forecast pegs the annual economic cost of the epidemic at more than $1 billion in the state. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Merritt said every Hoosier "is affected by this scourge in one way or another."
Floyd County company continues rapid growth: New Albany-based SmartBox LLC is planning to add 100 jobs by 2022. The digital marketing company focused on the dental industry says it will pump $1 million into doubling the size of its headquarters.
Investors pumping $8M Into Lessonly: A fast-growing technology company in Indianapolis has secured another $8 million in funding. Lessonly Inc. CEO Max Yoder says the Series B round from Boston-based OpenView Venture Partners, Rethink Education Management LLC in New York and central Indiana firms High Alpha Capital and Allos Ventures, could potentially double its current 80-person team over the next two years. The company says growth, which has outpaced its expectations from shortly after launching in 2012, was super-charged in 2016 by a Series A investment round of $5 million. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Yoder explained how the funding will be used.
Salesforce unveils Indy training program: Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), which in May said it would add 500 new local apprentices by 2020 in Indianapolis, is launching Salesforce Pathfinder Training in the city. The company says the program will give participants skills and business training they need to become administrators or developers in the Salesforce ecosystem. Veterans, professionals looking to re-enter the work force and youth who are not working or in school will be eligible to apply for training. Salesforce plans to begin the program in May with 50 participants.
New Indiana State president confirmed: The Indiana State University Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the appointment of Deborah Curtis as the school's 12th president. Curtis, currently the provost and chief learning officer at the University of Central Missouri, will begin her new role in January.
Klipsch: $12M Marian gift about better teachers: Marian University's now-public, $250 million fundraising campaign has received a big boost. Fred Klipsch, the former owner of Indianapolis-based Klipsch Audio Technologies, and his wife, Judy, have donated $12 million to the university's Educators College. President Dan Elsener calls the gift "a key moment in our history at Marian University." During an interview with Inside INdiana Business Television, Klipsch said the contribution will continue his commitment to education reform and building a better pipeline of teaching talent.
Zionsville selected for Little League HQ: Pennsylvania-based Little League International has chosen Zionsville as the new home of its central region headquarters. The decision comes more than a year after the organization announced plans to relocate from its current home in Indianapolis.
Coal loading facility planned For Princeton: A subsidiary of Denver-based Hallador Energy Co. (Nasdaq: HNRG) has announced plans to construct a new truck-to-rail coal loading facility near Princeton. Sunrise Coal LLC in Terre Haute says the facility, known as the Princeton Loop, is expected to be complete in the spring of 2018.
Nine13sports growing with 'Kids Building Bikes': An Indianapolis-based nonprofit focused on children's health and wellness through riding bicycles is diversifying its programming. Nine13sports will launch Kids Building Bikes next summer, a four-week program that teaches bike safety and maintenance where participants who complete it will ride away on a new bike. The program is geared toward fourth- and fifth-graders and will be primarily after school. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, CEO Tom Hanley said the program goes beyond health and wellness.
Saint Joseph's to form new board: As Saint Joseph's College continues efforts to rebound from financial troubles that led to a suspension of activities on the Rensselaer campus, its board of trustees is about to undergo a major change. The college says the 24 current lay members will vacate their positions "in the coming months" to make way for a new board.
ISU Foundation CEO to step down: The CEO of the ISU Foundation has announced plans to step down at the end of the year. Ron Carpenter, who also serves as vice president of Indiana State University's Division of Development, says he is leaving to take the next step in his career closer to his home near Indianapolis.
360 Networx to cut ribbon on HQ: Officials in Scott County cut the ribbon this week on the new 360 Networx headquarters in Scottsburg. Financial details were not disclosed, however, the telecommunications service company says the facility, located in the Mid-America Science Park, will serve as its first multi-service hub.
Greenwood completes acquisition of strip mall: The Greenwood Redevelopment Commission has closed on a $1.1 million acquisition of a former strip mall considered an "eyesore" near the Greenwood Park Mall. The city says the 8-acre property, formerly home to The Patriot's Table restaurant, is expected to be demolished by early 2019.
Vroom looking to fill jobs in Whitestown: New York-based Vroom plans to hire more than 75 workers at its newest facility in Whitestown. The online car retailer says it is looking to fill a variety of positions, including automotive service technicians, automotive detailers and quality control managers.
Kroger opens downtown Indy store: Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) has opened its new store in downtown Indianapolis. The company has invested nearly $2 million into the former Marsh store on the corner of Michigan Street and Capital Avenue, which was purchased in July as part of a $16 million deal by Kroger subsidiary Topvalco Inc.
State chamber sets legislative preview lineup: Top leaders from both sides of the aisle will take the stage Monday for the annual Indiana Chamber Legislative Preview. The event will include a panel featuring House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-88), House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-9), Senate President Pro-Tem David Long (R-16) and Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane (D-25). Chamber leadership will also present their priorities for the upcoming session.
Mainstreet details $425M deal: Mainstreet Health Investments Inc., a Toronto company founded by Carmel-based Mainstreet, has announced a $425 million acquisition and planned name change. The senior health care real estate company says the deal for New York-based Care Investment Trust LLC includes a portfolio of 42 properties throughout the United States. Mainstreet Health Investments says Invesque Inc., its proposed new name, will be unique, recognizable and "eliminate any possible confusion around the use of the Mainstreet name and other entities that use a similar name."
Town of Santa Claus among top spots for Christmas lovers: As the holiday season draws near, the town of Santa Claus is receiving more national recognition. The Spencer County town is included in POPSUGAR.com's list of 15 holiday travel destinations for Christmas lovers.