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Trish Reid has been promoted to vice president of Business Banking Administration of Centier Bank. Reid has worked in local banking for more than 40 years, spending the last 15 with Centier Bank.
LaKetra Williams has been named branch manager and officer of Centier’s Gary Miller Location. Williams holds a degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and has 15 years banking experience.
Crystal Bynum has been appointed assistant branch manager of Centier’s Strack & Van Til’s in-store branch in Merrillville. Melissa Ewbank has been named assistant branch manager of Centier’s Lowell Branch. Ewbank holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in finance from St. Joseph’s College. Additionally, she is a National Mortgage Lending Service member and a public notary.
Andrew Robarge has been promoted to office manager of Commonwealth Engineers Inc.’s new Crown Point regional branch. Robarge graduated from Tri-State University with a bachelor of science in civil engineering and a minor in environmental engineering and has spent his career with Commonwealth. Throughout his more than 10 years of consulting experience through project management, Robarge has mastered skills in planning, hydraulic modeling, design, bidding and construction engineering for water and wastewater collection, distribution, storage, and treatment projects throughout Indiana.
Don Babcock, economic development director at NIPSCO, has been honored with the 2018 Diolkos Award at the 8th Annual Rail Supply Chain Summit in Chicago. The Rail Summit’s Diolkos Award recognizes an individual whose outstanding leadership and vision have highlighted the importance of rail’s impact on our economy. The annual summit was held at the Union League Club on May 16th. This daylong conference provided attendees information about prospects and intermodal opportunities in the railroad industry in Northwest Indiana and the Greater Chicago Area.
Dan Forster, a longtime cobbler in downtown Highland, closed shop after more than 60 years of repairing shoes, boots, pumps, purses, luggage, belts and leather jackets. With no one to take over his trade, The Cobbler Shop closed in April. Forster’s father opened the original cobbler shop from the front of their house on Highway Avenue before building the storefronts that are there today. After learning the trade from his father, Dan went on to open his own shop out of the Strack and Van Til in Griffith while Dan moved into his father’s shop in downtown Highland and also operated Thrifty Kleen Dry Cleaners.
Tom Hargrove, who served as president of the United Steelworkers Local 1010, is retiring after 20 years. USW Local 1010 is one of the oldest and largest union chapters in Northwest Indiana. Members, at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor East in East Chicago, elected Steve Wagner as their new union president. The union local, which operates out of a hall in Hammond’s Hessville neighborhood, also elected Don Seifert as vice president, Don Jones as recording secretary, Rosa Maria Rodriguez as financial secretary, Max Carrasquillo as treasurer, Jayson Culp as guide, Jim Gogolak as inner guard, Eddie Harvey as outer guard, Darrell Reed as chairperson of the grievance committee, Matthew Beckman as vice chairman of the grievance committee and James Thomas as assistant grievance committee person. Ernie Barrientz, Luis Aguilar and Otis Cochran III were elected as trustees. Union positions are a three-year term.
Valparaiso University has appointed Susan VanZanten dean of Christ College, The Honors College, effective July 1. VanZanten will be the first female dean during its 50 years as an honors college. She served as a professor of English most recently at Seattle Pacific University since 1993. She holds a doctor of philosophy and master of arts from Emory University and a bachelor of arts from Westmont College.
John Pluckebaum and his son, Bryce, honored their wife and mother Joanne during Purdue University Northwest’s Day of Giving. Joanne, who passed last November, taught for more than 15 years at PNW. She had a passion for teaching, was beloved by students, and was awarded teacher of the year. During PNW’s annual Day of Giving celebration, John and Bryce honored Joanne by offering a generous gift of support in her name to PNW’s White Lodging School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) where she taught food and nutrition courses. Michael Flannery, head of the White Lodging School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, says “[The gift] is a wonderful way to honor Joanne. She was a very student-centered faculty member and her students loved her.” He adds that the Pluckebaums’ gift will assist students wanting to study abroad, as well as those working to combine their HTM degree with an MBA. “We are also planning on creating a special space for students dedicated in Joanne’s honor,” he says.
Purdue University Northwest (PNW) is pleased to announce the appointment of George F. Kacenga, Ph.D. as its first executive director of Global Engagement effective July 1.
“After a nationwide search among a field of strong candidates, we are excited to have Dr. Kacenga, with his background and expertise, leading our strategic efforts to extend Purdue Northwest’s global programs and initiatives,” says PNW Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Ralph O. Mueller. Kacenga most recently served as director of International Enrollment Management in the Office of International Affairs (OIA) at the University of Colorado Denver. During his tenure, he impacted the international student experience from student recruitment through alumni engagement. “I am truly honored to be joining Purdue University Northwest as its first executive director of Global Engagement,” says Kacenga. “I look forward to working with the administration, faculty, staff and students to champion the value of international higher education within the university community, and beyond.”
Clarence Hulse, executive director of the Economic Development Corp. of Michigan City has been elected by the Nominating Committee of the International Economic Development Council to its board of directors. During a two-year term, his main role will be to implement the Economic Development Action Initiative developed by community stakeholders, engaged by Crowe Horwath LLP. Hulse played a major role in creating 3,500 new jobs and $300 million in capital investment during his tenure as director of economic development in Jeffersonville. He improved the city’s neighborhoods and received recognition by the Indiana Planning Association, winning the 2011 Outstanding Community Initiative Award for creating the Neighborhood Leadership Institute.
Barbara Anderson, of Schererville, Indiana, has been promoted from president and CEO of Franciscan Health Crown Point, to the corporate position of senior vice president, operational transformation. Anderson will lead a group of Franciscan management team members to transform the way care is delivered, develop ways to reduce costs, and establish sustainable methods to monitor and control costs in the future. Anderson began her Franciscan career on the accounting staff at St. Margaret Hospital in Hammond and has held numerous management and leadership positions. She became executive vice president and chief operating officer at St. Margaret campuses in Hammond and Dyer in 2004, and then accepted the president’s position at Franciscan Health Munster, where she served in that role for eight years before transferring to Crown Point, as president/CEO in July 2015.
Dr. Daniel McCormick, of Frankfort, Ill, has been promoted from hospital vice president of medical affairs to president and CEO. Dr. McCormick received a bachelor of science degree in molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin, a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Illinois, and completed an internal medicine residency fellowship (chief resident) at the University of Minnesota. He also completed a nephrology fellowship at Northwestern University, and received a master of business administration degree from the University of Notre Dame. In 2011, he joined Franciscan Health as the president of Specialty Physicians of Illinois, LLC and Franciscan Physician Network of Illinois, before being named vice president of medical affairs in Crown Point in 2014.
New board members and corporate leadership changes have been announced by Kevin Leahy, Franciscan Alliance president and chief executive officer. Appointments to the Franciscan Alliance Northern Indiana Division Board of Directors include:
Kevin Keough, of Crown Point, a co-owner of Keough Mechanical Corp. in Merrillville has been appointed. Keough has had a long relationship with Franciscan Health Crown Point, having served as a member of its capital campaign committee, which raised millions of dollars to expand and improve hospital services. He also serves on the Franciscan Health Foundation of Northern Indiana. “I was honored and humbled to be considered the board position for the Franciscan Alliance Northern Division. I look forward to assisting the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration and Franciscan Alliance in achieving their goals and business success,” Keough says.
Carey Ransone, MD, of Long Beach, a practicing urologist for 21 years, and is on the medical staff at Franciscan Health Michigan City has been appointed. He also serves as president and CEO of Progressive Urology PC in La Porte and Michigan City. The Detroit native came to Northwest Indiana in 1996 after receiving his specialty training at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “I was truly honored to be considered for the board. I was truly touched,” says Dr. Ransone. “I am a champion for equality and I live by the adage to treat people the way I want to be treated, as family. I pray that I can uphold the responsibilities of this critical position.”
Ebenezer Tayui, MD, of Flossmoor, Illinois, a 29-year anesthesiology specialist, who joined Franciscan Alliance in 2003 and is on staff at Franciscan Health Dyer, Hammond and Munster has been appointed. “I am humbled and excited to join the board,” he says. “I have been in medical leadership for 15 years, serving as medical director of anesthesiology.” He says his goal is to provide insight to clinical changes providers face and propose solutions. “I also hope to learn how the system functions on a global scale, which will allow me to partner with other leaders to find ways to cope with the constantly evolving healthcare industry,” he adds.
Rick Urschel, of Valparaiso, president and chief executive officer for Urschel Laboratories was appointed. Urschel is the fourth generation to lead the family business, which has an international reputation for success in food processing innovation. It is a world leader in the designing, manufacturing and selling of precision food-cutting equipment. The company’s equipment is used by every major food processing manufacturer in the United States and in more than 120 countries worldwide. “I was rather humbled to be considered for the appointment and plan to offer any help and support I can during my appointment,” Urschel says.
After calling downtown Hammond its professional home for 80 years, the Eichhorn Law Firm is relocating its practice to Hammond’s Oxbow Landing, located just off I-94 East and Kennedy Avenue and adjacent to Carlson Oxbow Park. The 2929 Building is shared with Impact Networking, and ATG Real Estate Development Company, among others. Eichhorn’s Hammond-based attorneys include 11 partners and seven associates, and the new location offers room for future growth. “It’s a great location,” says managing partner Greg Crisman. “We’re excited about the move and the prospects it creates for us.” Crisman says the move puts the firm in a more centrally located position in relation to the courts of Lake and Porter counties.
Bushra Rehman has been hired by the Legacy Foundation in Merrillville to serve as community development director. She has 19 years of academic and association management experience and previously served as executive director of the Association for Clinical and Translational Science at SmithBucklin Corp. Previously, Rehman also served as administrative director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and the Clinical Resources Center at The University of Chicago. Rehman earned her bachelor of arts in political science at Adrian College, and her Master of Public Administration at the University of Michigan. Former Legacy Foundation intern,
Maranda Fishback, has been appointed community engagement coordinator. She previously served as an intern with the Legacy Foundation through the Lilly Endowment GIFT Internship Program. Fishback helped coordinate and execute Legacy’s key events, including its annual meeting, scholarship dinner, and Civic Innovators Convening. Fishback started the foundation’s youth philanthropy initiative, for the Lake County Teen Action Group. In her new role, Fishback will manage three Legacy programs, including the Lake County Teen Action Group, RiseNWI, and On the Table. Fishback earned her Bachelor of Science in hospitality and tourism management from Purdue University Northwest. She recently received a Master of Business Administration from PNW.
NIPSCO is awarding 15 local nonprofit organizations, with its Environmental Grant, totaling $50,000.
The grants will help fund restoration and education projects throughout Northern Indiana. NIPSCO has awarded $100,000 in grant money for this mission in the last two years and has been key in assisting 44 projects with their visions.
This year’s grant recipients are:
- Boys & Girls Club of White County, community environmental education programming
- Challenger Learning Center of Northwest Indiana, Spaceship Earth education programming
- City of La Porte Park and Recreation Department, erosion control project
- Clear Lake Township Land Conservancy, ecosystem education programming
- Highland Community Foundation, community tree canopy project
- Indiana Dunes Environmental Learning Center, scholarships for the Stewards of Tomorrow
- Little River Wetlands, urban turtle education and conservation efforts
- Michiana Area Council of Governments, Partners for Clean Air
- Michigan City Area Schools, high school environmental restoration team
- Porter County Parks Foundation, Sunset Hill Farm County Park Pond restoration phase IV
- Shirley Heinze Land Trust, educational guidebook project
- St. Joseph County Parks Foundation, nature education and literacy trail
- Tippecanoe Environmental Lake & Watershed Foundation, Winona Lake Limitless Park restoration project
- Trees Indiana, Woodland trails urban forest education
- Wildcat Guardians, Waterworks Dam Portage trail
Police Lt. Derrick Cannon, a 19-year veteran of the Gary Police Department, is among a select few of law enforcement leaders in the country to graduate from the prestigious FBI Academy. Cannon has served the Gary Police Dept. in all of its major bureaus and most recently served as deputy police chief. He and 222 other graduates of the 271st Session of the National Academy began the 10-week program Jan. 8 in Quantico, Virginia. Cannon is Gary’s first graduate since 2010. The department now employs five FBI Academy graduates, all of whom have attended sessions over the past 20 years.
Lynn Strantz, after nearly 25 years in the multiple listing service industry and the last 10 years with Midwest Real Estate Data, is retiring. Strantz served as vice president of product management and has been with Chicagoland’s multiple listing service since its inception in 2008. Strantz was instrumental in modernizing connectMLS and adding Cloud CMA services, helping to keep MRED at the forefront of emerging real estate technology and predictive analytics.