Boone EDC Executive Director Molly Whitehead

Nothing, it seems, can stop the red-hot momentum of the second-fastest growing county in the state. Situated just north of Indianapolis, Boone County is attracting businesses of all sizes and sectors, as well as citizens with its increasing list of job opportunities and quality of life amenities. In recognition, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce is honoring Boone County as its 2023 NextEra Energy Resources Community of the Year.

“You cannot look at the game-changing transformation that is yet ongoing in the county and not be excited and inspired by what it means for the residents, businesses and the state,” says Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar.

“Boone County now boasts a real triple threat with Lebanon, Whitestown and Zionsville – all of which are receiving state and national accolades and attention. Adding to that is what’s happening in smaller communities like Advance, Jamestown and Thorntown. On behalf of the Indiana Chamber, I’m thrilled to acknowledge the many efforts that are moving the area forward and making it a top destination.”

Molly Whitehead, executive director of the Boone County Economic Development Corporation (Boone EDC), says officials are honored by the selection and thrilled to further put the area in the spotlight. “

More and more businesses are recognizing the benefits of establishing a presence in our county attributed by our business-friendly climate, highway accessibility and a desirable community to live. It is with great pride we accept this recognition as we continue striving to be better in Boone County.”

Whitehead is especially proud of what she calls the area’s “stickiness factor,” with companies becoming part of their communities’ fabric and choosing to grow there; the county has landed expansion deals totaling close to $800 million in the past five years. Among them:

This is on top of the Eli Lilly announcement last year of its manufacturing facilities at the LEAP (Limitless Exploration/Advanced Pace) Innovation and Research District in Lebanon. That investment alone totals more than $3.5 billion.

Whitehead is also quick to note that small businesses comprise 80% of the local economy – including Indiana Gifts in Lebanon, Jawbone BBQ in Advance and Our Place Coffee in Zionsville, to name a few.

In the last three years, Boone County companies have added nearly 2,000 new jobs. And with that, many people are moving to the area. The latest U.S. Census puts Boone County’s employment growth at 10%, ranking highest in Indiana.

Indiana Chamber of Commerce Vice President Brock Hesler

Boone County couples those job opportunities with appealing quality of life amenities – and there’s more on the way.

The Big 4 Trail is a developing rail-trail route across Boone County that will one day span 50 miles. Lebanon recently invested $10 million in its downtown on roads, curbs, sidewalks, new lighting, and new water and wastewater infrastructure. Whitestown officials have improved town services to keep pace with population growth.

Zionsville, known for its cobblestone streets, quaint downtown and unique array of restaurants, continues to look for welcome additions. Heading that list: The 215-acre Carpenter Nature Preserve on the site of the former golf course that’s in the planning and construction phases. This project has the potential to make a tremendous impact and draw in visitors beyond the county limits.


Boone County officials will receive the NextEra Energy Resources Community of the Year Award at the Indiana Chamber’s 34th Annual Awards Dinner, presented by Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield on November 14 at the Indiana Convention Center. The keynote speaker is former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy. A table of 10 starts at $1,995 and individual tickets are $195 each. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling (800) 824-6885.

The ceremony will feature three other statewide honors: the Birch Bayh-Richard Lugar Government Leader of the Year (announced as U.S. Senator Todd Young on September 6), Ogletree Deakins Business Leader of the Year (to be revealed September 20) and the Dynamic Leader of the Year (announced on September 27).

PNC is the opening reception sponsor. Corporate sponsors are Ambassador Enterprises, LLC, AT&T Indiana, French Lick Resort, Indiana University, Indianapolis Colts, NIPSCO, OneAmerica, Polaris Marine, Tilson and Zimmer Biomet.

Contributing sponsors are AECOM Hunt, Corteva Agriscience, Fineline Printing Group, Indiana Soybean Alliance/Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Leaf Software Solutions, Markey’s, MCM CPAs & Advisors, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, The Kroger Co. and Witham Health Services.

Additional sponsorships for the Indiana Chamber’s 34th Annual Awards program are available by contacting Jim Wagner at Media interested in covering the event should contact Matt Ottinger at (317) 264-7541 or

The most recent Indiana Chamber Community of the Year recipients are: 2022: Columbus; 2021: Greater Lafayette; 2020: Fort Wayne; 2019: Plymouth; 2018: Jasper; 2017: Goshen; 2016: Fishers; 2015: Carmel; 2014: Bloomington; and 2013: Bedford.

Photo credit:  Town of Whitestown