Tag Archives: Business


Regional Pitch Competition – Fueled by Elevate Ventures and 1804

Thursday, June 13, 2019


The Root
110 East Market Street
New Albany, IN 47150





Business 101 | Jim Epperson

screen-shot-2018-10-08-at-9-53-46-amJim Epperson

Executive Director

SoIN Tourism


“A requirement for us to be a competitive community is greater common vision among elected leaders and communication across borders.”


Boards, volunteer or community work:

Indiana Tourism Association – Government Affairs Co-Chair & Board of Directors; Destinations International – Advocacy Committee; One Southern Indiana, Board of Directors; IU Southeast Chancellor’s Medallion Committee; Rotary Club of New Albany – Community Toast Committee; Falls of the Ohio Foundation – Community Leadership Council.


In terms of growth and economic development, where would you like to see Southern Indiana in 10 years?

Southern Indiana has amazing potential, and we are seeing little bits of it achieved every day with new businesses, new residents and improvements to our quality of place. I often hold up northern Kentucky (Covington & Newport and the greater three-county area) as an example of potential realized and where we can be in the future. Their growth is not without mistakes from which we can learn.


Our growth needs to foster success for even more local, independent business that has rejuvenated our downtowns. The authenticity of local is vital to help us carve out our own niche within the collection of Louisville “neighborhoods.”


A requirement for us to be a competitive community is greater common vision among elected leaders and communication across borders. Our most transformative projects are going to be regional and will require that kind of cooperation.


Who or what motivates you?

In destination marketing, we work to bring visitors to town who spend money here. What they spend here supports jobs in the hospitality and tourism sectors and beyond. That person who has a job in hospitality because of the people we bring to town is my motivation. Hospitality provides a path regardless of degree; our industry provides a second income on a flexible schedule for the household so that childcare is easier; almost all businesses in the sector are small and entrepreneurial; and our industry provides most peoples’ first jobs, training them for a career of contribution.


What habits/routines have helped with your success?

I am a proponent of ongoing professional development for me and our team. Attending conferences and workshops, sharing with colleagues from around the state or country, refreshes and refocuses us by getting us out of our daily routine. Time away allows us to think about how to bring that next cutting-edge idea back home and put it to work.


What pushes you through your most difficult times?

Knowing that I can retreat to important things like faith and family combined with a network of incredible colleagues who have been there, done that, gets me through the rough patches.


What are you most proud of professionally?

Having been able to explore my profession in different places but ending up back in my hometown and being able to contribute to our common success.


Business 101 | John E. Jones


John E. Jones


John Jones Automotive Group, John Jones Police Pursuit Vehicles


“I push myself every day to be better than the day before.”


Boards, volunteer or community work: 

Board Member Our Southern Indiana Regional Development Authority, Reserve Officer with local County Sheriff’s Departments.


In terms of growth and economic development, where would you like to see Southern Indiana in 10 years? 

I would like to see all the local Municipalities working together towards the one goal of making our region a more desirable area where our young people would want to live and work. To reach this goal, we have to have a trained and motivated work force working with this goal in mind. I would like to see more small community parks and recreation areas in Southern Indiana; places where families can go and enjoy their time together.

Also, I think people would be amazed at the number of residents who do not have access to broadband internet service; that is very important for every resident to have access.


Who or what motivates you? 

My family, my employees and my business. In order for them to be successful, I push myself every day to be better than the day before. I want to see everyone do well for themselves, and if they succeed then I have succeeded.


What habits/routines have helped with your success? 

Staying highly organized every day. I try to answer every single email, phone call and clear my desk before I go home each night – even if that means going home for dinner and then coming back into the office later. I want to be ready for whatever challenge I might have the next day. Little issues tend to always become bigger issues. It’s always easier to solve small problems instead of larger ones that are out of control.


What pushes you through your most difficult times?  

The responsibility of running my business.


What are you most proud of professionally? 

The growth of my business over 35 years. I started with 15 employees selling about 20 vehicles a month in one location. Now, John Jones Automotive Group has over 200 employees, six locations in Southern Indiana and averages 400 sold vehicles per month. We are always growing, and that is definitely something I’m proud of.


Business 101 | Wendy Dant Chesser

screen-shot-2018-10-08-at-9-53-16-amWendy 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.


Extol Events Presents: Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way


Printable PDF


Dress for Your Success

Photography by Gretchen Bell

Creative Direction & Styling by Miranda McDonald

Surely, clothes don’t make the man or woman – or do they? A number of recent studies have found donning more formal work attire can lead to increased productivity, heightened attention of how you treat others and more favorable first impressions. The findings only pertain to certain industries – and there’s no denying the benefits of comfort and functionality in apparel – but one thing is clear: You can dress for success and have a bit of fun, too.

Photographer: Gretchen Bell • hernameisgretchen.com

Creative Director and Stylist: Miranda McDonald • TheChicStreet.com

Models: Justin Sinkler and Jessica Malloy

Hair and Makeup: Strandz Salon & Threadz Boutique, 322 Vincennes St. in New Albany • 812.945.5480 • strandzandthreadz.com



Mariposa Consignments, 222 Pearl St. #102 in New Albany • 812.725.8508 • @MariposaConsignments on Facebook


HIM Gentleman’s Boutique, 314 Pearl St. in New Albany • 812.595.7752 • himgb.com


Sapphire on Spring, 326 Spring St. in Jeffersonville • 812.920.0017 • sapphireboutique.com


House of K, 137 E. Market St. in New Albany • 502.640.0049 • @houseofkboutique on Facebook


Dillard’s • Green Tree Mall, 757 E. Lewis and Clark Pkwy in Clarksville • Mall St Matthews, 5000 Shelbyville Road in Louisville • dillards.com



Culbertson Mansion, 914 E. Main St. in New Albany • 812.944.9600 • culbertsonmansionshs@indianamuseum.org


Downtown New Albany • cityofnewalbany.com • developna.org


Bella Roma Italiana Cuisine, 134 E. Market St. in New Albany • 812.725.9495


Double Barrel, 147 E. Main St. in New Albany • @doublebarrel2018 on Facebook

Look 1:

Model Jessica Malloy: Vintage Polka Dot Skirt, $14.98, J.Crew Sweater, $14.99, and Button-down, $8.99, from Mariposa Consignments. Model Justin Sinkler: Stetson Hat, $78; Stitch Note Knit, $59; The Tie Bar Socks, $10; and Paisley & Gray Coat, $180, all from HIM Gentleman’s Boutique. Location: Culbertson Mansion.


Look 2:

Jessica: Vintage Hat, $12.99, and Red Clutch, $14.99, from Mariposa Consignments; Tweed Dress, $85, and Bangles Bracelets, $40, from Sapphire on Spring. Location: Bella Roma Italiana Cuisine.





Look 3:

Jessica: Halston Dress, $48, and Cece Sweater, $79, from Dillard’s; Patent Handbag from Sapphire on Spring, $65; Vintage Tweed Coat, $24.99, from Mariposa Consignments. Location: Downtown New Albany.screen-shot-2018-10-04-at-11-43-20-am

Look 4:

Jessica: The Limited Suit, $24.99, and Vintage Headpiece (not for sale), from Mariposa Consignments; and Calvin Klein Blouse, $69.50 from Dillard’s. Justin: Stetson Hat, $78; Mizzen + Main Button-Down, $145; Paisley & Gray Coat, $180; TH Flex Pants, $79; and The Tie Bar Tie, $19, all from HIM Gentleman’s Boutique. Location: Downtown New Albany.screen-shot-2018-10-04-at-11-43-27-amscreen-shot-2018-10-04-at-11-49-00-am

Look 5:

Jessica: Puff Sleeve Blouse, $44, Tuxedo Pants, $77, and Velvet and Jewel Clutch, $65, all from Sapphire on Spring $65; Necklace, $88, and Bracelet, $32, from House of K. Justin: Paisley & Grey Suit Pants, $90; Coat, $180; Mizzen + Main Shirt, $145; The Tie Bar Tie, $20; and Daniel Wellington Watch, $229, all from HIM Gentleman’s Boutique. Location: Double Barrel.screen-shot-2018-10-04-at-11-49-18-am


Family Business Center Interim Director Brittany Boone

Ensuring Survival

University of Louisville Family Business Center supports generations of businesses

By Remy Sisk

Photos by Christian Watson

Family Business Center Board Chair Bob Koetter

Family Business Center
Board Chair Bob Koetter

“There’s a sense of comfort in talking to someone else in a family business who understands some of the dynamics. There’s a feeling of, ‘Oh, I’m not the only one who has these issues.’” – University of Louisville Family Business Center Board Chair Bob Koetter Jr.


The classic idiom “mom and pop shop” refers not only to the charming and familiar nature of a businesses but also the idea that its operators are somehow related. The family business can be one of the finest institutions of an economy – members of the same family harnessing synergy and working together toward a common goal. However, the passion and emotion that is inherent in the very definition of a family can sometimes hinder the success of that business or worse by creating a divide between family members. The University of Louisville Family Business Center helps prevent family businesses from stepping into the pitfalls that are all too common by offering an unparalleled myriad of resources so that they thrive with constant vivacity for generations to come.


“The role of the Family Business Center and how it can help this community is basically keeping these businesses in the community,” said Family Business Center Board Chair Bob Koetter Jr. “That’s important because statistically, only 13 percent of family businesses survive and make it to the third generation. … What the Family Business Center does is provide those tools to teach and prepare and make sure family businesses can survive throughout many generations.”


Some of the resources provided by the Family Business Center include education forums, individual business assessment and frequent, active networking. According to members, the greatest asset, however, is the roundtable option the center offers. “We go by adult learning theories that adults retain and learn information more in a peer-to-peer setting,” explained Interim Director Brittany Boone. “We have quite a few services, but our most valued service is the roundtable. We have four categories of roundtables, and they’re really peer-to-peer support groups.


“It’s a lot of similar people sitting around the table discussing things that are either going on in their family or their businesses. And either someone is experiencing what they’re experiencing at the same time, or they’ve already experienced it and they’re able to give advice.”


The four categories of these roundtables are CEOs, next generation, women and non-family executives, all of which are highly specialized groups that help foster robust development in many areas of family businesses.


The roundtables offer mentorship and education that professionals cannot find elsewhere. “There’s a sense of comfort in talking to someone else in a family business who understands maybe what some of those dynamics are that they’re dealing with,” Koetter said. “There’s a feeling of, ‘Oh, I’m not the only one who has these issues.’”


It’s not hard to become a member of the Family Business Center. There’s a simple online application to fill out and submit. Once a member is approved, they simply pay their dues, which are different for businesses of different sizes, and are then able to begin taking full advantage of the center’s resources.


Currently, most members are second generation, but Boone said the more than 100 members are made up of everything from first generation business owners to eighth generation, which means those who have been around for multiple generations are able to impart wisdom to some of the younger businesses.


“Businesses that are in later generational ownership, they kind of become advisors to the other family business owners,” Boone explained. “It’s almost like a nurturing sort of characteristic they take on in that they really do take pride in being able to help the earlier family businesses.”


And the success is evident. Although Boone admits it can be somewhat difficult to specifically measure the triumphs of the center, the very survival of these business may be testament enough, which is extremely important for the vitality of the community.


The members collectively employ over 13,000 individuals and generate almost $8 billion annually, said Koetter, who is a prime example of the efficacy of the Family Business Center. His company, Koetter Construction, is one of the region’s most renowned family businesses, and what the center has given Koetter has led to him now wanting to be a resource himself.


“They’ve helped me, so this is an opportunity for me to give back and hopefully help someone else,” he said.


As one of only about 60 family business centers in the U.S., the University of Louisville Family Business Center provides extraordinary resources for businesses but also, perhaps more importantly, families.


“I’m very proud because I have an opportunity to help family businesses to survive and also for the families themselves to be able to peacefully have holiday dinners together and spend time together,” Koetter said. “I see families that get torn apart and can’t even go to Thanksgiving dinner together, and it’s just so disappointing to see that the business has torn them apart.”

Family Business Center Interim Director Brittany Boone

Family Business Center Interim Director Brittany Boone

Boone agrees: “They always say never mix business with emotion, but you can’t do that when you’re working with your family,” she said. “There’s always going to be those emotions there, but at the same time, it’s so rewarding because the families are able to build wealth, build a legacy and we want to make sure that they are able to maintain that.”


Looking ahead, the Family Business Center is considering incorporating more education into its pool of resources but will regardless continue ensuring the community is aware of the singular opportunity of being involved. “We’re always told that we’re the best kept secret in Louisville, and we don’t want to be a secret necessarily anymore,” Boone said. “We just want to make sure we’re impacting as many people as we can.”


Family Business Center

College of Business

University of Louisville






Business 101

Local leaders share secrets to success, advice and goals for our region

Photos by Christian Watson, Tony Bennett & Danny Alexander

This is an exciting time for Southern Indiana, a region that is filled with business professionals striving to make our community better in myriad ways, from economic development and job creation to philanthropic endeavors that assist those of us who need it most. For this, Extol’s inaugural Business Issue, we asked local industry leaders and business owners to share their insight, advice, accolades, secrets to success and their hopes for our collective future.

Wendy Dant Chesser

John E. Jones

Jim Epperson

Brent Rogers

Dana Huber

Alan Muncy

Linda Speed

Scott Neumann

Stefanie Griffith

Eileen Yanoviak, Ph.D

Cheryl “Cricket” Koetter

Case Belcher



arc Storage Opens in New Albany

screen-shot-2018-08-20-at-12-06-21-pmJeffersonville-based development company arc hosted a grand-opening celebration of their new storage facility on June 29 at 3525 Grant Line Road in New Albany.

The 93,000-square foot, climate-controlled facility was opened in the building that used to house Kmart and is located just off I-265. At the grand opening, Alan Muncy, owner of arc, also revealed plans to build a Skyline Chili in front of arc Storage.screen-shot-2018-08-20-at-12-06-12-pm

Additionally, New Albany Skyline Chili donated $1,000 to Mt. Tabor Elementary School and Dare to Care at the event.

For more information, visit myarcstorage.com.

Michelle Ray and Courtney Cain if mobile bartending service Naked by Sunday.


Michelle Ray and Courtney Cain if mobile bartending service Naked by Sunday.

Michelle Ray and Courtney Cain of mobile bartending service Naked by Sunday.


What’s the difference between someone with a great idea and a business owner? The latter makes a plan and puts their talk into action. Michelle Ray was just helping a friend out when she agreed to bartend at a pal’s wedding a while back. Ray brought along Courtney Cain, and after they enjoyed working the bar that night, they realized they had the skills to make what they were doing a real business. The conversation picked up from there like, ‘We can do this,’” Ray recalled. “‘We can get insured and do all the things we need to do to be a legit mobile bartending business.’” Thus, Naked by Sunday – a mobile bartending service – was born. If you have an idea you’d like to see come to fruition, seek mentors and consult with others who have been there. The Indiana Small Business Development Center is a great place to start. You can learn more about the organization at isbdc.org. (And you can contact Naked by Sunday at 502.299.3459, 812.207.6740 or nakedbysunday.com.)