Indiana Governor Mike Pence has selected the members of a key transportation panel in the state and one local business leader made the list.

Yesterday, Pence announced that Hank Menke, the CEO of Huntingburg-based OFS Brands, is one of 24 business leaders in the transportation industry to be named to the Blue Ribbon Panel on Transportation Infrastructure. State and local leaders such as Evansville mayor Lloyd Winnecke are also on the panel.

Menke serves as president of the I-67 Development Corporation, a group that was formed to develop a 38-mile interstate-grade highway which would connect Dubois County with I-69 at Washington. The group, which also consists of local city officials, is pushing to get the project completed within the next 8 years.

The Blue Ribbon Panel on Transportation Infrastructure is set to identify and assemble a list of transportation projects for the future that should be given high priority as the state moves forward. Menke says his naming to the panel helps to move the I-67 project one step closer to reality.

Menke along with the I-67 Development Corporation, has been discussing the project with officials across southern Indiana and throughout Kentucky, specifically pointing out benefits of the new interstate, which would also stretch southward to Bowling Green, Kentucky. The objective of this is to relieve some of the excessive pressure on Interstate 65 by giving north-south traffic another route to reach their destination.

The panel is set to meet for the first time next Friday according to Menke. He says the prospects for I-67 look good since Indiana Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, a big supporter of the project, is on the panel.