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Woodward Commercial Realty, Inc. taps economic development leader for newly created chief operating officer role

Woodward Commercial Realty Inc, a full-service real estate development and business brokerage firm, announced that Audrie Burkett has joined as COO and executive vice president. The organization is led by CEO and managing broker Evan Beck and Zach Martin, president of Woodward Development and Construction. 

In this new role, Burkett will lead Woodward’s marketing, internal operations and continued expansion of its real estate development and investment activities across Indiana and Kentucky. Burkett will play an important part in enhancing Woodward’s internal processes pertaining to acquisitions, development, leasing, asset management and property management.

“I’ve worked with Audrie over the past eight and a half years through her economic development role, and her dedication, expertise, and unwavering commitment to her work are a rare find, said Beck. As we envision the future, Audrie brings the horsepower, knowledge of industry and integrity that we pride ourselves with at Woodward. She will greatly enhance our deliverables to current and future clients.”

Most recently, Burkett served as the COO and executive vice president of the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership (E-REP), an economic development led chamber organization. Burkett oversaw the day-to-day operations of E-REP while strategically aligning priorities to the organization’s mission. Burkett has been a key leader driving the $50 million Regional Economic Development + Acceleration Initiative (READI) for the Evansville region. Burkett will continue to serve as the E-REP Foundation chair and lead a communications committee.

“We are thrilled for Audrie and her new opportunity to grow and expand our community in the private sector, said Tara Barney, CEO at E-REP. I am grateful for the energy, strategic vision and team growth Audrie brought to the E-REP organization in our early formation. I look forward to leaning on her strategic vision as a volunteer and witnessing her contributions to Woodward’s continued growth and impact on the Evansville region.

Burkett is a Purdue Boilermaker and joined E-REP and its predecessor in 2015. In addition to overseeing the internal successful alignment of the organizations that now comprise E-REP, she has provided administrative oversight and led two significant initiatives: Southwest Indiana’s Regional Cities Initiative dispersing $42 million for quality-of-place initiatives and public policy work championing increased internet access for those living in rural areas.

“I am deeply impressed by Woodward’s history and success," Burkett said. "Not only am I excited about the future opportunities, knowing that I can help execute and bring operational excellence, but I am also pleased to be joining a firm representing some of the best people in commercial real estate.”

Raised on a dairy farm in Posey County, Burkett currently resides with her husband and two daughters in the Evansville region. Burkett is an integral part of her family’s small business, a dental practice located on Evansville’s Westside. She currently serves on the President’s Advisory Council for Mater Dei High School. Additionally, she was named Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives “40 under 40” in 2022 and Rotary Club of Evansville “20 under 40” in 2021.