Whats New

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My View: Despite poor economy, Downtown thrives

by Denny Sponsel

The Indianapolis Downtown and I share a lengthy history. I’m a lifelong Hoosier. Ten years ago, I purchased a contract furniture and service business, then relocated it from the Northwestside suburbs to Downtown. Seven years ago, I wrote in these pages about why I moved RJE Business Interiors: the central location that cuts delivery costs and travel time for my employees and me; the nearness to restaurants, shopping and the energy of Downtown that helps us attract and retain the brightest employees; the proximity to customers and service organizations that allows us to grow our own revenue while boosting our community.

Thanks to a strong vision by civic leaders, public and private sector investment and a fierce community pride, our Downtown has been transformed into the lifeblood of our region.

Through the last decade, we’ve witnessed expansions in all sectors — from Clarian’s People Mover to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianpolis’ remarkable transformation; from diverse new hotels to the Cultural Trail and Central Library; from Lucas Oil Stadium to the small, locally owned businesses peppering the Massachusetts Avenue Cultural District.

From RJE’s windows on Ohio Street, we watched an explosion of growth, starting with the removal of the Market Street ramp to provide a stronger connection from the Eastside to the rest of Downtown. Angie’s List thrives around the corner, while Indianapolis’ first office building designed to be platinum-level LEED-certified, the Nature Conservancy of Indiana, goes up across the street. Harrison College started out in a historic church. Now it’s a state-of-the-art institution educating workers for the next 100 years.

RJE itself grew to $29 million in annual revenue, powered by 50 professionals glad to be Downtown. In fact, business Downtown proved so successful that we recently expanded to another downtown setting to serve the greater Cincinnati area.

Despite what’s happening in the rest of the world, Indianapolis’ Downtown hasn’t just survived, it’s triumphed. According to Indianapolis Downtown Inc., since 2003, 177 projects have been completed in Downtown with an investment of approximately $3.8 billion. Every day, 127,000 office workers bring energy to Downtown. For 20,000 people, it’s not enough to just come during the day; they chose to make their homes in the center of our city.

This April, I’ll move into the role of IDI chairman. Building on the legacy of leaders that include Mayors William Hudnut, Steve Goldsmith, Bart Peterson and Greg Ballard, IDI shares a commitment to raising Downtown to the next level. Just think about the Indiana Convention Center expansion, the 2012 Super Bowl and the towering Marriott Place complex.

Yes, we still have challenges to tackle. But as we break through the economic doom and gloom, let’s not forget what’s right in front of us: a vibrant, thriving Downtown to enjoy today. We’re all part of something special. I’m glad I moved RJE here. And I look forward to what we can add in the coming months and years to keep our Downtown among the gems of the region.

Source: The Indianapolis Star - My View, March 25, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

RJE Knoll in the Community

Here are some of the local charities that we support:
  • Indianapolis Zoo
  • United Way of Central Indiana
  • Dress for Success
  • Orchard School
  • Providence Cristo Rey High School
  • Riley Children's Foundation
  • Simon Youth Foundation
  • Girls, Inc.
  • Indianapolis Public Schools
  • Heroes of Public Safety
  • American Heart Association
  • 500 Festival
  • Catholic Social Services
  • Sheltering Wings Center for Women
  • Indianapolis Marion County Public Library Foundation
  • IUPUI University Library
  • IU Foundation
  • Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.
  • Westminster Ministries
  • Archdiocese of Indianapolis
  • Damien Center
  • National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
  • Finish Line Youth Foundation
  • St. Michael's Grade School
  • St. Philip Neri School

Little Red Door Cancer Agency accepts "Red Event" proceeds

RJE Business Interiors gives funds to help Central Indiana cancer patients

INDIANAPOLIS - Little Red Door Cancer Agency today accepted the proceeds from a benefit event hosted last year by RJE Business Interiors, a full-service furniture and design company located in Downtown Indianapolis.
RJE held its inaugural "Red Event" in October to benefit Little Red Door, a non-profit dedicated to supporting Central Indiana cancer patients. The event featured the work of artisans within the design industry, and 10 percent of all sales - roughly $3,000 - were donated to Little Red Door.
"We serve thousands of cancer clients each year who need transportation services, screening and detection, breast forms and bras, wigs, and a host of other services we offer," said Mary Beth Tuohy, executive director of Little Red Door Cancer Agency. "We are truly grateful for RJE's contribution that will help our clients who lack insurance, financial means and support."
RJE president Denny Sponsel said his company is proud to partner with organizations such as Little Red Door to make Indianapolis a stronger, more vibrant community.
"Whenever we have an opportunity to be a good corporate citizen and help those in need, we do whatever we can," Sponsel said. "I truly believe that we have a moral obligation to give back to this community, especially during such difficult economic times."
Sponsel said RJE plans to make the "Red Event" an annual occurrence.
RJE Business Interiors is located Downtown near the largest concentration of offices in Indianapolis. The firm not only offers a large variety of fine office furniture by major name-brand manufacturers, but also provides complete design and restoration services. More than anything, RJE prides itself on community and civic involvement at every level. Find out more about RJE/Knoll on the Web at www.rjefurn.com or by calling (317) 293-4051.
Little Red Door Cancer Agency strives to make the most of life and the least of cancer, by reducing the physical, emotional, and financial burdens of cancer for the medically underserved residents of Central Indiana. For more than six decades, the agency has provided education, screening and detection, and patient services to those who lack financial means and adequate insurance.