The Indiana Association of Regional Councils (IARC), established in 1997, is a nonprofit organization that represents and serves all of the recognized regions in Indiana. IARC provides a community for directors, staff, and board members of regional planning organizations in Indiana to network and share ideas that promote economic and community development, transportation planning, smart growth to prevent urban sprawl, and various other issues on a regional basis across the state.
Annie Cruz Porter is a Community and Regional Development Specialist at the Purdue Center for Regional Development. For over a decade, Porter worked in the urban planning field and concentrated on environmentally sustainable forms of transportation planning in Great Britain.
“IARC is a fantastic organization,” said Porter, “The idea is that regions are stronger together. Rather than 92 individual counties working alone across Indiana, regional development has helped these areas move toward their goals.”
There are 15 member regional planning organizations that attend IARC’s annual conference. This event, at which Ball State University and Purdue University present each year, is a learning and networking opportunity for attendees.
“IARC has been a support team and great network for all the regional development organizations. It is a great place to share ideas and network on possible solutions that each of our county’s face. Without the leadership and state involvement by IARC, regional organizations would struggle to get a seat at the table on important legislation and both state and federal grants,” said Bill Walters, the Executive Director of the East Central Indiana Regional Planning District.
The ECI Regional Planning District is one of the members of IARC. At the 2022 IARC conference, Bill Walters was one of eight people awarded a certificate from the Indiana Communities Institute acknowledging the completion of the course requirements to be recognized as an Indiana Regional Leader. In this program, Walters was provided with a foundation for community economic development, including public finance, organizational leadership, as well as fiscal, administrative, and project management.
“Bill has worked tirelessly to put the economic development needs of East Central Indiana first by expanding broadband infrastructure, supporting small business innovation, improving transportation connections, and prioritizing brownfield cleanup,” said Porter.
You can learn more about The Indiana Association of Regional Councils (IARC) by visiting their website linked here.