OCRA hires Andrea Kern as Northeast Community Liaison

OCRA welcomes Andrea Kern as the Northeast Community Liaison
INDIANAPOLIS – On January 16, 2018, Andrea Kern joined the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) as the Northeast Community Liaison. The North East region covers the following counties: Adams, Allen, Blackford, DeKalb, Grant, Huntington, Jay, Lagrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash and Wells.
Before joining OCRA, she previously worked as a Preservation Specialist for Architecture and Community Heritage (ARCH) based out of Fort Wayne, Indiana. For more than two years, she worked closely with both public and private sectors to advocate for historic preservation solutions to development challenges. This non-profit helped Andrea develop and hone her skills in grant writing, fundraising, tax credits, along with education and advocacy. She also worked as an independent consultant in partnership with the Noblesville Main Street and Indiana Landmarks to develop design guidelines for a new local historic district in downtown Noblesville.
Outside of work, her passion for historic preservation brought her to volunteer with Auburn’s Main Street organization as part of the façade grant committee; as well assisting in the development of a neighborhood planning document with the DeKalb County Historian, City Planning Department, and the Eckhart Neighborhood. As a native of Auburn, her love of historic properties began at home.
“I fell in love with this field early on, growing up in Auburn, Indiana, where we love to celebrate our hometown history as the Classic Car Capitol of America,” said Kern. “I have developed a unique perspective on how important historic preservation is to maintaining a unique sense of place in small towns across Indiana.”
Andrea has a Bachelor of Arts in History from Indiana University and a Masters of Science in Historic Preservation from Ball State University. Her master’s thesis titled Modernizing State Enabling Legislation for Locally Designated Historic Resources received an award in 2016. Her thesis focused on analyzing state enabling legislation for historic districts, identifying potential issues, and developing creative solutions.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity, because it allows me the opportunity to connect more Hoosiers with community development strategies and solutions on a regional scale. I love this region, and I can’t think of a better way to give back to the place I call home.”
Andrea lives in Auburn with her husband Jacob along with their Labrador Nubia. They are in the process of moving into a beautiful c. 1912 Colonial Revival home near downtown Auburn.

Under the leadership of Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, who also serves as the Secretary of Rural Development, the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs’ (OCRA) mission is to work with local, state and national partners to provide resources and technical assistance to assist communities in shaping and achieving their vision for community and economic development. For more information, visit ocra.in.gov.