IEDC From London Part 2: Group Sees Potential, Eye Opening Experience

Terre Haute’s own Rachel Leslie, Partner of RJL Solutions, LLC is currently traveling with the IEDC leadership team to London (July 14 – July 20) to participate in a back-to-back series of meetings regarding advancing Indiana in aerospace and overall defense development. 

The trip, centered on the Farnborough Air Show, includes 30 meetings already on the agenda.  Rachel will be blogging, interviewing and reporting back over the next week; speaking to other members of the state delegation to keep the Terre Haute community informed of the work we’re doing. 

Read below for Rachel’s second blog from London:

We ended Monday with a short visit with Robert Wood IV, US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, and a briefing with how to tackle day two.  The pure magnitude of the number of opportunities forced us to have a specific divide and conquer strategy amongst the delegation.

IEDC Leadership with Robert Wood Johnson IV, US Ambassador to the UK

Yesterday the word of the day was potential.  Today the word of the day is vast.  Large doesn’t seem to fit the criteria to help illustrate the incredible magnitude of the world’s largest air show.  If a company touches aerospace, they’re either here as an exhibitor or they’re an attendee.  Governor Eric Holcomb is known for saying, “We’re taking Indiana to the world and bringing the world to Indiana.”  Undoubtedly, that is what we’re accomplishing.

Yesterday’s blog demonstrated the why, today we’re navigating the what.  I had an opportunity to sit down with Rollie Helmling, Senior Vice President of Global Industry and Trade Development with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, and talk about what he believes we’re accomplishing as a state on the international platform:

“You can see that we’re in an extremely competitive environment.  There are 12 other states present all competing in this sector.  Aerospace and defense is the industry of the future.  Look at what is happening in aerospace – more traveling, more shipping, and more advanced/faster technology overall.  The FedEx in Indianapolis is second only to Memphis with significant potential growth.  The fact that we’ve just added another international flight, with more on the horizon, shows our level of continued commitment in this dialogue.  We are home to Rolls Royce, GE Aviation, and other supply chain companies who are an integral part of the industry.  Secretary Jim Shellinger and I had two significant meetings today, both with GE Aviation and Rolls Royce and their continued growth strategies,” stated Helmling.

GE Aviation Chalet

It has been eye-opening how fortunate we are as a state to have a Department of Defense Development.  Shining bright and clear is our state’s opportunity in the defense sector.  The major defense leads are somewhat mystique.  By nature, they do work behind the scenes to create successful strategies for the men and women keeping our country safe.  However, it is a sector I quickly see as the next big opportunity.  For example, GE Aviation, who we have in our backyard, also has a defense side of their business model, the same for Rolls Royce – just to name two.  I had the opportunity to witness the relationships secured and managed by our Defense Development team, led by Defense Development Director, Danielle Chrysler, be utilized behind closed doors.

Tonight we are visiting Kensington Palace and meeting with other government and industry leaders around the aerospace and defense industries.

#vast #potential #takingindianatotheworld

Rachel Leslie, Partner

RJL Solutions

Just released video, “Today’s Indiana”…


Painted directional signs sponsored by the USA








Showing example of another country’s booth (Mexico)
Parts of the Farnborough Airshow (outside)
Parts of the Farnborough Airshow (outside)