Doden Part of State Group Receiving International Award

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. CEO Spearheaded Indiana Regional Cities Initiative

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – During his two years as president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), Greater Fort Wayne Inc. CEO Eric Doden designed and spearheaded the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative. Tuesday, the program earned an Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council for its impact in attracting and retaining talent for Indiana. The award was presented to the IEDC at the International Economic Development Council’s annual conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

“Stronger regional economies make for a stronger state economy. Our regional approach has made Indiana a nationally–and internationally–recognized economy for job and wage growth,” Doden said. “Our state has long been known for its competitive business climate, and the Regional Cities Initiative paves the way for making Indiana a magnet for talent. I’m excited to see how Governor Holcomb and the General Assembly build on the momentum and take this program to the next level.”

The Indiana Regional Cities Initiative sets a framework for communities to come together in developing long-term visions and strategic plans. The program received the international council’s Silver Award for Regionalism & Cross-Border Collaboration, Population Greater Than 500,000 category.

“The next generation of talent is looking for more than just a good-paying job. They want to live in communities with culture, amenities, and private and public institutions that inspire,” Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger said. “Through the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative, communities across the state are working together, crossing county lines to act as regions, creating long-term plans focused on quality of place and talent attraction. We are especially proud of this initiative, and what it means for the future of Indiana.”

With Hoosier employers stressing the need for a large, skilled workforce, Indiana is building upon its strong economic foundation to create a quality of place that attracts and retains talent. Now, through the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative, seven regions representing 70 percent of the state’s population have bold, viable plans to develop positive and unique national brands, transforming their regions into global destinations for talent through quality-of-place projects.

Passed in 2015 with bipartisan support by the Indiana General Assembly, the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative is overseen by the IEDC. The state has committed a total of $126 million in matching funds to three regions to support their development plans, with at least 60 percent of the total investments coming from the private sector.

Since implementation, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation has approved $80.6 million in state funding for 41 projects, totaling $903.0 million investment, which is a 10.2-to-1 ratio.

Projects in Allen County that have received funding through the Regional Cities Initiative include expansion of the trail system, Posterity Heights Scholar House construction, Clyde Theatre revitalization, Embassy Theatre renovations, the University of St. Francis downtown campus construction, and more.


About the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative

The Indiana Regional Cities Initiative sets a framework for neighboring communities across the state to work together to develop regional visions that are supported by compelling strategic plans focused on quality of place. The initiative will help each region develop a positive and unique national brand to advance the goal of becoming a destination for talent. Passed in 2015 with bipartisan support by the Indiana General Assembly, the initiative is overseen by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. To learn more visit or follow on Twitter at @Indiana_EDC, #INRegionalCities.

About Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc. serves Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana, as its metro chamber alliance and primary point of contact for economic growth. GFW Inc. focuses on prosperity and community vibrancy through economic development, advocacy, programs and resources that support business success, leadership development, graduate retention and community engagement. To learn more, visit