Leadership Receives Grant from Community Foundation of Southern Indiana

Leadership Southern Indiana is proud to announce that it has been awarded a grant in the amount of $1,000 by the Youth Philanthropy Council of the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana.

This generous grant serves as recognition of the impactful work carried out by Leadership Southern Indiana, particularly through its NEXGEN program. NEXGEN is dedicated to fostering stronger leaders by providing high school juniors with immersive experiences in various community sectors, including government, financial literacy, workforce development, and more. The program culminates in a capstone philanthropic project, further enriching participants’ understanding of community engagement. The recent surge in applications for the Class of 2025, totaling over 90 from students across Clark, Floyd, and Scott Counties, spanning public and private schools as well as homeschooled individuals, underscores the program’s burgeoning influence and its significance in shaping future community leaders.

As a token of appreciation, the Youth Philanthropy Council honored Leadership Southern Indiana at the Grants Award Reception on Wednesday, April 10th. The reception took place at the Prosser Career Education Center located at 4202 Charlestown Rd in New Albany. During the event, the grant check was presented to our organization.

“We are deeply honored to receive this recognition of our organization’s efforts and their investment in our community,” said Mark Eddy, President/CEO of Leadership Southern Indiana. “This support will enable us to continue our mission of cultivating leadership and making a positive impact in our community.” 

Leadership Southern Indiana extends its gratitude to the Youth Philanthropy Council and the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana for their commitment to supporting organizations like ours.

River Ridge’s Economic Impact on Southern Indiana Tops $2.9 billion in 2023

Annual analysis highlights $90.9 million of private investment and support of 18,558 regional jobs

Jeffersonville, IN (April 10, 2024) – River Ridge Development Authority (RRDA) unveiled its annual economic report for 2023, showing another record-breaking year with more than $2.9 billion in economic output benefits throughout southern Indiana. 

Completed by Policy Analytics, LLC, the report shows the River Ridge Commerce Center saw a year-over-year increase in private, direct employment in 2023.  Companies located in River Ridge directly employed 12,002 people, but when looking at the overall impact, the report credits River Ridge with supporting an additional 6,550+ regional jobs and a total of $884 million in labor income throughout the region.

“Growth at River Ridge continues to benefit Southern Indiana and the metro area,” said Jerry Acy, River Ridge Executive Director.  “Our commitment to providing a worldclass industrial park through the development of quality infrastructure including 2023 investments of $6.0 million in new roads and another $6.2 million in improved utilities.” 

“This builds upon nearly two decades of infrastructure investment within River Ridge by the RRDA.  We strive to create an environment which attracts and grows private investment and job creation, and project announcements in 2023 from some of the largest companies in the world prove this strategy is producing results,” Acy stated.

A major focus for the RRDA was to prepare the Charlestown end of Commerce Center for development by demolishing existing structures and preparing sites for construction.  In October, Charlestown announced it is welcoming a high-profile name to its community.  The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated, an industry-leading restaurant, is opening a large bakery for manufacturing and distributing its iconic cheesecake and other desserts to operators, retailers, and distributors. The bakery and operations will be housed at River Ridge, investing over $74 million into its operations.  The bakery and distribution operations should have more than 200 employees, making an average wage higher than the Clark County average.  

“We know that private investment will follow our public investments, and companies of all sizes are taking note,” added Acy.  “Later in October, we announced Canadian Solar’s commitment to making the largest economic investment in River Ridge’s history, and then matched it with another such announcement three months later with Meta.”

Canadian Solar, an integrated provider of solar power products and system solutions, will invest a projected $800 million to construct and equip a state-of-the-art photo voltaic cell manufacturing plant at River Ridge in Jeffersonville. The new plant will produce an annual output of 5GW – equivalent to approximately 20,000 high-power solar panels per day – and ship the finished cells to the company’s new module assembly facility in Texas, which was announced in early 2023. This new River Ridge facility will create approximately 1,200 new jobs in Jeffersonville over the next several years, including 150 engineers.

In December, River Ridge transferred 619 acres to Meta Platforms, Inc.  But it wasn’t until January 2024, that the company publicly announced plans to establish a new $800 million data center as the first phase of a future campus on the site. The new facility in Jeffersonville will support approximately 100 operational jobs and hundreds of construction jobs.  Meta, which powers products such as Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, will establish a nearly 700,000-square-foot facility, their 18th such data center in the United States.

“We have so much to celebrate from the past 12 months, but the fun is just beginning,” said Dr. Treva Hodges, Mayor of Charlestown and President of the RRDA Board of Directors. “The River Ridge Development Authority’s talented, professional staff, together with my fellow board members’ leadership and vision, has energized us in envisioning what our economic development future can be.”

River Ridge is benefiting the State of Indiana and local entities through added tax impact.  In just one year, the companies located at River Ridge generated $48.4 million in total tax revenue for state and local entities, with wages from these business operations generating $884 million in total labor income. 

A summary of Policy Analytics’ report for 2023 includes the following highlights:

  • The River Ridge Commerce Center produced $2.932 billion in economic output throughout Southern Indiana.
  • Business activity generated $48.4 million in total tax revenue for state and local entities.
  • Businesses that call River Ridge home expanded their employment footprint to 18,558 people.
    • 12,002 employed individuals onsite; and
    • 6,556 regional jobs supported.
  • RRDA continued to expand infrastructure, providing $6.0 million in new roads and another $6.2 million in improved utilities.
  • The Board of Directors approved the largest land transfer of 619 acres to Meta Platforms, Inc., representing more than 10% of the Commerce Center.
  • Private development of $90.9 million in 2023 is estimated to bring an additional 2.3 million square feet once completed.

Additionally, potential new businesses filed a record 126 requests for proposals and hosted 38 on-site visits, more than double the number of visits in 2022.

The full 2023 RRDA Annual Report can be accessed at www.riverridgecc.com/annual-report.

About the River Ridge Development Authority

The River Ridge Development Authority (RRDA) manages the River Ridge Commerce Center, a 6,000-acre business and office park established in 1998 to replace lost economic activity from the closure of the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant.  Today, River Ridge is home to more than 80 companies such as Amazon, Bose, Collins Aerospace, Medline, Optum and PharmaCord.  Onsite employment totaled more than 12,000 in 2023, and the Center produced a total of over $2.9 billion in economic output and supported an additional 6,550+ jobs. The investments and growth at River Ridge earned the RRDA the International Economic Development Council’s 2020 Gold Award for Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse.

Nonprofit Spotlight | Brandon’s House

Brandon’s House Counseling Center
1618 Beeler Street
New Albany, IN 47150
Business Phone:     812-929-2499
Website:  www.brandonshousein.com  

Contact Person:  Wade Thaxton, Executive Director
Contact Email:  WadeThaxton@brandonshousein.com                                  

Please use 300 words or less to describe your agency and your impact in the community.

Brandon’s House is the only counseling center specifically for teens that provides completely free counseling.  We have removed the financial barrier, by providing free counseling, that often keeps young people from getting the mental health help they so desperately need.  We have served, through counseling, thousands of teens & their families throughout our 30 years and never once have we charged the client for the counseling we’ve provided.  The impact we’ve had is hard to measure, however we have been a place of hope & healing at a pivotal point in an individual’s developmental stage in life. 

Agency Mission Statement or Description:

Our mission is simply to be a safe place for teens to be heard, find hope and to get equipped for today’s many challenges.  We do that by providing completely free counseling to any teen & their family in our community. 

Year established: 1993 (30th anniversary this October)

Counties/regions serviced: All of Southern Indiana & Louisville, KY

Focus areas: Mental Health for Teens & their families

Impact in community: We have served, through counseling, thousands of teens & families in Southern Indiana throughout the last 30 years. 

Volunteer Opportunities: Mostly with fund & friend-raising

How 1si members can help your organization: By spreading the word of the free counseling we provide to teens.  Or by covering the cost of a teen’s counseling with us.  The average teen comes for 12 visits over a 3.5 month period.  Each visit costs $125 per session (an hour long).  So the total cost of a typical teen’s counseling is $1,500.  Maybe a group of people come together to cover the cost of a teen’s counseling. 

Additional information: In 2021 we served 147 teens & families.  In 2022 we served 233 teens & families.  This year we are on pace to serve over 300 teens & families.  Essentially we’ve more than doubled our impact in just the last 2 years. 

St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities to Hold Annual Giving Hope ~ Changing Lives Gala

New Albany, IN- St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities is gearing up for their biggest night in fundraising; their Annual Giving Hope ~ Changing Lives Gala. The Gala will be held on the evening of Thursday April 18th at the Galt House Grand Ballroom in Louisville, KY.

The St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities’ Giving Hope ~ Changing Lives Gala, is an elegant event that features a silent auction and an exciting live auction which help raise funds to run their community programs. A delicious meal will be prepared and served by Galt House’s in house restaurant chefs from Walker’s Exchange. Online bidding opens on April 2nd and can be access at bidpal.net/stegala2024.

The doors open at 5:30 pm for social hour. During the night, St. Elizabeth will celebrate its mission and many blessings as the agency raises funds to support their social services programs.  Attendees will also have a chance to hear inspirational testimonies from 3 individuals directly impacted by the programs of St. Elizabeth and how their lives have been forever changed.

Last year St. Elizabeth assisted 346 women faced with homelessness and were able to help 189 women and children in the form of shelter and support. The agency also assisted 33 birth parent inquiries with their professional adoption services, provided over 7,130 hours of support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and assisted 1,045 families with essential mother/baby and household items free of charge and more.



About St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities

St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities has been serving families throughout Southern Indiana and Metro Louisville for 45 years. The agency’s history is rooted in the 1979 opening of Catholic Charities in Southern Indiana. In May of 1989, St. Elizabeth’s opened in New Albany as a crisis pregnancy center. The two organizations merged in 2004 to better serve the community.  Current programs include: Adoption Bridges of Kentuckiana– adoption services licensed in both Kentucky and Indiana, a Women and Children Emergency Shelter, a Domestic Violence Transitional & Rapid Rehousing Program, a Maternity Program for single mothers, Affordable Supportive Housing, Marie’s Blessings Community Distribution Program of mother/baby and household items, a School Counseling Program, and a Supported Living Program serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities is a COA accredited human service agency providing physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the community committed to Providing Help, Creating Hope and Serving All.   

Economic Update | Fewer Interest Rate Cuts This Year

Coming into 2024, stock market investors were expecting 6 interest rate reductions by the Fed throughout the year. Year-over-year inflation had fallen, and Federal Reserve officials had signaled that cuts would likely begin this year. Inspired by lower interest rates, the stock market surged. In late October 2023, the S&P 500 Index was at 4,117. Fast forward to early April 2023, and the S&P was over 5,200, representing a 26% gain since the October low. While the market was expecting six rate cuts, the Fed had signaled only three for 2024. Market expectations and sentiment dominated the Fed view, and markets continued climbing.   

The impetus behind lower rates was tied to inflation. At the start of 2023, the Consumer Price Index registered a year-over-year change of 6.6%. In October, when the market began its surge, the CPI had declined to 4.0%. In three quarters, inflation was trimmed by 2.6%. Since then, the progress on inflation has slowed considerably. From October 2023, when the market began its upward trajectory, the CPI is only lower by a magnitude of only .08. Basically, the CPI has been stuck just above 3%, not quite at the level of the Federal Reserve target of 2%.   

Since disinflation has basically come to a halt, the market is now pushing the first rate cut back to July, with mixed probabilities for additional cuts beyond July. The last Fed Reserve meeting in March continued to point to three cuts for this year, but that was by a very slim majority. In that meeting, the Fed upped growth estimates of the economy and its inflation projections yet maintained an estimate of three cuts for 2024. Some suggested that this was counter-intuitive;  higher inflation estimates, but no change in rate reductions. Since the Federal Reserve March meeting, some Fed officials are on record calling for fewer than 3 cuts:  one recently calling for none, and a historically dovish one calling for only one cut. The yield on the 10-year Treasury is knocking on the door of 4.5%, up from 3.9% at the start of the year. This will keep interest rates on credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages higher for longer. 

By the time you may be reading this, the latest CPI report will have been released (release is scheduled for Wednesday, April 10th). If we get a hot CPI number, meaning it comes in higher than expected, this will push interest rate reductions back even further. Markets will likely reduce rate reductions from 2 to perhaps one, or none. The stock market will likely be volatile. If the CPI comes in less than expected, markets will likely surge. One of the reasons for this surge started with last Friday’s U.S. payrolls report. The U.S. employment report was indeed a Goldilocks report. Jobs created surpassed all expectations, with the economy adding 303,000 jobs in March. Both the labor force and labor force participation rate increased by sizeable margins. Household employment also surged, reversing previous declines. Average hourly earnings slowed from the previous month, a key ingredient for the softer inflation story. The average workweek also increased, which when combined with the number of jobs and average wages, points to more fuel for the spending consumer. 

Locally, Louisville Metro is seeing the slowest job growth since early 2020. Preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that Louisville Metro gained 3,500 jobs from February 2023 to February 2024. As a comparison, the metro area added approximately 15,000 jobs on an annual basis in early 2023. On a percentage basis, this puts Louisville Metro last among the Kentucky metro areas.  In Indiana, three metro areas (Bloomington, Columbus, and Elkhart-Goshen) are observing negative changes in payrolls from the prior year. As we have discussed in previous columns, both states continue to face labor force growth challenges. The latest BLS metropolitan employment report showed that Louisville Metro also saw a decline in the labor force from the prior year.  To be sure, these data are subject to revision, but the early data does show a slowing of job growth in the metro region. 

Brian Butler Elected Fellow of American Board of Criminal Lawyers

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 1, 2024)—The American Board of Criminal Lawyers (ABCL) recently elected Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Brian Butler as a Fellow. He is one of only five Fellows in Kentucky.

ABCL is an invitation-only legal honorary society founded in 1978 for outstanding criminal trial lawyers in the U.S., Canada and Europe. To be considered for fellowship, nominees must have at least 10 years of criminal trial experience and have tried at least 50 trials, of which 35 were felony jury trials. Nominees must also receive exceptional recommendations from current Fellows and honored jurists.

Butler is a Member (Partner) based in Stites & Harbison’s Louisville, Ky., office. He is a member of the Torts & Insurance Practice Group and the Business Litigation Service Group. His practice focuses on a wide variety of litigation matters, including but not limited to white collar criminal defense, criminal defense, product liability and general tort defense. He has tried more than 100 jury trials and is intimately familiar with complex federal investigations including those involving corporations and their employees. Butler routinely serves as a legal analyst for Louisville television stations and the Louisville Courier-Journal. Butler received his Juris Doctor from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1995. 

About Stites & Harbison

Stites & Harbison, PLLC is a nationally recognized, full-service law firm. With 11 offices across six states — Kentucky, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia — the firm represents clients across the United States and internationally. Tracing its origins to 1832, Stites & Harbison is known as a preeminent firm managing sophisticated transactions, challenging litigation and complex regulatory matters on a daily basis. For more information, visit www.stites.com.


Henriott Group and Harpenau Insurance Announce Strategic Partnership

Troy, Indiana and West Lafayette, Indiana – March 2024 – Henriott Group, a leading insurance and risk management agency with offices in West Lafayette and Indianapolis, Indiana, announces a strategic partnership with Harpenau Insurance, a specialist insurance advisory firm, with locations in Troy and Evansville, Indiana, serving clients nationwide for close to six decades. 

Founded in 1965 in Troy, Indiana, Harpenau Insurance has earned a reputation for delivering exceptional insurance solutions and services, with core competencies in trucking, UAV/drones, lumber/furniture, and wood products, in addition to broad manufacturing industries. Harpenau Insurance also has a tremendous reputation for providing personalized solutions for home and auto insurance needs. 

With a focus on improving client outcomes, this strategic partnership will broaden the collective reach of both organizations and provide additional services and solutions to the combined client base. This partnership enables clients to access a wider range of carriers and receive personalized risk management consulting, employee benefits, and Medicare coverage. 

“We are excited to have Harpenau Insurance join Henriott Group,” said Kelley Henriott and Andrew Ball, CEOs of Henriott Group. “This collaboration represents a significant step forward in our commitment to delivering exceptional service and comprehensive insurance solutions to our clients. With our combined team and expanded geographic footprint we can leverage our expertise and resources to better meet the evolving needs of our clients.”  

“Our focus is always on expanding opportunities to support our clients. This acquisition expands our insurance partner portfolio and adds significant expertise to the team,” said Kelley Henriott, Co-CEO, adding “maintaining the existing teams, respecting existing client relationships, and servicing locally are core tenants for our group. Our focus is always on improving client outcomes.” Andrew Ball, Co-CEO added “We are proud of our history in Indiana and the addition of Harpenau Insurance to our company reaffirms our support to the great Hoosier state, enhancing our ability to serve our clients nationwide. We are so pleased to have Rick and the rest of the Harpenau team join and know that we will continue to do amazing work for our clients.”

Rick Harpenau, owner of Harpenau Insurance, echoed this sentiment, affirming, “This business bares my name, and holds six decades of collective, blood, sweat, tears, memories, and friendships. Finding the right strategic partner to continue our legacy has been a primary focus of mine over the last several years. Maintaining our team, along with our Troy and Evansville locations was important in this decision. This collaboration is an exciting opportunity to further support our clients and enhance the value we bring to their insurance needs, while continuing to remain independently owned and free from external influences.” 

Through this partnership, Henriott Group and Harpenau Insurance will continue to be innovators in the insurance distribution industry, leveraging their combined expertise and resources to deliver unparalleled support and innovative solutions to clients across the nation.


About Henriott Group: Founded in 1963 in Lafayette, Indiana, Henriott Group is a leading insurance and risk management agency dedicated to providing innovative solutions and exceptional service to clients across various industries. With a focus on client satisfaction and comprehensive coverage, Henriott Group is committed to delivering peace of mind to its clients. 

For more information about Henriott Group, visit www.henriott.com. For more information about Harpenau Insurance, visit www.harpenauinsurance.com

For Contact: 

Grace Pritchett, gpritchett@henriott.com 

Thank You for Renewing Your Membership | March 2024

One Southern Indiana would like to thank the following members for renewing their membership during the month of March 2024.

Quarter Century Club (25 Years or More)Member Since
H&H Design-Build1976
City of Charlestown1985
Schuler Bauer Real Estate Services1985
LifeSpring Health Systems1986
WAVE 3 News1988
The Salvation Army1996
Ten to 24 Years 
River Ridge Development Authority2001
Nicholson Insurance Agency2003
Budget Services & Supplies, LLC2004
Old National Bank2004
Cherry Bekaert (MCM CPAs & Advisors)2006
Delaco Kasle Processing Indiana2008
Scot Mailing and Shipping Systems2008
Delta Services LLC2009
Arctic Minerals2011
Rauch Industries2011
Frost Brown Todd, LLP2012
Air Hydro Power2013
Community Montessori Charter Public School2013
Nugent Sand Company2013
Five to Nine Years 
C2 Strategic Communications LLC2015
HMC Service Co.2015
Cardinal Pointe Financial Group2016
W.M. Kelley Company, Inc.2017
A1 Porta Potty2019
Naked By Sunday2019
Two to Four Years 
Makarios Consulting, LLC2020
CRG Automation2021
Miranda Construction 2021
Videobred, Inc.2021
Brookstone Financial LLC2022
Carpet Specialist, Inc.2022
HRS Global LLC2022
Lead Well Strategic Consulting2022
One Year 
AG Master Tile & More2023
Chanel Nicole Co.2023
Ellis & Badenhausen Orthopaedics2023
Innovators Inurance Group LLC2023
Kaczmarek Contracting LLC2023
Louisville Painting Company LLC2023
Patriot Mobile Wash2023
Patriot Mobile Wash2023
Prosser Alumni Association Inc. 2023
Rise Foundation, Inc.2023
Rural 1st2023

Welcome New Members | March 2024