Vanta’s Viewpoint: Evolution

INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 1, 2021) – Most of us think of time as linear or cyclical. I am a cyclical-minded individual. Every time a change occurs in life, I relate the transition with the seasons. In the life of an individual or an organization, we go through many seasons. The world around us changes and we must change with it. The most common thing I hear around change is: “We don’t like it.” Change can be hard and unfamiliar.


As life enters a new season, we change because what we knew before is now different. Many things are part of this equation. We aspire for higher; we have reached a peak only to see another; the world catches up and passes by. Age, economic cycle, or COVID… There exists a melancholy sentiment for the way things had been. It’s comfortable, knowable, and predictable. Unfortunately, we cannot stop the seasons that happen around us and we are left with the requirement to evolve.


This is where I find myself in the world today – in need of evolution.


As I walked into this position three years ago, I was impressed by the foundation that had been built by my predecessor Rich Cooper and the Commission. The feeling of change was quickly put in context by Mr. Cooper on his exit. The message delivered was “no status quo; you must take this organization higher.” The mission was clear. The Ports of Indiana would evolve and so we have.


You’ve seen our new logo, new website, new economic impact numbers ($8.2 billion), retirements, new team members, promotions and new Commissioners. During these changes, the organization has achieved new tonnage highs, traffic mix diversification, an additional $10 million in grant projects approved while driving to deliver on the $40 million previously awarded. Our Jeffersonville TIGER grant project will be completed by the end of 2021, while our Fastlane Grant is one-third completed in Burns Harbor.


The Ports of Indiana – YES, Indiana has THREE ports – is quietly evolving. We must meet the Next Level needs of the state and help our citizens grow. Our future will be the delivery of world-class infrastructure, with the aim to invest $215 million over the next 15 years. The goal is to continue to create transportation and industrial-centric ecosystems where business can leverage our assets to create the jobs, products, and communities in which we all are proud — from Northwest Indiana to the southern boundaries of the Ohio river. Our mission is to build, re-build, and plan for the evolution that carries us forward for the next 50 years. The weight of the words of my predecessor is heavy on my thoughts. “You must” are evolutionary words and the seasons are changing at the Ports of Indiana.



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