“It’s very humbling and exciting to be part of the positive transformation in Northwest Indiana,” Sherri Ziller said. Since 2013, Ziller has been providing leadership to support economic development and redevelopment as Chief Operating Officer at the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority.
Before starting a career in public service, the Hammond native attended Purdue University Calumet for a bachelor's degree in Political Science and a masters degree in Education. After completing her degree, Ziller was a professor at Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global).
“I absolutely loved teaching, but I found myself wanting to help the communities in other ways,” said Ziller. “As much as I loved teaching, I wanted to try something new and challenging that would utilize my political science degree.”
Ziller adds “The RDA was a good transition to what my goals were turning into in life and it allowed me to make a difference here in northwest Indiana.” “With my role now at the RDA, I look at this as not necessarily a job I have to do, but I job I get to do.”
In her role in the public sector, Ziller advocates new development and the revitalization throughout the region and works with partners on all levels. Working along the side of the President and CEO, Sherri also ensures the goals of the RDA are executed while being fiscally responsible.
“One of the most rewarding parts of my job is working with groups at the federal, state, regional, and local sectors,” Ziller explained. “It allows me to work with people in other industries and work on a strategic growth plan for Northwest Indiana. We’re only here for a little while and I believe it’s our responsibility to leave Northwest Indiana better than when we found it.”
Over the last few years, the RDA continues their commitment to new growth by improving local transportation infrastructure in Northwest Indiana.
“We’ve been working tirelessly on rail projects and related development,” said Ziller. “With those projects, it’s projected to attract $2.3 billion in private investment which would be a huge win for Northwest Indiana and the state. These projects will create approximately 5,700 jobs which will be created for local economies.”
As the organization grows and evolves, their mission of fulfilling the region’s economic potential has remained the same. Ziller explained their goal of striving to be an example of what Hoosiers can do and be if given the global opportunity is at the forefront of their mission.
In her free time, Ziller enjoys traveling with her husband and son, exercising, and painting. She finds painting very rewarding and hopes to continue the hobby. Ziller adds “I have one successful painting under my belt that hangs in my office and I can’t wait to do more.”
For more information on Regional Development Authority and their unique employees, visit www.in.gov/rda/.