by Sarah Einselen
White County commissioners appointed a regional business development manager this week as the new president of the White County Economic Development Organization.
Randy Mitchell, currently business development manager for the Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission, will officially begin his duties with the county organization Jan. 1.
He fills the role previously occupied by Connie Neininger, who left the organization to become president of the Logansport-Cass County Economic Development Foundation last month.
“It was quicker than we anticipated, but the right candidate surfaced so we jumped on it,” said White County Commissioner John Heimlich. “He’s obviously got big shoes to fill, but we feel he’ll be able to take over and we won’t have a lag time, won’t miss a beat.”
The commissioners had previously discussed appointing a part-time interim director and taking some time to find a permanent one, said Heimlich, but felt a full-time director was needed to maintain momentum in the county.
“The more we talked to him,” Heimlich said of Mitchell, “the more we felt he’d be a perfect fit at this time because he’s worked with all of the town on grants… He knows all the players in the county and he’s got a tremendous background in business management so he certainly can speak to the corporate types.”
Before returning to Indiana in 2002, Mitchell served as vice president of quality, purchasing and facilities with Philips Consumer Electronics Company in Atlanta, a Fortune 500 company that manufactures Philips and Magnavox brand electronic products.
Mitchell also served on the Board of Directors for the Tennessee State Quality Award, where he conducted audits for world-renowned businesses located in Tennessee, including Eastman Chemical, Federal Express, Toshiba and Saturn.
He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for IU Health White Memorial Hospital as well as for IU Health Arnett Hospital in Lafayette. He holds bachelor’s degrees in marketing and finance from the University of Evansville.
Commissioners in White County will also discuss restructuring the economic development organization to conform more closely to traditional economic development setups. Having an economic development director appointed by the county commissioners is uncommon, said Heimlich, and the county may revamp the organization as it considers next steps.
Sarah Einselen is news editor for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-732-5151.