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National spotlight on Wabash Valley

Terre Haute’s Chamber of Commerce gathered people from all different backgrounds to represent the Wabash Valley at the nation's capital. Now they're taking action.

Posted: Nov. 7, 2017 8:41 AM
Updated: Nov. 8, 2017 11:33 AM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Business leaders are back home after a trip to Washington D.C. That's where they met with top legislators who are shaping the path for the Wabash Valley.

Terre Haute’s Chamber of Commerce gathered people from all different backgrounds to represent the Wabash Valley at the nation's capital last week.

Those who attended:

Beau Baird, IN Home Care Plus

Bernice Helman, Vice President of Coldwell Bankers Troy Helman Realtors

Brian Koistra, Chief Operating Officer Garmong Construction Services

Hans Eilbracht, Executive Director of Government Affairs Hamilton Center

Jon Ford, Senator District 38, IN

Kara McIntosh, Deputy Director of Terre Haute Regional Airport

Keith Carter, Partner Kemper CPA Group

Kristin Craig, Vice President Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce

Lea Anne Crooks, Chancellor Ivy Tech Community College – Terre Haute

Lori Danielson, Owner GoTime Coaching

Rachel Leslie, Managing Partner RJL Solutions, LLC

Duke Bennett, Mayor of Terre Haute

Kristin Craig, who is the Vice President of the Chamber, says she witnessed Indiana flare all throughout D.C. Whether she was attending a meeting for education, finance or construction.

She says the information they brought home can really transform future business in the valley. For example, they learned about new ways to get loans and money for different industries including agriculture.

They also talked with lawmakers about expanding the federal prison in Terre Haute to create more jobs.

“How do we take this trip and turn it into action? So I think that's one of the big things we'll be working on over the course of the next few months. I know everybody who attended is absolutely committed to making that happen,” said Craig.

For Bernice Helman, she saw this trip as an opportunity to get the Wabash Valley's voice heard.
She says we have to express what we want from top legislators to get their full support.

“On this trip, we heard a lot more regionalism conversation going on and I think that is critical to our overall success,” said Helman. “We engage not only Terre Haute but our surrounding communities so that we're all stronger.”

Helman says the Valley will thrive when we embrace what each group can bring to the table and find a common ground.
The group says this trip is an example of just that.

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