By DANIEL SUDDEATH
NEW ALBANY — Joe LaRocca — executive director of the Floyd County branch of the YMCA of Southern Indiana — has been selected as the 2013 Develop New Albany president.
LaRocca will replace Susan Kaempfer, who held the position for two years. Typically the business-promotion organization rotates its leadership on a two-year basis, and LaRocca served as vice president of Develop New Albany last year.
“It’s really volunteer-led, and volunteers are what makes the program go, which is to promote downtown New Albany,” LaRocca said. “I think the exciting part about it is a lot has happened in New Albany.”
Once selected as president, Kaempfer said people are given the option of whether they want to serve more than one year in the position.
Though he didn’t anticipate any major changes to how the organization operates, LaRocca said Develop New Albany leadership recently discussed the direction of the nonprofit during a retreat.
The size of the organization’s board of directors will grow from 10-12 members to 21 representatives, LaRocca said. Of the new additions, the Develop New Albany board will have more public officials from the city represented.
David Duggins, economic development and redevelopment director for New Albany, has been appointed to the board. So has Michael Hall, head of operations for the city, as LaRocca said both public officials bring areas of expertise and knowledge to the board that will compliment the organization.
The New Albany City Council will continue to have an appointment on the board, and that slot is currently filled by Shirley Baird.
Kaempfer will continue to be active in the organization. She said she’s excited about the path Develop New Albany has laid thus far, and looking forward to the future.
“We’ve been working really hard on the renaissance of New Albany,” she said. “It’s great to see where we are, but I’m really excited to see where we’re going to be with Mayor [Jeff] Gahan as we move forward.”
There are other economic-development and business associations in the area including One Southern Indiana, the New Albany Urban Enterprise Zone Association and New Albany First.
LaRocca said Develop New Albany — which formed in 1990 — wants to foster its relationships with those groups for the betterment of the community.
“We’re not in competition with any of them. We really have the same goal in mind,” he said.
Develop New Albany will host its annual awards dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Calumet Club. The organization will hand out awards to various businesses and individuals for their accomplishments in recent years.