The Coalition Staff

Staff

The Coalition’s staff has extensive training in regional and community planning along with being intimately familiar with Southwest Indiana. Although we come from different backgrounds, we are united by our belief in the bright future of Southwest Indiana and that your business can contribute to that future.  Contact us today at 812-423-2020.

Read through our staff bios to learn more about each member’s expertise.

Greg Wathen
Greg Wathen, APR President & CEO
812-549-5189 (cell)
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Greg Wathen has served as the President and CEO of the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana since 2007. During his tenure, he has helped garner over $2.8 billion in investment, over 3,500 jobs and over $115 million in state and federal grants for the region. Prior to his work at the Coalition, Greg worked as the Executive Director for the Perry County Development Corporation where he secured nearly $500 million in new industrial development and 2,000 new jobs for the area. He also played a critical role in Perry County establishing its own railroad and river port on the Ohio River.

Greg graduated from Indiana State University, and served as a past president of the Bluegrass Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Greg is also a past president and current board member of the Indiana Economic Development Association, and he served as one of the original 23-members of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation board of directors, created by the Indiana Legislature in 2005.

Audrie Burkett
Audrie Burkett Vice President & COO
812-319-2072 (cell)
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Audrie Burkett joined the Coalition in May of 2015, bringing with her experience from corporate, non-profit and academic worlds. She utilizes her skills in complex problem solving, project management and creative thinking to coordinate the business of the Coalition. Previously, Audrie held the position of executive assistant at Angie’s List and worked alongside the co-founder and CMO. She previously worked for Delta Zeta Sorority as an educational leadership consultant establishing a new chapter at the University of Central Florida while traveling to universities across the United States. Audrie graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Communication. She is from the Southwest Indiana area and grew up on a dairy farm in Posey County.

Carol Hagedorn
Carol Hagedorn Vice President, Community Development
812-604-5610 (cell)
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Prior to coming to the Coalition, Carol served as Vice President of Economic and Community Development for the Perry County Economic Development Corporation. Carol holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from Penn State University and is certified in Community Development through the Indiana Office for Community and Rural Affairs. She also has a Certified Economic Development (CEcD) designation from the International Economic Development Council.

Debra Bennett Stearsman
Debra Bennett-Stearsman Vice President, Training & Development
812-549-5335 (cell)
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Since November 2006, Debra has led the community development division of the Coalition helping the communities of Southwest Indiana garner over $115 million in state and federal grant funding, leveraging millions more for projects such as libraries, water and sewer improvements and fire stations. Previously, she worked with Foresight Development Corporation in Tell City, Indiana, and she founded and operated Vizions, LLC, a community development corporation in Santa Claus, Indiana. Debra is certified by the Kentucky Department of Local Government and is a Master Certified Grant Administrator with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

Debra consulted with and authored two chapters of the Grant Administrator’s Manual for the State of Indiana. Debra has also taught certification classes with the Department of Commerce and Office of Community and Rural Affairs and serves on the State Committee of Grant Administrators.

Nancy Deig
Nancy Deig Senior Manager, Economic Development
812-305-5607 (cell)
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Nancy joined the Economic Development Coalition in October 2006. She serves as the key contact for every potential lead and project that comes to the Coalition. She works with all local economic development organizations in providing information quickly and confidentially to business and site selection consultants. She also coordinates meetings between public officials and private partners with potential companies. She is a member of the International Economic Development Council, Indiana Economic Development Association and serves on the Member Relations Committee of the Industrial Asset Management Council. Nancy is a long-time member of Toastmasters International, now serving as an Area Director for Division F and Membership Team Chair. Recently Nancy helped form a new Toastmasters Club, Kentuckiana Women in Leadership, a group focused on empowering women and building their leadership skills. Nancy is a graduate of the University of Southern Indiana and the Economic Development Institute.

Sabrina Newton
Sabrina Newton Senior Manager, Strategic Communications & Marketing
812-457-0725 (cell)
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Sabrina came to the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana in December 2008. In marketing Southwest Indiana, Sabrina focuses on promoting the great things about the region in the most creative way possible. Through her efforts, the Coalition has received awards from Marcom, Hermes, and the prestigious International Economic Development Corporation. Sabrina’s career has included positions in the publishing, multimedia, and music business as well as owning her own radio promotion company. Sabrina received her Bachelor of Science degree in Recording Industry Management from Middle Tennessee State University with an emphasis in business and mass communications.

Karen Conia
Karen Conia Manager, Community Development
812-774-2114 (cell)
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Karen is a vital part of the Coalition team coordinating the administrative aspects of the Community Development Division. Karen joined the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana and in February 2012. Previously, she held the position of Administrative Assistant-Executive Offices for United Companies. She has been active in the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) in Evansville was formerly Evansville Chapter President. She had previously served as chapter treasurer and chaired several other committees. Karen graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in business.

Wylie Zeigler
Wylie Zeigler Project Specialist
812-205-4410 (cell)
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Wylie Zeigler has been involved with community development and city planning since 1991. She is a certified grant administrator and is the primary writer for the Coalition. Previously in her career, she assisted neighboring Indiana counties to prioritize community needs and develop successful grant proposals. Wylie has also been an active community member by chairing various successful fund-raising committees for the YMCA. Wylie received her master’s degree in city and regional planning from The Ohio State University.


The Southwest Indiana region consists of the four counties of Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh and Warrick, and the City of Evansville, Indiana, the state’s 3rd largest city. We offer tax incentives and other services to save your business time and money.
318 Main Street, Suite 400
Evansville
IN
47708-1456
USA
1 (812) 423-2020