Sherry Seiwert, executive director of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority since 2005 and whose entire career has focused on community development, will be the new president of Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. (IDI), effective August 6, 2012. The announcement was made today by Dennis Sponsel, president of RJE Business Interiors and IDI board chair.
"Sherry's expertise and talent make the perfect combination for IDI," Sponsel said. "She is an excellent leader who understands Downtowns and the importance of listening and collaborating. Her ability to set a vision, lead a staff and raise funds will be invaluable."
As the leader of the state housing agency, she has managed a staff of 90, an annual operating budget of $14 million and a project budget of more than $500 million. Issues she has managed in this position include optimizing quality of life and sustainability in communities, creating safe neighborhoods with new opportunities for retail, recreation and employment, adapting living environments and homelessness.
Prior to her state position, she was program director for Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) for eight years. Earlier, she was an administrator and project manager for the City of Indianapolis' Department of Metropolitan Development (1993-1997) and executive director of United Northwest Area Development Corporation from 1989 to 1993.
She serves on the board for the Economic Club of Indianapolis and the advisory committees of LISC and the Federal Home Loan Bank.
An Indianapolis native and 1986 graduate of Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, she and her husband are the parents of a teenage daughter.
Sponsel said that Jeff Fusile, senior vice president and CFO business operations for WellPoint and a member of IDI's board and executive committee, chaired the search committee which undertook a national search. "We looked across the country and found the best person to lead IDI right here in Indianapolis; it's a great bonus for us," Sponsel added.
Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. is uniquely and totally focused on improving Downtown by addressing issues that affect the area's growth and well-being. IDI focuses on three areas: development, management and marketing and brings together private and public entities to keep the area beautiful, safe, convenient and growing.