(INDIANAPOLIS) — Diversification in communities is often talked about. Goshen is backing up its discussions with action – creating a vibrant quality of life that supports a growing small business base while maintaining the manufacturing strength that has been so important to the city’s history.

These efforts and more have earned Goshen recognition as the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Community of the Year. The city will officially receive the award November 7 at the Chamber’s 28th Annual Awards Dinner at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. The event is presented in partnership with Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield.

“The economic turnaround in Elkhart County is a tremendous story,” says Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. “Goshen has set itself apart with dynamic downtown offerings, creating new spaces and events for its residents to enjoy and embracing businesses both old and new.”

Among the many initiatives in recent years:

  • Development of the Hawks Arts and Enterprise Center at a former furniture factory built in 1870. The brownfield renovation features loft apartments serving as low-cost living/work spaces for artists and entrepreneurs
  • Community events both traditional (First Friday celebrations of food, art and culture have taken place for the last decade) and new (the River Bend Film Festival and Maple City Cultural Festival – the city population is 30% Latino)
  • Creation of the LaunchPad Goshen co-working space and a public-private partnership that will lead to a new industrial business park
  • A collaboration of business and education leaders that not only focuses on K-12 and higher education achievements, but emphasizes lifelong learning
  • Improved biking/walking routes through development of more than 30 miles of designated trails that also connect Goshen to adjacent communities

“We are truly honored to receive this award,” says Goshen Mayor Jeremy Stutsman. “When I look at the progress this city has experienced over the years, I think about all the diverse businesses, organizations and individuals who came together to move our community forward. Here in Goshen, I am happy to see the wide range of businesses, from leading recreational vehicle manufacturing companies to the many individuals with entrepreneurial spirits who decide to open their local business here. I want to thank our local chamber of commerce, as well as the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, for working with these businesses, organizations and individuals to better our communities.”

Stutsman declared 2017 the Year of Goodness as individuals, businesses and non-profits are being honored for their work to better the community. Many acts of goodness are helping make it a great year and a bright future for Goshen.

The Community of the Year award is sponsored by Lifeline Data Centers, a leader in data center compliance, uptime and innovation since 2001.

Additional awards to be announced that night include the Business Leader of the Year, Government Leader of the Year and Indiana Vision 2025 Dynamic Leader of the Year. Indiana Vision 2025 is the Indiana Chamber’s long-range economic development action plan and the award emphasizes entrepreneurship and other facets of the plan’s Dynamic and Creative Culture driver.

More than 1,500 business, political and community leaders are expected to attend. Tables and individual tickets are available by calling (800) 824-6885 or at www.indianachamber.com/ad. Attire for the event is business professional to cocktail chic.

The 2017 Indiana Chamber Annual Dinner partner sponsor is OneAmerica; opening reception sponsor is AAR; VIP reception sponsor is Hirons & Company. Corporate sponsors are: AT&T; French Lick Resort; Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino; NIPSCO; Ogletree Deakins; Trine University; Tilson; Wellness Council of Indiana; and Zimmer Biomet.

Contributing sponsors: AECOM Hunt; Allison Transmission; Chase J.P.Morgan; Community Health Network; Dow AgroSciences; FedEx; Fineline Printing Group; IGT Indiana; Indiana Soybean Alliance/Indiana Corn Marketing Council; Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick; KERAMIDA Inc.; Markey’s Rental & Staging; MCM CPAs & Advisors; Pacers Sports & Entertainment; Roche Diagnostics Corporation; Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc.; The Kroger Co.; Vectren; and WGU Indiana.

Additional sponsorships are available by contacting Jim Wagner at (317) 264-6876.

The most recent Indiana Chamber of Commerce Community of the Year recipients:

2016: Fishers
2015: Carmel
2014: Bloomington
2013: Bedford
2012: Indianapolis
2011: Kokomo
2010: Terre Haute
2009: Valparaiso
2008: Noblesville
2007: Anderson


The Indiana Chamber partners with 25,000 members and investors – representing over four million Hoosiers – to achieve the mission of “cultivating a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity.”