Tara Barney, President & CEO
I’m all in…
As the newest member of the Southwest Indiana Chamber staff, I am delighted with this opportunity to introduce myself and to share a few first thoughts as I get to know you, your businesses and the greater Evansville area. In February I had the honor of attending the Athena Award® Luncheon with many of you. What a great introduction to the business and civic life of Southwest Indiana. Hearing the stories of the Athena honorees and the three collegiate scholarship winners was inspiring. No doubt my new role here working with the board and staff of the Southwest Indiana Chamber is going to be fulfilling as well as fun. You really know how to make newcomers feel welcome!
Being great hosts and extending genuine welcome is more than good social convention; it really is a key strategy to making our region “sticky”; the place that business visitors remember, tourists think back of fondly, and locals just can’t make themselves leave. In my first few weeks as the new president and CEO, I’ve gotten to know the Chamber’s extraordinary staff, as well as the business and community leaders who volunteer their time as members of the Board, as Ambassadors, and as active members of our Chamber committees and Alliances.
Here’s my early impression: This special bend in the Ohio River is rich in talent, in unique assets and in a culture—a vibe—that energizes the way we do business, support our citizenry and choose to live. We are poised for great success. When Chris Ryan, CEO of The Women’s Hospital, accepted her recognition as “Athena of the Year” she challenged us to measure our work not only in success, but also in significance. Her words resonated; we all participate in the fabric of our community: small business, students, corporate partners, our thriving non-profit, culture and civic organizations. Every one of us has the opportunity to have a significant impact in our own way.
Personally, I look forward to getting to know all of you “significant contributors” to this community, my new home. I’m all in: for growing our economy, for encouraging and supporting a future-ready talent pool so business and industry will always think Southwest Indiana first, and for working with you shoulder to shoulder to continue this momentum I see all around Evansville, Posey County and the region —”together we will thrive!”