By Katy Maggart—
MUNCIE, IN— The Delaware Advancement Corporation (“DAC”) and the Greater Muncie Chamber of Commerce (the “Chamber”) have announced their intended joint reorganization. Since the 1980s, DAC has been a 501(c)(3) organization governed by a single board. DAC has two distinct business divisions: (1) the Economic Development Alliance, the Local Economic Development Organization of Muncie and Delaware County, and (2) the Horizon Convention Center. Since opening in 1988, the Horizon Convention Center has grown to include an attached hotel and parking garage.
The Horizon Convention Center hosts hundreds of local and regional events every year and has continued to foster growth. Muncie and Delaware County’s economic development focus continues to evolve; encompassing business attraction and expansion, diversification of the local economy, talent attraction and education, and quality of life initiatives.
The Greater Muncie Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, membership-driven organization. It unites business, government, education, philanthropy, health care, and services, creating a central agency which lends itself to improving business and building a better community. Its strength lies in attracting the greatest number of individuals and firms into membership, thereby creating a pool of resources from which can be drawn energy, ideas, and funding.
The proposal approved by both boards will move the Economic Development Alliance under the oversight of the Chamber to allow for streamlined governance, additional accountability, and greater synergy and efficiencies. Economic Development has greatly expanded from its powerhouse manufacturing base of the 80s to include significant expansions in the healthcare, education, IT, and agriculture industries.
“This new structure positions the Horizon Convention Center for future growth. Since opening in 1988, Horizon has evolved into a full-service world-class facility attracting thousands of visitors annually,” Rob Keisling, Chairman of Delaware Advancement Corporation. “Additionally, Muncie and Delaware County are fortunate to have one of the few internationally accredited economic development organizations. Aligning economic development with the Greater Muncie Chamber will further strengthen business attraction and retention in our community.”
Nick Tokar, Chairman of the Greater Muncie Chamber of Commerce board said, “The merger of the economic development activities with the Chamber allows for innovation, synergy, efficiency and cross-marketing. It is our expectation that this reorganization will enhance both our traditional Chamber activities and our community’s economic development efforts.”
A separate 501(c)(3) charitable foundation from the Greater Muncie Chamber of Commerce will be formed as a subsidiary of the Chamber to receive charitable donations and support the community’s economic development activities. The Delaware Advancement Corporation will retain the Horizon Convention Center and be governed by a streamlined board of stakeholders dedicated to the growth of travel and tourism in Delaware County.
Executive Committees of both DAC and Chamber Boards will work to craft the formal agreements necessary to implement the strategic realignment.
About Greater Muncie Chamber of Commerce
Since 1894, the Chamber has been integral to Greater Muncie because of our strategic business-building plans and services. We strive to be a source of innovative business development for our community by engaging large, medium, and small businesses in countless industries. The Chamber builds an extensive Muncie business network through member connections and expansion. Building business. Building community.
About Delaware Advancement Corporation
The Delaware Advancement Corporation is a 501(c)(3) organization governed by a single board. DAC currently has two distinct business divisions: (1) the Economic Development Alliance, which conducts business attraction, retention, and development activities, including holding strategic real estate, and (2) the Horizon Convention Center, which operates the convention center and is funded from operating revenues and through Food & Beverage Tax revenues allocated to the Horizon Convention Center from the Civic Center Authority.