Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight announced Monday Steve Whikehart has been hired as the city’s director of development, a city leadership position responsible for community and economic development planning.
“The local economy is moving forward, and as we position Kokomo to be the ideal place to start a business, build a career and raise a family, we needed someone with a bold vision and fresh approach,” Goodnight said in a statement Monday. “Steve possesses these qualities and has a unique blend of knowledge and expertise to facilitate smart business development and continue our quality of life initiatives.”
Whikehart earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University and master’s degrees from Indiana Wesleyan University and Ball State University.
“Kokomo will always be my home, and I am thrilled to be a part of the progressive plan that Mayor Goodnight has set forth since his first day in office,” he said in a statement. “I enjoy coming back to the city to see the amazing things that have been accomplished in such a short period of time. I am truly honored to be given this opportunity and look forward to assisting in the continued growth of Kokomo.”
Whikehart was most recently director of admissions at Ivy Tech’s Kokomo campus, where he worked under former Kokomo Mayor Steve Daily.
Steve Whikehart’s father, John Whikehart, was Daily’s second-in-command during Daily’s two terms in the 1980s. And Steve Whikehart’s mother, Debbie Cook, was Goodnight’s director of development for four years before leaving to become the head of the Kokomo Housing Authority last year.
Whikehart takes over for Jim Brannon, who left the position over a month ago. City officials said at the time that Brannon, who served as controller for four years prior to taking over the development department last year, was planning to retire. The development director job has an annual salary of $73,500.