Robert Thatcher - ‘Engage in the economic discussion’
“I’m privileged to lead the Concord Mall Management Team,” says Robert Thatcher, General Manager & Director of Leasing. “We’re fully engaged in Commercial Property Management, Leasing, Real Estate Development, Marketing/Media & Retail Merchandising. This enclosed Regional Mall and campus hosts 60-plus businesses, employs in excess of 600 people and generates multi-millions in retail sales. With more than 3,000,000 annual visits it is the dominant retail center in Elkhart County and, honestly, represents the crown jewels for economic activity.”
Not only is Thatcher proud of Concord Mall, he has also served as the Chamber’s Economic Development Council Chair.
“In addition to leading our skilled management team we actively engage directly with all of the national and local retail businesses that successfully operate at Concord Mall. My role as GM encompasses the overall P&L of the enterprise, as well as community, government and media relations. Clearly, our involvement in both the Elkhart and Goshen Chambers has provided outstanding opportunities to fulfill these assignments,” he says. “As an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (icsc.org) I do travel periodically to attend national leasing and management events. I’m a volunteer lobbyist at both the state and federal level and champion several legislative initiatives including the Main Street Fairness Act (which can be found at www.21stCenturyRetail.org).”
Thatcher has Chaired several ICSC committee’s and remains an active Faculty Member of the ICSC School of Professional Development teaching in both the Schools of Management and Marketing. The opportunity to teach and travel allows him to visit many dynamic markets around the country and experience new and exciting trends that his team evaluates and incorporates into their daily real estate management practices.
“December 2014 marks my 20 years of service at Concord Mall; spanning three different ownership entities. I’m humbled, blessed and excited about the future! It’s a great gig,” he says.
“I was fortunate to spend several years with FM Properties Corp. (now FM Stone Commercial) and FM Construction Company. Ross Miller was one of my great mentors. Ross chaired the Economic Development Council for several years and was kind enough to invite me to attend. Thereafter, Ross asked me to assume his role as Chairman. Ross remains an active member of the council which says a lot about the value proposition of engaging at this grass roots level,” says Thatcher.
“We experienced the onset of The Great Recession together, remained clear eyed & focused. With tremendous cooperation with EDC and many agencies we have all experienced the ‘Elkhart Miracle,’ wherein Elkhart County led the nation in Job Growth for 3.5 years, ranked third nationally in GDP Growth and, while unrelated, witnessed the remarkable $150M gift to the Elkhart County Community Foundation,” says Thatcher. “Importantly, the Economic Development Council with many great partnerships throughout the region and state is taking an active role in securing the future of our community and businesses. Heavy lifting for sure - but many hands make little work!”
He continues, “The Economic Development Council is populated by a very broad base of professionals representing many industries. It’s a fun, attentive and creative group that yields tremendous amounts of ‘market intelligence’ in real time on a regular basis. Above all perhaps is the significant impact that the Council has had on several successful initiatives that have enhanced the business climate and quality of life throughout our community and region. All are welcome and encouraged to visit each third Friday at 8 a.m. We conclude promptly at 9:30. An Economic Truth that is not widely discussed is this: Capital flows to where it is respected and treated well. I hold this truth as a guiding light for the direction of the Greater Elkhart Chamber Economic Development Council.”
At the beginning of 2015, the Economic Development Council became the Economic Development and Legislative Affairs Council. Also, Lori Snyder of Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Northern Indiana Real Estate office in Elkhart became co-chair of the Council.
For more information about the Economic Development and Legislative Affairs Council, go to
www.Elkhart.org or email Council liaison Denise Polachek at email@example.com.