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May 17, 2012

Accent shows off new facility in Jeffersonville

Company plans to add 175 jobs over time

JEFFERSONVILLE — They’ll help you put together a Charbroil Grill. They’ll talk you through your Insight Communications questions. And they’ll even welcome you to Weight Watchers.

And they’ll do all that from a brand new facility in Jeffersonville.

Accent Marketing — which provides customer service support for the brands above and many others — cut the ribbon on a new 34,000-square-foot facility on the north end of the Jeffersonville Town Center Wednesday.

Its associates, about 400 of which were moved over from a facility in New Albany, were already hard at work as the company was giving tours of the facility Wednesday. The company plans to add 175 jobs there in the coming years. Further, about 1,000 work-at-home positions around the United States will be managed from Jeffersonville.

Chief Executive Officer Tim Searcy said Accent has been lumped into the call center industry, but the label doesn’t exactly work.

“It doesn’t fit Accent to be called a call center. We’re an engagement center,” he said, noting that Accent communicates with its clients’ customers not just via phone but through email, Web chats and social networks.

“What a great facility you have here,” said State Sen. Ron Grooms, R-Jeffersonville. “When I buy my next grill I can call the lady over here — she can walk me through it in about three minutes.”

Indeed, development manager Ellen Downing noted during the tour, the Charbroil team gets the hands-on experience of disassembling and reassembling a grill before taking calls.

Grooms applauded the company for staying in Southern Indiana instead of moving elsewhere.

“Thanks for making Jeffersonville a part of your journey,” he said.

Wednesday’s event was a formality in most aspects, as the building has actually been open since late March. However, it did mark a significant milestone for the Jeffersonville Town Center — a proposed shopping development that has struggled to attract commercial growth in the many years it’s been planned on Jeffersonville’s Veterans Parkway.

Accent is located on the far north side of the development. And just last week, a 350 job expansion was announced at Advanced Metal Technologies, a factory near the south end of the development.

“In the middle we’re going to build some retail for you guys,” said Jack Koetter, chief executive officer at the Koetter Group, which is developing the land.

He credited cooperation between the state of Indiana, the city of New Albany and the town of Clarksville in keeping Accent in the area by bringing them into Jeffersonville.

“It was very complicated, very tough,” he said. “I want to thank everybody that helped us get here.”

Mayor Mike Moore, who wasn’t in office when those deals were brokered, said the cooperation will help all of the municipalities in the area.

“We all will share in the rewards,” Moore said. “Indiana is leading the way in the economic recovery and Jeffersonville is driving the car. We’re coming back and coming back strong.

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