Editorial and Business Advisory Board • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine

Editorial and Business Advisory Board

Our editorial advisory board, several of whom have been with the magazine since its inception, is an essential component of Northwest Indiana Business Magazine’s editorial process. Our mission as a magazine is to publish stories about people and ideas that inform, inspire, challenge and education our readers helping them to improve the economy and quality of life in our Region. Each member brings invaluable insight to the magazine’s editorial direction based on their work and volunteer experiences as essential members of our Region’s business community.

During our meetings, the board members brainstorm article ideas with the magazine staff based on the categories laid out by the publisher in our annual editorial calendar. After discussing potential articles in each category, the board recommends which idea to pursue and offers suggestions of local sources for possible follow-up interviews.

Our board members our experts in their respective fields and valuable partners in our goal to advance thought leadership in Northwest and North Central Indiana.

Here are our current board members:

Erin Bonon

Erin Bonin — CEO and Founder of South Bend-based Parnomi

As founder and CEO of the corporate communications firm, Parnomi, Bonin leads a team of communications and public relations veterans, helping clients with everything from content creation and corporate/executive messaging to award nominations and brand strategy. With a passion for storytelling and a dedication to client success, Bonin and her team excel at crafting narratives that resonate to bring clients the recognition they deserve.

A lifelong Midwesterner with Wisconsin roots, Bonin loves winter, Green Bay Packer football, cheese and outdoor adventures of all kinds. Other titles to her name include certified barbeque judge, globetrotter, wife, and perhaps her favorite, mom.

Bonin earned a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Golden Gate University and a bachelor's degree in communications with minors in public relations and photography from Andrews University. She's a member of the Public Relations Society of America and longtime member of Rotary International, District 6540. Bonin also serves as president of the St. Joseph County Parks Foundation in South Bend.

Jessica Cantarelli

Jessica CantarelliPublic Relations and Communications Manager, Centier Bank

Cantarelli is the public relations and communications manager at Centier Bank. She oversees all public relations, social media, and marketing communications for Indiana’s largest, private family-owned bank. She previously worked in print and digital media as a journalist at the Chicago Tribune for 11 years, and the Chicago Sun-Times for two years. Jessica has a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University.

Erika Dahl

Erika DahlMarketing Content Writer, Kopka Pinkus Dolin P.C.

Dahl is the marketing content writer at Kopka Pinkus Dolin P.C., a premier civil defense law firm in the Midwest. She manages the message across promotional materials, digital platforms as well as internal messaging.

She was the director of communications for the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority for 13 years. Dahl also provided her expertise at the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana and freelancing for a number of not-for-profits and businesses throughout Northwest Indiana. Her resume includes a stint managing travel for the cast and crew of the movie “To Have and To Hold.”

Dahl serves on the board of directors for Jacob’s Ladder Pediatric Rehabilitation Center, and a number of committees throughout Northwest Indiana.

She earned her bachelor's degree in communications and English from Purdue University Northwest.

Lorri Feldt

Lorri Feldt — Executive Director, Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center

Feldt is the regional director of the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center. She and her team of business advisers work with businesses, start-up entrepreneurs and economic development organizations in Northwest Indiana’s seven-county area.

Feldt has worked at large and small businesses, including 15 years in marketing management and customer service roles at Whirlpool Corp. She also has served as a business and marketing instructor at Purdue University Northwest and Indiana University South Bend. She is active with local economic development groups, the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra board of directors and other civic organizations.

Katie Holderby

Katie Holderby — Director of Alumni Engagement, Purdue University Northwest

As the director of alumni engagement at PNW, Holderby's responsibilities include developing and implementing initiatives to re-brand the alumni community and advance relationships with PNW alumni locally, nationally and internationally.

She also was the director of marketing and membership at the Northwest Indiana Forum, where she partnered with local economic development professionals and organizational leadership to exemplify the message that Northwest Indiana as the place to do business. By leveraging local partnerships, Katie was able to market the Region as a whole to commercial brokers, site selectors and businesses.

A graduate of Purdue University, she gained her marketing, administrative and event planning experience through her long tenure at the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority where she spent more than 25 years in various roles.

Holderby serves on the board of directors for the Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce and previously on the Indiana State Festival Association and the Indiana Ballet Theatre. She is proud to call Crown Point home along with her husband, Dan, a third-generation farmer in Northwest Indiana, and her two grown children Reagan and Mitchell.

Donna Kiesling

Donna KieslingAssistant director of marketing and communications, Ivy Tech Community College’s Lake County campus

Donna Kiesling oversees branding and advertising as well as internal and external communications at Ivy Tech Community College’s Lake County campus, which has locations in Crown Point, East Chicago and Gary. She had a longtime career in local and regional journalism, having worked as a reporter, editor and bureau chief in news and features for the Times of Northwest Indiana, the Chicago Tribune and The Daily Southtown. She also has freelanced for numerous local publications. A graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Donna was born in Chicago, later moving to South Holland, Illinois. She has been a Northwest Indiana resident for nearly four decades.

Keith Kirkpatrick

Keith KirkpatrickPresident, KPM Group Inc.

Kirkpatrick has earned recognition as an authority on leadership and entrepreneurship. He is a trusted coach and insightful adviser to many businesses, organizations and community leaders. He recorded almost 300 episodes of “Lakeshore Focus,” which aired on PBS.

Kirkpatrick is founder of the South Shore Leadership Center and served 15 years as president and CEO and master facilitator for Leadership Northwest Indiana in which 1,200 community leaders graduated. He created the Institute for Innovative Leadership at Indiana University Northwest and the Northwest Indiana Entrepreneurship Academy serving as executive director.

Kirkpatrick started his first business at the age of 24. He has been actively involved in the start-up and ownership of 10 businesses in manufacturing, distribution, printing, specialty gifts, importing and human services. He founded 10 nonprofits and worked to transform and grow another 10 organizations.

He is a former faculty fellow at the Indiana University Tobias Leadership Center. His consulting work focuses on coaching, training, facilitation and analysis in the areas of leadership, strategy, business feasibility and organizational development.

Kirkpatrick received his undergraduate degree in political science from Illinois State University and continued his lifelong learning commitment with graduate classes and seminars at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, University of Illinois-Chicago, Northern Illinois University and Ball State University. He was recognized by the U.S. SBA as a Small Business Advocate, as a champion of diversity by Indiana Minority Business Magazine, and for his outstanding work in the development of community leadership in Indiana.

He has been involved with many organizations, including Indiana Leadership Association, NWI World Trade Alliance, Regional Youth Employment Council and Junior Achievement. Keith was on the founding board and inducted into The Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana. He has served on numerous boards, committees and advisories, working on issues of community and economic development. Kirkpatrick also is a devoted Christian leader who serves his church as president of United Methodist Men.

Leigh Morris

Leigh MorrisHealth Care Consultant

Morris began his career in manufacturing after earning his Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University. He transitioned to health care administration after receiving his graduate degree in that field from the University of Minnesota. He was the CEO of hospitals for almost 30 years. Since retiring from that role, he has served as interim CEO for several organizations, including the Legacy Foundation and VNA of Northwest Indiana, and was an adjunct faculty member at Valparaiso University.

After serving as mayor of the city of La Porte, Leigh was deputy commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation for Toll Road Oversight and was senior vice president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. for Northwest Indiana Development. He represented Indiana in the OECD Tri-State Territorial Review of the Chicago Metropolitan Region and was a member of the Mission to Paris where the recommendations from that study were presented.

Morris was chairman of the board of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority from 2008 to 2013, after which he was interim president of the Legacy Foundation and the South Shore Leadership Center. He was named a Sagamore of the Wabash by Gov. Frank O’Bannon in 1999 and received the Governor’s Distinguished Service Medal from Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2013. Morris is a member of the Rotary Club of La Porte and the Paul Harris Society of Rotary International.

Micah Pollak

Micah Pollak — Associate professor of economics in the School of Business & Economics, director of the Center for Economic Education & Research at Indiana University Northwest  

Micah Pollak is an associate professor of economics whose research interests cover a wide range of topics, including data analytics, applied microeconomics, health economics (especially in the context of Covid-19), financial economics, the scholarship of teaching and learning as well as regional economics. He is highly active in the community with his research on the Northwest Indiana economy and serves as the director of the Center for Economic Education & Research, which is responsible for providing training and education on economic issues. He also writes a blog called “The Region Economist.”

Rich Shields

Rich Shields — Chief Marketing Officer, United Way Northwest Indiana

Shields offers a “big picture” vision of marketing and business initiatives. He joined the United Way in March 2023. Prior to that he built the marketing department at Valparaiso-based Chester Inc. from the ground up. Early in his career, he was the director of government marketing at the former Crown ESA, an electrical engineering firm.

He is HubSpot Digital Marketing Certified, and studied business administration at Columbia College Chicago.

Anthony B. Sindone

Anthony Sindone — Clinical Associate Professor of Finance and Economic Development, Purdue University Northwest

Sindone is a clinical associate professor of finance and economic development at Purdue University Northwest. He is the author of an introductory business textbook, “The Business Enterprise: In search of Profits.” He is coordinator of the introduction to business course at Purdue University Northwest. His more than 36 years of experience, as well as his research and consulting interests, include forensic economics, labor markets, workforce development, public policy, housing markets and regional economic development. He serves as an expert witness in assessing economic damages in litigation cases.

He earned a Master of Arts degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame with concentrations in labor economics and public policy. Sindone completed all the necessary course work for a doctorate.

Prior to Purdue, he served on the faculties of Indiana University South Bend and the University of Notre Dame.

He is a member of the Regional Council of Economic Advisors for Northwest Indiana. His opinions on regional economic issues and labor markets are sought often by local news media in Northwest Indiana. He had been an active real estate investor, consultant and income property owner for more than 20 years.

Before pursuing his academic and consulting career, Sindone served in the U.S.A.F and, upon discharge, worked as an avionics technician, inspector and quality engineer for Lockheed Aircraft Service, Ontario, California. He started and grew a technology service company while in graduate school. He was also the owner of a popular restaurant and home furnishings store in La Porte.

Additionally, Sindone served as the president of the La Porte City Redevelopment Commission. He also served on several not-for-profit boards of directors, including as president of Steppingstone Shelter for Women and as president of Smooth Jazz At South Shore Inc. Before his election as president and chairman of SJSS, he served as its operations director. He currently serves on the Regional Development Co. board of directors

Spencer Summers

Spencer Summers —  Economic Development Director, Northwest Indiana Forum

Summers, of Valparaiso, serves at the economic development director at the Northwest Indiana Forum. There he works to attract high quality investment in Northwest Indiana, showcases the Region to many markets in the Unites States and handles all of the Forum's internal and external marketing.

Summers will graduate in December 2023 with a Masters of Business Administration concentrating on information systems from Purdue University Northwest. He completed his undergraduate work in 2022 from Purdue University Northwest with a double major in business management and human resources.

He previously served as the basketball league director for The Courts of Northwest Indiana in Valparaiso from 2019-2022 and has experience coordinating and managing events and tournaments, managing staff, marketing and database management.

Chelsea (Stalling) Whittington

Chelsea (Stalling) Whittington — Owner, C WHITT, a PR consulting firm based in Gary

Chelsea (Stalling) Whittington is a native of Gary, Indiana, and proud graduate of West Side High School (salutatorian), Howard University (bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism, magna cum laude) and Purdue University (Masters of Arts in organizational communications, summa cum laude). 

Her career in public relations and communications spans more than 25 years, having worked for the Peace Corps recruiting office in Arlington, Virginia; the office of Congressman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.); JWA Boys and Girls Club; Lake Area United Way; Horseshoe and Trump casinos; the Gary Community School Corp.; and Johnson Publishing Co., publisher of Ebony and Jet Magazines.

In 2009, Chelsea joined the executive team at U.S. Cellular Corp. as communications manager. There, she managed four of the company’s public relations firms while promoting the brand of the nation’s sixth largest wireless phone company. 

From January 2012 to July 2015, Chelsea served in the administration of Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, the City of Gary’s first female mayor. As director of communications, Chelsea oversaw media relations, crisis communications, special events, branding and marketing. 

In the fall of 2015 to spring 2019, Chelsea was employed by the Chicago Urban League where she served as director of external affairs and special events. She continues to serve as an adjunct professor at Indiana University Northwest teaching courses in communications, social networking and special event planning. 

Since 2015, Chelsea has operated her own PR Consulting firm, C WHITT, where she develops public relations and social media strategies for clients as well as presents workshops and training on social media and public speaking. In spring 2019, she made the big leap into full-time entrepreneurship while expanding her clientele to service small businesses, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies.

Jason Williams

Jason Williams — Managing Director, The Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest

Connector. Marketer. Innovator. Explorer. Williams is a can opener for innovation who is passionate about connecting people to people and people to ideas. Williams is assistant director of The Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest, an organization dedicated to driving community and economic growth in Northwest Indiana through innovation and entrepreneurship. He is also the founder and owner of Spycomps, a business intelligence company focused on the retail industry, and provides innovation and marketing services through his brand Jawbrain.

Prior to these roles, Williams was executive director of Centric from 2016-2019 where he led the organization's efforts to connect, educate and celebrate Indiana's problem solvers. Before Centric, he spent more than a decade as the U.S. marketing director for Israel-based Keter Plastic, the world’s largest manufacturer of resin-based household and garden consumer products, working directly with some of the largest retailers in the world. A graduate of Butler University, Williams is extremely active in Indiana’s innovation and entrepreneurship communities.

Linda Woloshansky

Linda WoloshanskyPresident and CEO, Center of Workforce Innovations (retired) 

Woloshansky retired as the president and CEO of the Center of Workforce Innovations Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to developing and implementing workforce solutions. She has been the CEO and president of three workforce and education organizations, provided testimony to the U.S. Congress on workforce issues, and has made presentations and lectured across the country on workforce, education and economic development issues.

She serves on numerous local, state, Midwest and national boards, recently elected treasurer of the Midwest Urban Strategies, a consortium consisting of membership of workforce boards and workforce organizations in 10 states. She has received many service awards, including a Paul Harris Fellow and an honorary degree from Ivy Tech College. She also is a Sagamore of the Wabash and 2022 lifetime achievement honoree of the ISBCD's E-Day awards.

Woloshansky is a graduate of Indiana University, is a certified DeBono Six Hats Trainer, is a certified consultant from Ball State University and has a certificate in negotiations from Harvard University.

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