Greene County -- Where Values Mean Business
The Greene County Economic Development Corporation (GCEDC) was formed in 1989 when a group of concerned leaders recognized the need for a professionally organized economic development operation. Purdue University helped initially fund the position of Executive Director, and an executive board was formed comprised of professionals representing all areas of the county. With support from the county, the group incorporated on June 9, 1989 and became the agency responsible for initiating economic development activities on behalf of the county.
Executive Director Joan C. Bethell
Joan Bethell joined the Greene County Economic Development Corporation (GCEDC) in February 2007 as Executive Director. Joan relocated from Arizona, where she previously served as a Regional Representative for the Arizona Department of Commerce. In that role she advised predominantly rural communities in Yavapai and Mountain regions, an approximately 15,000 mile territory in the North Central part of Arizona. Joan’s term there included working with stakeholders on the Yavapai Economic Region’s action plan implementation and Coconino County’s Sustainable Economic Development Initiative. She spearheaded the formation of a Northern Arizona group for the Arizona Association for Economic Developers. Prior to that, Joan spent three years as the Project Coordinator at the Prescott Valley Economic Development Foundation, concurrently serving on the executive board of the Yavapai Tourism Council. Besides her work at PVEDF in strategic planning, community branding and business retention/expansion, Joan also brings extensive experience in business systems analysis, data and stock control, marketing/advertising, sales, customer service and corporate training and development. Joan maintained an Arizona real estate license during 1994-2006, supplemented by focused studies in Commercial Real Estate, R.E. Investment and Creative Financing. Plus, she graduated Oklahoma University’s Economic Development Institute in November 2005. Since joining GCEDC and reviewing the county’s assets, Joan has begun advocating for a rural strategy of economic development that allows for a balanced and targeted approach to business attraction efforts with an increased focus on business retention, expansion and entrepreneurship, while building community capacity.
The Greene County Economic Development Corporation's mission is to enhance the quality of life for Greene County Indiana residents by fostering an environment that will create and retain jobs, increase the tax base and promote economic growth. The Greene County Economic Development Corporation is the primary organization in the county that promotes a variety of industrial and business development activities as well retention and expansion of existing businesses. GCEDC also coordinates with other local and regional agencies to provide educational services such as business start-up and entrepreneurial development workshops and facilitates presentations on important local issues and tools used to attract new industry and businesses. GCEDC uses an integrated approach to community, business, workforce and economic development. The private not-for-profit organization has an eleven member board of directors headed by Brian L. Sparks of Linton, who serves as president. The 2008 Board of Directors is comprised of Vice President Stephanie Fernhaber of Bloomfield, Secretary John Mensch of Bloomfield, Treasurer Tony DeVault or Linton, Immediate Past President Terry Meek of Linton, Linda Ault of Newberry, Ed Cullison of Solsberry, Chuck Martindale with Hoosier Energy, Derek Rollison of Bloomfield, Roger Tomes with Duke Energy, and Chris Wathen of Linton. The GCEDC executive director is Joan Bethell, who has served in this position since February 2007.
Working collaboratively with local, regional, state and federal partners, GCEDC is currently focused on developing some of Greene County major assets and opportunities, including the reclamation of the Goose Pond National Fish & Wildlife area that is drawing national attention; tourism industry; extensive agricultural resources that include farmland and timberland; the further development of the WestGate@Crane Technology Park, Indiana’s only tri-county Certified Technology Park; and the current diversification efforts of the $2 billion operations of the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) at Crane, the world’s third largest U.S. Navy installation.
GCEDC is also leading efforts in land use planning to prepare for the impact of having the center-point junction of the Indianapolis-to-Evansville Interstate 69 development at State Road 231. Further activities include the implementation of the Indiana HomeTown Competitiveness initiative, in particular the design and development of an entrepreneurship program that can be used as a prototype for regional application, and supporting the efforts of other Greene County agencies that are developing the remaining three ‘pillars’ of the program, i.e. capturing wealth transfer, youth and leadership development.
The GCEDC can be reached at (812) 847-4500 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for a GCEDC Board of Directors chart. Also, a copy of the 2007-2008 Strategic Plan can be printed by clicking on the link provided. Please call or email us if you find something of interest in our strategic plan.