Huntington, Ind.— The Huntington University Foundation is pleased to welcome Patricia R. Miller as its speaker for the Foundation Dinner. The annual event is scheduled for Thursday, September 15, 2005, in the Habecker Dining Commons at Huntington University. The evening will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m.
Appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels, Miller is the first Secretary of Commerce and Chief Executive Officer of the new Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). As a result of legislation passed by the Indiana General Assembly in February of 2005, the IEDC replaced the Department of Commerce as the premier entity charged with state economic development.
A graduate of Indiana University and a native of Farmington, Ill., Miller is co-owner and co-president of Vera Bradley Designs in Fort Wayne, Ind. Along with friend Barbara Baekgaard, Miller established Vera Bradley Designs in 1982. With $500 and a dream that began in a basement, the two friends turned their idea of giving women better choices in fine luggage, handbags and accessories into a nationwide company. Today, their company approaches nine figures a year in sales and employs more than 120 workers.
In addition to her entrepreneurial background and commitment to community development that is providing the perfect combination of experience to grow Indiana’s economy, Miller is involved in philanthropic activities. After losing a dear friend to breast cancer, Miller co-founded the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer in 1998 to help women cope with the disease and aid in cure research.
In 1997, Miller was named “Business Leader of the Year” by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and in 2002, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis awarded her the “Spirit of Philanthropy Award.”
The cost of the Foundation banquet dinner program is $20 per person. Tables of eight may be reserved for $150. To make reservations, contact Ella Burnett at (260) 359-4069. Reservations will be taken until September 12. Payment should be sent to Huntington University Foundation, 2303 College Avenue, Huntington, IN 46750.
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