When the tornadoes
struck the Kokomo community on Aug. 24, 2016, the full weight of Inventrek’s
footprint on our business community was felt. The facility’s closure left 27
businesses and organizations scrambling for office space.
Now, the Alliance is in
the process of reopening the state-of-the-art facility and 17 of those tenants
are choosing to return to the East Firmin Street property. Joining them will be
the entire Alliance operations, including the Greater Kokomo Chamber of
Commerce, Visitors Bureau and Downtown Association.
“The Alliance is centralizing
its operations into what is essentially a brand new facility,” said Charlie
Sparks, president/CEO of the Alliance. “It simply makes good fiscal sense that
our own operating units are counted among the facility’s new tenants.
“It’s important that we
use the resources made available to us in the most effective way possible for
the benefit of our members and our community,” Sparks continued. “This move
promotes not just fiscal efficiencies but operational efficiencies as well. From
an operational standpoint, we have all worked out of one office space for the
last six months as Inventrek was rebuilt and we have found that the proximity enhances
our ability to work as a team.”
Alliance begins partnership with Kokomo Family YMCA
The move also sets the
stage for an exciting new partnership between the Alliance and the Kokomo
Family YMCA. It will allow the Downtown Association to maintain a physical
presence in downtown and allow the YMCA an opportunity to expand its reach
further into the community through utilization of the Inventrek facility.
“Leadership at the Y
readily stepped up to create a partnership that allows the Alliance to continue
to have a presence in downtown,” Sparks said. “Much of the Alliance’s
programming has long had a focus on downtown and the Y is an integral part of
that landscape, so we are excited to see how this partnership unfolds in the
Bryan Soper, CEO of the
Kokomo Family YMCA, said a partnership between the two entities makes sense for
the downtown community.
makes us a smart geographic partner for the Alliance, but it's really our
mission that makes us a great fit," Soper said. "The Y exists to
strengthen our community, so we are happy to continue supporting the work of
the Downtown Association, the Kokomo Downtown Farmers Market and the Greater
Kokomo Economic Development Alliance. We hope to continue to amplify their
association will continue to serve as a leader for the downtown movement, and
its many quality-of-life initiatives and events — such as Keep Kokomo
Beautiful, First Fridays, Bike Nights, public art projects, etc. — will go
Priorities will remain
“The location of the
Alliance is changing, not its mission,” Sparks said. “Each of the Alliance’s
units will continue to offer their many valuable programs and services to the
community we serve.
“We believe the
Alliance’s expanded presence at the Inventrek facility will increase the
community’s access to this great resource and create more awareness of the
benefits the facility brings to the community,” Sparks said. “We are confident
it will help fuel what we believe will be a renewed atmosphere of innovation,
entrepreneurialism and growth here in Howard County.
A grand opening
celebration at the Inventrek facility is set for May 11.