Elaine Bedel
Elaine Bedel
An experiment to boost Indiana tourism through a marketing collaboration between state government and the private sector will have an experienced hand at the helm.

On Thursday, Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch jointly announced Elaine Bedel will become secretary and CEO of the newly established Indiana Destination Development Corp., beginning Nov. 11.

Bedel has served for the past three years as president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., the state's lead economic development agency, connecting companies interested in locating in Indiana with officials eager to incentivize them.

At the new IDDC, she'll develop marketing strategies to enhance economic development, attract new talent to Indiana and raise the state's profile as a great destination for visitors, according to the governor's office.

"Elaine will excel as Indiana's first chief destination officer to bring our public and private sectors together to best tell Indiana's story," Holcomb said.

Crouch agreed. "Elaine brings a remarkable breadth of experience from both the public and private sectors, and will be a tremendous asset to our organization, industry partners and the visitors we serve every day," she said.

Earlier this year, the General Assembly established the IDDC in House Enrolled Act 1115 with the goal of increasing recognition of Indiana as a superior place to live and visit.

The organization will operate similar to the IEDC as a joint public-private agency with the authority to raise its own funds — reducing the need for state support and increasing its ability to compete.

In her new role, Bedel will remain a member of the governor's cabinet, despite serving under the direct supervision of the lieutenant governor and the seven-member IDDC board that will include five governor-appointed tourism industry professionals.

"This new agency will spark synergies between the public and private sectors to keep Indiana in the spotlight, and I look forward to seeing the results of their collaboration," said House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis.

Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger is set to take on the additional responsibilities of IEDC president once Bedel leaves for her new position.
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