2022 Brings New Faces and Roles to Develop Indy

Aletha Dunston, AICP, joins Develop Indy overseeing Indianapolis Economic Development.

Aletha Dunston

Announced today, Aletha Dunston, AICP, has joined Develop Indy as director of economic development for the City of Indianapolis. In this role, Dunston will focus on cultivating community relationships as the economic development organization for the City and Marion County.

Develop Indy focuses on business attraction, retention, and expansion to support the people, communities, and companies that make up Indianapolis’ economic landscape.

"Aletha brings hundreds of millions of dollars of redevelopment experience to this role," said Portia Bailey-Bernard, vice president, Develop Indy. "Her combination of entrepreneurial experience and her passion for development in Indianapolis makes her a perfect fit for the Develop Indy team and our city. We look forward to Dunston having an immediate impact."

Dunston most recently served as the executive director of the Fort Harrison Reuse Authority (FHRA); the organization tasked with the mixed-use redevelopment of a former military base into the cultural district known as 'Fort Ben' on Indy's northeast side. This work attracted single and multi-family housing projects, historic redevelopment and placemaking projects, and a new hotel and library branch.

Prior to this role, Dunston managed the State of Indiana's $28 million annual federal Community Development Block Grant disbursement and served as a liaison to help more than 100 communities access resources and plan for the future. She also has eight years of experience as a planning and community development director and active Main Street volunteer. Dunston is currently a member of SKL Class XLV, an active Urban Land Institute volunteer, and a proud Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning graduate. She is passionate about creating great spaces, preserving great places, and seeks opportunities to serve and support programs that move the city and state forward.

Additionally, Susanna Taft has been promoted to deputy director of Indianapolis Economic Development on the Develop Indy team. Since joining Develop Indy, Taft has designed, developed, and implemented four loan and grant programs allowing the Indy Chamber to process $20 million in funds to small businesses during the pandemic. Drew Kincius will act as the new Regulatory and Permitting Ombudsman. In this role, Kincius will work with developers, businesses, and community members to advocate for and move real estate projects through the regulatory and permitting processes. He will work closely with the City’s Department of Business and Neighborhood Services and our project management team.

To learn more or connect with Aletha, Susanna, and Drew please visit the Indy Chamber website and connect with the Develop Indy team on all social channels.

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About Develop Indy

Develop Indy attracts and retains business through traditional and non-traditional economic development. We serve as the first stop to navigating the Indy business community, whether a neighborhood resource, local startup, or international firm. Our primary focus is on facilitating long-term investments in competitiveness while ensuring that more residents can connect to economic opportunities. This includes re-orienting existing incentives, introducing new incentives, and building partnerships to help advance community objectives and prioritize inclusivity. Develop Indy in the business of developing a thriving Indianapolis community.


About the Indy Chamber

The Indy Chamber serves as a voice of progress and improvement in the region, uniting business and community to maintain a strong economy and quality of life. Our advocacy efforts, networking events, economic development initiatives, and other member benefits position members, business leaders, and the community for success. Indy has what it takes to be a world-class region where innovation meets performance. The Indy Chamber is here to realize that potential to its fullest.

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