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Hamilton County Leadership Academy names new Director

In an announcement from Jody L. Dedon, HCLA Board President, she has shared that the Hamilton County Leadership Academy has announced entrepreneur John Robbins as the new Executive Director to lead HCLA in its next chapter.

Her letter reads as follows:

While the selection was difficult due to the high quality of candidates, John’s energy and enthusiasm, along with his proven business acumen to take something existing and strengthen it through innovation, strategic planning and collaboration with others, made John the ideal candidate to lead HCLA’s vision for our future.

John comes from a family of entrepreneurs, public servants and educators. He says he was raised to believe in the strength of community, the power of people and the importance of leading and making a difference.

“I am honored by this opportunity and humbled to lead such an incredible organization,” Robbins shared. “HCLA has demonstrated its importance to Hamilton County over its 26 year existence. I look forward to balancing the rich history and traditions of the program with a desire to drive innovation and grow HCLA in the future.”

Over the course of his career, John has played key roles as both a business owner and an executive working with startups and small businesses across a diverse set of industries. Most recently, John fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning and operating a touring racing series. His deep family roots in the industry led to the creation of the National Short Track Alliance (NSTA) in 2009. Late last year, his company purchased the fledgling ICAR Top Speed Modified Tour and quickly transformed it into a rising star in grassroots racing. In the first season, the Tour hosted more than 100 teams, doubled revenue, increased sponsorship by 100 percent and sanctioned a race at NASCAR’s historic Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.

John’s business experience and understanding of the racing industry captured the attention of his peers and earned him the reputation as a go-to expert and valued consultant within the racing industry.

A resident of Hamilton County for nearly a decade, John has built deep, meaningful connections within the community. He cares about the future of Hamilton County and has taken an active role as a civic leader, community builder, volunteer and donor. He is president of the Plum Creek Ridge Property Owners Association, and he served as vice president for The Scene, a young professional networking group at The Center for the Performing Arts. He recently was inducted into Carmel Rotary and facilitates a monthly peer group for Hamilton County business owners.

John has developed a strong, people-centered philosophy in his personal and professional life. In order to keep Hamilton County thriving for decades to come, he believes we must engage leaders in the community and empower them to make an impact.

“I’m a proud Hoosier to my core,” Robbins says. “I love my state and I love where I live. I'm passionate about helping make Hamilton County an amazing place to live, work and play.” HCLA will welcome John Robbins as its sixth Executive Director on January 8. A graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington, where he earned a bachelor’s degree with honors and high distinction from the Kelley School of Business, John is a native of Anderson, Indiana. He and his wife reside in Carmel.

HCLA is built upon a rich legacy of Hamilton County’s finest leaders. As alumni of HCLA, please join me in welcoming John Robbins as HCLA’s new Executive Director. I know John looks forward to personally meeting you soon and working with you in the years to come.

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