JCIDC celebrates 35 years


While much has changed for Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. since its inception in 1984, the organization’s core values haven’t wavered.

JCIDC is still committed to working with local government, community and educational agencies to ensure the county is a place where industry can thrive and create prosperity.

On Tuesday, business leaders, nonprofits, politicians and everyone in between associated with the corporation gathered at The Pines Evergreen Room to celebrate 35 years of operation.

“I think the recipe of our success has been the collaboration of our entire county, from government to municipal, countywide and statewide, to business leaders, to citizens that dedicate their time to making Jackson County the greatest place to live in the world,” said Kevin Gabbard, president of the JCIDC board of directors.

JCIDC was incorporated May 23, 1984, after an initial meeting on March 20 of that year. Mike Tormoehlen was elected first president of the JCIDC board, and Jim Plump was named the organization’s executive director on July 6.  Plump still holds that title to this day.

“It has been my pleasure to serve the organization as the executive director since the organization’s inception. Most days, it seems hard to believe it has been 35 years. Other days, not so much,” Plump joked.

“There have been many changes in the way we did things in the way we do things today. Through it all, we’ve enjoyed success in Jackson County thanks to a lot of companies here tonight as well as with our support from many of our sponsors.”

The current JCIDC staff also includes Workforce Director Jackie Hill, Administrative Director Mary Winburn and Workforce Coordinator Jody Deckard. Former staff members include Sharon McAllister, Becky Stuckwisch and Dee Kovener.

Five different board presidents have helped oversee JCIDC over the years. Tormoehlen served from 1984 to 1986, followed by Bob Zickler (1986 to 1995), Gerald Armstrong (1995 to 2004), Gary Meyer (2004 to 2014) and Gabbard.

More than 100 people have served on the JCIDC board over 35 years.

During his speech, Plump also acknowledged the work of Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman, who has held his position for the past 12 years. Luedeman will not be seeking re-election in 2020.

“I would be remissed if I didn’t mention Craig Luedeman,” Plump said. “Craig has accompanied me on nine international trips in his 12 years as mayor of the city of Seymour. Over that period of time, Jackson County has seen $1.1 billion of promised investment and the creation of hundreds of jobs.”

Crothersville native Scott McKain, a member of the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame and Sales and Marketing Hall of Fame, was the keynote speaker on the night.

McKain said he talks about his hometown in every speech he does across the world and that his roots in Jackson County helped him become the success he has today.

In his speech, McKain gave five tips to help businesses “not only stand out in their industry but set the benchmark for innovation, customer experience and employee culture.”

McKain, who lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is a corporate educator in residence at High Point University, also spoke at the 25th annual JCIDC dinner.

Patrons received a copy of McKain’s new book, “ICONIC,” which was named a Top 10 Pick of the Year by Forbes.com, at the  conclusion of the celebration.

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