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American Specialty Health to call Carmel home

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Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard and Gov. Mike Pence this morning announced that American Specialty Health Inc. would be establishing its corporate headquarters in Carmel and employing about 675 employees by 2016.

George DeVries, San Diego-based ASH’s co-founder, chairman and CEO, shared in delivering the news with Pence and Brainard from the new ASH office at Hamilton Crossing III, 12800 N. Meridian St.

“We are pleased to welcome ASH’s corporate headquarters to the Carmel community,” Brainard said. “Indiana has created an attractive business climate, and Carmel also has worked hard to build a vibrant city where business can thrive and that appeals to a well-educated professional workforce. We have focused on providing a high quality of life with safe neighborhoods, quality schools, unique retail areas and arts and cultural amenities.”

Carmel has experienced business growth this year, attracting company expansions or relocations, which should result in an estimated increase of more than 2,300 jobs in the next five years. In addition to the ASH relocation of its corporate headquarters, it also has welcomed Next Gear Capital, Baldwin & Lyons, GEICO and Polleo Systems.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered ASH up to $11,500,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $250,000 in training grants based on the company’s job-creation plans. The tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives.

ASH is one of the nation’s fastest-growing, privately held health-services companies, providing fitness, population health and specialty health management to health plans, employer groups, insurance carriers and trust funds. The company was launched more than 25 years ago and now employs more than 1,000 people. The move to Carmel will take place by the second quarter of 2014.

“We have selected Carmel as the site of our national corporate headquarters for a variety of reasons,” DeVries said. “First, ASH has grown from a California company into a national company, and Carmel provides a central location with proximity to our clients across the nation. Additionally, the state of Indiana has a strong business climate and the cost of doing business is lower. Also, the city of Carmel offers a high quality of life and a family oriented environment for our employees to live and work, with an affordable cost of living.”

The new Carmel office will employ about 300 people by 2014, growing to approximately 675 employees by 2016. DeVries said he anticipates that between 30 and 50 jobs at the new office will be filled by current employees from the San Diego and Dallas operations centers. The remainder of the jobs will be filled through recruitment in the Carmel/Indianapolis region.

“As a state that works for business, successful companies from around the country are drawn to Indiana,” Pence said. “By lowering taxes, increasing our infrastructure, training our workforce and limiting burdensome regulations, Indiana has proven it can create an environment where businesses can thrive and our economy can grow. I thank ASH for its confidence in Indiana and for creating more jobs for talented Hoosiers.”

“As a national health services organization serving 34 million members, we felt it prudent to be prepared for any type of natural disaster,” said DeVries. “We concluded that, due to the size and national scope of our business, we could best ensure uninterrupted service if we established three geographically separate office locations.”

ASH will maintain its office in San Diego and a suburban-Dallas office in addition to the Carmel operation. DeVries said the Carmel and San Diego offices will host “duplicate data centers for redundancy and business resumption.”

ASH operates 13 subsidiaries that offer specialty health network, population health and fitness programs to employer groups, health plans and insurance companies nationwide. Privately held, ASH reported revenue of $221 million last year, up 64 percent from 2009, when the company first appeared on the Inc. 5000 list of the country’s fastest-growing businesses.


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