Jennifer Merrell promoted to VP Relationship Management as Lauren (Petersen) James departs

TechPoint, Indiana’s nonprofit, industry-led growth initiative for the state’s tech ecosystem, today announced the promotion of Jennifer Merrell to vice president of relationship management and the departure of her predecessor, Lauren (Petersen) James.

James has accepted a position as executive director of the Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation (MDLF), an organization for which she was an inaugural Fellow in 2017, two years after she joined TechPoint. Merrell, who joined TechPoint in 2019 as senior relationship manager and was promoted to director of relationship management, takes on the higher leadership role on May 1.

“Lauren is remarkably talented and has been a key partner to me, TechPoint, and our tech community. We couldn’t be more excited for her as she takes on her next adventure after growing into an exceptional community leader these past nearly seven years,” said TechPoint President and CEO Mike Langellier. “We’re equally excited to see Jennifer bring her impressive skills and experience in stakeholder engagement to a larger leadership role.”

Merrell spent more than seven years at Ginovus, a nationally recognized site selection firm, and six years at what is now Colliers International commercial real estate before joining TechPoint. An Indianapolis native, Merrell is a Butler University graduate and has served in multiple industries including entertainment, sports and fitness, technology, real estate and economic development over the past more than 25 years, beginning with the Walt Disney Company. 

“I have some pretty awesome shoes to fill and can’t thank Lauren enough for the example she’s set and the warm welcome she gave me,” Merrell said. “She really built our membership community into a thriving, influential force and the entire state is the better for her work here at TechPoint.”

James said deciding to leave her “dream job” at TechPoint was difficult.

“I have had the best six and a half years of my life, learning, growing and helping the amazing Indianapolis tech community grow,” James said. “I’m just as passionate about making a place-impact by helping other Hoosiers grow into leadership positions and drive change. I’m thrilled to be able to take over the reins at MDLF where I can continue to be part of the wonderful group of visionaries who are helping move Indiana forward.”

James is a Bluffton, Ind. native. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2011 with a Degree in Urban Planning & Development from Ball State University and upon graduation received a Fulbright Scholarship to Poland as a cultural and educational ambassador. She joined TechPoint in 2015 after positions with the Indianapolis Colts and ExactTarget/Salesforce.

About TechPoint: TechPoint is the nonprofit, industry-led growth initiative for Indiana’s technology companies and overall tech ecosystem. The team is focused on attracting talent, accelerating scale-up companies, activating the community and amplifying stories of success. For more information, please visit