We applaud Leadership Evansville for being honored by the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns (IACT). The 2015 IACT Community Achievement Award was presented to the City of Evansville’s VOICE Initiative at the IACT Annual Conference & Exhibition, September 30, 2015 in French Lick, Indiana.

VOICE was launched in 2012 by Leadership Evansville and the Mayor’s Office. The ongoing program, which began as an area-wide visioning process, engaged more than 4,000 residents in envisioning, and later bringing to life, their concept of the ideal community. By 2014-2015, the impact of VOICE was transforming the Evansville region; inspiring hundreds to “Bee the Change,” by leading community-enhancing programs, projects, and activities. Efforts include:

  • Haynie’s Corner First Fridays—a series featuring local businesses and organizations promoting art, music, performance, galleries, restaurants, bistros, and breweries
  • Franklin Street Bazaar—Saturday morning gatherings with a farmers’ market of locally grown produce, plus prepared foods, artwork, crafts, and music, all presented by area residents
  • ParksFest—a free, outdoor music fest at Garvin Park
  • Cultural Districts—Distinct areas designed to increase the cultural value and understanding of Evansville among its various residents

IACT Executive Director & CEO Matt Greller enthused, “When I first learned about the VOICE Initiative, I was impressed with the Evansville community’s ability to come together in search of a common vision for their city. I was blown away by the sheer number of people who came out to ensure their own voice was heard as part of this conversation. Engaging the citizens of our cities and towns is an absolute must for how to do it.”

Evansville Mayor, Lloyd Winnecke, adds: “We launched this program so that the members of our community could join together and have civil dialogue about their shared future desires and current issues of our city. Since our first meeting in 2012, Evansville has seen tremendous growth through hundreds of volunteer servant leaders all inspired by their VOICE experience. Evansville is truly becoming a place where people from all over want to live, work and play. I am honored to be accepting this award on behalf of the City of Evansville.”

EXTEND COMMUNITY is a proud supporter of Leadership Evansville. Our EXTEND COMMUNITY Founder & CEO, Shawn Collins, currently serves as President of the Leadership Evansville Board of Directors. Shawn and his EXTEND COMMUNITY team participated in the inception of VOICE by giving the program its name, its branding identity, as well as creating the group’s web-based, online communications platform. We extend our very best wishes to Leadership Evansville Chief Executive Officer, Lynn Miller Pease, her excellent team, the City of Evansville, and its residents.

Leadership Evansville deserves another round of our applause for its VOICE Initiative. This time, receiving the Excellence in Innovation Award from the Indiana Leadership Association in August, 2015. As a result, Leadership Evansville is Indiana’s nominee for the 2016 National Excellence in Innovation.

For more information, contact,
Shawn Collins