Award winner Rob Sparks sees "a new day" for Madison County
Interview by Dirk Webb
Photo courtesy of Dale Pickett
2705 Enterprise Dr., Suite 161
Anderson, IN 46013
Anderson native Rob Sparks is one of our area’s more hesitant newsmakers. From Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the Board of Works in the first Smith administration to Real Estate developer to high profile guide of the Mounds Lake project, Rob has been focused on one thing: making our community an attractive place to live, work and play.
The Executive Director of CED since 2008, Rob has worked tirelessly to help bring Nestle, GTI, NTN and several other projects to Madison County seeing over 6,500 new jobs added or retained and over $2 Billion invested in the last ten years.
After spending 20 years in local retail, he began working on rehabilitating homes and apartments in Anderson (at one point operating 70 units) which, in turn, piqued his interest in Historic Preservation.
“I was working for our company, had some free time and got involved with the Historic Preservation board with the City of Anderson. Kevin Smith asked me to serve four years with him with the City.” As Chairman of the Board of Works, Rob gained a working knowledge of government and municipal taxation, public policy and a greater appreciation for the people who serve, “no matter their political affiliation.”
Rob and his wife Shelly have son and a daughter and their first grandson. As far as the future is concerned Rob proclaims, “We have some dynamic projects on the horizon if we are willing to reach out and pursue them.”
Somehow, that should not surprise any of us.
Would you consider Madison County to be in the midst of sunrise? What does the business sunrise across the horizon look like to you?
“Our community is moving out from a generational shift resulting from the global economy.”
What does "A New Day" mean to you?
“Every day is a new day, another chance, an opportunity to start again.”
How has your optimism helped you guide your vision?
“It clearly is part of who I am. I believe in our community and look forward to each day and the chance to participate in moving forward.”
Is your optimism ever threatened?
“Threatened?? No, not really. Life is full of serious challenges that strike at our core. I choose to keep optimistic no matter the circumstances. I have hope in tomorrow. I have faith in my community and I draw strength from my neighbors.”
If Optimism leads to achievement, what is it you hope our community will achieve in 2016?
“We'll see new company investment into our community. New training programs to prepare workers. Business Park development across Madison County will grow. A growing community of committed supporters working together from all walks of life.”
If you were to have five minutes with someone who was considering relocating to Madison County what would you tell them?
“We’re a great business friendly community to run a business. Responsive governmental units will quickly process permitting request. We have a great work focus to draw from coupled with educational partners to offer enhanced job training custom tailored to the company needs. With interstates and rail, we are centrally located both in Indiana but also in the US from the Rockies to the East coast. Low cost of living, the Arts, Parks and Trails, Professional Sports are just a few of the great assets our community has available.”
To view past award winners, or to read more about the awards, visit MCC's Wall of Fame.