WE + YOU

WE + YOU

REGIONAL IMPACT SERIES

The pandemic has provided a unique opportunity for us (the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership) to overhaul how we deliver our bi-annual South Bend – Elkhart Regional Opportunities Forum (ROF). Enter the “WE+YOU, Regional Impact Series”, a six-part web-series developed in place of the ROF with the goal of connecting to a much larger audience outside of our traditional regional stakeholders, telling our story from a different perspective, and creating marketing materials that will be utilized to encourage talent to relocate or stay in the region!

Inspired by our region’s recently developed talent attraction and retention brand, “WE+YOU South Bend Elkhart”, a new “WE+YOU, Regional Impact” episode will launch every week on Tuesday at 4:00PM EST and will feature an initiative of the Regional Partnership. Each episode will include an overview provided by a committee co-chair or member and one featured impact story delivered by an individual who has worked with the initiative. Engaging individuals from outside the Regional Partnership organization to “tell our story” is extremely important to demonstrate regional collaboration, community buy-in, and the overall impact of the Regional Partnership.

EPISODE ONE: TALENT ATTRACTION AND RETENTION

Diana Lawson, CEO of the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau provides an overview of the strategies executed on and work that has been done in the past year, including the development and launch of the WE+YOU regional brand. Our featured impact is Carolina Pagán, the Events and Marketing Coordinator and Business Diversity Initiative Council Liaison for the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce. Watch the video to learn more about Carolina and how she ended up here, in the South Bend – Elkhart region just three days after graduating college in Puerto Rico!

EPISODE TWO: ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Susan Ford, member of the Regional Partnership’s Entrepreneurship Committee (Startup South Bend – Elkhart) and Director for Graham Allen Partners, provides an overview of the strategies executed on and work that has been done in the past year, including the launch of a virtual Pre-Accelerator program, our renewed partnership with Elevate Ventures, and the significant increase in Proof of Concept funds granted in 2020. Our featured impact is Camille Zyniewicz, Designer and Creative Problem Solver for Viewtique, a local startup launched here in the South Bend – Elkhart region. Check out the video to learn more about Viewtique and some of the great benefits to being a part of our region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem!

EPISODE THREE: DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION

Amish Shah, Chair of the Regional Partnership’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and president and CEO of Kem Krest provides an overview of the strategies executed on and work that has been done in the past year, including access to information, contacts, and capital for both Minority and Women business owners, as well as diverse young professionals. Our featured impact is Kathy Burnette, HustleSBE graduate and owner of Brain Lair Books. Brain Lair Books is a local bookstore that helps everyone, especially children and teens, see themselves in a new light. Kathy and her team want to help you find, and celebrate, your place in the world. And if you can’t find your place, the Brain Lair Bookstore helps you make it. Check out the video to learn more about the impact that the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative is having on the region!

EPISODE FOUR: INDUSTRY GROWTH

James Turnwald, co-chair of the Regional Partnership’s Industry Growth Committee and Executive Director of MACOG provides an overview of the strategies executed on and work accomplished over the past year. Completing 2019 with a robust marketing attraction and recruitment schedule, regional representatives visited over 23 cities spanning 16 states across the country. In 2020, relationship-based marketing went virtual and as a result we have met with over 100 site consultants from around the country. Our featured impact is Shelley Klug, co-chair of the Regional Partnership’s Industry Growth Committee and Economic and Business Development Manager for Indiana Michigan Power. Looking ahead to 2021, we are developing a series of industrial development marketing videos to showcase new developments and shovel-ready land available in and around the region.

EPISODE FIVE: EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE

Matt Davis, co-chair of the Regional Partnership’s Education and Workforce Committee and the manager of training and organizational development at ITAMCO provides an overview of the strategies executed on and work that has been done in the past year, including the committee’s focus on bringing industry and education together to address current and future workforce demands. Greg Vollmer, president and CEO of the Northern Indiana Workforce Board. Tune in to learn more about the State of Indiana’s CARES Act-funded Rapid Recovery for a Better Future initiative and how it enabled our region to engage over 116 regional companies, 52 of those representing regional advanced manufacturing companies, and invest more than $3 million in Employer Training Grants via the Next Level Jobs State of Indiana funding program. Through the Employer Training Grant efforts, over 1,018 incumbent employees have been upskilled within local firms and companies.

EPISODE SIX: SOUTH BEND - ELKHART REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP

During this video, Regina Emberton, president and CEO of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership presents a consolidated explanation of the breadth and depth of our work toward increasing per capita personal income. After spending the past five weeks diving into the Regional Partnership’s individual initiatives, today’s video ties them into one regional mission. Tune into our final episode to learn more about how we work with you to build connected communities.

ABOUT THE BRAND

WE+YOU SOUTH BEND ELKHART

In the South Bend Elkhart, we’ve got a will and you’ve got a way. Our will is to help you succeed. Your way is innovative and entrepreneurial. We both have a job to do, and the South Bend Elkhart region is the best place to do it. We’re remaking a sense of place and manufacturing a new region. You’re looking for new opportunities and new places that welcome new thinking. We’re opening the door. You’re blazing the trail. In this campaign, South Bend Elkhart creates opportunity and YOU (our audience) take the opportunity and turn it into personal success. Each of us have a role to play in the advancement of the other.

1,030+

Survey Responses

120+

Stakeholders Present for Launch

100+

Open House Attendees

60+

Roundtable Participants

ENGAGEMENT HIGHLIGHTS

REGIONAL ENGAGEMENT TIMELINE

LAUNCH OF SBE BRANDING INITIATIVE

July 2019, SBERP announced their engagement with Resonance Consultancy to develop a comprehensive place-brand identity & marketing plan for the region.

COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE

September 2019, SBERP hosted an open house for regional stakeholders to meet the Resonance team & share the key objective of the branding initiative.

LAUNCH OF COMMUNITY SURVEY

September 2019, SBERP & Resonance conducted a survey about living & working in the region, insights were key to developing a positioning strategy & regional brand.

CONDUCTED STAKEHOLDER WORKSHOPS

October 2019, SBERP & the Resonance team conducted a series of stakeholder workshops & presented the findings of their Situational Analysis based off of survey responses.

BRAND ESSENCE TESTING

December 2019, SBERP & Resonance conducted a brand essence survey of both internal & external audiences, "WE + YOU" was selected.

SOFT LAUNCH OF REGIONAL BRAND

March 2020, SBERP shared a sneak peek of the "WE + YOU, South Bend Elkhart" regional brand the during bi-annual Regional Opportunities Forum.

WE BREAK THE GROUND

YOU BUILD THE FUTURE

ABOUT THE PROCESS

WHY DEVELOP A REGIONAL BRAND?


The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership engaged Resonance Consultancy in July of 2019 to develop a comprehensive Place Brand Storyline, Identity, Guidelines and Marketing Plan for the South Bend – Elkhart region. With its broad, high-performance economy, connected across two states through technology, education, transportation, tourism and R&D, the South Bend – Elkhart region has an opportunity to identify, position and promote itself as an unrivaled place to live, work and visit.

The ultimate goal of the "WE + YOU, South Bend Elkhart" regional brand campaign is to attract talent, tourism and investment to the South Bend - Elkhart region while also projecting a cohesive message and consistent feel that expresses the unique identity of the region, both to residents of the community and to people located outside of the region. The brand positioning and identity that Resonance has created will provide long-term direction for the South Bend - Elkhart region and its partners that identifies key differentiating characteristics, the target audiences and a brand proposition that will resonate with those audiences both today and in the future.

A clearly defined brand strategy helps organizations like South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership and its partners align their marketing, advertising, public relations and social media to consistently and accurately reinforce the destination's character and message among its target audiences while also ensuring that industry partners and strategic stakeholders do the same.

Over the next several months, the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership will be rolling out the recently developed "WE + YOU, South Bend Elkhart" Place Brand Storyline, Identity, Guidelines and Marketing Plan, and will provide resources to help stakeholders and partner organizations articulate, position and promote the South Bend - Elkhart region.

STEERING COMMITTEE

MEMBERS REPRESENTING OUR 47 SMART CONNECTED COMMUNITIES

ROB DECLEENE

Visit South Bend Mishawaka

REGINA EMBERTON

South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership

DIANA LAWSON

Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau

CHUCK LEHMAN

Lehman & Lehman

LESLIE PINSON

Local Spirit

AARON PERRI

South Bend Venues Parks & Arts

LOU PIERCE

Big Idea Company

MELINDA PIERCE

Big Idea Company

SARAH NIESPODZIANY

South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership

ANDREW WIAND

enFocus, Inc.

LINDA YODER

Marshall County Community Foundation