NOTE: This Business/Finance feature was published in the April/May 2022 edition of Bloom Magazine.
By: Kristen Senz
Eric Spoonmore is driven to help make his local community a better place to live, work, and do business.
That’s why, he says, after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public affairs at Indiana University, he moved with his wife, Lindsey, to Washington, D.C., to consult with local government officials. But he quickly came to a stark realization.
“We were ready to go whip the world in Washington, but we realized it was just not for us,” says Spoonmore, 40, who
became president and CEO at the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce in December 2021. “The community did not suit me the way Bloomington did.”
They moved back and got jobs at IU’s Kelley School of Business, where Spoonmore—a Brownsburg, Indiana, native—worked in admissions until late last year. Meanwhile, he began to look toward elected office as a way to make a difference locally. He caucused into the Monroe County Council in November 2015, serving out that term and running unopposed for reelection in 2018.
But juggling work and family life—he and Lindsey have a 9-year-old daughter, Ella—with his position as County Council president grew increasingly difficult. Spoonmore decided to step down from the Council last year when the opportunity to lead the Chamber arose, jumping at the chance to help serve and represent Bloomington-area businesses.
“My predecessor did a great job of setting the Chamber up for success, and now it’s up to me to take things to the next level,” says Spoonmore. “It’s really exciting.”
Real estate agent Amy Kopp is president of the Chamber’s board of directors, which selected Spoonmore after a national search.
“He just kind of checked all the boxes for us,” she says. “He was already tied into the community and was aware of all the issues we were dealing with and all the players from the city government and the county government.”
Since taking the helm, Spoonmore has filled out the ranks within the Chamber’s staff of 12 and has begun working to advance the organization’s programs and policy agenda.
“We have to remain committed to these efforts on an ongoing basis,” Spoonmore says. “To attract the type of talent and investment we want to see here is going to require us to be a very open and welcoming community, a place where everyone can feel a sense of community.”
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