Indiana Chamber Names New President and CEO

Indiana Chamber Names New President and CEO

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the state’s largest business advocacy organization, is ushering in a new chapter. Vanessa Green Sinders, a former Fortune 100 executive and veteran policy strategist on the national stage, has been selected as the group’s incoming president and CEO.

She will succeed longtime leader Kevin Brinegar, who will retire in early January 2024. The search process was guided by Indianapolis-based Medallion Partners.

Sinders will be the Indiana Chamber’s first female president. She was chosen from a deep pool of candidates from the business, political and trade association worlds, notes Paul Perkins, search committee member and chair of the Indiana Chamber Board of Directors, which approved the hire earlier today.

“What really set Vanessa apart is her demonstrated ability to lead, innovate and advocate across a wide spectrum of stakeholders. She’s done that in corporate America, government and with a national trade group. That’s so important because of the varied aspects and programs at the Indiana Chamber,” states Perkins, who is president of Amatrol, Inc. in Jeffersonville.

“At every place she’s led, Vanessa has earned a reputation as a strong, collaborative leader able to take organizations to new heights, improve member outcomes and develop top internal talent.”

Sinders also brings a 20-year track record of success in policy work in Washington D.C.

Before moving to Indiana last year, Sinders served as senior vice president for government affairs at Charter Communications/Spectrum. At the Fortune 100 company, she was responsible for directing its strategic policy and political engagement with Congress and the White House while managing both internal and external government affairs teams.

Sinders previously had a four-year stint as senior vice president and department head for government affairs at the American Hotel & Lodging Association, where she oversaw the group’s advocacy efforts at the federal, state and local levels.

Sinders’ political and policy roots run deep. For a decade, earlier in her career, she held high-profile positions on Capitol Hill, including chief of staff for then-U.S. Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts and policy director for former U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire. Additionally, she was chief of staff for the “Campaign to Fix the Debt,” a nonpartisan issue-based coalition advocating for better national fiscal policies. There, she oversaw the implementation of the campaign’s strategy and directed the activities for its 45-person staff.

”I am honored by the opportunity to lead the Indiana Chamber and build on the organization’s strong record of success that has helped position our state as a place where people want to live, work and do business,” says Sinders. “As a believer in the power of collaboration and working together, I look forward to engaging with stakeholders across the Hoosier state to identify and advance new opportunities that maximize the Chamber’s impact.”

Offers Indianapolis business owner John Thompson, the search committee chair and past Indiana Chamber Board chairman: “Vanessa is the kind of person people immediately like when they meet her. She goes out of her way to make those genuine connections. She’s a real team-builder and finds innovative solutions that benefit all.

“I’m confident as the Chamber staff, members and partners get to know her that they will see such a positive, energetic and strong leader – one that is able to deliver significant results and make what is already a high-performing organization even greater.”

Sinders lives in Indianapolis with her husband, a Clay County native, and their two sons.

Upon relocating to Indiana, she founded Green Sinders Consulting, a woman-led firm offering strategic advice, project and crisis management, and leadership coaching services to clients. She earned a bachelor’s degree in government with a minor in economics from Dartmouth College.

Sinders starts at the Indiana Chamber as president and CEO-elect on October 16 and will assume the full role on January 5 following Brinegar’s retirement.

The Indiana Chamber consists of eight legal entities including a political action committee, foundation, two for-profit subsidiaries and several 501(c)(3)s, including the Wellness Council of Indiana and Institute for Workforce Excellence.

The organization was established in 1922 and last month was named the State Chamber of the Year by the National Association of State Chambers.

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