INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch announced that Elaine Bedel will serve as secretary and CEO of the newly established Indiana Destination Development Corporation.
Bedel currently serves as president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the state’s lead economic development agency.
“Elaine will excel as Indiana’s first chief destination officer to bring our public and private sectors together to best tell Indiana’s story,” Gov. Holcomb said. “In her new role, Elaine will work collaboratively to develop marketing strategies that will enhance economic development, attract new talent to our workforce and enhance our state’s profile as a great destination for visitors.”
“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,” said Lt. Gov. Crouch. “I am confident that her leadership, in combination with the experience and vast industry knowledge of our current office of tourism director, Misty Weisensteiner, will transform how we tell Indiana’s story.”
House Enrolled Act 1115, authored by Rep. Mike Karickhoff and sponsored by Sen. Chip Perfect, established the IDDC with the goal of elevating Indiana’s position as the best place to live and visit. Starting on July 1, 2020, the corporation will operate as a joint public-private agency that will be able to raise its own funds, which is designed to reduce the state’s funding of the agency and increase its ability to be competitive.
By statute, the governor appoints a director of the corporation, a role that Bedel will fill. The corporation will be governed by a seven-member board composed of the governor, who will appoint the Lt. governor as his designee, the president of the IEDC or its designee and five members appointed by the governor from the private sector tourism industry.
Bedel will remain a member of the Governor’s cabinet and begin reporting to Lt. Gov. Crouch on Nov. 11 to initiate planning for the transition. Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger will assume the responsibilities of the role of president of the IEDC.
Weisensteiner will continue her leadership of the office of tourism development and will transfer to the IDDC. She will report directly to Bedel and continue her efforts to improve Indiana’s tourism efforts.
Bedel was appointed by Gov. Holcomb in 2017 to serve as president of the IEDC. Prior to serving the state in her current role, she served as president, chief executive officer and chief compliance officer of Bedel Financial Consulting Inc., a role held since she founded the company in 1989.
Bedel earned a bachelor’s degree from Hanover College and an MBA from Butler University.