The Coalition 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.

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.

Steve Marchand Director of Community Development
812-459-0850 (cell)
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A Perry County native, Steve attended Western Kentucky University where he double-majored in Public Relations and Sociology. He holds Masters degrees in Business Administration and Leadership from Trine University. After spending time as a US Naval Officer and business owner, Steve returned home to southern Indiana with an interest in servant leadership. He has achieved this through his previous work at several non-profit organizations in the region, and hopes to continue serving Southern Indiana through his work at the Coalition.  Steve is a Certified Grant Administrator through the Office of Community and Rural Affairs.
Andy Zellers Program Manager, Community Development
812-305-5607 (cell)
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A Tell City, Indiana native, Andy worked in Higher Education and Veterans Services for over 12 years before joining the Economic Development Coalition. After serving as an Air Traffic Control Specialist in the US Navy, he earned Bachelor of Political Science and Master of Public Administration degrees from the University of Southern Indiana.  Most recently, Andy was Director of Financial Aid and Veterans Services at Henderson Community College, and he looks forward to serving our communities on the Indiana side of the river.

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
1 (812) 423-2020