Message from Southwest Indiana Chamber Interim President & CEO, Tim Hayden

2018: Continuing a Spirit of Optimism

Winston Churchill, the former prime minister of the United Kingdom, once said: “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

In 2017, the Southwest Indiana Chamber celebrated a number of successes, including legislative wins that provide increased road-funding revenue, expansion of pre-kindergarten programs in Indiana, and mechanisms for regional infrastructure improvement projects. Bridgelink committee advocacy efforts drove progress with the Environmental Impact Study launched for a new bridge connecting Indiana and Kentucky along I-69. In addition, we are already seeing our region’s core begin to transform with the opening of the DoubleTree by Hilton convention center hotel and numerous Regional Cities Initiative projects that are underway, including the new Multi-Institutional Medical and Research Campus. The establishment of the Economic Improvement District (EID) in Downtown Evansville will only enhance this transformation for many years to come. We also celebrated the launch of the Latino Chamber Alliance and the “E is for Everyone” initiative. “E is for Everyone” was created to celebrate Evansville and Southwest Indiana but also to serve as a focal point for aspiration and inspiration.

Our 2017 successes were the result of significant strategic advocacy efforts and partnerships by many outstanding leaders in local government, local business and numerous community focused organizations across the region. As we close the book on an outstanding 2017, I find myself looking forward to an even better 2018 for Southwest Indiana. With all the recent progress being made in our region, it is easy to be very optimistic about our future. As a life-long resident, I have never witnessed the type of growth that Southwest Indiana is experiencing, nor have I witnessed the extensive collaboration seen in recent years that has precipitated this growth.

While Southwest Indiana is not perfect, we are making great progress and have plenty in which to be thankful. Being excitedly optimistic does not mean we are blind to our shortcomings or that we are looking to dodge the difficulties that face us on the horizon. It simply means that the optimists among us will have that much more to celebrate when the opportunities associated with those difficulties are capitalized upon.

I hope you will join us in 2018 with a spirit of optimism and hope that will continue to help our corner of the state reap the benefits of the hard work and collaborations of so many across the region. At the Chamber, we are full of optimism for the future of Southwest Indiana because we know that “together we thrive!”