INDIANAPOLIS--Next week, the Indy Chamber will lead a delegation of nearly 100 business and community leaders to Cologne, Germany, for an in-depth, interactive, study of civic, business, educational and cultural similarities and opportunities between Indianapolis and the German city. The trip is the first international trip led by the Indy Chamber as part of its annual Leadership Exchange program.
"Each year, Leadership Exchange presents a great opportunity to study the successes of other cities and interact with local leaders across all sectors. This effectively positions us to then have significant conversations about where we want our city to be in 5, 10, and 25 years," said Michael Huber, Indy Chamber President and CEO. "I am thankful for the willingness of so many of our community and business leaders to join us."
Brian Payne, President of the Central Indiana Community Foundation and the title sponsor of the Leadership Exchange trip, shared, "This trip is important not only because of the new ideas and programs we will consider in Cologne, but because the group that is attending represent many of the thought leaders and decision makers in Indianapolis. As a co-chair of this trip, I am excited about the opportunity that this trip presents for taking Indianapolis to the next level."
"Because of previous trade missions, Indianapolis' reputation as a global city is growing," observed Melissa Proffitt Reese, partner at Ice Miller and co-chair of the Leadership Exchange trip. "This trip is a unique opportunity for our community's leaders to experience this firsthand as well as to be exposed to new ideas and possibilities for continuing to grow and strengthen our local community and economy."
The program includes sessions on global trade initiatives, education and workforce development, the Cologne business model for trade shows and conventions, placemaking and the strategic use of waterways, bike paths, and mass transit as economic drivers, and German energy initiatives.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Indianapolis and Cologne, lending the trip a special level of significance. The Cologne Chamber of Commerce has assisted in the planning of the trip, which includes opportunities to meet with the Lord Mayor of Cologne and president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany. Trip delegates depart Indianapolis on September 21 and return on September 26. Mayor Greg Ballard will join the delegation from September 22-25. Prior to his arrival in Cologne, he will visit Bolloré in Paris, France to discuss planning for the company's forthcoming car-share program in Indianapolis. Upon departing Cologne, Mayor Ballard will travel to Piran, Slovenia and Monza, Italy, becoming the first Indianapolis mayor to have visited all eight sister cities while in office. All costs for the Mayor's trip are coordinated through the Indy Chamber; no taxpayer dollars are used.
Follow the latest updates on the trip on Twitter at @IndyChamber and #GlobalIndy.
About the Indy Chamber
The Indy Chamber is the voice of progress and improvement for the Indianapolis region's business community. With membership of nearly 3,000 businesses representing 230,000 employees in the Indianapolis region, the Indy Chamber is leading the effort to strengthen the business climate, improve the state of education, revitalize neighborhoods and enhance the region's workforce. In 2012, the Indy Chamber merged with Indy Partnership, Develop Indy, and Business Ownership Initiative. For more information about the Indy Chamber, visit www.indychamber.com.