April 13, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Session Description

Innovation abounds in the Indiana Uplands — in communities, schools, and workplaces! In this opening session, ROI will share stories of success, highlighting innovative strategies that are driving sector growth and outcomes in education, workforce, and quality of place across the region. A status update on the region’s participation in the State’s Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative will be shared along with a deeper dive into the possibilities that will be realized through a developing microelectronics cluster in the Uplands.

Session Presenters

Tina Peterson is the President and CEO of Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI), a position she has held since the organization’s founding in 2015. In her role with ROI, Tina works collaboratively with organizations to advance economic and community prosperity across the Indiana Uplands, an 11-county region in southwest central Indiana. Through regionally relevant and demand-driven initiatives, ROI focuses on industry cluster strategies, education, workforce, and quality of place as essential determinants for regional success.  ROI recently served as the lead for the Indiana Uplands READI planning process, which resulted in a $30 million grant to catalyze economic growth in the Uplands region.

Tina currently serves as a member or an advisor on several boards including the Applied Research Institute, Uplands Science and Technology Foundation, Radius Indiana, Crane Regional Defense Group, White River Military Coordination Alliance, Indiana Work and Learn, Institute for Workforce Excellence Advisory Council, Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, Bloomington Dimension Mill, Bloomington Economic Development Corporation, Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, CDFI Friendly Bloomington, and the CSX Advisory Board.

Jenna Dix began her career at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division in 2005. Ms. Dix currently serves as a member of Crane’s Executive Leadership Team, as the organization’s Director of Engagement. In this role, she is responsible for the engagement and advocacy functions of Crane, and is the focal point in providing strategic awareness and leadership across the region to establish Crane and its Innovation Ecosystem as “Destination of Choice” in support of the nation’s security needs. Her responsibilities include leading Crane’s engagement with national, regional, and local organizations, promoting innovation and collaboration, connecting Crane’s expertise to key national defense priorities, identifying opportunities for growth and ensuring Crane is bringing the full force of its ecosystem to bear on national defense challenges facing our Nation.   

From 2015-2022, Ms. Dix served within NSWC Crane’s Chief Technology Office.  For three of those years, she served as the Director of Crane’s Technology Transfer Program and as the Office of Naval Research designee as Crane’s Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA).  In this role, she was responsible for the strategic management of Crane’s intellectual capital and for developing key strategic partnerships to enhance the research and development capabilities of NSWC Crane. She also spent four years as Crane’s subject matter expert in technology partnerships where her primary responsibilities included connecting Crane’s science and technology community with external resources to achieve the organization’s research and development goals and expedite delivery of capability to the warfighter. 

Starting her Crane career in 2005, Ms. Dix spent a decade supporting the Navy’s Small Arms Program, providing multispectral programmatic and logistics support to the Navy’s Small Arms Program office.

Ms. Dix received a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs in 1998. Additionally, Ms. Dix holds a Graduate Certificate in Public Management and a Master’s in Public Administration, from the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. 

Joe Carley is the Interim CEO of the Uplands Science and Technology Foundation, Indiana University Director of Economic Development, and the Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Indiana University Center for Rural Engagement.

Joe holds a Bachelor of Arts in public administration from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, a Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a focus on economic planning, and a law degree from Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

Julia Buckley is the Chief Operations Officer for Reliable MicroSystems. She received her B.S. degree in Biology from Lipscomb University. Before joining Rel-Micro, Julia worked as a Laboratory Manager for a Molecular Science and Pathology Laboratory at the University of Florida. Her projects focused on laryngeal and lung cancer research. She joined Rel-Micro in 2018. She started as a part-time Office Manager and has worked her way up to her current position. As the COO at Rel-Micro, Julia oversees the business and contract operations. Throughout her career, Julia continuously volunteers as a tutor, first responder, and robotics club leader.