Policy Choices for Indiana's Future (Policy Choices II)

Small town/rural communities represent
more than one-half the population in
Indiana, and 37 percent of the jobs.

The Thriving Communities, Thriving State Small Town/Rural Areas Commission examines state and local strategies and policies that can help rural communities fulfill the critical role they play in attracting businesses, investment, and workers to the state of Indiana.

Gathering information and input through available research, public meetings around the state, expert speakers, online public surveys, and other data sources, the Commission will develop recommendations in four broad focus areas for state and local policy leaders.

The focus areas are:

  • Promoting and developing local civic leadership,
  • Developing and supporting a culture of entrepreneurship;
  • Workforce supply and demand issues, and
  • Infrastructure/livability/connectivity issues.

Small Town/Rural Areas Commission




Shawna Girgis


City of Bedford

Michael Kubacki

Executive Chairman

Lake City Bank




John Marron, AICP

Senior Policy Analyst

IU Public Policy Institute

Joti Kaur

Graduate Assistant

IU Public Policy Institute






Lionel "Bo" Beaulieu


Purdue Center for
Regional Development

Beth Bechdol

President & CEO


Phil Boots

State Senator

State of Indiana

Andy Bowne


East Central and Richmond Region,
Ivy Tech

Chris Cail


Tell City Common Council

Doug Inman

Executive Director

The Portland Foundation

Clint Kugler

Chief Executive Officer

Wabash County YMCA

Tom Leedy


Dekko Foundation, Kendallville

Don Orr, Jr.


JBS United

Kurt Phegley

District Manager

Duke Energy

David Shaffer


Brown County Schools

Michael Thissen

Innovation Corridor Manager

University of Southern Indiana
Outreach and Engagement

David Voris



Charlie Weaver

Executive Director

Starke County Economic
Development Foundation