About The Partnership

Who We Are

The primary focus of the South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership has been collaborative branding and business recruitment efforts to attract new jobs and investments by leveraging the individual strengths, competitive advantages, knowledge, and resources of the region. Partners recognized that by banding together, they could offer a broader range of services, benefits, and competitive advantages to better position the South Bend - Elkhart Region when marketing the region to national and international entities. Partners also recognize that they have more to gain by working together than separately. They understand that a “win” for a particular part of the region is, in many ways, a “win” for all partners and the region. The Partnership has also focused on Developing research tools and assistance and administration/governance for regional efforts

The South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership also serves as the Administrator for the Regional Development Authority – which consists of and leverages the vast experience and services of business, academic, philanthropic and government leaders working to transform the region by improving quality of life and spurring population growth.

South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership is a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47 smart connected communities in Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan. The organization serves as a single point of contact for regional communication and seeks to create economic opportunities for all partner members through collaborative promotion, marketing and capacity building efforts.

The Partnership was founded in 2011 by working with community leaders, business executives, government agencies, site selection consultants, and others to help the South Bend - Elkhart region grow its economy. The Partnership is an outcome-based performance entity that serves as a single point of contact for regional communication. It provides companies, site selectors, real estate brokers, and corporate advisers with information and data that will create a favorable image of South Bend - Elkhart as an area for success due to a positive economic environment and strong partnerships.

How We Operate

The Partnership was founded in 2011 by the lead economic development organizations (LEDOSs) of seven counties, with encouragement from the States to work within a regional capacity. The first staff was hired 3/11/13 to implement the plan and further the mission.

The partnership staff

Our primary office location is within the South Bend International Airport, and are further supported by resources of our LEDO partners, including the ability to work from their offices, which supports collaborative efforts with these partners.

Board Members and Investors

The South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership has worked closely with many leaders throughout the five-county area. The following organizations serve as our key partners.

In addition to our standard operations, the Partnership has a Contract for Services with the Regional Development Authority (RDA) administering their operations and programs, such as the Regional Cities Initiative and the Entrepreneurship Board.

Board of Directors

Jeff Rea, Chair
St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce
President & CEO

Jerry Chavez, Vice Chair
Marshall County EDC
Executive Director

Mike Daigle, Treasurer
South Bend Airport
Executive Director

Rob Cleveland, CEcD, Secretary
Cornerstone Alliance

Mark Dobson
EDC of Elkhart County

Mark A. Robinson
Indiana Michigan Power (AEP)
Manager, Economic & Business Development

Additional Partners:

Barkley Garrett, CEcD
Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance
Executive Director