The Economic Development Corporation Michigan City team is marking the new year with changes to its Board of Directors.

Bill Hackney, Publisher of the Herald-Dispatch, has taken on the helm as board chair, and Denise Conlon, Public Affairs Manager at NIPSCO, and Jessica Bailey, Vice President Human Resources at Sullair – A Hitachi Group Company, have joined the board as new members.

“Our board members represent many industries and arenas from a cross-section of our community,” said EDCMC Executive Director Clarence Hulse. “Having a diverse board is vital to maintaining our mission to serve Michigan City and keep moving us forward with a strong sense of momentum and drive toward progress.”

“Sullair headquarters are in Michigan City, and as part of this community, we want to remain connected and committed to the future, prosperity and advancements of this great city,” Bailey said of her role on the board. “The EDCMC plays a pivotal role in helping to prepare the workforce in the community. As the Michigan City corridor expands, finding ways to make education accessible to train the current and future workforce in the region is of vital importance to ensure our community and our local businesses grow and prosper.”

Hackney takes on the role of chair from Linda Simmons, Director of Marketing at Visit Michigan City LaPorte. Simmons is now past chair of the board.

“Economic development has the opportunity to impact many vital elements of our community – from jobs and income to housing and education. I am serving on the board to assist with any efforts that will positively impact these areas,” Hackney said. “The EDCMC has a central role in facilitating collaborations between stakeholders who all want to see our city grow and thrive today, tomorrow and in the future.”

“At NIPSCO, we continue to see how imperative it is to support economic development in our communities,” Conlon added. “The EDCMC and their partners create a pipeline of communication and collaboration that attracts new developments to our city.”

Seth Spencer, President of Sera Group, is now vice chair for the board, Steve Kring, Regional President of Horizon Bank, is treasurer and Brenda Temple, General Manager at Blue Chip Hotel, Casino & Spa, is secretary.

Other Board members include: Michigan City Mayor Duane Parry; Katie Eaton, President of Michigan City Chamber of Commerce; Barbara Eason Watkins, Superintendent at Michigan City Area Schools; Dalia Zygas, City of Michigan City Council Person at-Large; Don Babcock, Director Economic Development and Community Relations at Purdue University Northwest; Scott Newcomb, Director of Plant Operations at Sullivan Palatek; Dean Mazzoni, President & CEO of Franciscan Health – Michigan City; and Stephanie Oberlie, President & COO of Harbour Trust & Investment Management Company.

The EDCMC Board of Directors strives to uphold the mission and objectives of the organization. The members bring one-of-a-kind backgrounds and experiences to best guide the EDCMC team on policy decisions, strategy and resources.