IEDC Blog from London Part 1: Rachel Leslie Answers Why Indiana Made the Trip

Although Farnborough is one of the largest airshows in the country, the thousands of attendees are connected with industry perspectives presenting new technologies that will advance how we do business in the future – fast, innovative, and competitive.  The state of Indiana is in hall two, and located amongst other states such as Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Idaho (to name a few) in a well-rounded approach from consultants, economic developers, and state leaders. The walls of the booth showcase large aircraft, the state’s higher education assets, a list of Indiana companies in the aerospace industry, and information on available locations for new and expanded companies. The vast array of companies, communities, states, and countries can’t be covered in three days, and certainly not fully appreciated.  Now that I’m here I can fully understand the why Indiana is here. To be a competitor in the aerospace and defense industry you have to have true and long-lasting relationships built on the ability of shared success.  Without an effort to continuously build upon new and standing relationships, the competition can outpace us on the basic foundation of doing business together – trust. 

Among members of the state delegation is Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger.  The Secretary has been fast-moving from meeting-to-meeting representing Indiana’s innovative story, connecting with aerospace primes and key CEOs. The airshow offers a chance for state leaders to interact with aerospace business leaders in a quick and efficient way, maximizing both time and connections. The conversations started here have the potential to become the projects and jobs of the future.

In the Indiana booth, we interact with a variety of leaders from engineers to c-suite executives. The most popular giveaway is a unique video card, which resembles a business card with a small, embedded screen. The video features Governor Eric Holcomb sharing the state’s growth strategy, along with some of our signature Indiana scenery. While the video starts conversations, we continue them in a small meeting room in the Indiana booth with signs that state – “Top 5 Best States for Quality of Life, No. 3 for Infrastructure in the Nation, Next Level Connectivity, Next Level Business Environment, Next level Infrastructure, Top 5 States for Business, and No. 1 for Regulatory Environment.” We have a strong and vibrant state, and we’re telling our story to a diverse international audience that represents billions in investment and many potential jobs.

Although I’ve had a chance to talk to several potential vendors and take part in state delegation meetings, it is hard to narrow down any immediate success the first day.  The next three days will be spent doing much of the same – more meetings, more conversations, more connecting the dots.  As I sit here today, the word that comes to mind is potential.  In addition, I will be taking time on behalf of the Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation to say “Thank You” to GE Aviation and Thyssenkrupp, and demonstrate our continued willingness for partnership growth and new opportunities.

I will be taking time to interview other members of the state delegation over the next few days.  More to come.

#NextLevelIN #WestCentralIN #Potential

Rachel Leslie, Partner

RJL Solutions, LLC