As one year concludes and another commences, it’s natural to pause and ponder the last 365 days, analyze the events that transpired and make plans for the time ahead.

Here at the Indiana Chamber, we have been working toward 2019 for some time. But we do want to take a moment to reflect on 2018 and highlight many of this year’s efforts and accomplishments focused on helping you grow your business and achieve success.

Let’s work our way back to the beginning of the year:

The most recent news is the creation of the Institute for Workforce Excellence. We’re coordinating a number of existing workforce initiatives (with new offerings to come) to help employers across the state focus on talent attraction, development and retention. Learn more at

The importance of this initiative was highlighted by the release of our 11th annual employer survey at the end of November.

J.D. Vance, New York Times #1 bestselling author of Hillbilly Elegy, headlined the annual awards celebration. (See a recap of all the winners here.) Mark your calendar for the 30th Annual Awards Dinner on November 7, 2019, featuring two leading voices as keynote speakers: former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and political strategist Donna Brazile.

Speaking of politics, the Indiana Chamber’s political action committee, Indiana Business for Responsive Government (IBRG), helped 70 of 74 endorsed candidates facing a challenger in the general election succeed in their campaigns. Read the 2018 General Election Report here.

Have you toured your Membership Hub? We introduced this new feature in early November! Take advantage of everything your company’s Chamber membership offers and peruse the Hub to learn more.

Season two of the EchoChamber podcast kicked off in August. There’s a great lineup of past episodes to check out at with the conversations continuing in 2019.

The Chamber blog also received a makeover this summer. We now have a simple online form available for member companies to submit guest articles for consideration.

One of the Chamber’s newest business education training events – focusing on cybersecurity – was held in May. But the potential threats evolve quickly, and we’re combining this conference with an annual program on key tech policy issues. The 2019 Cyber Technology Conference & Policy Summit will take place January 8-9.

Also in May, we honored a record 125 companies in the 2018 Best Places to Work in Indiana class. The 14th Annual Best Places to Work in Indiana Awards Dinner is April 30 and we look forward to once again recognizing outstanding workplace cultures!

The Indiana Workforce Recovery initiative was introduced in February, in partnership with the Wellness Council of Indiana and Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration. The long-term goal is to help employers deal with public health crises, including the current opioid epidemic, and ensure Indiana has a healthy and stable workforce.

The 2019 Chamber Day Dinner (formerly the Legislative Dinner) will be held March 12. Arthur C. Brooks, author and president of the American Enterprise Institute, will be the keynote speaker.

During the 2018 General Assembly session, the Indiana Chamber pursued important public policies, with several key victories including SaaS (software as a service) tax clarity. The government affairs team is armed with priorities for another legislative session, with the 2019 version beginning in early January.

On a special note, we said goodbye to two longtime Chamber employees who retired in 2018. Janet Boston led the Indiana INTERNnet team for seven-plus years as executive director. Mark Lawrance, vice president of engagement and innovation policy, is retiring at the end of this month; he’s been with the Indiana Chamber in various roles for more than 16 years.

One thing that remains constant – whether looking back or envisioning the future – is that we couldn’t do any of this without the support of our member companies, board members, volunteers, partner organizations and dedicated staff. Thank you for a great year!