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Indy Chamber Welcomes New Leader for Develop Indy: Bailey-Bernard Joins Economic Development Team as Nicolini Takes New Role

(Indianapolis, IN) – The Indy Chamber announced that Portia Bailey-Bernard will serve as its new Vice President of Indianapolis Economic Development, leading Develop Indy’s economic development efforts for the City of Indianapolis and Marion County. Develop Indy’s former top executive, Ian Nicolini, moves into a new Chamber role as Chief Operating Officer for the region’s largest business organization.

As Vice President of Develop Indy, Bailey-Bernard will oversee business attraction, retention and expansion initiatives within Marion County. The Indy Chamber is also home to the Indy Partnership, emphasizing economic development for the nine-county Indianapolis region with a coordinated, collaborative strategy.

Portia joins the Chamber after most recently serving as an associate attorney for Kroger, Gardis & Regas, LLP, where she focused on economic development. Portia previously worked with the City of Fishers as project manager for downtown redevelopment projects in the Nickel Plate District.

“2020 has been a challenging year for Indianapolis, and we’ve strengthened our partnership with Mayor Hogsett and the City to help businesses meet those challenges,” said Michael Huber, Indy Chamber President and CEO. “With the Mayor’s support, we have loaned and granted millions of dollars to businesses, to help them get through the pandemic in position to safely reopen and recover.

“Ian Nicolini has done an outstanding job leading these loan and grant programs, in addition to serving the Develop Indy role, and that’s why we are excited for his new opportunity as COO.” Huber continued. “Portia was our ‘dream candidate’ to lead Develop Indy, with her legal and finance background, experience working with local governments and redevelopment commissions, and overall leadership experience. We are thrilled to have her join our team.”

After roughly four years leading Develop Indy, Ian Nicolini takes on a new role for the Indy Chamber as Chief Operating Officer. Nicolini’s focus as COO will be on leading the Chamber’s strategic alignment, internal performance and development culture, and leading a variety of initiatives aimed at advancing the Chamber’s mission.

“I am proud of the work I was able to accomplish with and incredible team at Develop Indy, and I am equally as excited to be taking on this role for the Chamber,” says Nicolini of his transition. “The Indy Chamber is a small but complex organization that focuses on serving small businesses, advocating for better policies, and advancing an inclusive economy and I’m thrilled to be able to work with such a talented team to build a stronger Indy Region. ”

Portia began her new role with the Indy Chamber on November 2nd.

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