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The Indy Chamber is proud to welcome the leadership of newly elected 2018 Board Chair, Connie Bond Stuart. Bond Stuart serves as the Central and Southern Indiana Regional President for PNC Bank and began her year-long term as Indy Chamber Board Chair on January 1, 2018. Connie Bond Stuart, who will continue to chair of the United Way of Central Indian, has been an outspoken advocate for early childhood education, which continues to be a legislative focus of both organizations. We caught up with her to get to know her better!

What’s the best advice you’ve been given over the years that has helped steer your career to where you are today?

The advice that has helped keep me grounded is that I should always remember to “lead by example and treat others with the same respect and consideration I wish to receive”. This resonates with me both in and out of the office.  In my role as a business leader, I try and incorporate those words as I look for ways to continually impact the community around me.

Reflecting on this past year, what has been your favorite moment of 2017?

With leadership from Governor Holcomb, and growing legislative support, the state increased funding this year so that more children in poverty can access high quality early childhood education. Led by the United Way of Central Indiana and supported by the Indy Chamber, Indiana Chamber, Early Learning Indiana, the city of Indianapolis, business leaders, and many passionate advocates, Indiana is acknowledging the clear need for additional financial support so that every underserved child will eventually have the opportunity to benefit from a high quality early childhood education.  This is an economic imperative if we are to have the positive benefits of a skilled, productive workforce, while providing a pathway out of poverty for these children. More importantly, it is critical momentum for us and I consider it my favorite moment of 2017.

Imagine you are on a staycation in Indy. What’s your plan? (i.e. restaurants, attractions, etc.)

I would first start with a visit to the Indianapolis Zoo, then venture around the Indianapolis Museum of Art.  I would catch a show at the Hilbert Theatre or Jazz Kitchen, or enjoy a local band and dancing. Dinner plans would include a visit to St. Elmo’s and Tinker Street or one of our other great locally-owned restaurants. And if the weather is right, I would definitely sneak in a day of biking on the Monon Trail.

What should business leaders expect to see from the Indy Chamber in 2018?

The Indy Chamber is experiencing positive growth in membership and financial support, which is an affirmation of the value being added to our region by the organization. Under Michael Huber’s visionary leadership the collaboration between state, city, regional and business leaders, including government and non-profits such as United Way of Central Indiana and Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, is at an all-time high. The Chamber continues to make legislative progress, such as increasing support of early childhood education for underserved children and improving needed public transit. Through the collaboration and leadership of the Indy Chamber and Accelerate Indy we expect to see increasing positive economic growth throughout Central Indiana.