Businesses, organizations and individuals receive array of honors • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
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Businesses, organizations and individuals receive array of honors

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Dave Abernathy, right center, chairman of the Indiana Credit Union League, presents the 2022 Dora Maxwell Community Service Award to Amy Sink, left center, CEO of Interra Credit Union. Also shown are Interra executives Jim Henning, far left, and Phil Wiens, far right. (Submitted photo)

Hundreds of businesses and organizations, providing an array of services and selling a range of products, call the Region and Michiana area home.

Occasionally, one or more of these organizations as well as the people who work for them, are either honored by a group, earn special certifications or designations, or receive recognition for providing outstanding service or developing something unique. Here are some recent honors and recognitions received by individuals and organizations in Northwest Indiana Business Magazine’s coverage area, which includes Lake, Newton, Porter, Jasper, La Porte, Starke, Pulaski, St. Joseph, Marshall and Elkhart counties:


Interra Credit Union of Goshen was presented the Indiana Credit Union League’s 2022 Dora Maxwell Award for its recent involvement with a Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County home build for one of its employees. The Interra staff member who was awarded a Habitat home in May 2022, lost her mother and took guardianship of her six younger siblings. The staffer and her family were living in a two-bedroom home for two years. Interra provided financial support for the employee, the build and about 50 credit union employees volunteered more than 350 hours during the three-month construction of the Habitat home.

First Merchants Bank was recognized by Comparably in the Q3 2022 Awards roundup. The bank was awarded Best Company Work-Life Balance. This was the second Comparably award for First Merchants in 2022, the first one being for Best Leadership Team.

Jesse Hunt, senior commercial loan officer for Notre Dame Federal Credit Union, was named to the The Times of Northwest Indiana’s 20 Under 40 list. A Whiting native, Hunt joined the Notre Dame FCU in January 2021 after the credit union expanded into Whiting.


The Michigan City Chamber of Commerce named Cara Jones its Ambassador of the Quarter for the Third Quarter of 2022. As an ambassador, Jones helps promote the role of the chamber in the community by welcoming new members, encouraging current members to maximize their membership, and aid in maintaining and increasing the retention rate of new and existing members through reinforcing the Chamber benefits. Jones is a business banker for Horizon Bank.

Health care

St. Catherine Hospital, part of the Community Healthcare System, earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Chest Pain Certification by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care. The certification recognizes health care organizations that provide clinical programs across the continuum of care for chest pain. The certification evaluates how organizations use clinical outcomes and performance measures to identify opportunities to improve care, as well as to educate and prepare patients and their caregivers for discharge.

Jayme Mahlka, a certified nursing assistant at Northwest Health – La Porte, recently was presented with a PETALS award for outstanding support professionals.   

Larry Evans
Larry Evans, left, was honored by Lakeshore Public Media for his 30 years of service to its board of directors. (Submitted photo)


Lakeshore Public Media honored former long-time board member Larry Evans for his service to the station. Evans stepped down from board service in December 2020 and the following month Lakeshore’s board granted him board member emeritus status. Evans is a partner at the law firm of Hoeppner, Wagner, and Evans in Valparaiso/Merrillville. Evans served 30 years on the Lakeshore board and even hosted a local talk show early in the station’s early years.


VIA Marketing, a Merrillville-based marketing agency, is marking 35 years in business on Nov. 7. Throughout its history, VIA, founded by Julie Olthoff, has won more than 30 nationally accredited awards for its creativity and consistently meeting expectations.  


Indiana Dunes National Park was voted America’s 135th favorite landmark in a survey conducted by Aqua Expeditions, a provider of small-ship expeditions. The Indiana Dunes National Park was selected among 250 other U.S. destinations in a poll taken by 2,100 people.


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