Rebecca Carl Appointed as Director of Marketing & Community Relations for the City

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January/February 2024

As Carmel City Hall continues to undergo a transition phase, Mayor Sue Finkam of Carmel announced that Rebecca Carl officially assumed the role of Director of Marketing & Community Relations for the City of Carmel, effective January 23. Having served as interim director since January 8, Carl brings over 25 years of marketing and communications experience in higher education and healthcare to her new position.

Rebecca Carl Appointed

A Critical Role Amid Transition

Carl is an adjunct instructor at Butler University in the Andre B. Lacy School of Business, teaching international marketing. Carl received her Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Butler University.

Mayor Finkam voiced strong confidence in Carl’s abilities, underscoring her pivotal role in the transition team and her demonstrated leadership across various industries.

“Rebecca has provided critical expertise as a member of my transition team, and we are fortunate to have someone of her caliber join our executive team,” Finkam said. “She has led large complex marketing and communications teams in diverse industries and understands the importance of being inclusive, transparent and strategic, all of which our future success will require.”

Carl is poised to lead a dynamic marketing team in fostering inclusivity, transparency and strategic communication to ensure the future success of Carmel. The appointment reflects the city’s commitment to a robust approach to community engagement and storytelling that will showcase Carmel’s narrative both locally and globally. Previously titled Community Relations & Economic Development, the department has evolved into Marketing & Community Relations under Carl’s leadership.

Relatable Service Industries 

Carl attributes her proficiency in serving Carmel’s citizens, visitors and businesses to her rich background in both the higher education and health industries. Drawing from her experiences in these diverse fields, she has cultivated a unique skill set that enables her to understand and address the complex needs of various stakeholders.

Carl articulated that her past roles closely parallel the nature of working for the city, as they all revolve around providing meaningful experiences. In both her prior fields and the current municipal setting, the focus has been on enhancing and enriching the experiences of individuals. This shared emphasis on creating positive and impactful interactions underscores the continuity of Carl’s commitment to fostering beneficial experiences, now directed toward the residents, visitors and businesses within the city.

“It’s our job as marketers and as a service industry that we make sure that the moment that interaction takes place is an optimal experience for that person,” Carl said. “I have deep experience in that service industry mentality. When I think about marketing the city, of course I think about the events and the quality of life, but what I really think about is the ‘why.’ Why would someone want to raise a family here or relocate their business here versus somewhere else? There are a lot of reasons why—great amenities, great schools, a strong business community, and the arts. In terms of pure marketing, it is helping people get to that ‘why’ a little bit sooner and helping people understand why this is such a great city to move to, visit and build a business.”

Areas of Focus

To align with the mayor’s initiatives and vision for a more citizen-centric approach, Carl’s department is strategically transitioning toward prioritizing customer service as a cornerstone of its operations. Their focus on customer service not only reflects a commitment to meeting residents’ needs but also contributes to the overall success of the mayor’s broader initiatives aimed at fostering a thriving, well-connected community.

“I’m taking my cues from Mayor Finkam,” Carl said. “She’s the number-one collaborator. In terms of what I do [in this role], I am building relationships both internally and externally, and I listen. That’s a skill I have to continually cultivate, but I do think that listening to others [who] have deep investment in their communities is the best way to understand what’s important to them.”

Carl continued, “I’m not a person who does things in a vacuum. I’m a collaborator, and I think doing good work together is the only way to move forward. I do think it starts with listening, and it has to turn into action. The mayor talks a lot about transparency, and we talk about that at almost every meeting, internally. That is a huge focus for her, so of course that’s a focus for us as well. I’m fortunate to have inherited some really good people who work really hard for the city, and I want to have a service-focused team so that everything we produce or put on will be solely for the purpose of enhancing the city for every one of our customers.” Carl added, “Yes, I do call [members of the community] ‘customers’ because we exist to serve them. I want us to be outward-facing and hyper-focused on our customers [both external and internal]. I want to create a culture that is focused on service and transparency.”

When asked what Carl finds compelling about working for the city in this capacity, she replied, “Cities are like a living and breathing entity. I really admire how much people are emotionally invested in their city—especially in Carmel, which has a very engaged citizenship. To me, that emotional investment is what will keep people coming here and why they will stay here for generations to come. It is so impressive, and I find that compelling.”