Luncheon honors progress to streamline permitting11/19/2014 Representatives from the Permitting Excellence Coalition recognized at today's luncheon included (front row - left to right): Vivian Likes, City of Angola; Kim Bowman, Allen County/City of Fort Wayne; William Spohn, City of Auburn; Roger Gage, City of Decatur; Ken Dunn, City of Auburn; (back row - left to right): David Sewell, Whitley County/City of Columbia City; Mark Mussman, Huntington County/City of Huntington; Brian Yoh, City of New Haven; Bob Shanahan, LaGrange County; Paul Blisk, Allen County/City of Fort Wayne; Clinton Knauer, DeKalb County; Retha Hicks, City of Angola. Source: Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership Nine jurisdictions participating in Northeast Indiana's Permitting Excellence Coalition were honored today at a Permitting Recognition Luncheon, hosted by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. Nearly 50 government officials, business leaders and economic development professionals from the region were in attendance. Streamlining business permitting is a top priority in the region's Vision 2020 initiative, which is spearheaded by the Regional Partnership. The priority aims to help create a business-friendly environment that will encourage greater economic growth in Northeast Indiana by making it easier for businesses to obtain appropriate permits to build and expand in the region. "No other region in the country has pursued a streamlined permitting process like this," said John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. "These Northeast Indiana jurisdictions are leading the way to ensure that our permitting processes support a business climate focused on increasing investment in the region."Representatives from nine jurisdictions met throughout 2014 -- the first year for the coalition -- to work on their core customer values of consistency, transparency and easy access. The group developed a streamlined and standardized permitting page for their websites; attended customer service trainings provided by the High Performance Government Network (HPGN), which was contracted by Vision 2020 to assist with the priority; and outlined their current permitting processes. Participating jurisdictions in the Permitting Excellence Coalition include Allen County/City of Fort Wayne, City of Angola, City of Auburn, City of Decatur, DeKalb County, Huntington County/City of Huntington, LaGrange County, City of New Haven and Whitley County/Columbia City."The efforts of the Permitting Excellence Coalition will help simplify the permitting process for businesses looking to grow in Northeast Indiana," said Joe Pierce, president and CEO of Farmers State Bank and chair of the Regional Partnership's governing board. "Streamlining permitting processes across the region will give Northeast Indiana a competitive advantage in attracting new businesses and encouraging growth at the region's existing businesses." With the first year of the program complete, the Permitting Excellence Coalition now has a foundation to continue work on its three core values. The group's efforts this year will allow it to make measureable improvements over the next several years."This program can give Northeast Indiana a competitive edge when businesses are looking to expand or relocate," said Norm Yoder, mayor of the City of Auburn. "Streamlining our processes across the region will make it easier for companies as they work through the permitting process."For more information about the Streamlined Permitting priority, visit www.neindiana.com/vision.About Northeast Indiana Regional PartnershipThe Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership focused on generating business leads and building regional capacity through product development and effective regional collaboration. The Northeast Indiana Fund (Fund) was created in 2005 to operate as a supporting organization of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, focused specifically on product development and regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. Through its combined efforts in business development and capacity building, the Partnership supports its 10 member counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties. For more information, visit www.NEIndiana.com.