Inspirational Entrepreneurs • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine

Inspirational Entrepreneurs

Celebrating leaders who grow and sustain businesses in our region

On our cover, we celebrate the 25th year of the Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards. This year's honorees are a diverse group of inspiring people with a passion for growing their businesses and contributing to our community. Laurie Wink profiles the winners and their outstanding accomplishments.

Changing demographics and infrastructure investments will create excellent opportunities for the construction industry. Lesly Bailey interviews industry leaders who share their plans for recruiting and training a robust construction workforce–now and in the future.

Hospitality and tourism contribute to our region's economy by drawing visitors to our natural resources, sporting events and festivals from downstate and around the Midwest. Local officials tell Laurie Wink why hosting visitors is good business and great fun.

Indiana may not have as much shoreline as other Great Lakes states, but that didn't stop us from becoming a national player in waterborne logistics. One key to our logistic success is the Port of Indiana at Burns Harbor, which imports and exports products by ship, barge, truck or rail–using its water access to the Great Lakes, inland waterways and the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence Seaway along with its land access to eight rail carriers and five interstates. Jerry Davich talks with local leaders who shed light on what happens at the port and describe its considerable contributions to the region's economy.

Also in this issue, we look at reasons behind local health care consolidation. Investment advisors share ideas for 2017 investment strategies. Professor Michael Hicks forecasts that much like 2016, 2017 will be a year of modest growth. Rick Dekker, CEO of Dekker Vacuum Technologies, shares his optimism for the business climate in the region. John Cain and Jack Walton recommend upcoming arts and entertainment opportunities. Jim Jorgensen offers some helpful tips for ensuring that workplace disagreements don't escalate into a hostile work environment. We meet Leaders as Heroes honoree Linda Perez, who is making a difference on behalf of domestic violence victims. We visit Compton Family Ice Arena and learn how it is inspiring Olympic, collegiate and youth athletes. Finally, Don Babcock gives us his take on the 2016 One Region Indicators Report, which identifies areas for improvement in Northwest Indiana.

Early in the year is a great time to take stock of accomplishments. For us that means it is time for our annual Best of Northwest Indiana & Greater South Bend/Michiana reader's survey. Please join your fellow readers and vote for local businesses that provide outstanding service and are worthy of recognition. Visit our website at to vote.


  • Troy Linker

    Troy has many years of experience in print and digital media publishing. He’s written, designed, edited and marketed various types of projects, from magazines to books, websites and more. Troy purchased Northwest Indiana Business Magazine in 2016 and serves as publisher and executive editor today. His focus is to make sure this publication reflects the best practices from all industries within our region while helping businesses thrive by creating informative articles written by local writers about the local business community.

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