The South Central Indiana Economic Development Group is comprised of 10 counties and the River Ridge Commerce Center. The group also receives strong support and assistance from partners such as Duke Energy and Hoosier Energy, and members collaborate regularly with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and other regional organizations.
Beginning with this issue of our newsletter, we will highlight a different member of our group each month. We kick off this series with Darrell Voelker, the president of our regional group and the executive director of the Harrison County Economic Development Corporation since 2005.
Harrison County lies on the western side of the Louisville, Ky., metro area, with Interstate 64 crossing the county and the mighty Ohio River running along its southern boundary.
“To be competitive with business development, Harrison County needs sites to be developed and accompanying new infrastructure to serve these areas,” said Darrell.
“Since 1987 when I started working for the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce as its executive director, getting property ready for business growth has consumed most of my time and resources, but I’m happy we’re making progress. We’ve enjoyed significant business and residential growth in our community, so our efforts have been rewarded.”
Earlier this year, a major infrastructure project was launched to better access the Lanesville Business Park. On Interstate 64, only 12 miles from Louisville, Ky., the park already is home to two new businesses. “The new development opens a mile of new opportunities,” said Darrell.
“Marketing Harrison County is not an easy task,” said Darrell, “as it’s hard to explain our location. This is why most of our marketing efforts are through the South Central Indiana regional group. This 10-county area has so much to offer a business, and it’s easy to point out our close proximity to UPS in Louisville, Federal Express in Indianapolis, DHL in Cincinnati and the Port of Indiana at Jeffersonville. All these regional assetsexplain why this regionmakes sense for business growth for a range of industries.”
Darrell knows strong competition in trying to recruit new business is a certainty. “A business development project will only be located in one community,” he said. “The competition in South Central Indiana is among the best in the world because we have so much to offer, and our location is outstanding for businesses. But competing with my colleagues and friends in South Central Indiana—even if it means sometimes losing a project to one of them—is rewarding because our entire region is stronger as a result of our cumulative efforts. The South Central Indiana region is represented by talented professionals—they are great people to compete against.”
In addition to his local and regional roles in economic development, Darrell is the treasurer of the Ohio River Scenic Byway Board and a past president of the organization’s board. He alsowas the president of the Indiana Economic Development Association in 2010, the president of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Executives in 2004, and the president of the Indiana Jr. Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) in 1989.
Married to Sheryl Voelker for 30+ years, Darrell and his wife have two adult daughters and live in Lanesville, Ind. He completed the Institute for Organization Management Program at the University of Notre Dame in 1992, and he received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky. He loves the Chicago Cubs and is a Purdue University Certified Master Gardener.
Contact Darrell Directly to Learn More:
Harrison County Economic Development Corp.
111 West Walnut Street
Corydon, IN 47112