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New Indiana Tourism Agency Gets First Leader

Elaine Bedel will be the first secretary and CEO of the Indiana Destination Development Corporation.

Elaine Bedel will be the first secretary and CEO of the Indiana Destination Development Corporation. (Courtesy of the 2019 CEO Talent Summit)

Gov. Eric Holcomb is reshuffling agency leadership to fill a brand-new role in state government.

Holcomb this week named the first head of the state’s new tourism department.

Elaine Bedel will be the first secretary and CEO of the Indiana Destination Development Corporation. She’ll move over from her current role as head of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, a job she’s had since Holcomb took office in January 2017.

Lawmakers established the Destination Development Corporation via legislation this year to change the way the state approaches tourism. The new corporation is a public-private agency, meaning it will be able to raise its own funds, separate from government dollars.

But public-private agencies are also shielded from many public access and disclosure laws, meaning the new tourism department likely won’t have to tell the public where its money is coming from or where it’s going.

State Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger will replace Bedel at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. He previously held that position under then-Gov. Mike Pence.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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