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The Evansville Regional Business Committee: River City Illuminati or Just Good Ol’ Boys?


The Evansville Regional Business Committee: River City Illuminati or Just Good Ol’ Boys?

by: Brad Linzy

There has been a lot of talk lately in CCO comments about an organization called the Evansville Regional Business Committee (ERBC). I must admit, before these comments began to proliferate I had not heard of this organization. Intrigued, I decided to do a little research. Wow! What an amazing coalition of talented, successful, and wealthy individuals! I’m sure with all these people working together under one roof, Evansville – her elections, construction projects, and long term fiscal situation – is in great hands!

So little seems to be known about this group, and since they don’t have a website or any other compiled information other than the odd business listing, I decided to compile profiles on each member and an overview of their mission statement. Where applicable, profiles have been copied from reputable business websites like Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, and Forbes. These are the “movers and shakers” of Evansville. Meet your ERBC (current as of 2011).

Primary Stated Purpose:
“The EBRC Inc. has been formed to improve and promote the business and commercial climate and conditions in the Evansville, Indiana Regional Area. “[1]

Program Service Accomplishments:
“The company engages business leaders in a collaborative effort to improve the economic vitality and quality of life in the regional area by advocating policy direction and encouraging appropriate projects and investment. “[1]

Ed Hafer, President
Appointed by Winnecke as President of the Evansville Redevelopment Commission. Former head of Hafer Associates, an Evansville architecture and design firm responsible for the design of, among other projects, The Ford Center, Swonder, Evansville Regional Airport, CMOE, The Victory Theatre Renovation, Vectren Building, Berry Plastics, Casino Aztar Hotel Renovation, Holly’s House, Deaconess Gateway Hospital, Welborn Clinic, and much of the USI campus. In 2011, Hafer was the only EBRC officer to receive a salary. It was $83,000.[1][2]

Andrew E. Goebel, Vice President and Treasurer
Director of South Central Communications Corp. Director of Indiana Gas Co. Inc. Director at Old National BanCorp. Member of Board of Trustees at UE. Director of SIGCORP, Inc. Director of SIGECO. [3]

Susan Albertson, Secretary
Employee of Vectren. Resident of Newburgh. Was a Community Impact Volunteer with the United Way of Southwest Indiana in 2009.

Alan Braun, Chairman
Independent Director at Old National Bancorp, VP at Tri-State Refractories Corp., President at Industrial Equipment, Inc., and President at Burch & Lamb, Inc. Director at Old National Bancorp, Koch Enterprises, Inc., Old National Bank and Industrial Contractors Skanska, Inc. [4]

Robert L. Koch II, Director
Director of SIGECO, SIGCORP. President and Chief Executive Officer of Koch Enterprises, Inc. Previously a director of Fifth Third Bancorp. Retired in 2011. [5]

John N. Daniel Jr., Director
President and CEO of Fifth Third Bank. Serves on several Boards including the Chamber of Commerce of Southwestern Indiana, University of Evansville, and Holly’s House. [6]

Frederick W. Geissinger, Director
CEO and President of American General Finance Inc., at SunAmerica Financial Group Inc., since 1995. Also Chief Executive Officer of Springleaf REIT Inc. [7]

Robert G. Jones, Director
CEO and President of Old National BanCorp.. Director at Vectren, Director at Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Former Executive VP of KeyCorp and CEO of KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. [8]

Mark L. Lemond, Director
Shoe Carnival President and Chief Executive Officer. [9]

Jack D. Pate, Director
President and Publisher at Evansville Courier & Press. [10]

John C. Schroeder, Director
President and CEO of Wabash Plastics, Inc. and Crescent Plastics, Inc. Board of Trustees at UE. [11]

Michael Walsh, Director
VP of Manufacturing & Engineering at SABIC, Innovative Plastics Business Unit. [12]

James Jeffrey Jobe, Director
Senior VP-Global Supply Chain at Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. Director at Evansville Industrial Foundation, Inc. [13]

Ronald D. Romain, Director
President, Owner, and CEO of United Companies. CEO and President at Romain Buick Inc., United Leasing, Inc. and Professional Transportation, Inc. Treasurer of St. Mary’s Medical Center, Inc. Director of American Community Bancorp, Inc., St. Mary’s Medical Center, Inc., Welborn Baptist Foundation, Signature School Foundation, and Bank of Evansville. [14]

Linda White, Director
Director Old National Bank. President and CEO for Deaconess Health System, Inc. Director at Deaconess Hospital, Deaconess Health System, Indiana Hospital Association, VHA Central, and Boys & Girls Club. Board of Trustees at UE. [15]

Timothy A. Flesch, Director
CEO and President of St. Mary’s Medical Center, Inc. CFO and Executive VP of St. Mary’s Health System. Former VP of Finance at Ascension Health and Daughters of Charity Health. Director of First Bancorp of Indiana Inc. and First Federal Savings Bank. Director of St. Mary’s Medical Center, Inc. [16]

Ed Hemmersbach, Director
VP at Alcoa. Director at Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Advisory Board at UE. [17]

Daniel S. Hermann, Director
President and CEO of Ameriqual Packaging. Director of Boys & Girls Club. Served on Vanderburgh Airport Authority Board. Formerly President and COO Black Beauty Coal. [18]
Norman Bafunno III, Director
President Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, Inc. [19]

Carl L. Chapman, Director
President, Chairman and CEO at Vectren Corporation. CEO and President of Vectren Utility Holdings, Inc. He worked for Arthur Andersen & Company and IEI Investments. Chairman of ProLiance. Since 1996, he served as Chairman of the Board Citizens Gas and Coke Utility that is the largest transporter of natural gas on the Panhandle and Texas Gas pipelines. He holds Vice Chair of Reliant Services. Director of Utilicom Networks, LLC and Vectren Energy Services Corporation. [20]

Dr. Jonathan D. Rich, Director
Chairman and CEO at Berry Plastics Corporation and Berry Plastics Group Inc. President of Eliokem SAS. Director of Berry Plastics Corporation and Berry Plastics Group Inc. Director at Members Trust Company, an investment management firm. [21]

1: http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/030/030408032/030408032_201112_990EO.pdf
2: http://www.haferassociates.com/usi-rice-library.php
3: http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=411210&privcapId=3154920&previousCapId=293447&previousTitle=OLD%20NATIONAL%20BANCORP
4: http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/onb/insiders?pid=29837
5: http://www.forbes.com/profile/robert-koch/
6: http://www.zoominfo.com/p/John-Daniel/19065130
7: http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=250271&privcapId=250265&previousCapId=1598673&previousTitle=Third%20Security,%20LLC
8: http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=329434&ticker=ONB
9: http://www.forbes.com/profile/mark-lemond/
10: http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=10544435&privcapId=1074423&previousCapId=1074423&previousTitle=Evansville%20Courier%20Company,%20Inc.
11: http://artsinstitutefund.wikispaces.com/file/view/WNIN+CCG+2012+UE+Board+of+Directors+and+Trustees+2011-12.pdf
12: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/michael-walsh/46/b37/99
13: http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/mjn/insiders?pid=53583763
14: http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=22236138&privcapId=26535296&previousCapId=11756782&previousTitle=AMERICAN%20COMMUNITY%20BANCORP
15: http://www.forbes.com/profile/linda-white/
16: http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=8072324&privcapId=4079932&previousCapId=400787&previousTitle=FIRST%20BANCORP%20OF%20INDIANA%20INC
17: http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Ed-Hemmersbach/1169312004
18: http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Daniel-Hermann/1229546504
19: http://pressroom.toyota.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=2218
20: http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=1096524&ticker=VVC
21: http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=1147737&privcapId=44916553

15 Responses to The Evansville Regional Business Committee: River City Illuminati or Just Good Ol’ Boys?

  1. Give_us_Barabus Reply

    August 14, 2013 at 9:13 am

    It looks like all this group really does is pool their money to donate to political agendas. They have tossed big money behind consolidation, the arena, and other construction related things that needed political support. I wonder how they keep their non-profit status while being so mired up in controlling politics.

  2. Give_us_Barabus Reply

    August 14, 2013 at 9:15 am

    One more thing. At least it appears this club has the good sense to keep politicians out. It is interesting that the names Weinzapfel, Lloyd, Ellsworth, etc. are not on the roster. I guess these guys are deep enough pockets to own politicians so why soil your office by inviting them into the club.

    • rk812 Reply

      August 14, 2013 at 9:23 am

      They control those guys!!!!!!

    • Yoda Reply

      August 14, 2013 at 9:46 am

      This is just a bunch of old rich white guys who enjoy feeling like they are in charge of the town. They aren’t much different than the “he-man woman haters club” from the little rascals or Boss Hogg on the Dukes of Hazzard. They probably meet in some dark location and have secret handshakes but at the end of the day their public persona is the face of Ed Hafer. After his horrible performance at the City Council on the heels of his visible support of consolidation this group has egg on its face big time.

      • TheDonald Reply

        August 14, 2013 at 9:51 am

        The Mousekateers is more like it. Look at Hafer. He doesn’t even need a costume.

        M-I-C (see ya in 30 years for another consolidation referendum)

        K-E-Y (why, because we gotta waste lots of public money on toys for the old white guys club)


      • Wayne Reply

        August 16, 2013 at 4:40 pm

        Yoda–You need to go relief yourself again. You are full of crap.

        This group is made up of successful people who care a lot about our great City and who provide jobs to others. What do you do to help out?

        • Yoda Reply

          August 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm

          My biggest contribution to Evansville is to call out people who tell lies to piss away public money. Want to make an over under bet on 250 full time jobs at the hotel? I bet $100 it will be under 250 by a significant amount.

  3. Rails&RobertsStadium Reply

    August 14, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Good research Brad. Pretty much explains why the c&p thinks everything the city does is glorious. Also explains why the city, the chamber organizations, and the c&p always go rank and file in support of these projects as well.

  4. Hound Dog Reply

    August 14, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Don’t be so mean to Mickey Mouse, he’s a good guy.

  5. GeorgiaHoosier Reply

    August 14, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Illuminatti??? Don’t flatter this bunch of self-important spoiled brats. If these guys were Illuminatti the people that write the CCO would be dead.

    The fact that the CCO people have been exposing these clowns and the mayors they control for so long without being eliminated says something too. There are some folks who think the CCO is the Illuminatti of Evansville.

    Think about it. Ball fields stopped, Weinzapfel out of politics, Tornatta defeated, consolidation defeated, senseless projects being outed, and countless scandals exposed. The CCO is the first real challenge “the machine” has ever had to deal with and the CCO usually prevails.

  6. Pressanykey Reply

    August 14, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    One black marble from anyone on the list is probably enough to sink your boat if you are seeking to do something here in Evansville.

    We need some NEW millionaires from outside the local gene pool.


    Primary Stated Purpose:
    “The EBRC Inc. has been formed to improve and promote the business and commercial climate and conditions in the Evansville, Indiana Regional Area. “[1]


    If the deal that is on the the table now is an example of the best efforts of this group of talented millionaires to “promote business”, then I guess their plan is to hang on to their cash and let local taxpayers always foot the bill for everything.

    My advice to them is to disband.


    • Pressanykey Reply

      August 14, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      And while you are at it, take your other arm, the Evansville Redevelopment Commission, with you.


  7. Harold_Melvin + Blue Notes Reply

    August 14, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    This is “the Man” trying to keep us down !!!!!!!!

    • IllumThis Reply

      August 14, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      The following is from Wiki for modern day Illuminati. This sounds pretty much like what the ERBC claims to do and does. “Planting agents in government” Behold the Hafer dude. They even have the publisher of the CP among the initiated. The bottom line is that these vultures have their hands around the throat of this town and have for years.

      “In subsequent use, “Illuminati” refers to various organizations claiming or purported to have unsubstantiated links to the original Bavarian Illuminati or similar secret societies, and often alleged to conspire to control world affairs by masterminding events and planting agents in government and corporations to establish a New World Order and gain further political power and influence.”

  8. Crash Larue Reply

    August 15, 2013 at 5:51 am

    “Butt Buddies Incorporated”.

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