Conexus Indiana Partners to Launch North Central Regional Council

Affiliate of statewide industry group will focus on local transportation priorities

(Indianapolis, Ind. – April 2, 2013) Conexus Indiana, the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, and the Corporate Partnership for Economic Growth (CPEG), today announced the formation of the North Central Regional Logistics Council (NCRLC) to bring together logistics industry leaders to identify and advocate for local projects and develop other customized strategies to strengthen the area’s transportation sector.

NCRLC will support the efforts of the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council (CILC), which was created as an employer-driven voice of the industry, rallying logistics executives from across the state to develop and implement strategies for growth and investment, solidifying Indiana’s position as the ‘Crossroads of America.’ The regional councils will provide input for the Council’s statewide logistics plan.

NCRLC will also identify regional priorities and develop strategic initiatives to help transportation, distribution and supply chain firms succeed in the region.  NCRLC is being formed in partnership with CPEG, the seven Local Economic Development Organizations (LEDOs) of North Central Indiana and several local chambers, including the Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County and The Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce.  NCRLC will cover the Indiana counties of Cass, Elkhart, Fulton, Kosciusko, Marshall, Miami and St. Joseph.

“We’re very pleased to partner with local industry to launch a regional logistics council for North Central Indiana and that a respected industry veteran like Holladay Properties President and CEO John Phair has agreed to spearhead the effort by chairing the new council,” said David Holt, vice president of operations and business development for Conexus Indiana. “For the last three years, the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council has studied the key issues facing the industry and has recommended improvements including  investing in our highways, optimizing our airport network, maintaining our locks and dams, all while reducing the tax and regulatory barriers to logistics companies.

Phair noted the importance of logistics to North Central Indiana’s economy as a critical reason to form the new council. “North Central Indiana is right in the center of the logistics world − easy to travel East and West, as well as North and South from this region.  We are close to major population centers and have a workforce that is used to supporting both logistics and manufacturing.  This type of growth is a natural for our part of the state and region.”

“We are excited for the region to partner with Conexus to advance our logistics and manufacturing industries,” said Shawn E. Peterson, president and CEO of CPEG.  “With nearly 25% of our employment and 35% of our earnings generated from these sectors, it is vital that we leverage our strengths and foster long-term growth in these industries.”

CILC, working with CPEG and its local partners, convened an exploratory meeting on March 18, 2013 at the Gillespie Conference Center in South Bend, Ind. where it received positive feedback from the private sector and obtained approval to form the group. The NCRLC will hold its first official meeting at the Gillespie Conference Center on May 14, 2013 from 2-4 p.m. The group will confirm John Phair as the new chair of the council.

Other firms and organizations which will be represented at the May 14 meeting include Holladay Properties, the St. Joseph County Airport Authority, Walsh & Kelly, Biomet, CEVA Logistics, Coca-Cola South Bend Distribution Center, Days Distribution & Logistics, E&B Paving, Grubb & Ellis/Cressy & Everett, Metzger & Sons Trucking, Phend & Brown, Rieth-Riley Construction, The Tire Rack and Wiers Trucking. Logistics companies and other firms interested in participating in the Council are encouraged to contact Conexus at 317.638.2108 or email David Holt at dholt@conexusindiana.com to learn more in advance of the May 14 meeting. 

NCRLC will meet regularly and hold periodic forums and input sessions, addressing the transportation, infrastructure and public policy concerns of employers in the region, which is home to more than 96,200 manufacturing and logistics employees.

About Conexus Indiana:

Conexus Indiana is the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, dedicated to making Indiana a global leader. Conexus is focused on strategic priorities like workforce development, creating new industry partnerships and promoting Indiana’s advantages in manufacturing and logistics.  Learn more at www.ConexusIndiana.com.

About CPEG:

The Corporate Partnership for Economic Growth (CPEG) represents a new effort to engage regional business leaders and promote the long-term growth and prosperity of Northern Indiana. CPEG provides the resources to successfully spur broad regional initiatives and face the challenges and opportunities of competing in a global economy. For more information, visit www.cpeg.org.