President and CEO Michael E. Schrage of Centier Bank announced the appointment of Anthony R. Contrucci as vice president of community and business development. Contrucci, a member of the fifth generation of Schrage family management and leadership, will work closely with Lake and Porter County communities to integrate and align philanthropy, financial wellness, and Community Reinvestment Act initiatives. As a seasoned banker, Contrucci is coordinating strategic marketing initiatives to assist businesses and communities further by unlocking financial needs, goals, and objectives, and facilitating introductions with other key personnel to provide financial solutions in Northwest Indiana. Contrucci joined Centier Bank in 2011. Since then, he has worked as director of investment services and as a strategic products consultant. In addition, he has shared his passion for financial literacy by developing and hosting “Money$ense,” a public television series designed to educate the public on personal financial issues and financial wellness. The series, produced by Lakeshore Public Media and the Plan Sponsor Council of America, was a pivotal role for Contrucci as a financial literacy ambassador and public figure, and introduced him to the mass outreach potential for financial wellness and Centier Bank. Contrucci, whose office is located at Centier’s corporate headquarters in Merrillville, is also a very active member of the community, volunteering to support numerous charitable events and walks throughout the year. He currently serves as a capital campaign cabinet member for the Boys & Girls Club of Porter County.
MonoSol, LLC, the Merrillville-based water soluble film division of Kuraray, has promoted Christian Herrmanns to serve as senior vice president of marketing and sales. He will report to P. Scott Bening, MonoSol’s president and CEO, and will lead the company’s global marketing and sales initiatives for water-soluble film technologies. Previously he worked in several global market categories and supported several regions at The Dow Chemical Company.
Calumet College of St. JosephAmy McCormackCormack was selected from among a pool of more than 80 applicants. Currently serving as the senior vice president for finance and administration at Dominican University—a Catholic, Hispanic-serving institution in River Forest, Illinois—McCormack manages the university’s budget and endowment and also oversees facilities, security, risk management, human resources, and auxiliary operations. She is a key member of Dominican University’s strategic planning committee and has also chaired the University’s master planning process and the enrollment resources task force. In addition to her administrative work, she has taught accounting and auditing courses at Dominican University. In 2015 McCormack was a Fulbright Scholar and serves on the Development Board for Comer Children’s Hospital and the Board of Directors for the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park … Valparaiso University announced the appointment of Karen Allen, RN, Ph.D., FAAN, who will join its faculty as dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions, effective July 3, 2017. Most recently, Allen served as professor of nursing at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. In her role as dean, Allen will be responsible for the strategic leadership, coordination and guidance of the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Allen holds a Ph.D. in nursing sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as a master’s in nursing administration and a bachelor’s in nursing from Andrews University. She has also been inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing … Purdue University Northwest (PNW) has appointed two veteran administrators as collegiate deans. Kenneth (Chris) Holford has been named dean of PNW’s College of Engineering and Sciences. He is a longtime Purdue University North Central administrator and recently was interim dean of the college. Elaine Carey, chair of the Department of History at St. John’s University, in New York City, will assume responsibilities as dean of PNW’s College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences July 1. Carey will bring more than 25 years of higher education experience as an administrator, professor of history and researcher to her new role as head of PNW’s largest academic college … Tara Sullivan has recently been appointed as executive director of Academic Success and Transition at Purdue University Northwest. Sullivan comes to PNW with 15 years of leadership experience in higher education and most recently served as assistant dean of students at Northwestern University. In her new role, Sullivan will direct the operations of the Academic Center for Excellence and Student Academic Support while working closely with academic advisors, athletics, and several other groups on campus. She will have a key role in enhancing academic advising, supplemental instruction, tutoring and other initiatives that will enhance PNW student success. Sullivan holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and a master’s degree and Ph.D from the University of Michigan … PNW Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Adam Rengstorf has assumed additional responsibilities as director of the Northwest Indiana Robotic Observatory (NIRo). As appointed head of the optical astronomy research facility, Rengstorf oversees all aspects of the observatory, management and maintenance of its NIRo Telescope and support facilities, and administration of research and education programs at the observatory. The NIRo Telescope is housed at the Calumet Astronomy Center located at Buckley Homestead County Park in Lowell. Rengstorf played a key role in the former Purdue University Calumet’s acquisition of a $150,000 National Science Foundation grant that helped bring the high-powered telescope to Northwest Indiana in 2008.
The Lake County Council hired Stephen E. Scheele as a new magistrate judge for Lake Circuit Court. Scheele will assist the Circuit Court judge Marissa McDermott in presiding over hearings and recommending decisions for the judge to issue in the court’s name. Scheele, who has served for a decade as a Lake Criminal Court public defender, replaces former Magistrate Michael Sarafin … Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer appointed First Ward City Councilman Richard Murphy as the city controller. Murphy studied Business and Economics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He began his financial career working several years for AON Hewitt, Lincolnshire, Illinois, an international financial consulting firm. During his tenure there, Murphy was a regional manager where he built and managed 401(k) plans for several Fortune 500 companies. Murphy was elected as First Ward Councilman in 2007 and re-elected in 2011 serving two terms on the Michigan City Common Council. As a member of the finance committee, Murphy was responsible for recommending changes and approvals to the city’s annual budget. He is currently Mayor Meer’s appointment to the Northern Indiana Regional Planning Council (NIRPC), a 53-member council of governments that manages regional transportation and economic development issues … The National Park Service (NPS) has named Dan Plath as its chief of resource management at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. He previously served as a principal in the environmental department for NiSource. Plath succeeds Robert Daum, who retired from the position last November. Prior to joining NiSource, Plath spent 10 years with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and is also the founder and president of the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association. He led the effort to designate a portion of the Lake Michigan Water Trail as a National Recreation Trail. Plath also spearheaded an effort that led to the creation of the Kankakee River National Water Trail … The NPS announced the promotion of MaryEllen “Mel” Whitenack as the fire management officer at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Whitenack has been at Indiana Dunes since 2001 and served as the Assistant Fire Management Officer since 2008. A 20-year career veteran with the NPS, Whitenack has been a part of fire programs at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and Grand Teton National Park. Her duties at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore have included managing fire programs at Sleeping Bear Dunes and the Lincoln Boyhood National Monument. She has helped parks use prescribed burns as a management tool across the country. She has also represented the NPS on the ground for disaster relief and wildfires from Florida to Alaska.
Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana Chief Executive Officer Donald P. Fesko announces the appointment of Leo Correa, M.B.A., to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago. St. Catherine Hospital is a member of the Community Healthcare System, along with Community Hospital in Munster and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart. Correa succeeds Jo Ann Birdzell, who served as CEO for the past 19 years. Correa brings extensive healthcare experience to his new role, including leadership at several university medical centers and most recently serving as Associate Vice President of Clinical Affairs at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Correa earned his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in health services from Keller Graduate School of Management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois, Chicago. He has more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare field with a background that includes positions in financial planning and analysis, operational leadership and research administration. During this tenure, Correa has held various executive leadership positions at the University of Chicago Medicine, Northwestern University and Rush University Medical Center … St. Mary Medical Center recently welcomed two new general practitioners, Dr. Joseph DeJoan and Dr. Eduardo Fletes, to their Community Care Network Inc., which is the physician and health professional group affiliated with St. Mary Medical Center and Community Healthcare System hospitals. DeJoan is board certified in internal medicine, completed his residency at Indiana University School of Medicine and received his medical degree from Rush Medical College. Fletes is board certified in internal medicine, and completed his residency at Indiana University School of Medicine where he also received his medical degree … Joining the physicians of Porter County Primary Care in Valparaiso is Dr. Malek Maatouk, board certified in internal medicine. He completed his residency at McLaren Regional Medical Center and received his medical degree from Ross University. Maatouk’s office is located at the Valparaiso Health Center of St. Mary Medical Center … Franciscan Health’s Northern Indiana hospitals have welcomed Dr. Dennis Prohaska, a vascular and interventional radiologist. Prohaska specializes in minimally invasive procedures done mostly with a needle, which allows for more rapid recovery and healing than traditional procedures. He is an independent physician who chooses to practice with Franciscan Health. Prohaska received his Doctor of Medicine in Osteopathic Medicine/Osteopathy from Midwestern University and a Masters in Physician Assistant from Marquette University … 400 North Medical Center has welcomed board-certified family nurse practitioners, Tracy Novak and Rae-Londa Woodard, to the practice of Dr. Minesh Patel. Novak graduated from the Chamberlain College of Nursing in Downers Grove and holds a certification in family medicine. Woodard is a graduate of Valparaiso University College of Nursing and also has a certification in family medicine … NorthShore Health Center announced the appointment of Dr. Miljan Stankovic, who is practicing at the Portage-Scottsdale and Chesterton locations. Before moving to the United States in 1994 during the Yugoslav Wars, Stankovic began his medical career at the University of Belgrade School of Medicine where he studied obstetrics and gynecology. Completing his residency at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in Brooklyn, Stankovic practiced medicine in New York. Stankovic has worked in both surgical and in-office settings covering areas of family planning, contraception and pregnancy, as well as more advanced areas like managing abnormal bleeding, endocrine problems related to female reproduction, diabetes, infertility and uterine cancer.
Law firm Kopka Pinkus Dolin P.C., in Crown Point, has welcomed Joseph C. Svetanoff as a senior attorney. He is licensed to practice law in both Indiana and Illinois, as well as five U.S. District Courts and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit. His primary areas of practice include municipal/local government, real estate, business and commercial transactions, estate planning/probate, criminal law, and employment law … The Northwest Indiana Business Roundtable recently honored William Satterlee, formerly of Hoeppner Wagner & Evans LLP, with special recognition for his decades of service to the organization. Satterlee was a practicing attorney for nearly 50 years in Northwest Indiana and joined the business roundtable at its founding and served as its counsel for many years.
The Lubeznik Center for the Arts (LCA) named longtime Director of Education Janet Bloch as its new executive director. Bloch, who has worked at Lubeznik since 2009, replaces outgoing Director Erika Hanner. The Center also recently announced the appointment of Hannah Hammond-Hagman, who replaces Janet Bloch, as the director of education. Hammond-Hagman comes to the Center with 20 years in arts education and cultural nonprofits where she has had the privilege of working with students from kindergarten to college age in the classroom and out in the community.
Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter recently announced the promotion of Lieutenant David Kirkham to the rank of Captain. In his new assignment, Kirkham will serve as the Area I Commander for the Indiana State Police. Area I consists of Indiana State Police posts at Lowell, Lafayette, and Peru. Kirkham, a 23-year veteran of the department, served 11 years as the lieutenant of Area I Field Investigations … The Valparaiso Police Department has appointed three new police officers, Thomas Zega, Eric Jezierski and Benjamin Teufel. Zega is a graduate of Lake Central High School and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University; Jezierski is a graduate of Hanover Central High School, holds an associate’s degree in Science of Criminal Justice from Ivy Tech Community College, and previously was employed by the Starke County Jail; and Teufel is a graduate of Metamora Township High School (Illinois) and currently an Enforcement Specialist in the Coast Guard Reserve.
Midwest Training and Ice Center, of Dyer, has hired Rachael Tripp as their new recreational manager. She will also aid in the center’s marketing and advertising department. She has 21-plus years of experience in coaching and managing recreational gymnastics. She is also currently the assistant coach for the Lake Central High School gymnastics team.
Speros A. Batistatos, president/CEO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, was selected and will serve his first term as an at-large director with the U.S. Travel Association Officers and At-Large Directors for 2017-19. Batistatos was one of 19 board members voted in and brings three decades of industry experience, ranging from convention and visitors bureaus to attractions. The U.S. Travel Association is the national, not-for-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 15.1 million American jobs.
Healthcare partners commit to creating local medical residency program with IUSM-Northwest
Leaders from nine Northwest Indiana health care institutions recently signed a formal letter of intent with the Indiana University School of Medicine-Northwest-Gary (IUSM-NW-G) to create the Northwest Indiana Graduate Medical Education Consortium. The agreement represents a promise from leading health care providers in the region to create and apply for residency positions in their organizations. Also, the consortium can apply for newly created state startup funding for those positions, a milestone that IUSM-NW-G Associate Dean and Director Patrick Bankston, Ph.D., expects to see happen sometime this spring. Residency training for future doctors based at local hospitals, community health centers and mental health agencies will be a first for Northwest Indiana, Bankston says. Partners with IUSM-NW-G in the consortium include the Community Healthcare System; Methodist Hospitals; Porter Health Care System; and La Porte Hospital; as well as federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and mental health centers, including Community HealthNet Health Centers, HealthLinc, Regional Mental Health Center; Porter-Starke Services, and Edgewater Systems.
Burns Harbor receives AIST 2017 Project Excellence Award
ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor employees were recently recognized by the Association for Iron and Steel Technology with the 2017 Project Excellence Award for the No. 4 ore stacker/reclaimer replacement project. The award recognizes the critical importance of applying best practices and processes to the science of project management, and at the same time, recognizes projects that drive positive results. Entries are evaluated in the areas of business success, safety program and performance, technical success and project management systems. Accepting the award on behalf of Burns Harbor were about a dozen employees from raw materials and iron producing maintenance, operations, management and engineering.
Centier Bank Named “Lender of the Year” for Community Business Lending
At the recent annual Winner’s Circle Awards ceremony, Premier Capital named Centier Bank as “Lender of the Year” for its efforts in community business lending. Centier closed the highest dollar volume in the 2016 fiscal year, totaling $14.7 million. Additionally, Dan Peter, Vice President of Business Banking, was named “Champion of the Year” for his work in the Greater Lafayette area and throughout the state. As the area’s leading bank in commercial real estate lending, Centier offers the SBA 504 Loan program as an instrument to help local communities grow and develop economically. The program provides small companies with long-term fixed-rate financing for expansion, modernization, and for land and large equipment purchases.
Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handled 2.6 million tons in 2016
The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor reported it handled nearly 2.6 million tons of cargo in 2016, completing the highest three-year total in the port’s history. Over 8.6 million tons have been handled at the port since 2014. Other 2016 highlights included a major expansion by Ratner Steel, a significant increase in heavy-lift cargoes and the investment of $2.5 million in port infrastructure improvements. The 2016 shipping total was the port’s third highest tonnage in the last 10 years. Major cargoes included steel, limestone, carbon products, grain and iron ore. Grain shipments were up 57 percent from 2015 levels while coal was up 11 percent. Mineral and oil shipments increased 19 percent.
Franciscan Health Opens New Women’s Center, Infusion Center
Franciscan Health recently dedicated its new Women’s Center in Chesterton at the Franciscan Emergency Center, which houses the new center. This event also marked the opening of a new Infusion Center and Franciscan Physician Network offices at the same location. The Women’s Center’s services include the latest mammography screening equipment, breast ultrasound and bone mineral density testing. The Infusion Center offers patients an inviting space filled with natural light and private treatment areas that include televisions, Wi-Fi, ergonomic infusion chairs and state-of-the-art infusion equipment.
Around the Region Submissions
Send your press releases or announcements to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Around the Region. For staff related announcements please attach a headshot photo.