Noteworthy News Bits from Around the Region
by Michelle M. Searer
Donald J. Rapley, president and general manager of Ozinga’s Indiana region, has been named the president of the Indiana Ready Mixed Concrete Association (IRMCA). The non-profit organization is dedicated to expanding the use of ready mix concrete via education, training, promotion and advocacy … Jim Staton, Northwest Indiana’s regional director of business recruitment for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), has been named one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers by Michigan-based Consultant Connect … Sue Reed, president and CEO of the Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce, has graduated from the Institute for Organization Management, the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Graduation signifies she has completed 96 hours of course instruction in nonprofit management.
The Ross Group recently hired Ashley Pritchard as an administrative assistant in the organization’s accounting and project management venture groups. Jeff Beal has been hired as the company’s new structural steel ironworker general foreman, with responsibilities such as steel erection, renovation and repair. The Ross Group is a design-build service firm that specializes in industrial, commercial, and institutional markets throughout Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland … CORE Construction has hired Tom Bainbridge as a business development associate to build awareness about CORE’s construction management services and develop relationships within the education sector. He has 35 years of experience in business development and associated fields. Rosa Rozek has been hired as director of marketing. An accomplished professional marketer with a diverse background in construction, historic preservation and business management, she will oversee all marketing efforts for CORE Indiana. Both will be based in the CORE’s Schererville office … Skillman Corporation has promoted Brandon Wolf to site manager at its Merrillville office. He has five years of experience with Skillman and more than 10 years of experience in the construction industry. Currently, he is responsible for construction of the new Akron Elementary for Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation. Skillman Corporation has also welcomed Jason Alexander to their Merrillville office as a project engineer. He will be working with Tippecanoe Valley Schools, Tri-Creek Schools, School Town of Highland, and the City of East Chicago. He has 10 years of construction and accounting experience and is a member of Carpenter’s Local Union 1005.
Sue Ellspermann has been appointed by Ivy Tech Community College to serve as its next president. She previously served as Indiana’s lieutenant governor. Ellspermann was the founding director of the Center of Applied Research and Economic Development at the University of Southern Indiana … Beth Terrell will join Saint Joseph’s College on July 1, 2016 as the vice president of enrollment management. Terrell is currently the vice president of enrollment services at Holy Family University, a four-year Roman Catholic liberal arts university in Philadelphia … Ralph Mueller has been appointed vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost at Purdue University Northwest. He is currently dean of the University of Hartford’s College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions. The following faculty members were promoted to full professor positions: Michael Connolly, of Porter, to professor of History; Deepa Majumdar, of Valparaiso, to professor of Philosophy; Vanessa Quinn, of Battleground, to professor of Biology; Jonathan Swarts, of South Bend, to professor of Political Science; and Raida Abuizam, of Schererville, to professor of Operations Management, Meden Isaac-Lam, associate professor of Chemistry; Assen Kokalov, associate professor of Spanish; Jessica Thomas, associate professor of Chemistry; Constantin Apostoaia, associate professor of Electrical Engineering; Brenda Turgeon, associate professor of Elementary Science; Su Jeong Wee, associate professor of Human Development & Family Studies/Early Childhood … These are effective for the start of the 2016-2017 academic year in August … Indiana University Northwest Assistant Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs Kalim Shah has been invited to give a series of guest lectures at the George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center (NFATC) in Washington D.C. He will talk on how climate change impacts the poor and also address possible links between climate change and the Zika virus … Dijana Bojadziska, senior admissions counselor for the American Business Corporation, won an award for Best Overall Performance for meeting 100 percent of her yearly goals to recruit, assess and enroll students at Job Corps centers and Melissa Oduwole, a career transition specialist, won a first place award for weekly earnings attained by students she had placed in jobs.
Butler, Fairman & Seufert Inc. has hired Reggie Korthals as stormwater specialist on the firm’s water resource team. She was formerly a senior environmental manager in the Office of Water Quality at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Locally BF&S has offices in Merrillville.
Teri Savola was promoted to client service supervisor at First Financial Bank Crown Point Banking Center at U.S. 231 & Broadway … Brock Lloyd and Jamie Smith, financial advisors for Edward Jones Valparaiso office, were among 150 Edward Jones branch teams nationwide that demonstrated the most significant 12-month growth in meeting investors’ financial needs. They were invited to the three-day Strive Top 150 conference for hitting the benchmark. Karen Vogelsang has been named Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network’s senior financial advisor in Valparaiso for the third year in a row. Managing Director-Investments James Percifield and Financial Advisor Kristin Jackson, both of the Chesterton office, have been designated as members of the firm’s Premier Advisors Program. The distinction reflects achievement in meeting or exceeding Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network’s high standards … Ameriprise Financial Private Wealth Advisor Linda G. Stover has earned membership in the company’s Diamond Ring Club, which recognizes years of consistently high performance with an exceptional commitment to superior client service. She works at the Ameriprise Valparaiso office. Less than seven percent of Ameriprise advisors have earned the Diamond Ring distinction.
Community Hospital in Munster has appointed Luis F. Molina to the position of CEO, effective July 1. Molina will replace Don Fesko, who will take over as CEO of Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana. Fesko is replacing John Gorski, who will be retiring in July. Molina has served as the chief financial officer at the hospital in Munster since 2007 and has been the administrator of Community Care Network Inc., (CCNI) since 2013. He has also held other leadership roles within Community Healthcare System. Daniel R. O’Brien will join Community Hospital as chief financial officer. Since 2002, he has held various executive level positions with Academic Medical Center Connection, formerly known as University Health System Consortium, Chicago. He served there as a member of the senior executive team responsible for strategic direction and operations. Physician Alan Kumar has accepted the position of administrator of CCNI, filling Molina’s position. Kumar will oversee the operations of the employed physician practices of Community Healthcare System. Kumar will also assume responsibilities as the chief medical officer for the system. Since 2014, Kumar has served as chief medical information officer. Neurologist Mahmood Alnahass, MD, is the newest member of CCNI. Alnahass has served Northwest Indiana patients for more than 14 years. He is board certified in clinical neurophysiology … Integrated Therapy Practice PC has welcomed award-winning Physical Therapist Tracy Campbell to their practice. She has 15 years’ experience in the field and won an Emerging Leader Award in 2009 from the Indiana chapter of the APTA. She specializes in women’s health … Methodist Hospitals recognized Emily Nieto as their Employee of the Year, Rev. Dr. David Neville as Leader of the Year, Lisa Montagano as Humanitarian of the Year, and Jacqueline Cooper as Safety Star of the Year at their annual Service Awards Banquet … Porter Health Care System has appointed Kristen Weinman as director of inpatient rehabilitation at Portage Hospital. A native of Northwest Indiana, Kristen began working for Porter in 2004 and played a role in the opening of the inpatient rehabilitation unit in 2008. She holds a bachelor’s in behavioral sciences from Purdue University Calumet and a master’s in social work from Indiana University Northwest. Janelle Miller has been appointed as the manager of the Medical Surgical Department. She has been interim manager since August 2015 and has experience as evening house supervisor and as a charge nurse in the intensive care unit. Miller received her associate degree in Nursing from Vincennes University and is pursuing her bachelor’s. Linda Steinhilber, RN, has been named director of the medical surgical departments. A native of Northwest Indiana, she comes to Porter with more than 18 years in nursing leadership in Northwest Indiana and Texas … Methodist Hospitals has named Dr. Vincent Sevier vice president and chief quality officer. He comes to Methodist from OSF St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, Ill., where he served as vice chief and associate medical director in charge of improving the patient experience and quality of care in the emergency department. Dr. Sevier holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis, a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine and an MBA from the University of Tennessee. Drs. Raphael Albert and Isidora Nantes, Family Practice Physicians, have joined the Methodist Physician Group (MPG) Network effective June 2016. Both physicians were formerly part of Porter Physician Group, a division of Porter Health Care System, and the United States Steel (USS) Family Medical Center prior to Porter Health System’s purchasing the clinic in December of 2014 … Michael Drazer, MD, of Hebron, has received a prestigious Damon Runyon cancer research award. He is a fellow working at the University of Chicago in Hematology/Oncology. The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation provides scientists with funding to pursue innovative research. Twelve scientists supported by the Foundation have received the Nobel Prize … St. Mary Medical Center has recognized Dee Bedella, of Hobart, with its STAR Employee of the Year award. Bedella, the hospital’s patient advocate, was recognized for her commitment to improving the patient experience, her compassionate attitude and her empathy for patients and their families … Jim and Michelle Alex received the 2016 Franchisee of the Year award from FirstLight Home Care. FirstLight caregivers provide personal and companion care services to seniors and others in Northwest Indiana. Their Valparaiso franchise was selected for the award from among 110 FirstLight locations and was one of only three offices nationwide to receive the honor … Dr. Kedar Kakodkar has opened the Allergy Testing & Treatment Center in the professional office building of St. Catherine Hospital, East Chicago. He is a fellowship-trained adult and pediatric ear, nose and throat doctor, offering expertise in many facets of allergy treatment.
Veteran Trial Lawyer Daniel Vinovich is returning to the region to practice law in the new Crown Point office of the Hilbrich Law Firm. Vinovich, who grew up in Crown Point and still lives there, represents victims of medical malpractice, wrongful death and personal injury. He has practiced at the Hilbrich Law Firm for 25 years, which also has offices in Highland and Portage … Reminger Co. LPA welcomes attorney Scott Friedman to its Crown Point office. Friedman focuses on medical malpractice, general tort liability, trucking litigation, and professional liability. Friedman previously served as a military prosecutor in Fort Hood, Texas, and as a civil litigator in the Army’s Environmental Law Division in Fort Belvoir, Va. Additionally, in 2011, Scott deployed to Iraq where he worked to ensure that insurgents captured by U.S. forces were prosecuted in Iraqi courts … Robert A. Langer has joined Langer & Langer law firm, in Valparaiso, where he will focus his practice on car-and-truck crash personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death. Langer received a doctorate in law from University of Kansas School of Law in 2015 and his Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University in 2012.
Taltree Arboretum & Gardens has hired Gina Bell as director of events and sponsorships. Bell will coordinate 50-plus events hosted at Taltree in 2016 as well as strengthen and develop sponsorships to support the non-profit’s mission … HealthLinc has appointed Nancy Kirk as chief human resources officer. She is responsible for developing and executing human resources strategy in support of the business plan and strategic direction of HealthLinc, which expands access to health care through six community health centers … Heather Ennis, president and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum, was named to the board of directors of the Indiana Economic Development Association. The association is the voice of economic development for Indiana, made up of economic developers, utilities, financial institutions, engineers, architects and others.
VIA Marketing has hired Ryan Olson as their web developer. Olson is a Portage resident, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University in 2011. Ryan comes to VIA with extensive experience in programming and innovative web design. VIA Marketing provides online and offline marketing solutions for clients.
Jeff Bennett, of McColly Bennett Commercial, recently served as a moderator during the commercial real estate general session of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World(R) Performance SUMMIT, which took place in Miami Beach … RE/MAX Pace Realty agents JoEllen Catlow, Minakshi Ghuman, Cathy Hicks and Jim Powell received 100 percent Club Awards for earning $100,000 to $249,999 in commissions at the recent annual Indiana Re/Max Awards Ceremony in Valparaiso … Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has appointed Rose Dobbins as the new managing broker of the Porter County office. She is a former president of the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors and was previously responsible for developing and mentoring over 200 sales agents … Residential mortgage lender Ruoff Home Mortgage has hired Cindy Jansky as vice president and branch manager at their Crown Point office. Jansky was most recently at Caliber Home Loans. She has been in the mortgage industry for nearly 31 years and is board president at the Schererville Chamber of Commerce … Re/Max broker-owner Roger Pace and the Matt Evans team received the Platinum Club Award for $250,000 to $500,000 in closed sales at the annual Indiana Re/Max Awards Ceremony, held March 23 at Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso. Re/Max Pace Realty has offices in Crown Point and Valparaiso, which encompass six counties in the Northwest Indiana/Chicago area.
Cherie Myers has joined RSA, a local software company, as vice president of client services. Myers will bring her experience serving a wide variety of clients to the firm, which provides project management, keyword marketing and survey technology.
Estes Express Lines has named Marc Brajkovich terminal manager at its new 60-door terminal in Markham. The Markham terminal replaces the smaller Oswego terminal.
TRAVEL, TOURISM & HOSPITALITY
The board of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority has offered President and CEO Speros Batistatos a new five and a half year contract. He has been with the organization for 27 years and served in his current role for the past 22 years.
Indiana American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, honored field service representative Charles Kelley for reaching 60 years of service with the company, making him its longest-tenured employee. Indiana American Water President Deron Allen praised Kelley, who continues on the job at age 79, for his work ethic and enthusiasm.
Crew Carwash opening new state-of-the art facility in Merrillville
Crew Carwash, a long-standing Central Indiana carwash establishment, is set to break ground on its 29th location, bringing its advanced technology and award-winning customer service to residents of Merrillville. Scheduled to open this fall, the new facility is located at 501 W. 81st Ave. and will be the company’s first location in Northwest Indiana. Featuring several new high-tech amenities, the state-of-the-art $4 million facility will provide customers with a more robust car cleaning experience, and self-service dual hose vacuums will be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Merrillville location will also include new LED lighting inside and outside the carwash, advanced soap and detergent delivering technology and an environmentally conscious water reclamation system that cleans and reuses water during certain parts of the washing process.
First Midwest to buy Standard Bank and Trust for $365 million
First Midwest Bancorp has announced the purchase of Standard Bank and Trust Co. for $365 million in a stock deal. Hickory Hills, Ill.-based Standard Bank and Trust Co. has locations in Hammond, Highland, Chesterton, Calumet City, East Chicago, St. John, Merrillville, Lowell and Frankfort. It has $2.5 billion in assets, $2.2 billion in deposits and $1.8 billion in loans. The deal is expected to close late this year, or early in 2017.
New assisted living facility to open in Merrillville
Belvedere Senior Housing, an assisted living community, will begin construction on a three-story, 107,000-square-foot apartment complex that will serve seniors of all incomes located in Merrillville. Designed by Gleason Architects PC, the building will be constructed by Alston Construction. The Merrillville Town Council approved an ordinance to issue $19 million in economic development revenue bonds to help finance the project in January from bond payments and not taxpayer dollars. It is expected to open by fall 2017.
Methodist Hospitals to open immediate care facility in Crown Point
Gary-based Methodist Hospitals is set to open an immediate care facility Tuesday in Crown Point. Methodist CareFirst, which is located on the campus of the Crown Point Sportsplex, is one of three planned immediate care centers for the health system.
Transpoint Intermodal next hub slated for Valparaiso
Transpoint Intermodal LLC announces its second planned Indiana cargo transfer hub for Valparaiso will be nearly as large as the project in Fort Wayne. The facilities are the first in the U.S. for the Mexican company and could eventually employ more than 100 in Allen and Porter counties. Transpoint is planning to invest $13.5 million into the Fort Wayne hub, and a company official tells Inside INdiana Business that the Valpo facility will cost about 80 percent of that.