Elizabeth Rowray Steps Into Dual Leadership Role
Writer / Renee Larr
Photographer / Amy Payne
Delaware County native Elizabeth Rowray was recently appointed chief economic development officer, president and CEO of the Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance. Rowray began the dual role on April 1.
“I’m a sixth-generation Delaware County native,” Rowray says. “I attended Burris Laboratory School and Ball State. Currently I live in Yorktown with my family. My husband and I have a huge passion for the community and a desire to serve.”
That desire to serve led Rowray to placement on the Yorktown school board for a four-year term. She also serves as an Indiana House of Representatives member for District 35. She assumed office in November of 2020 after defeating incumbent democrat Melanie Wright.
A search committee was formed in 2021 to find the next leader of the Chamber of Commerce. The committee included board members from both the Chamber of Commerce and the Delaware Advancement Corporation.
“In the past I served as vice president of the Chamber and I served in that capacity for nearly five years,” Rowray says. “I also have experience working in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., so I have a really well-rounded background in economic development. I think that background was why the committee sought me out for this dual role.”
Rowray is the first female to serve in the position. She says when she was growing up, women were just starting to break the glass ceiling. She says she’s happy to be selected as the first female in the role, but is more humbled by the fact that the committee saw her qualities as a human being.
Rowray says the organization is in a rebuilding phase and wants to get back to basics. She wants to reach out to members to see their challenges in this post-pandemic world.
“I’d like to find more ways we can assist our members, and take a good, hard look on how we can refresh things,” Rowray says. “I would also love to see us ramp up educational opportunities. Delaware County is the cream of the crop when it comes to Hoosier hospitality. I feel like it’s my goal as the new leader here to ensure outsiders look at the area as a destination where you want to live.”
Rowray says Delaware County has much to offer its residents. She says it’s a great place for new businesses. Rowray and her husband deliberately chose to move back to the area, and she says it’s a great place to raise a family.
“I’m so incredibly blessed with the opportunities I have had in my career,” Rowray says. “I have learned so much throughout my various roles, but my favorite role is wife and mom.”
In addition to serving on the Yorktown school board, Rowray was an active volunteer in the Muncie Rotary Club and the United Way. She’s also worked on fundraising efforts for the Muncie Children’s Museum and IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital Foundation.