To help it promote Indianapolis as a destination for meetings and conventions, the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation Inc. has given the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association (ICVA) a $5.4 million marketing grant, ICVA announced last week.
The grant, to be dispersed over the next three years, is in addition to $1.5 million that was recently pledged to ICVA by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.
"We are deeply and profoundly grateful for yet another extraordinary investment in Indianapolis from the White family," ICVA President and CEO Don Welsh said in a statement. "As we expand the Indiana Convention Center and our hospitality product and become a tier-one destination, these funds are absolutely critical. We pledge to do our utmost to deliver significant return on this investment by aggressively marketing not only our convention and hotel package, but our arts and cultural attractions, sports, events and other amenities."
Dean White is the founder of Merrillville, Ind.-based White Lodging, developer of the new $425-million Marriott Place in downtown Indianapolis.
"Since our original decision to bring White Lodging to downtown Indianapolis more than 20 years ago, we have watched with great pride the evolution of Indiana's capital into a world-class destination," White said. "Our company is delighted to have played a role in that development. This grant underscores our faith in the positive direction Indianapolis is on, and we believe these funds will enable the city and the ICVA to sustain and build up the momentum that's been created."