100 episodes

A weekly take on business news in central Indiana. The IBJ Podcast is brought to you by Taft.

The IBJ Podcast Indianapolis Business Journal

    • News
    • 4.7 • 42 Ratings

A weekly take on business news in central Indiana. The IBJ Podcast is brought to you by Taft.

    Her goal was to finish high school. Now she's launching a college at Butler for underserved students.

    Her goal was to finish high school. Now she's launching a college at Butler for underserved students.

    Carolyn Gentle-Genitty grew up in Belize, the eldest of five children whose parents operated a food cart and canteen. She applied to a private all-girls high school and, upon being accepted, worked with her parents to negotiate the terms that would allow them to afford it.
    She paid for her associate’s degree through work study, earned a full scholarship to cover the cost of her bachelor’s degree, and paid for her master’s degree through a promissory loan. So she’s no stranger to the barriers that can keep young people from attending college.
    Today, she's preparing to lead the creation of Founder’s College at Butler University, a two-year program designed for high school graduates who face significant barriers to higher education. Students at the college will be able to earn associates degrees in subjects such as in business management, data analytics and health care—all while paying virtually nothing for the education.
    Gentle-Genitty comes to the position of inaugural dean after a distinguished career at Indiana University. After earning her PhD in social work from IU, she went on to lead the university’s Bachelor of Social Work program on its Indianapolis campus before moving into system-wide leadership roles, including developing online education programs, overseeing academic policy and programs, and improving transfer policies. But Butler also has touted her built-in empathy with the future students of Founder’s College, having faced so many obstacles to her own education and benefitting from the help of administrators who took an interest.
    In this week’s episode of the IBJ Podcast, she lays out the mission of the college, how it will attract students for its first cohorts, and the many steps and decisions required to get the classes up and running. She also expands on her youth in Belize and the chain of events that took her far beyond her initial goal of simply finishing high school.
    The IBJ Podcast is brought to you by Taft.

    • 50 min
    Black Circle Brewing owner on planting flag on 46th Street, getting an MBA and the pressure to keep creating

    Black Circle Brewing owner on planting flag on 46th Street, getting an MBA and the pressure to keep creating

    Our guest this week is Jesse Rice, who took a circuitous route to becoming one of Indianapolis’ most unpredictable arts, entertainment and community entrepreneurs. He grew up in a blue-collar family in a small town, and then went to Purdue University with hopes of going to med school. He flipped his focus to finance and ended up working at Enterprise Rent-A-Car and J.P. Morgan Chase. He and a friend started kicking around ideas for a venue where they could serve their own beer and feature live music. As Rice says, “I think of something I want that needs to happen, and I just somehow make it happen.” So was born Black Circle Brewing Company, just west of the intersection of 46th Street and Keystone Avenue, which opened in 2016. In addition to craft beverages and some family friendly areas, it features a broad spectrum of entertainment, including heavy metal, drag and comedy shows.
    In 2019, he opened an eclectic spot a few blocks to the west called Loom, which became the new home of Black Circle’s brewing operation, as well as a co-working space, a bar, a pinball parlor and a coin-operated laundromat. Just last October, he bought a 99-year-old building at 3317 E. 10th St. that once was home to American Legion Post 465. Now in the midst of renovation, Rice envisions that project as an event venue, a recording studio and temporary accommodations for visiting musicians.
    Rice readily admits he had no grand plan when he started on this path eight years ago, but there’s something to be said for making it up as you go. In this week’s edition of the IBJ Podcast, Rice discusses how he developed the first two venues while maintaining his career in corporate America and then in 2019, pursuing an MBA. He also details what he learned in the master’s program and how that changed how he ran Black Circle Brewing Co., the umbrella firm for all of these projects. And he takes a look back at what he’s created over eight years and what he thinks is most valuable.
    The IBJ Podcast is brought to you by Taft.

    • 49 min
    Explaining the Indy Eleven stadium, MLS soccer bid drama

    Explaining the Indy Eleven stadium, MLS soccer bid drama

    Less than two weeks ago, everything that we had assumed about the future of pro soccer in Indianapolis and the creation of a publicly owned downtown stadium for the Indy Eleven soccer team received a swift kick between the stitches. With head-spinning speed on April 25, the owner of the Indy Eleven accused the city of backing out of the stadium deal. Then Mayor Joe Hogsett announced that the city indeed had stopped stadium negotiations, believing the numbers didn’t add up. Indy Eleven representatives disagreed. Hogsett also said the city had been working with an undisclosed group of investors who believed they could bring a Major League Soccer franchise to the city. In fact, Hogsett disclosed that he had just met face-to-face with MLS officials in New York and believed the time was right for Indianapolis to take its shot at the top rung of American professional soccer.
    That's a relatively simple synopsis, but this set of events has a bewildering number of layers. The Indy Eleven is owned by the same man who owns the development firm Keystone Group, which planned to make the stadium the centerpiece of a $1.5 billion sports, business and residential campus downtown. In fact, it already has broken ground on the site. State legislators gave Indianapolis the means to harness tax revenue to pay for the majority of the stadium, and now the city has proposed using the same tool for a publicly owned soccer stadium that could be built a couple of blocks east of Gainbridge Fieldhouse. City-county councilors, who would have to approve the taxing district, have been skeptical and non-committal. In the meantime, the Indy Eleven continue to play on the IUPUI campus, having built more than a decade of relationships and goodwill in the city soccer community. Can two pro soccer franchises exist in the same city? And does this anonymous ownership group really have the wherewithal to even cover the entry fee for MLS, which most recently was $500 million?
    IBJ reporter Mickey Shuey is uniquely qualified to cover this story, since two of his main beats for IBJ are the business of sports and real estate development. For the IBJ Podcast this week, Shuey and host Mason King lay out a clear timeline of events and help unpack and unravel all of these issues, while looking ahead to what might happen next.
    The IBJ Podcast is brought to you by Taft.

    • 51 min
    New AES prez on goals, growing up in Indy and system upgrades that led to billing mess

    New AES prez on goals, growing up in Indy and system upgrades that led to billing mess

    Our guest this week is Brandi Davis-Handy, who in February was named president of AES Indiana. That’s the electricity utility for Marion County and portions of the greater Indianapolis area, serving more than 500,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers. Davis-Handy was promoted from her position as chief customer officer, and prior to that she spent much of her career at parent firm AES Corp. in communications and public relations roles.That experience is entirely relevant to a major issue she now faces as president. In November, AES Indiana upgraded several customer-related systems that were at least a quarter of a century old. The complex operation hasn’t gone entirely as planned. At the height of the problems with the rollout, about 10% of the company’s customers were affected by billing issues—for example, being charged the wrong amount for service or not even receiving a bill. The fixes are ongoing despite the efforts of more than 400 people working on the project.Davis-Handy’s goals as president include improving customer service and communication, as well as the reliability of service. In this episode of the IBJ Podcast, she discusses the problems with the upgrade. She outlines the challenges of trying to grow the business when it’s hemmed in by other electric utilities, as well as the company’s final push to eliminate coal as a source of energy for creating electricity. And she discusses growing up in the Indianapolis area with dreams of becoming the next Oprah Winfrey and pursuing a career in media.
    The IBJ Podcast is brought to you by Taft.

    • 45 min
    Pete the Planner on what your career earnings should tell you about retirement savings

    Pete the Planner on what your career earnings should tell you about retirement savings

    This is the 300th episode of the IBJ Podcast, which debuted on June 3, 2018. In what has become a tradition for the podcast's anniversaries, host Mason King checks in with Pete Dunn, aka Pete the Planner, to get his latest take on personal finance and some of the knottier issues that arise when managing your money.
    In this episode, Pete explores for the first time the relationship between career earnings and the assets you’ve accumulated. It’s a different way to think about what you’ve saved so far, as well as how much more you need to put away before you retire. Along these lines, he also spend a significant amount of time talking about the role that your housing decisions—good and bad—play in retirement readiness. And if you listen closely, you’ll hear a recommendation for a book of financial advice that despite being nearly 100 years old is still valuable today.
    The IBJ Podcast is brought to you by Taft.

     

    • 34 min
    John Stehr, news anchor turned Zionsville mayor, on tackling one of the town’s most contentious issues

    John Stehr, news anchor turned Zionsville mayor, on tackling one of the town’s most contentious issues

    If you’ve lived in central Indiana for more than a few years, you’re probably at least familiar with John Stehr, a lead news anchor for WTHR-TV Channel 13 for 23 years before retiring in 2018. He since has gone from reporting the news to becoming the news. At the age of 65, he is now the mayor of Zionsville, the fast-growing town just northwest of Indianapolis with one of the state’s highest median incomes. He ran on a platform that included reforming the culture and financial transparency of Zionsville government and taking better advantage of economic development opportunities while preserving the essential character of the town.He jumped into the job in January with a big-picture plan for addressing perhaps the most contentious issue in Zionsville over the last decade: how to develop the land just south of Zionsville’s gingerbread-like downtown business district. In the last decade, there have been at least three proposals for projects of various sizes with various uses for that area. None of them panned out. The typical result is that residents argue the proposals are too dense, would create too much traffic and would undermine downtown’s identity and power as a draw for visitors.Stehr has proposed a master plan for the South Village area that could bring $250 million in investment over 160 acres, including new homes and apartments, office space and retail development, and road upgrades, while devoting nearly half of the area to greenspace. In this week’s edition of the podcast, Stehr makes his case for South Village and how he can win over opponents in coming weeks. He also discusses progress on several of his other campaign promises, including lowering the temperature of Zionsville politics. It became heated during clashes between former Mayor Emily Styron and the town council over personnel issues, spending decisions and reviewing the town’s finances. Here’s our conversation.
    The IBJ Podcast is brought to you by Taft.

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
42 Ratings

42 Ratings

Jared Herbert ,

Great public service to Indy

This podcast is a great public service to Indianapolis and Central Indiana.

Kthomasjr ,

Great insight

Mason and his team provide a fantastic overview of what is happening here in Indianapolis. While the intent is business based, I feel like this podcast is the only way I find out the context and history of what is happening here in Indy. Great job and keep it up

ReportThis505 ,

The voice of Indianapolis

IBJ’s first venture into the podcasting world successfully continues a growing need for podcast reporting at the local level. Whether a listener is commuting downtown, sipping their morning coffee or working at their desk, the funky intro beat appropriately ushers them into the day’s top news story. Solid interviews introduce the listener to story subjects and the reporters who break the story. Host Mason King is a smooth moderating talking head who asks the right questions to journalists. However, the podcast is missing an overview of other top IBJ stories. My personal taste for news podcasts include a list of quick news bits from the day’s paper at the beginning or end of a podcast. Maybe a quick sound bite of an interview to accompany the news bits too. Although, I just listened to the podcast about the Indiana Pacers Bike Share program and loved how the episode interviewed one of the sources. Even though it could have benefitted from King’s direction, Scholette’s interview with the program director stood out from previous episodes because it gives a source of the story a voice as well. Perhaps interviewing sources could become a staple for future episodes? Originally from around South Bend, the bike share story in particular draws parallels with the increase in scooter and bike share programs around ND. The program subjects such as the midterm elections speak in accordance to Indianapolis, but like every local area, some subjects contribute to the national conversation. Kudos to IBJ for starting on the right foot and getting ahead of the curve. The Indy Star and other local media need to be taking notes.

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