Wendy Dant Chesser
President & CEO
One Southern Indiana
“I am so fortunate that I get to work toward this passion every day.”
Boards, volunteer or community work:
Part of my job is to represent our business community on various boards and commissions, including: Louisville Zoo Foundation Board; Ivy Tech Regional Board of Trustees; Kentucky Derby Festival Board of Directors; Greater Louisville, Inc. Board of Directors; Indiana Economic Development Association (Chair); Indiana Metro Chambers Group; Kentucky-Indiana Exchange Board of Directors/Managing Partner; Falls of the Ohio Foundation Board; Louisville Regional Airlift Development Board of Directors; Align Southern Indiana Board of Directors; 55,000 Degrees Board of Directors.
In terms of growth and economic development, where would you like to see Southern Indiana in 10 years?
We measure economic growth not only through job creation, but also tax base investment and increased consumer spending. A big emphasis during recent years is on our workforce development needs. We support increasing average wages in our area because we cannot build vibrant communities on low-wage jobs. However, workers have to be skilled for higher wage positions, which is why you see much of our focus on increasing business/education partnerships to lead to higher wages. So, by 2028, I would like to see wages in our counties surpass the average wage for Indiana’s state average.
Who or what motivates you?
Good energy and fresh ideas. I love to be surround with positive people who have can-do attitudes. They give me energy.
What habits/routines have helped with your success?
I do my best to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. I feel better and think more clearly when I do.
What pushes you through your most difficult times?
In community and economic development work, there are high times and low times – it is the nature of local economies to ebb and flow. Remembering this not only motivates me to celebrate the accomplishments, but also instills the perseverance to work harder when times are bad.
What are you most proud of professionally?
My passion is to create opportunities for people who call Southern Indiana home. I am so fortunate that I get to work toward this passion every day.