Professional advancement • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine

Professional advancement

Businesses, organizations share latest news about new hires, promotions, accolades


CPAs Gretchen Kalk-Castro and Kylee Fraze Norman were made partners at Northwest Indiana-based CLH, CPAs & Consultants. Kalk-Castro has worked for CLH for 23 years and started as an intern. Fraze Norman joined the company in 2015.


Kristine Clark, a mortgage loan specialist at Purdue Federal Credit Union, was named the Northwest Indiana Realtor Association’s Affiliate of the Year. She works at the Crown Point and La Porte branches.

Joe Wicklander joined Old National Bank as senior director of the bank’s new Financial Institutions Group in Chicago. Joe Kiser, a 13-year Old National team member, was named president of the Old National Bank Foundation.

Merrillville-based Centier Bank promoted Anthony Jones to officer of the bank. Jones is manager of the bank’s Hammond downtown branch, 5433 Hohman Ave. He joined the bank in 2021 and has 15 years of banking experience. Chimere Griggs was promoted to branch manager of the Hammond Strack and Van Til in-store branch. She joined Centier in 2014. Scott Vermillion was named the regional sales manager overseeing the bank’s Michiana and Fort Wayne markets. Brian Wujcik was appointed manager of the South Bend West Branch, 2850 W. Cleveland Road.

John Wilkening joined Crown Point-based Tech Credit Union as senior vice president and chief banking officer.

Michigan City-based Horizon Bank promoted Tammy Kerr to senior vice president, director of treasury management. Kerr joined Horizon Bank in 2016 and helped lead its Michigan and Northwest Indiana treasury management teams.


Hammond-based Korellis, an exterior building envelope contractor, appointed Thomas Shanahan to its board of directors. He served the National Roofing Contractors Association from 1989 to 2022 as its vice president of enterprise risk management and executive education. Shanahan was appointed to OSHA’s Advisory Council on Construction Safety and Health as a management representative by the U.S. secretary of labor. Ronnie Strain is the new director of operations, and longtime employees Phil Junge became director of sales, and John Zamojski promoted to quality and training manager.

Louisville, Kentucky-based Louisville Tile, which has a South Bend location, promoted CFO Walter Newell to CEO.

Economic development

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. hired Jonathan Laramy, founder of Stealth Mode Solutions, to build Indiana’s brand in the Great Lakes region.

The Michigan City Chamber of Commerce named Johnny Roder as the Ambassador of the Quarter for the third quarter of 2023. Roder is an account executive for Duneland Media.

Julia Plumb, the business adviser for Northwest Indiana’s Small Business Development Center, was named America’s SBDC State Star for Indiana.

Former Fortune 100 executive Vanessa Green Sinders will be the Indiana Chamber’s next president and CEO. She will replace longtime leader Kevin Brinegar, who will retire in early January.

Liliana Franco is the new operations director at Economic Development Corp. Michigan City.


Ivy Tech Community College named Marcos Rodriquez Jr. its new Lake County chancellor. Rodriquez served as the interim chancellor since July. Kathryn Lash is the new vice president for K-14 and strategic initiatives. She most recently served as executive director for East Central Educational Service Center in Connersville.

The Rev. John Jenkins will step down as president of the University of Notre Dame at the end of the 2023-24 academic year to return to teaching and ministry. Jenkins, the university’s 17th president, has served in the role since 2005. John Veihmeyer, retired chairman of KPMG International, was elected chair of Notre Dame’s board of trustees, effective June 2024. Pedro Ribeiro, senior vice president for communications and public affairs at the Association of American Universities, was appointed vice president for public affairs and communications. Debra Johns was named assistant vice president for undergraduate.

Symphony Raudry joined the team at Indiana University Northwest as a lecturer in business and coordinator of graduate programs. Accountant Diane Chabes is the new clinical assistant professor of accounting and finance. Christina Parsons joined the advising team. Amy Diaz, chief of staff in the office of the chancellor, was selected by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities as a fellow for the fifth cohort of its Leadership Academy/La Academia de Liderazgo. Crystal Shannon, associate professor of nursing, was named dean of the College of Health and Human Services.

Teresa Bals-Elsholz, professor of meteorology and chair of the Valparaiso University meteorology department, was recognized by the American Meteorological Association with the 2024 Edward N. Lorenz Teaching Excellence Award. Jennifer Prough was appointed dean of Christ College — The Honors College.

The STARTedUP Foundation recently announced the 2024 cohort of the Indiana Innovation Educator Fellowship: Dawn Combis — Lake Central High School; Anne Dines — Merrillville High School; Debera Hinchy — Lowell High School; Krissy LaFlech — Munster High School; Brian Niksch — Valparaiso High School; and Daniel Schultz — Hobart High School.


Performance Plus recently welcomed Michelle Kornelik as corporate controller of the cleaning and janitorial services company that has locations in Gary, South Bend, Michigan City and Indianapolis.


The John Mutz Philanthropic Leadership Institute in Indianapolis recognized South Bend native Tina Patton as a distinguished member of its 2023 graduating class. Patton is vice president and director of nonprofit and foundation engagement at Mishawaka-based Indiana Trust Wealth Management.


The Indiana Chamber of Commerce honored U.S. Sen. Todd Young with the 2023 Birch Bayh-Richard Lugar Government Leader of the Year award.

Former State Sen. Michael Griffin will serve as Merrillville’s town manager until a search for the permanent position is complete.

Gov. Eric Holcomb made several appointments: Troy Weirick of Elkhart, a physician with Beacon Health System, to the executive board of the Indiana Department of Health until Dec. 31, 2027; Mike Daigle of South Bend, CEO and executive director of the St. Joseph County Airport Authority, to the Judicial Nominating Commission for the St. Joseph Superior Court until June 30, 2025; Santiago Schnell of South Bend, the William K. Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame, to the Rare Disease Advisory Council until Sept. 30, 2026; Scott Thomas of South Bend, chief of trauma services for Beacon Health System and medical director of trauma services at Memorial Hospital of South Bend, to the Trauma Care Commission until Sept. 30, 2025.

Health care

Cardiologist Roland Njei joined the Franciscan Physician Network cardiology location in Munster. Ebony Thomas received the Franciscan Health Michigan City 2023 Maria Petti Memorial Scholarship. Family medicine nurse practitioner Katheryn White joined the staff at the Lowell Health Center. Franciscan Health Dyer and Franciscan Health Munster Chief Financial Officer Pamela Ott was elected vice chair of the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s board of examiners for 2023-2024. Dr. Robert Korsch, a urological surgeon based in Michigan City, was named a Center of Excellence physician by Boston Scientific. Pediatrician Emily Switzer joined the family medicine and pediatrics location in Dyer. Obstetrician and gynecologist Omar Abuzeid joined the maternal fetal medicine and genetics practice in Crown Point. Cardiologist Abul Basher joined the staffs at the Legacy Hills Health Center in La Porte and the Franciscan Health Heart Center in Michigan City.

Northwest Medical Group welcomed Ashley Milcarek, a family nurse practitioner who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology, to the women’s health centers in La Porte and Knox; Chike Okolocha, a family medicine physician, in Valparaiso; board-certified hematologist/oncologist Mohamad Khasawneh to the hematology and oncology center in Valparaiso; Taiwo Falaiye, a board-certified family medicine physician, to the primary care office in Michigan City; Michael Schwuchow, a nurse practitioner, to the urology center in Valparaiso; interventional cardiologist Setri Fugar at La Porte Hospital and an office in Knox.

Dr. Chiedu Nchekwube joined Gary-based Edgewater Health at its Merrillville clinic in family medicine. He is also the founder of The Wellness Shoppe.


David Meisner rejoined Merrillville-based White Lodging as a regional vice president. He also worked for White Lodging from 2014 to 2022.

Information technology

Elkhart-based Surf Internet appointed Steve Miller vice president of outside fiber plant engineering and construction.

Chip Miceli, CEO of Pulse Technology, served as a panelist at the 2023 Business Technology Association’s national conference in Boston.


Indiana Lawyers, a publication for lawyers, awarded Gary Attorney Shelice Tolbert of Tolbert & Tolbert Legal with its Diversity in the Law Award. Tolbert was one of 23 attorneys and judges to win the award. The firm also was certified a Minority Business Enterprise by the Indiana Department of Administration, Division of Supplier Diversity.

Longtime attorney Frank Hoffman joined Krieg DeVault LLP’s public finance and municipal law practice as counsel of economic development and public welfare investment. Hoffman also is managing director for CRSUPPORT, a nonprofit public welfare support organization. Bryan San Jose joined the firm’s estate planning and personal services practice as an associate. Shawn Peterson joined its public finance and municipal law practice as an attorney. Michael Zaradich joined as a partner in the firm’s commercial and real estate lending practice. Senior Associate Elizabeth Roberson was named a 2023 recipient of the Indiana Lawyer’s Leadership in Law Up and Coming Lawyer Award. Jacob O’Donnell is an associate in the firm’s business practice.


The USW International Executive Board appointed David McCall the union’s new president. He is a former Burns Harbor millwright.

The Ports of Indiana promoted Jennifer Rachau to the new position of chief of staff and Travis Kohl to senior director of projects and infrastructure. Ed Hamilton returned as senior engineer. Eric Powell joins the organization as director of communications


Jackie Thomas launched South Shore Public Relations in Chesterton.


AARP selected Mattie Perry-Lightfoot as its 2023 Indiana Andrus Award for Community Service honoree.

Valparaiso-based Opportunity Enterprises welcomed two new board members: Ann Marie Woolwine, an attorney and partner at Krieg DeVault; and Dana Rifai, an attorney and partner at Burke Costanza & Carberry.

Munster-based South Shore Arts named Jessica Corral its new director of education.

The Northwest Indiana Influential Women’s Association added three members to its board of directors: Delana Orban, Franciscan Health; Carrie Upchurch, Everwise Credit Union; and Teresa Wallace, Wallace Consulting.

The Legacy Foundation honored Calvin Bellamy with its first Excellence in Nonprofit Board Leadership Award at its inaugural Heart of Lake Country Awards. Bellamy is Lakeshore Public Media’s treasurer and finance committee chair. He also retired from Krieg DeVault.

Whitney Bradshaw is the new curator of the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City.


Munster-based Community Healthcare System landed the top spot on Forbes magazine’s 2023 list of America’s Best Employers in Indiana. It has facilities in Munster, East Chicago, Hobart and Crown Point.

StorSafe Self Storage, 3950 W. 73rd Ave., Merrillville, recently expanded by two new buildings.

Fontaine and St. John Dental Group is expanding its general dentistry services in Crown Point. The dental practice has two locations: 1108 E Summit St., Crown Point; and 10895 Park Place, St. John.

We want to share your news! Send your company’s promotions, new hires and business updates to for consideration in an upcoming Around the Region or as a story on our websites.

Read more stories from the current issue of Northwest Indiana Business Magazine.


Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top