Press Release from the Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County
March 31, 2011
The Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County Endorses Pete Buttigieg for South Bend Mayor
South Bend, Ind. – The Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County is endorsing Pete Buttigieg for South Bend mayor, it was announced today at a press conference at The Chamber.
Buttigieg received the endorsement because of his demonstrated ability to think innovatively and strategically, his global perspective on the economy and his capacity to convene groups with differing opinions to solve problems. “We see a real spark in Pete, and we believe that energy is just the catalyst South Bend needs to move it in a competitive direction,” said Jeff Rea, president and CEO of The Chamber. “We think Pete represents a fresh start for South Bend. He has the education, background and experience to set a dynamic tone to motivate citizens, businesses and other leaders to implement priorities that focus on community advancement. He also possesses those intangible qualities that you desire in a leader.
“We believe that Pete will assemble a great team around him. His experience and understanding of finance will help him manage a complicated city budget. He’s sharp and quick on his feet. With all of these qualities, he will be a great ambassador and salesman for the city of South Bend,” said Rea.
Buttigieg worked for Chicago-based McKinsey & Company, a top consulting firm, where he was responsible for advising senior business and government leaders on major decisions related to economic development, energy policy, strategic business initiatives and logistics. His work took him around the country and the world, including to Iraq and Afghanistan. He continues to serve in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
Buttigieg is a native of South Bend, a Harvard graduate and was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship to study economics at Oxford University in England. Buttigieg co-founded the Democratic Renaissance Project, a national organization of leaders dedicated to bringing new ideas into public debates. He has worked on Capitol Hill and on congressional, gubernatorial and presidential campaigns.
“It’s an honor to receive the endorsement of The Chamber of Commerce. The next mayor must work tirelessly to create job opportunities for our city, and South Bend’s business leaders will be important partners in moving our economy into the future. After a thorough and rigorous process, I’m humbled that The Chamber thinks I’m the best-prepared person for the job,” said Buttigieg.
The Chamber developed and implemented a comprehensive process to identify candidates for endorsement consideration. A Political Evaluation Committee comprised of a bipartisan group of business leaders was established to spearhead the endorsement process.
The process was likened to a job interview where candidates first applied and then went through a series of interviews to be “hired,” or in this case, endorsed. For the endorsement process, three key components were outlined including the completion of a candidate questionnaire, an interview with members of the Political Evaluation Committee and participation at the March 29 South Bend Mayoral Candidate Forum. Only those candidates that completed all steps of the intense process were eligible for endorsement consideration.
“We are fortunate to have many good and qualified candidates running for South Bend mayor,” said Sheri Miller Story, director of public policy for The Chamber. “Barrett Berry has a variety of experiences in the private sector as well as in many levels of government. Ryan Dvorak has the experience of being a state legislator along with being a polished leader in the community. Mike Hamann has served St. Joseph County well as a councilman and former commissioner and is a passionate advocate for education. Wayne Curry has been an advocate for the people of St. Joseph County for many years and offers a common-sense approach to his ideas,” said Miller Story.
“Because of these reasons, the committee’s job in narrowing the field to one candidate for endorsement was a difficult one. After the evaluation of the questionnaires, interviews and information offered at the Candidate Forum, the committee met and reviewed all of the information it had gathered throughout the process. After a lengthy discussion and further deliberation, we chose to endorse Pete Buttigieg,” said Miller Story. “Pete generates excitement and optimism for South Bend; something we think is critical to move it forward.”