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Gary 6001 E. Melton Rd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219-939-0164 2746 W. 5th St. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219-886-1352 Griffith 200 W. Ridge Rd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219-972-7400 Hammond 3514 169th St. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219-933-3741 7227 Calumet Ave. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219-933-3910 27 E. Sibley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219-852-1000 7250 Indianapolis Blvd. . . . . . . . . . . . 219-933-3940 Merrillville 7701 Broadway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219-769-7700

Munster 10020 Calumet Ave. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219-922-3550 915 Ridge Rd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219-836-3560 Portage 6015 U.S. 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219-764-2442 Schererville 790 E. Lincoln Highway (U.S. 30) . . . . 219-322-8203 St. John 9770 Wicker Ave. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219-365-3565 Valparaiso 3500 Calumet Ave. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219-462-0105 750 S. Washington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219-531-6497

Harris® is a trade name used by Harris N.A. and its affiliates. Member FDIC

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Voted by the readers of Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly

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>> contents Class of 2009 Rick Soria, Dean of the School of Public and Social Service at Ivy Tech’s East Chicago campus, is one of this year’s 20 Under 40 honorees

late summer 2009

6 8 10


21 Douglas Lewis Edward Jones 22 Mark Lopez The Office of U.S. Congressman Peter J. Visclosky 24 Johnny Mathis, Jr. Livemercial 25 Bill McCall A Conservative Café 26 Daniel McGuire Valparaiso Department of Parks and Recreation 27 Don Mikrut The Cars Collision Group 28 Ashley Miller Indiana Furniture Showcase 30 Timothy Rice Lakeside Wealth Management Group 31 Julie Rosenwinkel Krieg DeVault LLP 32 Rick Soria Ivy Tech Community College 33 Jeff Strack Strack & Van Til

publisher notes by Publisher Bill Masterson Jr. by the numbers Statistics Concerning the Region’s Economy CoVer story 20 under 40: the Class of 2009 by Lu Ann Franklin, Luisa Murzyn and Rob Earnshaw 11 Jim Arnold Smiles by Arnold 12 Julie Basich Fair Oaks Farms 13 Denise Bergunder Starbucks Coffee Company 14 Rick Calinski Hammond City Hall 15 Tom Collins, Jr. Luke Oil Company 16 Bill Dwyer Campagna Academy 18 Heather Ennis Chesterton Duneland Chamber of Commerce 19 Jennifer Klapak Whiting Dairy Queen 20 Kris Krouse Shirley Heinze Land Trust



sAlute Promotions and Accomplishments of Local Business People

photo by John Luke

20 under 40

730 45th Street, Munster, Indiana 46321 Office: (219) 924-3300 Fax: (219) 924-2663 Dear Employer, At Orthopaedic Specialists of Northwest Indiana, we understand that the employee is not the only one who suffers from a work related injury. The company’s productivity, morale and bottom line also suffer. We understand the complexities that work related injuries can bring. We can help, by employing dedicated workers compensation specialists and developing a comprehensive program, we are able to significantly reduce workers compensation costs. In this era of tough economic times, compounded by escalating medical costs, it is imperative to employ strategies to control and minimize expenses. The hallmark of cost control within the work comp system is effective communication, expedited care and early and safe return to work. Our work comp program was developed to provide streamlined expert care and cost control measures. We utilize evidenced based medicine and clinical pathways to achieve this. Take this example; you have an employee, which has suffered an injury from utilizing inappropriate lifting techniques. The treating physician recommends physical therapy. The therapy cannot begin or be scheduled until approval is received from the insurance carrier. Sometimes the carrier is not able to approve the treatment without the employer’s approval. Once the approval process is complete, the therapy facility is contacted. Often the initial evaluation cannot be accommodated for one to two weeks. This entire process for a simple course of physical therapy can take up to and delay treatment for three weeks. This therefore can cost you an additional three weeks of TTD (temporary total disability pay) and lost productivity. Not to mention the mental impact on your employee for being off work and ‘disabled’ for an extended period of time, and morale issues with your other employees for having to accommodate the absence. Our work comp department utilizes a proactive approach to expedite approval, while our Therapy and Open MRI departments utilize block scheduling to assure appointment availability. We pride ourselves on expedited treatment. If you have any questions about our program, or would like to schedule an in service on injury prevention, please contact our program manager, Gail O’Sullivan or Justin Fuqua, our program coordinator at (219) 924 3300. Sincerely, Your Workers Compensation Program

Gail O’Sullivan

Justin Fuqua

MRI • Therapy Center • Workers’ Compensation Program Physical Therapy • Occupational Therapy • Work Conditioning

>> publisher’s letter

Strong families in home and workplace are keys to success in this class


bout this time last year, we began getting nominations for the 2009 class of 20 under 40. This achievement award we give to these outstanding young men and women has become a sought-after honor and interest grows every year. It is not surprising, given the star-studded alumni that have already been honored. We had well over 100 nominations to consider this year. Though the decisions were difficult, the accomplishments and the talent are undeniable. These are people whose successful careers run parallel to their concern and commitment to the community as a whole. In a sense this award is not about the winners as much as it is to support and promote these role models who will no doubt continue being who they are, whether they get an award or not. But this year’s class more than many has something unique in common. Every single one of our winners talks about the importance of their immediate and extended families. (Those families, of course, include the teams they work with.) When Denise Bergunder talks about her employees, she reminds me of a great teacher I had in grammar school. “I am clear and demanding about what we have to do . . . because I don’t want people to fail. You can teach people how to leverage their strengths and understand what they need to do to accomplish their goals.” Denise supervises nine district managers for Starbucks. She started as a barista in Merrillville. Denise is 33 years old. As U.S. Representative Pete Visclosky’s Chief of Staff, Mark Lopez commutes between Washington, D.C., and Northwest Indiana every week. When he is not with his two sons who are 8 and 6 years old, he is working on making the world a better place for them. His greatest accomplishment? Ten years ago Mark set up a small office at Portage High School to help provide health care for those who didn’t have it. That office was the foundation for what would become two centers for the growing numbers of residents who have nowhere to turn for help when they are sick. Mark was 25 when that happened. The stories of how our winners pursued and prevailed are unique in certain ways. (Johnny Mathis Jr. says he learned everything from repeated failure. “If I had gone to college, I wouldn’t have been able to fund these failures that have taught me so much,” he says. Don’t you love it?) But all demonstrate perseverance, luck . . . and of course role models, often family members. We may take the role we provide as mentors for granted, but these 20 super-achievers do not. They know that they could not have done it without their parents, their spouses, their employees and friends. And they never stopped thanking the people who have helped and will continue to support them along the way. Next time we will be reporting on the revolutionary developments and achievements in health care here in Northwest Indiana. Until then,


S e rv i n g n o rt h w e S t i n d i a n a & C h i C ag o l a n d



Publisher Bill Masterson Jr. Founding Editor Bill Nangle Associate Publisher/Editor Pat Colander Director of Product Development Chris Loretto Associate Editors Crista Zivanovic Julia Perla Matt Saltanovitz Creative Director Joe Durk Art Director Matt Huss Contributing Writers Heather Augustyn Ed Charbonneau Wil Davis Dan Dumezich Lu Ann Franklin Rick Mazer Bill Thon Contributing Photographers Robert Wray Natalie Battaglia Advertising Director Lisa M. Daugherty Online Account Executive Craig Chism Advertising Managers Deb Anslem Frank Perea Jeffrey Precourt BusinEss ADvisOry BOArD Ron Bush DRD Wil Davis Gary Jet Center Dan Dumezich Mayer, Brown, Rowe and Maw LLP Vince Galbiati Northwest Indiana Forum Barb Greene Franciscan Physician Hospital Karen M. Lauerman Northwest Indiana Forum Terri G. Martin Gary Community Health Foundation Inc. Rick Mazer Horseshoe Casino Stephan K. Munsey Family Christian Center Colleen Reilly NiSource Bert Scott Indiana University Northwest

bil l m A ste r son J r . p u b l i s h er , bu s ines s We WAnt your FeeDbACK. E-mail me at or write to me at: BusINess Magazine, The Times, 601 W. 45th Ave., Munster, IN 46321



Bill Thon Ivy Tech State College Copyright, Northwest Indiana/Chicagoland BusINess, 2009. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without permission is prohibited.

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>> by the numbers

Employment lake County

la porte County

Cook County


July 2008 Labor Force: 231,487 Employed: 217,611 Unemployed: 13,876 Rate: 6.0 percent

July 2008 Labor Force: 54,062 Employed: 51,120 Unemployed: 2,942 Rate: 5.4 percent

July 2008 Labor Force: 2,687,851 Employed: 2,491,617 Unemployed: 196,234 Rate: 7.3 percent

July 2008 Labor Force: 6,799,300 Employed: 6,322,800 Unemployed: 476,500 Rate: 7.0 percent

porter County


Will County

SOURCES: Indiana Department of Workforce Development/Illinois Department of Employment Security

July 2008 Labor Force: 84,837 Employed: 81,083 Unemployed: 3,754 Rate: 4.4 percent

July 2008 Labor Force: 3,280,395 Employed: 3,083,923 Unemployed: 196,472 Rate: 6.0 percent

July 2008 Labor Force: 370,376 Employed: 345,983 Unemployed: 24,393 Rate: 6.6 percent

July 2009 Labor Force: 229,946 Employed: 205,894 Unemployed: 24,052 Rate: 10.5 percent

July 2009 Labor Force: 84,514 Employed: 76,717 Unemployed: 7,797 Rate: 9.2 percent

July 2009 Labor Force: 53,671 Employed: 47,543 Unemployed: 6,128 Rate: 11.4 percent

July 2009 Labor Force: 3,201,039 Employed: 2,868,351 Unemployed: 332,688 Rate: 10.4 percent

July 2009 Labor Force: 2,680,385 Employed: 2,385,572 Unemployed: 294,813 Rate: 11.0 percent

July 2009 Labor Force: 371,735 Employed: 331,258 Unemployed: 40,477 Rate: 10.9 percent

July 2009 Labor Force: 6,744,700 Employed: 6,035,700 Unemployed: 709,000 Rate: 10.5 percent

Hoosier Hot Jobs

Jasper, lake, la porte, newton, porter, pulaski, and starke Counties rank/Job title


2016 (projected)

projected growth %

Avg. Wage

1 Registered Nurses 2 Dental Assistants 3 Postsecondary Teachers 4 Pharmacists 5 Network and Computer Systems Administrators 6 Sales Reps, Services, All Other 7 Gaming Supervisors 8 Lawyers 9 Medical and Health Services Managers 10 Physical Therapists

7,157 739 2,041

8,869 911 2,548

2.4% 2.3% 2.5%

$57,998 $30,747 $50,271

738 489

864 631

1.7% 2.9%

$94,849 $47,479





422 1,175 691

569 1,382 813

3.5% 1.8% 1.8%

$46,544 $75,112 $72,984





Source: Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Rankings based on projected employment growth, total job openings and wage factors within the region. Area wages are 2007 median wages from the Occupational Employment Services program.




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Class of 2009 Their accomplishments are varied, but the results are the same - success. BusINess, for the fifth year, is proud to take readers into the worlds of 20 area business people who have made their mark on Northwest Indiana.

This year’s honorees: Dr. Jim Arnold – Smiles by Arnold & Associates Julie Basich – Fair Oaks Farms Denise Bergunder – Starbucks Coffee Company Rick Calinski – City of Hammond Tom Collins Jr. – Luke Oil Bill Dwyer – Campagna Academy Heather Ennis – Duneland Economic Development / Duneland Chamber Jennifer Klapak – Whiting Dairy Queen Kris Krouse – Shirley Heinze Land Trust Douglas Lewis – Edward Jones Investments Mark Lopez – Congressman Visclosky’s Office Johnny Mathis Jr. – Livemercial Bill McCall – A Conservative Café Daniel T. McGuire – Valparaiso Department of Park & Recreation Don Mikrut – The Cars Collision Group Ashley Miller – Indiana Furniture Timothy Rice – Lakeside Wealth Management Group, LLC Julie A. Rosenwinkel – Kreig DeVault LLP Rick Soria – School of Public and Social Services, Ivy Tech Community College Jeffrey Strack – Strack and Van Til Supermarkets

>> 20 under 40

Jim Arnold Good work rewarded with smiles BY LOUISA MURZYN


photograph courtesy of Jim Arnold

ith his intense personal energy and passion and the ability to lead his patients out of darkness and into the light, Valparaiso dentist Jim Arnold’s spirit seems to have always embodied fire.

“I was driven as a child and worked twice as hard at everything in order to excel and not just blend in with the crowd,” says Arnold. “Professionally, I get fired up when I have the opportunity to change a patient’s life with a smile makeover. Instilling newfound confidence for someone is very rewarding. Helping highly fearful patients overcome that is also inspiring.” Arnold graduated from Valparaiso High School in 1988 where he was a four-time all-state runner and the Indiana University School of Dentistry in 1996 which he attended on a full academic scholarship. His career has been marked by a long list of accomplishments which included traveling to India in 2006 and 2007 as he launched with two colleagues the World Institute for Dental Education. It was there he lit the ceremonial “flame of knowledge” which represents wisdom. India has a large number of dentists but it lags behind the United States in dental technology and practice. He shared his expertise with more than 1,500 dentists in seven cities and reconstructed an upper arch for an impoverished female patient while Indian dentists observed. “What is most striking about his character is kindness and humility,” says Mary Beth Schultz, Executive Director for The Caring Place, a non-profit serving the needs of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“I asked how he manages to be so involved in the community with such a busy and thriving practice, he simply stated, ‘I want to pay it forward.’” Indeed, Arnold’s career has also been marked by other countless acts of lifechanging generosity and compassion. He and his team of volunteer for the Give Back A Smile Program through the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. The program helps victims of domestic abuse. At no charge, Arnold performed about $37,000 worth of extensive dental restoration to a woman whose mouth was full of broken teeth because she’d been severely beaten by her boyfriend in 1999. In 2008, Arnold provided Caring Place clients with dental makeovers. “It was such a boost to their spirits,” Schultz says. “Many hadn’t been to the dentist in years. One was experiencing so much difficulty she couldn’t eat.” The practice has also donated $8,000 in free dental work for the Give Kids A Smile program. The Smiles by Arnold Foundation formed in 2006 has donated over $30,000 to local organizations. “He has demonstrated by his example that leadership should start early in a person’s career,” Schultz says. “Hopefully, by his example he will encourage other young leaders to promote a healthy community in Northwest Indiana for years to come.” The greatest teachers in Arnold’s life have been his parents, high school coaches

and wife. “My parents always said ‘the more you have, the more you have to give’ and I believe this to be true,” he says. “They instilled a strong work ethic and sense of spirituality at a young age. My wife teaches me daily how to be a better person. “My coaches taught me the value of hard work and determination and I learned as a teen that I had control over the level of success I would have in life.” Arnold said dentistry was the perfect career choice because he could run his own business, build relationships with people, provide a valuable service and create a work schedule that allows him to spend time with his wife and four children. “But when I retire from dentistry one day, I hope to be remembered as someone who always did his best to provide excellent care, treat everyone fairly, and went above and beyond to exceed expectations,” he adds. “I want our community to say ‘wow— he went out of his way to make a difference for others.’”


jIM ARNOLd Age: 39 Dentist Smiles by Arnold & Associates Offices in Valparaiso and Chesterton




>> 20 under 40

Tending to the herd BY LOUISA MURZYN


ord has been buzzing around that 32,000 dairy divas are “Living the Life of Riley” on Fair Oaks Farms--and executives are not keeping silent. In fact, they’re so proud of what they do to maintain the health and beauty of their beloved black-and-white spotted Holsteins, the visitor center includes Diva Cow Hall. Just ask Diva, the swinging animatronics talking cow. “It’s all about her,” says Julie Basich, the dairy farm’s General Manager. “Cow comfort is our number one priority and they get treated very well. “They’re our livelihood. They bed on sand, eat the best rations and we have a vet on staff. In the summer, we have fans and misters so they stay cool. People are able to see for themselves how we put the care of our animals first.” The family-owned farm sits on 25,000 acres and is one of the largest working dairy farms in the country. It’s known for its allnatural cheeses, bottled milk and ice cream. Basich, of Valparaiso, has a broad range of responsibilities but one is getting the message out the dairy’s healthy farming and eco-friendly practices as well general education about 21st century farming.


Each cow produces about 10 gallons daily. The farm produces 2.5 million pounds of milk each day or enough to serve eight million people. It sells milk in 200 stores throughout Northwest Indiana, Chicago and Indianapolis. Opened in 2004, the farm’s Dairy Adventure offers an up-close dairy farm experience which attracts 400,000 visitors yearly who can view the carousel milking process and the birth of a calf. “We could have over 300 people in the birthing barn and you can here a pin drop,” Basich says. “Once that calf is born, they just erupt into applause and cheers. People are really taken by that.” About 80 calves are born at the farm daily. Basich got her undergraduate degree from Indiana University Northwest in business marketing and her master’s in communication from Purdue University Calumet. “My passion lies in taking a business, product or idea and then communicating and selling it,” she says.



jULIe BASIch Age: 40 General Manager Fair Oaks Farms 856 North 600 East Fair Oaks, IN 47943 877.536.1194


photograph by John Luke

Julie Basich

“But I love that one day I’m behind the counter helping customers at our Subway, the next afternoon I’m developing packaging for our food products, then talking to the Indianapolis Colts about being the team’s official milk. I never get bored.” Chief Executive Officer Gary Corbett says her perspective is valuable in helping the farm interact with the public. “She brings unbridled enthusiasm for our whole concept,” he says. “It’s an intense business and her energy is contagious. Thanks to her we get great positive comments from our visitors about how attentive, friendly and competent our staff is.” The farm’s owners recognized they could become a destination because agricultural tourism was a growing market ripe with opportunity. “I work for people who were visionary,” she says. “It’s addicting and it rubs off. “We took something that was nothing— we weren’t even a speck on the map. The more people that go through here, the more we’re able to market the products we make here. “Our visitors have a great experience and hopefully we make an emotional connection with them somehow. They’re able to sample our products and when they go to the grocery store, we hope they remember their experience here.” Fair Oaks has had segments on Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs for birthing a cow and CBS News for ecofriendly cheese. An episode about the dairy on America’s Heartland by PBS has gotten over 2 million hits on You Tube. The dairy won the 2007 World Dairy Expo and 2005 U.S. Cheese championships for its cheese products and boasts about “poop power”—converting manure into methane gas which runs its generators. “I’m a Hoosier and I love Indiana,” Basich says. “I grew up and went to school here. It’s great to be able to bring something like this to our area. We’re shaping tourism, changing the way people think about agriculture and large farmers, and educating kids about milk.”

>> 20 under 40

Denise Bergunder Premium product means premium service LOUISA MURZYN


photograph courtesy of Denise Bergunder

tarbucks may be growing at 100 miles an hour but Denise Bergunder has made recruiting of its employees and expansion of the Seattle-based coffee giant into Indiana as smooth as a vanilla latte. “I get to have an impact on peoples’ lives,” says Bergunder, who is Indiana Regional Director for Starbucks Coffee Company. “Whether it’s helping them grow in a career or making sure customers are having a good experience and starting their day off well. It’s been fulfilling to watch stores grow and help people find success and then get to learn from it myself.” Bergunder, of Noblesville, Ind., graduated from Andrean High School in Merrillville and earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing and human resources from Purdue University Calumet. The Schererville native began her professional career at Celebration Station, a division of Whiteco Industries, before becoming a barista with Starbucks in Merrillville in 1997. After a series of promotions, she opened the first store in Indianapolis. Today she directs all 105 stores in the state which has 1,100 employees. Eleven of the stores are in Northwest Indiana. She currently lives in Noblesville. The company’s recipe for success also includes its employees. Starbucks doesn’t just sell coffee, it sells an experience which is dependent upon the attitudes and abilities of those who greet and serve customers. Bergunder knows selling a premium product means offering premium service. She is focused on finding creating a well-

trained, friendly workforce that can achieve personal success while meeting company results. “I want to help my team continue to learn and grow in their roles and help them get to where they want to be by teaching them how to make the right decision, problem solve and learn from their mistakes,” she says. “I am clear and demanding about what we have to do…because I don’t want people to fail. You can teach people how to leverage their strengths and understand what they need to do to accomplish their goals.” She has nine district managers and seven have been promoted internally. Store managers also have high level of promotion. Bergunder loves the branding of a company that views the upscale café as a place of human connection and humanity. Coffee takes center stage but the design is meant to create communities. “It was a company I realized fit my value structure and what’s important to me,” she says. “I get to have an impact on people in lots of different ways. For me it’s a place where everyone can feel like they are a part of it. “The company is entrepreneurial and innovative and really cares about the people that work there and the customers that come in. They’re concerned with doing the right thing and all those things are important to me.” Skilled in business, Bergunder is also

passionate about corporate social responsibility and the company’s mission to invest in their local communities. She was one of 10,000 Starbucks partners who volunteered in New Orleans to help rebuild homes. She also led the largest local ‘give back” initiative at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Indianapolis which lead to the “Paint the Town Pink” first place award in which all stores are decorated in pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. Bergunder’s brother, David Dorn, is in awe of what his sister represents. “She’s from here, she’s educated here and she’s a perfect example of what people from the region can achieve,” he says. “She’s from Indiana and has influence in Indiana. “Her career leadership has helped cultivate economic development. She’s the role model for an individual raised in Northwest Indiana who can effectively compete and significantly contribute to the corporate world.”


deNISe BeRgUNdeR


Age: 33 Indiana Regional Director Starbucks Coffee Company 1402 North Capitol Ave., Ste. 200 Indianapolis, IN 46202 317.423.5700



>> 20 under 40

Connected to the people of Hammond BY LOUISA MURZYN


ick Calinski has helped broker economic development projects worth millions of dollars but what also matters enormously to him is an open, interpersonal connection with the public. “I measure my success on how well I can help the residents of Hammond,” says Calinski who became chief of staff for Mayor Thomas McDermott, Jr. this past March. “And by the simple pleasure I get on a daily basis in just returning a call from someone whether it’s about a problem with garbage pickup or a thank you for something that was done right. “That never gets old to me--that conversation. Even if it’s something as small as helping one single resident. I want to be completely available for the citizens…and address concerns in manner so they’re satisfied.” Calinski is a Hammond native and a 1996 graduate of Gavit High School. He earned his undergraduate degree in management from Purdue University Calumet where he will complete a Master’s in Business Administration this winter.


“His heart is truly in Hammond,” says Karen Maravilla, Downtown Hammond Council president. “He is willing to listen. If you want good things to happen, you can’t be all talk. What Rick says is what he accomplishes.” He started working for the city in 2004 in special events and public relations. Promoted in 2005 to director of economic development, he helped create job opportunities and new investments aimed at lower tax burdens. He was involved in projects such as the deal with Cabela’s, the outdoor retailer that bought the 100-acre Woodmar Country Club for $14 million and built a 185,000sq.-ft. showroom that had projections estimated at $80 million annually. In 2007, he became the executive director for planning and development which manages $3.8 million federal Housing and Urban Development grants



RIck cALINSkI Age: 31 Hammond City Hall 5925 Calumet Ave. Hammond, IN 46320 219.853.6301


photograph by Natalie Battaglia

Rick Calinski

annually. Programs included down payment assistance, wheelchair ramps, and lowinterest loans. Today, he is working tirelessly with developers for Woodmar Mall and has reached a deal with Menard’s for the construction and expansion of a 105,000sq.-ft. superstore at the existing Columbia Ave. location. “Economic development isn’t always about bringing new business,” he adds. “It’s about retaining businesses and keeping our jobs and tax base. That’s just as important.” He remains committed with a wide variety of community organizations. “It gives me a pulse about where we can be better as city,” he says. Calinski says he is outspoken and competitive whether it’s on the golf course, basketball court or on the job. “That constant edge helps me run the city and bring new projects and programs,” he said. “My passion is to make whatever I’m a part of the best it can be. I want to make a difference and not just get by. In government, that means making it more responsive and accessible and making Hammond a better place to be.” Born in the late 1970s, Calinski was a Generation X baby but any negative perceptions from older folks fade when they sense his optimism about Northwest Indiana. “There is always that bridge to cross,” Calinski says. “I see it as the opportunity for change. The great thing is offering a younger perspective because a different insight into our future is vital.” Maravilla said the infusion of his youth and vigor is an asset to the municipality. “Nowadays the way the world is changing you have to have a combination of new ideas along with the wisdom and expertise of older people in order to succeed,” she says. “He’s dynamic, charismatic, humble, straight forward and he truly cares. When you put those traits together you get…a gift wrapped with a beautiful bow—the best of everything all in one package.”

>> 20 under 40

Tom Collins, Jr. Basing his business on family BY LOUISA MURZYN


photograph by John Luke

ittle did Tom Collins’ grandfather know when he founded Luke Oil in 1967 as a home heating fuel supplier that his empire would one day include 100 acres of apple trees, climbing goats and a hydraulic dinosaur that devours pumpkins. “I used to go with my kids to the County Line Orchard and I always said what a great business it was,” says Collins. “I was eating breakfast with my grandpa and we ran into the former owner. “My grandpa told him how much I enjoyed it and he said he was getting ready to retire. It was a great opportunity and a good way to be involved in the community so we took a leap of faith and bought it.” Luke Oil was founded by Ralph Luke. Collins, of Valparaiso, started working for the company in 1999 after graduating from Indiana University. His dad, Tom Collins, Sr., 54, started working for the company in 1986 and today is the Chief Executive Officer. He manages the wholesale fuel and transportation side of the business. Luke passed away in 2007. The company is a petroleum marketer to more than 100 locations and operator of 20 convenience stores. Last year it bought 12

Shell branded locations and now operates 25 retail locations. It also operates 10 car wash facilities. Collins takes care of the retail operations, commercial construction, acquisitions and investor relationships. “If it has a cash register, it’s my responsibility,” he laughs. The apple orchard would be a great way for the family’s fourth generation to learn about the business world, Collins says. His sister and her husband, who also worked for Luke Oil, were looking to do something different so it was a perfect fit. Collins’ grandfather lived in Hobart before there were paved streets so to work in the twilight of his life on the farm was a blessing. “He’d be there for school tours and even though he was president he’d pack apples in the shed,” Collins says. “He was so proud of that. I always felt he knew in the last years of his life that the future of our business was moving forward in a new direction, so that was nice to see.”

He learned the valuable lesson of having a likable personality, enthusiasm, a good work ethic from his grandpa while his father taught him to be humble. College opened his horizons beyond Indiana. “He took the reins and moved us to another level,” says Collins, Sr. “He also has an impact on our employees by giving them career opportunities and encouraging them to be the very best.” In fact, Collins measures his success by how many of the company’s 600 workers are being hired or promoted and if the average pay is increasing. “I always feel like if employees under me are doing good and moving up and their families are doing better, then I’m probably right where I need to be,” he adds. “When we have a big day everybody wins. If we’re busy and our gas and car wash customers are happy with our service then our employees are happy because things are running well. I love big apple orchard days. “Families are having a good time, the band is playing, the food is cooking--all three are winning…the customer, employees and owners. That’s my passion. That’s when I get fired up. When one of them is losing, that’s when I get grumpy.” The Hobart native is dedicated to his community. Luke Oil has built four new fuel stations in the last year pumping $15 million into the construction trades. It has averaged more than $100,000 in charitable contributions in the last three years. The orchard has about 250,000 visitors a year including 2,000 school tours. It employs 300 people and many are retirees from the steel mills. “The added income makes their next year, their Christmas or allows them to go on a vacation,” he says. It also shapes Northwest Indiana by building memories. “It educates people and allows families to come closer instead of farther apart.” “When you see a family come back for the tenth year in a row in their matching fleece jackets taking family pictures, we’ve created value in the community.”




Age: 33 Vice President of Retail Operations Luke Oil Company 3592 North Hobart Rd. Hobart, IN 46342 219.962.7676



>> 20 under 40

Bill Dwyer Seeing disability as a catalyst BY LOUISA MURZYN


ecause Bill Dwyer knows what it’s like to sidestep barriers to accomplish dreams and desires, he has the natural gift of connecting with people and helping others leap over the hurdles in life.


boys with emotional difficulties. In 2002, it changed its name and offered services to girls. Dwyer was the project manager for the $9 million Hope Center which opened last year and nearly doubled its capacity. It can now accommodate up to 48 boys and girls at a time and 120 annually. The center came in $800,000 under budget and two months ahead of schedule. Bruce Hillman, Chief Executive Officer, said Dwyer’s analytical mind and penchant for details are critical. But just as importantly, Dwyer’s clinical background helps administrators develop a unique approach to things. “He adds value to what we do every day,” Hillman says. Dwyer said he doesn’t lose focus by analyzing statistics. “Numbers represent human beings and if I keep that in mind I always make the right decision,” Dwyer says. The wisdom he seeks doesn’t come from great works of literature or advanced college degrees. More often than not the answers he seeks are easily within grasp. “I walk the campus and talk when I’m struggling with an executive decision,” he says. “Students, staff, janitors--they’re helping me and don’t know it. They give me insight. I listen rather than think I know it all.” Dwyer doesn’t measure his success by his position and hopes young people carry his lessons within their words and actions. “It’s not that I’ve reached this job—but what I do with it,” he says.


“This job isn’t all I am in life. I’m a coach, teacher, volunteer. My wife calls me the Boy Scout because all I want to do is help people. When I talk with kids, I’m hoping they’re going to be great leaders some day.” Dwyer has learned he can help more people by teaching them what he does. “I love humankind and I’ve got huge visions for Campagna,” he says. “The trick is to get people moving in a certain direction. If I let others get inspired and feel the moment they take ideas and do more with them.” He cultivates the love and bright outlook he has for the people of Northwest Indiana like a master gardener. “You have to plan to be able to accomplish big things,” he says. “There’s a reason for what I do and say. “It’s not just to feel the moment--it’s to build upon something for tomorrow. You plant the seed and sow the thought now so it can grow and turn into something outstanding later when you really need it.”


BILL dwYeR Age: 38 Chief Operating Officer Campagna Academy 7403 Cline Ave. Schererville, IN 46375 219.322.8614


photograph by John Luke

“I have dyslexia so high school was not easy for me and my guidance counselor told me not to go to college because I’d never get through it,” says Dwyer, chief operating officer at Campagna Academy. “So I worked in construction. My mom and dad told me ‘please take some courses—you never know.’ I was good at it and enjoyed it and before I knew it— the bug bit me.” While working full time, he attended Governors State University in Illinois where he earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in family counseling. “My disability made me push harder and think differently at a young age,” he says. “I don’t like to count people out. Everybody has something of worth. You just have to nurture it and then watch them shine.” At age 25, he had a private practice in Lansing, Ill. but he craved more interaction. “Christmas parties were boring…it was just me,” jokes the Dyer resident. Then he started working at Tri-City Community Mental Health Center in East Chicago. “I loved it and thought ‘Whoa, these kids who don’t want to be in treatment-- you have to work hard to make them smile but when you reach them it means so much more,’” he says. “I thought ‘I dig this. This is fun.’” He started working for Campagna in 2006. The academy was founded as Hoosier Boy’s Town in 1947 for young

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>> 20 under 40

Putting the chamber to work for Duneland BY LOUISA MURZYN


eather Ennis has only been on the job for a year but that hasn’t stopped her from looking for the big plays as well as fighting for the small wins.

“In ten years I’d like to look back and say ‘Wow!’” said the Executive Director of the Chesterton Duneland Chamber of Commerce. “This isn’t a game of instant rewards. It’s planning and putting tools in place. We can only make one decision at a time and it’s a game of inches so we have to be patient and hope the decisions we make lead to really great things.” Ennis, of Porter, also sits on the Duneland Economic Development Company and Porter County Economic Development Alliance. She was born in Valparaiso and earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Purdue University West Lafayette. Before joining the chamber, she helped companies, such as John Deere and Motorola, get their products to market faster. Ennis was hired last year about the time chamber reorganized and its board was


streamlined from about 24 members to around 15. “She really took the position to heart,” says Machelle Blount, of Northwest Indiana Homebuilders, Inc. in Chesterton. “She has an excitement that’s uncanny. Ideas just pop into her head and she’s become very knowledgeable. She’s somebody other people seek for recommendations or ideas and is definitely an asset.” In addition to being a social organization, the Chamber added an advocacy component as well as membership retention, Ennis says. “We’re adding value to our membership and strengthening the communities we serve,” she says. “We’re also trying to unite and be the voice of business whether it’s a legislative issue or something local.” The large businesses that add to the local tax base are critical but Ennis insists the chamber hasn’t forgotten the needs of local


[ ] heATheR eNNIS

Age: 38 Executive Director Chesterton Duneland Chamber of Commerce 220 Broadway Chesterton, IN 46304 219.926.5513

photograph by Jon Hendricks

Heather Ennis

small businesses. “They are a huge part of the economy and it can be more challenging for them, for example, to find the best accountant or know where to go for answers,” Ennis says. “We want to offer those avenues and point them in the right direction.” Ennis enjoys communicating with all key players such as the Northwest Indiana Forum and the Indiana Regional Development Authority. “I’m passionate about our community and it’s fun to see a group of people get together with great ideas and put them into action,” Ennis says. “There’s so much planning we can’t do it alone. It’s not a one person job and I love being somebody willing to do the heavy lifting and be part of the team.” Among the first projects aimed at putting economic development on the front burner was an updated website. The site features complete inventories of available property and building and information on infrastructure and zoning. “As we market more, hopefully people will realize it’s a wonderful place not only to visit and locate your business but also to call home,” she says. Blount is already impressed by Ennis’ accomplishments. “She’s shaping Northwest Indiana in a positive direction. She listens to what people say and is good at it. She has a high stack of goals on her plate and is working to meet them.” Ennis said her motivation to building a better Northwest Indiana is simple and a bit personal. “I have a four-year-old son and want to create and help grow our area so it will have sustainable jobs for him when he grows up,” she says. “Plus we’ve got this beautiful natural resource in the dunes. We have woods that are hikable and bikable and we can use them as a great feature to attract business to our area. That’s what motivates me.”

>> 20 under 40

Jennifer Klapak Devoted to DQ BY LU ANN fRANkLIN


photograph by Natalie Battaglia

airy Queen seems to be part of Jennifer Klapak’s DNA. When she was growing up in Whiting, family outings meant a walk to the Dairy Queen on Indianapolis Boulevard. During one visit the then five-year old told the owners that some day that business would be hers. But even before she purchased the Whiting Dairy Queen in 2001, Klapak spent much of her working life learning every aspect of the business. The summer after graduating from eighth grade, she started working there and continued throughout high school. “I worked there through three owners. I had a chance to buy the Dairy Queen when I graduated from high school in 1996, but my parents were concerned that I wouldn’t go to college,” she says. After earning her degree in criminal justice from Aurora University, Klapak worked for four years at the Empress/ Horseshoe Casino as a surveillance agent. Then she ran the Dairy Queen for the third set of owners until they sold her the business in 2001. “My husband and I exchanged ice cream

cones in front of the store after our wedding and we served heart-shaped Dilly Bars at our reception,” Klapak says. “Dairy Queen has been involved in my life for many years. We hope to pass this business on to our son.” Family is a major focus in Klapak’s life and her business. She lives in the house in Robertsdale where her parents brought her after her birth. Her husband, Ed Klapak Jr. is a sixth grade teacher at Clark Middle School and their son, Reagan, turns two this fall. The Klapaks also love animals. The Dairy Queen is part of the Klapak business called Copper Inc., named after their first beagle. Their family also includes Maggie, a beagle who suffers from muscular dystrophy, and Parker, a calico cat they rescued from a park near their home.

“She was stuffed in a bag and had been shot three times,” Klapak recalls. Klapak credits her success to the values her family instilled and the encouragement she continues to get from her parents, Ken and Carol Lukasik. “My dad worked in the military. His favorite saying was ‘If you want it, there’s a way to get it’,” she says. “My dad is my maintenance supervisor at the Dairy Queen. My parents are so awesome and supportive.” Her employees are also considered part of her family, Klapak says. “As a Dairy Queen owner, I deal with a lot of teenagers. This is often their first job and I believe in being a mentor in their lives,” she says. “I am an adult they can trust. I’m their boss, their friend and their confidant.” Klapak says she likes to hire kids who are involved in other activities such as sports or academics. “I encourage them to get involved as much as possible. I’m flexible. I want them to have that experience. So I also go to my employees’ plays and athletic events. Klapak’s commitment to youth goes beyond being an employer of teenagers. She also coaches volleyball at Griffith High School and is a substitute teacher in the Hammond public schools. Giving back to the community continues to be another of Klapak’s passions. An active member of the Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce, she participates in the city’s Fourth of July Parade and donates DQ treats such as Dilly bars for school programs and to the Whiting Library’s reading lab. She also devotes herself to improving her Dairy Queen store, keeping up with new products and procedures. “Our business is very customer-oriented,” she says. “The future of our business is as a DQ Orange Julius treat center. We’re working toward that.”


jeNNIfeR kLApAk Age: 35 Owner Whiting Dairy Queen 1441 Indianapolis Blvd. Whiting, IN 46394 219-659-1144




>> 20 under 40

Kris Krouse Born to be an environmentalist By LU ANN FRANKLIN


any circumstances led Kris Krouse to become a Northwest Indiana environmental leader and executive director of the Shirley Heinze Land Trust, one of 26 Indiana land trusts working to protect and restore ecologically significant natural areas.


manages, 100 acres held as conservation easements and roughly 30 acres transferred to the National Park Service and Indiana Department of Natural Resources Northwest Indiana is a bio-diverse region, Krouse says, and is literally at a crossroads between two different environments. “We have prairie to the west of us and forest to the east. It all converges in this area and that makes it unique,” he says. “The land trust is the Natural Conservancy movement at a local level,” Krouse says. As the land trust’s executive director, Krouse has been able to work with a number of other environmental programs and organizations. He recently helped organize the Northwest Indiana Paddler Association’s Burnham to Marquette Water Trail Expedition. This expedition across the open waters of Lake Michigan inaugurated the new Southern Lake Michigan Water Trail. The water trail spans more than 40 miles from Chicago to Michigan City and includes the waters and shoreline of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. It also features identified beaching sites, shoreline campgrounds and easily accessible food and other services along Lake Michigan’s shores. In addition, Krouse serves on the Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Advisory Board, the Executive Council for Chicago Wilderness, the Environmental Management Policy Committee of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, and the Citizens for Remediation of the


Environment (CARE) Committee. Krouse also stays active in Michigan City where he works and in Valparaiso where he lives with his wife, Heidi, and children, Jak, 7, and Abigail, 4. As a member of the Michigan City Rotary Club, Krouse serves as a mentor for Michigan City high school students as part of the club’s STRIVE program. “This program is for high school students who could use guidance and an adult figure in their lives,” he says. STRIVE helps the students with their academic, career and personal development. In his hometown, Krouse is a member of the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce and also coaches his son’s soccer teams through the Valparaiso YMCA and the city’s parks department. Keeping Northwest Indiana’s eco-system safe for future generations including his own family is a passion for Krouse. ““We really serve Northwest Indiana, preserving our natural heritage and environment,” he says. “Future generations will be able to see how diverse this area really is.”


KRIs KRoUse Age: 30 Executive Director Shirley Heinze Land Trust 444 Barker Road Michigan City, IN 46360 219-879-4725


photograph courtesy of Kris Krouse

“I loved playing outdoor sports and was always mowing lawns and shoveling snow,” he says. “Then in high school I took on a water project to test Fort Wayne city water for carcinogens.” Originally a chemistry major at St. Joseph College, Krouse changed to environmental studies because, he says, “I knew I wouldn’t be happy working inside all the time.” While studying for his MBA at Indiana University, Krouse worked as an environmental consultant. Then in 2005, at age 25, he was appointed executive director of the Shirley Heinze Land Trust based in Michigan City. During his tenure, this organization has doubled its staff, volunteers, donors and operating budget and is considered one of the strongest land trusts in the state, he says. The Shirley Heinze Land Trust protects 15 preserves in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties that include rare dunes, wetlands and savanna habitats. Krouse says the mission of the land trust is threefold. “We protect endangered habitats and ecosystems through acquiring and restoring environmentally significant properties. We promote environmental awareness and education through community outreach programs and publications,” he says. “And we advance the goals of clear air and water in Northwest Indiana.” Since the land trust’s inception in 1981, it has acquired more than 1,000 acres of land surrounding Lake Michigan. This includes 900 acres that the trust owns and

>> 20 under 40

Douglas Lewis Change of career helps community By LU ANN FRANKLIN


photograph by Natalie Battaglia

n 1998, Highland native Douglas Lewis had a life decision to make. A mechanical engineer with a newly-minted MBA from DePaul University, Lewis could have taken a position with a major engineering firm in Chicago and traveled around the world on assignments. He and his wife, Jill, were also expecting their first child.

“I sat down and asked myself ‘What am I passionate about?’,” Lewis recalls. The answer: “I really enjoy helping people. And I understand how money and the markets work,” he says. The solution: turn his talents to helping people manage their money for all the life choices they will make as a financial advisor with an investment firm. After several years with another firm, Lewis came to Edward Jones as a financial advisor and an accredited asset management specialist. “Now I have an office in my hometown,” Lewis says. “It’s easier to be involved with my community and my kids. I commute a half mile one way to work.” As he once helped fellow high school students understand algebra, Lewis now helps investors understand how to make their money work for them. “Everyone has goals and there’s a financial component tied to those goals,” he says. “I help people find ways to use their money to accomplish their goals.” Those goals might include funding a college education for a loved one or planning for retirement. “People need help especially the way the economy and markets have been lately.” That passion for helping others connects Lewis to his hometown through a variety of civic and professional affiliations. A member of the Highland Kiwanis

Club, he served as the organization’s president last year. “In Kiwanis, we do everything from reading to kindergartens to delivering for Meals on Wheels,” he says. “We volunteer to ring the bell for the Salvation Army at Christmas time. We raise money to support Riley Children’s Hospital and provide scholarships for high school students. We also helped financially when the town was flooded.” In 2010, Lewis will be president of another organization, the Highland Chamber of Commerce. Much of his involvement with the chamber has been focused on helping youngsters. “The chamber provided funds for the Jump Start reading program for pre-kindergarteners and pre-first graders at Johnston School this summer,” he says. “It’s a great idea. Anything you can do to help kids is a good thing.” Through the chamber of commerce, Lewis has also been a volunteer for Junior Achievement in the Highland schools and taught two sixth grade classes at Warren Elementary School about the global economy. Lewis’ commitment to helping children begins at home where he and Jill are raising Mackenzie, 10; Ethan, 8; and Garrett, 4. “I try to coach my kids’ activities. Right now I’m a coach for my four-year-old’s

soccer team,” he says. And he takes karate lessons with his three children. “Being involved with your children is so important,” Lewis says. “Kids want attention. They’ll try to get positive attention, but if they can’t get that they’ll go for negative attention. You try your best to give them positive attention.” The family also regularly attends St. Ann Church in Lansing. Lewis says he learned these lessons about the importance of family and giving back to the community from his parents. “My dad was a Shriner and my baseball coach,” he says. “My parents always went to my games. They led by example.” Lewis says he considers himself very fortunate to be where he is today. “I have a good education. If I can find a way to give back, to let others succeed, that’s important to me,” he says. “I know about opportunities out there. To me, it’s very exciting.”


DoUgLAs LewIs Age: 38 Financial Advisor Edward Jones 8415 Kennedy Ave. Highland, Indiana 46322 219-923-1472




>> 20 under 40

Using political arena to help others By LU ANN FRANKLIN


ark Lopez says he has the greatest job in the world. “I wake up every day with that chance to make a difference,” says Lopez, who is chief of staff for U.S. Congressman Pete Visclosky. In his position, he oversees the work of 18 full-time and 4-part-time staff members in Visclosky’s Merrillville and Washington, D.C. offices.

“This is a team effort with valued input by a tremendous staff,” Lopez says. “Our goal is for Congressman Visclosky to be as effective and successful as he can be in providing constituent services. For example, we help resolve issues with federal agencies and work with municipal economic development efforts.” Lopez says he owes his success to his mother, father and stepfather who set high expectations for him and his siblings. “As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to help people,” he says. As the owner of Jan’s Diner near the Clark Road entrance to U.S Steel Gary


Works, Lopez’s mother took him to her restaurant every day at 4:15 a.m. to start breakfast. “My mom paid me a nominal wage, and she put the rest away in a college fund. I knew I was going to college,” he says. “She believed in hard work, education and public service.” Lopez credits his stepfather for providing “structure and organization at home. We were expected to eat dinner at 6 p.m. together, and the topic of conversation was about what you’d done that day,” he recalls. His love of politics comes from his father,


[ ] MARK Lopez

Age: 35 Chief of Staff The Office of U.S. Congressman Peter J. Visclosky 7895 Broadway, Suite A, Merrillville, IN 46410 (219) 795-1844

photograph by John Luke

Mark Lopez

Lopez says, who was also “the kind of person who would give you the shirt off his back.” While studying for his degree in political science at Indiana University in 1996, Lopez got his first opportunity to work in the political arena. He started as an intern in Visclosky’s Washington, D.C. office. Later he became a staff assistant, Visclosky’s congressional relations manager, manager of projects and grants, district director and, now, chief of staff. During his tenure with Visclosky’s office, Lopez says he’s very proud of the work he did to help create the North Shore Health Centers in Portage and Lake Station. “A decade ago I worked with Jan Wilson who set up a small office at Portage High School to help provide health care for those who didn’t have it,” he says. “My part in it was working with officials. Today there are two stand-alone centers that serve the communities. This created an avenue for people to get quality health care.” Lopez says his life has been changed by the people he meets in the five-county area Visclosky represents. “I meet the kindest, most generous people in Northwest Indiana,” he says. “These are people I never would have met if I didn’t work with Congressman Visclosky.” Lopez splits his work week between Washington, D.C. and Northwest Indiana. As a husband and father, Lopez says he’s always carving time out of his busy schedule for his family. “Because my time is limited, I concentrate on doing things with my two sons, Joseph, who is 8, and Jackson, who is 6. I’ve been a baseball coach and a soccer coach for my sons’ teams and I help out at their school,” he says. “My job gives me exciting opportunities to make sure the world is a better place.”

>> 20 under 40

Johnny Mathis Jr. Success spurred by hard knocks By LU ANN FRANKLIN

“My wife and I were down to the last of what we had (financially). I had this idea for streaming video over the Internet. I had to find a way to get it to market,” says Mathis. “That was the spark that lit the fire.” Not only did Johnny and Lisa Mathis put their own money and time into the business, they also “gave it 110 percent effort,” he says. Since starting Livemercial in 2003, Mathis has led his company to more than $1 billion in online sales and created “Brain to the Bank” success stories for more than 3,000 distinct brands for clients. Headquartered in Valparaiso, Livemercial has 100 employees including web developers, search engine marketers, programmers, social media agents, sales representatives and business developers. “We developed the standard for online direct response sales with our micro-sites,” Mathis says. In 2002, five percent of Direct Response sales were processed online. Today, as much as 70 percent of Direct Response sales are completed online – many delivered by Livemercial’s e-commerce platform. The company was also the first to market single products on the Internet. “We’ve designed a system that doesn’t require a shopping cart,” he says. Mathis points to his employees’ success stories as another reason for his company’s position in the marketplace. “I’ve met many individuals who were down in life, making minimum wage. This


company has helped them build careers and developed them into people who make six figure incomes,” he says. “You need to do right by people.” That personal philosophy of giving back stems from his strong Christian faith, Mathis says. “I believe you should live your life and conduct your business as Christ would,” he says. “I believe the more we give, the more we get back.” As a result of putting that philosophy into action, Livemercial and its personnel are involved in the community, working with charitable organizations and helping others develop their businesses, Mathis says. For example, Livemercial works closely with Opportunity Enterprises, an organization in Valparaiso that helps those with disabilities enrich their lives through employment and other services. “We give funds and donate space to Opportunity Enterprises,” Mathis says. “We’re 100 percent behind helping this organization.” Mathis also created the Digital Alliance to connect people who make their living using digital technology, often from their homes. Livemercial had an opportunity to set up its business in Palm Beach, Florida, but Mathis opted to make Valparaiso the company headquarters because of the encouragement of the city’s officials and the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce.


“I’m so thankful to be part of the Valparaiso community,” Mathis says. “The economic development here was instrumental in keeping us in Valparaiso.” Another factor in Mathis’ success in Livemercial has been the support of his wife and family. Too often, inventors and entrepreneurs reach a point where they don’t yet see the fruits of their labor, he says. “It’s very important to have the support of family,” he says. “It’s critical in the process.” Mathis says his successful experiences have also been based on failures while he built his company. “I started several Internet companies that didn’t work,” he says. “I developed by experience the hard-knock way and I still learn from my mistakes,” he says. Instead of going to college, Mathis says he substituted work experience in the school of hard knocks. “If I had gone to college, I wouldn’t have been able to fund these failures that have taught me so much.”


JohNNy MAthIs JR. Age: 37 Owner/CEO Livemercial 3001 Leonard Drive, Suite 203 Valparaiso, IN 46383 (219) 477-3900


photograph courtesy of Johnny Mathis Jr.


ohnny Mathis Jr. credits a “need to survive” as one reason his company Livemercial™ has succeeded.

>> 20 under 40

Bill McCall Helping others speak their minds By LU ANN FRANKLIN


photograph by John Luke

ill McCall learned early in life about the benefits of working hard. Raised in a “union home” in Crown Point, McCall says the city has “a lot of hometown spirit, a sense of great pride and personal responsibility.”

He also learned from his parents, Bill and Jeanne McCall, that he had a responsibility to give back to the community. “We had good role models in our parents,” he says. “I’m the oldest of four boys and two of my brothers are teachers and one is a state trooper. Our parents put the bar up high at an early age and taught us that you meet whatever challenges you face.” Today, the coffeehouse business that McCall co-owns with partners David and Jill Beckman called A Conservative Café, reflects those values of hard work and making a difference. It began as an idea to create a place where people can gather and speak their minds, McCall says. In fact, free speech flows freely at the Conservative Café. That American freedom is painted on the walls – “Work, It Does a Body Good” and “Help Build a Strong America, Discipline Your Children.” A retail section of the café sells T-shirts with such sayings as “Silly Liberals…Paychecks Are for Work”. The café’s décor may poke fun at liberals, but everyone is welcome there, says McCall, who is a Democrat. Even the menu celebrates the American tradition of tongue-in-cheek humor. The four coffee blends offered include Liberal, Moderate, Conservative, and Radical Right. Conservative is the top seller, but Liberal, a decaf blend, is popular, too. “It isn’t political,” McCall says. “It’s all

about a good, strong work ethic. It can’t be pigeon-holed.” Yet politics is part of McCall’s own heritage. He received a degree in political science at the University of Indianapolis, where he attended on a swimming scholarship. During his career, he worked for the City of Crown Point, first as an aide to the city’s first Democratic Mayor James Metros and then in the engineering department. A consulting job writing documents for state licensing of Hind Hospital in Hobart led to the positions of chief financial officer and day-to-day administrator for the new hospital. McCall managed the $2.5 million building project and directed employee recruitment for the hospital. All of these experiences came together, McCall says, in 2007 when David Beckham was looking for someone to help him build A Conservative Café. During the partnership, McCall has written the business plan and employee orientation manuals; trained the staff and developed marketing campaigns for radio and print ads and the business’ Web site. He’s also coordinated a national campaign for branding the café. In addition to articles in magazines and newspapers, A Conservative Café has been featured on Fox National News, WGN and MSNBC. “These stories have sparked interest in

this business as a franchise. Within the first year of business, we’ve received 109 requests for franchises in 36 states,” McCall says. The partners are currently working with lawyers to develop the franchise documents. Their building on Main Street is currently for sale because its two-story 4800-square foot design isn’t applicable for franchising models in small venues such as strip malls or stand-alone buildings, he says. “With the capital from the sale of the building, we’re going into corporate locations, in Crown Point, Valparaiso and maybe Schererville,” McCall says. “There has been such a huge response and interest in this concept.” Family continues to be an important influence in his life, McCall says. “I need and depend on the support of my wife, Autumn. Now I live close to where I work and I see my kids more often,” he says. “In fact, my nine-year old daughter can work the cash register at the café.”


BILL MccALL Age: 38 Co-Owner A Conservative Cafe 201 N. Main St. Crown Point, IN 219-661-1700




>> 20 under 40

Connecting the public to parks By LU ANN FRANKLIN


an McGuire knows the value of mentors. One of his first mentors was Steven Doniger, former director of the Valparaiso Department of Parks and Recreation. Sixteen years ago, when he was still in middle school, McGuire was hired by Doniger as a seasonal winter ranger. “A friend of mine was a winter ranger and I thought it was interesting so I applied,” McGuire says. “We helped with sledding at Forest Park and Rogers Lakewood Park and ice skating and hockey at Tower Park.” During the summers, McGuire worked part-time at the boat house in Rogers Lakewood Park. These experiences and Doniger’s guidance helped mold him and prepare him for greater responsibility, he says. “Steven Doniger took me under his wing and showed me how to do work with the park facilities and staff,” McGuire says. He also credits the current director of the Valparaiso parks department, John Seibert, for mentoring him in his present position as Recreation Program Services Coordinator and IT Coordinator. “John has given me a lot of different opportunities,” McGuire says. Over the last five years, McGuire has


been director of the department’s Discovery Camp, a program of age-specific camps that engages children from ages 3 to 13 in play, interaction and exploration while introducing them to the outdoors. He manages facilities and staff throughout the Valparaiso parks system, and also helps plan special events. As a city liaison, McGuire works to coordinate the park department’s participation in such events as the Fourth of July festivities, the Popcorn Festival and the Valparaiso Triathlon. “Working on special events means I’m relating to people and the community,” he says. “I love seeing the joys of what people are experiencing at these events.” He says he’s particularly proud of a challenge course at Rogers Lakewood Park that was installed with the help of a Girl Scout troop who raised funds for the project. The course continues physical elements that help groups build communication and cooperative skills.


[ ] DANIeL McgUIRe

Age: 28 Recreation Program Services Coordinator/IT Coordinator Valparaiso Department of Parks and Recreation 3210 North Campbell St. Valparaiso, IN 46385 219-462-5144

photograph by Jon Hendricks

Daniel McGuire

“Schools use it a lot to mix groups to stop such things as bullying. We use it for staff training,” he says. McGuire’s love for computer technology has also benefited the Valparaiso Department of Parks and Recreation. For example, the parks staff now use wireless laptops and mobile technology to be more efficient and responsive to the public. Department personnel are able to keep in constant contact with email, instant messenger or text messaging. “I’ve emphasized being connected to those who use our facilities,” McGuire says. “We have e-mail blasts through a program we call The Messenger. Through that system, we can let people know, for example, if a game has been cancelled.” He’s also worked with the City of Valparaiso and several companies to provide wi-fi capability at several city parks. McGuire’s professional affiliations give him a chance to connect with others in his field and learn about new programs. He serves on the board of the Indiana Parks and Recreation Association and the Great Lakes Regional Council of the National Parks and Recreation Association. He also is committed to education within the community, hiring middle school and high school students to help educate them while furthering their work experience. In addition, McGuire collaborates with Challenge Education, a program where participants learn to express needs while working toward a group goal, emphasizing individual skills and personal development. McGuire says all of his mentors taught him to give back to the community he calls home. Those efforts have included helping organize the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) program in Valparaiso and chairing a team of Rebuilding Together, a group that volunteers to repair and restore homes in the community. He is also an active member of the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce. “These are all activities that connect me to the community,” he says.

>> 20 under 40

Don Mikrut Success depends on other people By RoB eARNshAw


photograph by John Luke

on Mikrut is the CEO of The Cars Collision Group, a $72 million dollar business based in Schererville, with 28 service centers in three states – Indiana, Illinois and Colorado. Throughout the seven years he’s been its chief executive, Mikrut is credited for keeping the business profitable during challenging times in the “shrinking” collision repair industry. “Don has done an outstanding job due to his complete understanding of all aspects of our business,” says Rob Robbins, Cars Collision Group vice president of sales and marketing. “He is a creative leader illustrated by his recent decision not to layoff any associates during these very

difficult times, but to have all employees share in minor cutbacks resulting in no loss of benefits and keeping everyone employed.” It’s those 450 employees who Mikrut credits for his success. “To be successful you have to surround yourself with successful people,” he says. “We create a great work environment for our staff with great benefits. We try to run it like a small family business.” Mikrut got started in the business in

college where he majored in marketing with a minor in finance. The parents of one of his classmates had a body shop and asked Mikrut to do some marketing for them. That’s when he met Charlie Ambrosia, who owned the South Holland, Ill. body shop. “I learned the business from him,” Mikrut says. Today, Ambrosia works for Mikrut. John Porter, national account manager for CCC Information Services Inc., has worked with Mikrut on a regular basis for the last three years. Porter says Mikrut has built an organization based on integrity and values that deliver a consistent and positive customer experience day in and day out. “With his leadership, Cars Collision has become one of the most well-respected collision repair providers in the industry today and continues to set the standard in quality and satisfaction,” Porter says. “With the combination of incredible vision and the ability to execute with precision, Don is clearly poised to take Cars Collision to the next level and ultimately serve the consumers in their markets with even greater value moving forward.” Mikrut, who sits on several advisory panels, says his goal is to have an impact on the collision business in total. “During my career I’d like to know that I’ve had an impact on the direction of the business and to make it better than what it is today,” he says. Aside from his professional life, Mikrut – who just turned 40 – lives in Schererville with his wife Michelle and two children. Mikrut actually learned how to ice skate so he could help coordinate and coach his son Danny in hockey. It eventually led to Mikrut playing competitive hockey himself. His daughter, Samantha, is a gymnast and cheerleader. “Family always comes first,” Mikrut says. “The success of my children would be more important than my own success.”


DoN MIKRUt Age: 40 Chief Executive Officer The Cars Collision Group 833 W. Lincolnway Highway Suite 400E, Schererville, IN (219) 865-5700




>> 20 under 40

Majoring in design entrepreneurship By rOB eArNshAW


t an age when most of her peers are still in search of a career, Ashley Miller is already in charge of every facet of a successful business.

Miller, 25, is the chief executive officer of her family-run business, Indiana Furniture Showcase in Valparaiso. Her father started the company over 25 years ago before relocating to Florida, where Miller was raised and he remains an absentee owner. Miller attended Florida International University, majoring in entrepreneurship with a minor in finance before relocating to Valparaiso to learn the family business from the ground floor. “I knew I would use this as a jumping off point in my career,” she says. One of Miller’s recent accomplishments at Indiana Furniture has been partnering with general manager Matt Steinhilber on the addition of a new 7500-square-foot department entitled “Designer Showcase” featuring high-end custom furniture. Indiana Furniture Showcase Sales Manager Nick DeFrank says Miller’s new


showcase “makes you want to move into it.” “It looks like home and it’s helping the store,” he says. Under Miller’s watch the business has undergone a computer system upgrade,” DeFrank says. “She’s more or less mastered the system and all the programs behind it – which have to do with inventory control and sales,” he says. “It makes a whole bunch of our jobs easier. She’s grasped the whole idea of it.” Miller plans to continue moving the company forward. “Hopefully we’re going to make it everything we think it can be and should be,” she says. “I don’t think we’re there yet. I think we have a lot of work to do.” Miller gives credit the majority of what she’s learned at this point in the business to the people surrounding her. “I couldn’t ask for better people to work


with,” she says. Miller, who says everyday is “challenging and different,” credits the longtime success of the store to the wide selection offered and good customer service. “We’ll always work with people,” she says. Miller still visits Miami when she gets the opportunity and has also been busy setting up a new home in Chicago. If there is one thing Miller – who had never been to the region until three years ago – has yet to master, it’s the Midwest weather. “I’m still not used to it,” she says. Miller, who says graduate school may be in her future plans, has a little advice for young girls and women who dream of having a strong and successful career. “Work hard and be persistent,” she says. “And when it gets tough try to look at the bigger picture and know what you’re working for and do the best you can everyday. And surround yourself with good people.”


Ashley Miller Age: 25 CEO Indiana Furniture Showcase 1807 E. Lincolnway Valparaiso, IN (219) 465-0545


photograph by Jon Hendricks

Ashley Miller

>> 20 under 40

Invested in people By RoB eaRnshaw


imothy Rice is the president and a partner of Lakeside Wealth Management Group in Chesterton. A business partner of Rice, Mark Chamberlain, says the firm’s assets under his management has increased “almost ten fold,” making Lakeside the biggest independent advisory firm in Northwest Indiana. “Tim is hard-working, well respected, connected and innovative,” Chamberlain says. “He has become the ‘go to’ guy in the Midwest on topics like qualified plans and pension.”


Rice says his success is driven by a genuine interest in people. “I love everybody’s individual story,” he says. “And the people I work with – I’m looking for that deep relationship where


[ ] TimoThy Rice

Age: 37 President Lakeside Wealth Management Group 407 W. Indiana Ave. Chesterton (219) 926-1182

photograph by Jon Hendricks

Timothy Rice

I get to know them as a person and that’s really what’s driven us to success as an organization.” Rice, who has been with Lakeside for over five years, became interested in his career choice while a student at Indiana University, where he found a mentor who was the president of a regional brokerage house. “I got to know him very well and it drove me to a career path that eventually led to this,” Rice says. Rice enjoys making a difference in his community by sitting on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club of Porter County, the Duneland Chamber and Housing Opportunities Inc. Rice is also a donor to the Duneland School Foundation. “You always want to try to give back and I’m a big believer in whatever you get you give,” he says. “It also sets a good moral grounding for my family.” Rice, whose hobbies include golf, mountain climbing and water sports, resides in Jackson Township with his wife (and high school sweetheart) Shelly and their two children, Jack, 8, and Georgia, 5. One of Rice’s associates, Chip Mang, says he doesn’t know how Rice finds the time to do all he does for his family and his community. “He works from dusk to dawn in attempting to be the best advisor in our area,” Mang says. “I have put all of my trust in his vision of our future and firmly believe that he holds the highest integrity and morals.” Rice says his professional goal is to continue to grow his company “into what we believe is the pre-imminent wealth management company in Northwest Indiana.”

>> 20 under 40

Julie Rosenwinkel Advocating community By lu ann FRanklin

photograph by Natalie Battaglia


he origins of Julie Rosenwinkel’s law career can be traced back to her middle school days when she took part in a mock trial on the impeachment of Andrew Jackson. She wanted the same experience as an adult – a career that would keep her interested and challenged. “It’s definitely done that,” she says. Rosenwinkel is a partner with the law firm of Krieg DeVault LLP in Schererville. Her practice focuses on representing hospitals, physicians and other health care providers on a variety of health care law

matters. A litigator, Rosenwinkel primarily defends malpractice claims. “One of the things I like about it is you not only have the legal aspects of it but you learn some of the medical aspects as well,” she says. “There’s always something new to

keep me interested and motivated. And it’s a challenge – I like that.” Krieg DeVault partner Cal Bellamy says Rosenwinkel “always displays the highest level of ethics and professionalism.” Rosenwinkel’s secret to success is simple. “I don’t like to fail,” she says. “I’m motivated to make sure I get it done right.” Rosenwinkel, who is married with two young children, is also motivated when it comes to being active in her community. The Schererville resident has served for 10 years on the board of managers of the Lake County Bar Association, two years as its secretary and currently as vice-president. She also serves on the board of directors of the Indiana Wellness Council. “I’m very interested in employers encouraging wellness in the workplace,” Rosenwinkel says. “It gives me something to do in the community I enjoy.” Rosenwinkel is an active member of the Lake Central Education Foundation because she likes to involve herself in finding ways to help and have a positive influence on kids. She’s also active in her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. “I was a Girl Scout when I was a child,” she says. “I have fond memories of it and think it’s such a good influence on young girls. “It also gives me a good opportunity to spend ‘girl time’ with my daughter.” Rosenwinkel grew up in Indianapolis and began her legal career with volunteer service while in law school with the office of the Indiana University Counsel. She was then appointed as assistant editor of the Indiana Law Journal, which is the principal law review of the Indiana University school of Law-Bloomington. Rosenwinkel is a frequent speaker at presentations to professional and employer organizations on medical and employment law issues. One of Rosenwinkel’s favorite hobbies – when she has the time – is scrapbooking.


Julie Rosenwinkel Age: 39 Attorney/Partner Krieg DeVault LLP 833 W. Lincoln Highway Suite 410, Schererville. IN (219) 227-6101




>> 20 under 40

Teaching empathy and comfort By RoB eaRnshaw


ick Soria of Valparaiso developed and initiated the acclaimed Mortuary Science Program at Ivy Tech’s East Chicago campus in 2002. Soria earned the college full accreditation for the program, which is one of 59 throughout the country. Soria currently oversees the program, among others, as Dean of the School of Public and Social Service at Ivy Tech Community College in the Northwest Region. “Through a collaborative effort from me coming on as program chair, along with the college administration and staff, we were able to bring the program to what it is now,” Soria says. Soria started his career in funeral service at the age of 19 with Pruzin Brothers Funeral Service (Merrillville), Pruzin-Little Funeral Service (Crown Point) and Solan-


Pruzin Funeral Home (Hammond) washing cars and cutting grass. Prior to being appointed program chair, Soria served in several area funeral homes as a funeral director as well as general manager of Graceland Cemetery in Valparaiso. Soria continues to serve as a part-time funeral director for Rees Funeral Homes. “It’s so I can keep up my skills and share them with my current students,” he says. “Also, I love being a funeral director where I can guide families through the loss of a loved one.” Soria credits his successful career to his



Rick soRia Age: 37 Dean Ivy Tech Community College 3100 Ivy Tech Dr. Valparaiso, IN (219) 392-3600


photograph by John Luke

Rick Soria

passion for service and caring for families during one of their most difficult times. Likewise, his passion for community service has had Soria working with the student leadership of the Mortuary Science Club, an organization that has made its mark by arranging activities such as the Remembrance Service, inviting members of the Ivy Tech community during the holiday season to remember loved ones who passed away during the previous year by hanging an “angel” on the tree. Soria recently organized a “Welcome Home” celebration for one of his students who left the program temporarily to serve in Iraq. Other service Soria has provided beyond the funeral home includes actively serving on the Board of Humane Society of Northwest Indiana in Miller Beach, on the board of the American Cancer Society and becoming active in Relay for Life. “I wanted to be able to make a difference in those people who were diagnosed with cancer,” Soria says. It touched home with Soria because the disease took the life of his mother. “Before I was hit with somebody I love that had cancer I got to see what exactly the American Cancer Society’s mission is,” Soria says. Soria began law school around the same time he started the mortuary program with an intent to utilize the legal aspect of the funeral service. He plans to fulfill that dream by specializing in elder law. “I see that as an extension of mortuary science or funeral service,” he says. Deborah Halik, vice chancellor of Academic Affairs for Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, Northwest Region, says Soria’s tireless efforts building the mortuary program through student involvement and community partnerships has proven his exceptional leadership abilities. “Not only is he a dedicated professional but extends his efforts to many programs throughout Northwest Indiana,” Halik says.

>> 20 under 40

Jeff Strack Carrying on a tradition of service

photograph by Natalie Battaglia

By lu ann FRanklin


eff Strack, vice president of operations for the Strack & Van Til group of stores, fondly recalls those Saturdays of his childhood when he got to go to work with his father and visit the few stores they had at the time.

“Playing around in the stores and doing various things,” Strack says. “Playing around” led to working in the stores during junior high and high school. Once he finished college Strack knew what

he wanted to do – stay in the family business by working at Strack & Van Til. “I’m really honored to be able to continue the work in the business that my grandfather and Mr. Van Til started many

years ago,” Strack says. “I take a lot of pride in that.” Strack credits the company’s success to “all the great people who work for us and who have worked for us over the years.” Strack & Van Til President David Wilkinson says Strack, over the last 10 years, has helped grow the SVT brand from 10 stores to 29 – a growth that includes major expansion from Northwest Indiana into Illinois. “He is committed to customer service and maintaining high quality standards to ensure his customer’s satisfaction,” Wilkinson says. Strack says he loves dealing with customers, the action, and all the things that go on in the stores. “I want to continue what Mr. Van Til, my grandfather and others have done for so many years,” Strack says. “I want to provide the people of Northwest Indiana a great place to shop.” Strack is not only committed to customer service but to serving the community as well. He is active in several organizations including TradeWinds, the Boys and Girls Club and serves on the Purdue Calumet Advisory Board. He is also active in Strack & Van Til’s charitable giving fund and the many local organizations and events they sponsor. “I think it’s important to give back to the community and the people who’ve supported Strack & Van Til over the years,” Strack says. “I like working with organizations where I feel I can make a difference for them and the people they serve.” Strack grew up in Griffith and attended Griffith High School. He attended Indiana University and then completed his MBA at Purdue Calumet while working full time at Strack & Van Til. Strack, whose hobbies include deep sea fishing, is married and resides in Chicago.


JeFF sTRack Age: 38 Vice President of Operations Strack & Van Til 2244 45th St., Highland, IN (219) 924-7588





Promoting local business people who are climbing the professional ladder

kathryn humecki, president of Kathryn Humecki and Associates, has successfully completed the certification process with the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts to earn her designation of Certified Valuation Analyst.







Phil Pena, of Highland, has been named vice president of administration at Morton College. Pena will supervise the facilities, campus security, finance, business office, human resources, bookstore, food service, institutional research, multimedia and management information systems departments. The following physicians recently joined the medical staff at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, Ill: Board-certified cardiologist Jaafer Golzar, M.D., who practices in Oak Lawn, Ill.; Board-certified family practitioner michelle meeks, M.D., who practices in Harvey and Hazel Crest; Board-certified internist sumanth mulamalla, M.D., who practices in Hazel Crest; Internist arpit shah, D.O., who practices in Olympia Fields; and board-certified internist George shehata, M.D., who practices in Orland Park, Ill. christine neal, of Dyer, has joined ITEX, a 24,000-member national businessto-business bartering network. As director of business development for Northwest Indiana, Neal’s responsibilities include qualifying Northwest Indiana and Illinois businesses to participate in cashless transactions. The following local lia sophia advisers have earned top honors for the company’s Excellent Beginnings Program Achievers for their outstanding sales accomplishments and professionalism: nicole sherer, of Crown Point; carol sulkowski, of Crown Point; olga serafin, of Dyer; and sarah harger, of Munster. mary Dolezal-Reynolds, of Michigan City, has joined La Porte Regional Health System as the office manager of Rehabilitation Services of LRHS. Her responsibilities include scheduling patients as well as handling office management. carsten Falkenberg, of Crown Point, and Jeff lamb, of Valparaiso, both financial representatives with the South Shore


Group of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, have qualified for the organization’s Summit Circle for their 2008 achievements by demonstrating outstanding sales and service. mark Baumgardner Jr., firefighter/ paramedic with Crown Point Fire Rescue, was named April’s Employee of the Month. Baumgardner Jr. applied for and was awarded a Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to fund a ZISTOS search camera to enable rescuers to search collapsed buildings for survivors or victims without placing the rescuers in danger. chris ylo, a Munster resident and registered investment advisor with LaSalle St. Investment Advisors in Frankfort, Ill., recently attended SEI Investments Due Diligence forum on institutional investing. marty hollingshead, owner of Northlake Auto Recyclers Inc. in Hammond, has been named one of the top 25 Most Influential Auto Recyclers of 2008 by Locator UpFront. Hollingshead has been named as the Top Motivator in the automotive recycling industry. Janice Davis, of St. John, has been promoted to bank officer at Centier Bank. Davis is manager of Centier’s St. John Strack & Van Til grocery store branch. The Munster Chamber of Commerce recently honored Don erminger with the 2009 Citizen of the Year award. Erminger served as manager of the Munster Strack & Van Til grocery store from 2001 until late last year when he was promoted and transferred to the Van Til store on 169th Street in Hammond, where he now serves as store operations manager. katherine ntiamoah, of Munster, was selected as a 2009 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellow following a nationwide contest. The Rangel Fellowship supports extraordinary individuals who want to pursue careers in the U.S. Foreign Service. maria Guzman, of Hammond, a PartyLite independent sales consultant, recently attended the company’s three-day community training workshop in Houston.

Jill hasiak is the new vice president - cash management - Illinois market at Citizens Financial Bank. Hasiak has more than 20 years of banking experience. In recognition for the first quarter of 2009, Keller Williams Realty Leaders gave maryann maki the Closed Sales Performance award. Maki earned the top sales award for high units sold totaling over $1 million in sales for the first 3 months of this year. The following local residents have become independent consultants with Tastefully Simple Inc., a national direct-sales company featuring easy-to-prepare gourmet products: missy Blackmon, of Cedar Lake; Jen mardis, of Hobartl; Jaime Pressman, of Munster; Jennifer Rothgeb, of Schererville; and nancy houston, of Schererville. Dean David T. link, a lawyer, educator, dean and a Catholic priest who ministers to inmates at the Indiana State Prison, has been selected to receive the American Inns of Court’s 2009 Professionalism Award for the Seventh Circuit. The award is presented to honor a senior judge or lawyer whose life and practice display character and integrity, coupled with ongoing dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession. angie hayes, of Valparaiso, has been selected as the new director of finance and administration for the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission. Hayes had previously been the acting director of finance and administration. chris Previs, Crown Point public works wastewater treatment plant supervisor, was named May’s Employee of the Month for his work on special assignments and with contractors on the Anderson Pond Project and the Floatable Solids Control Project, which were under budget. leanne hoagland smith, of Advanced Systems, presented at the Resource Associates Corp. Conference for executive coaches and business improvement consultants in Reading, Pa., on education based marketing through article marketing. stephanie Barton is the new volunteer manager at Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana.

sara short has been promoted to financial center manager at Fifth Third Bank in Highland. Short was most recently a customer service manager at Fifth Third Bank in Highland. Juan Guerra, of Hammond, has recently become a senior level business partner with Symmetry, a direct selling company known for its juice product. Rob Jensen was recently promoted to executive director of business, communications and facilities development at the Hammond Clinic. Jensen, who was director of business development since 2007, will implement additional internal and external communications tools. White Lodging of Merrillville has appointed steve Ransone and Tina laskaris as regional vice presidents for the hospitality management company. As regional vice president of region 10, Ransone will oversee properties located throughout Indiana and Ohio. Laskaris joins the company to oversee hotels found in Region 8, with hotels in Indiana and Michigan. The James C. Kimbrough Bar Association, a group comprised of lawyers who practice in Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland, elected its officers for the 2009-10 fiscal year. Attorneys Trent a. mccain, principal of McCain Law Offices P.C., and shelice Tolbert, partner at Kopka Pinkus Dolin & Eads P.C., were respectively elected as president and vice president. Attorneys alger V. Boswell iii and Barbara a. Bolling were elected as secretary and treasurer, respectively. The immediate past president is attorney michael Tolbert. Joe wiley, of Ford Heights, a driver sales representative for Con-Way Freight, was recognized by the company’s Gary service center for safely driving 2 million miles between 1988 and 2009.





To submit an item for Professionals on the Move, send information and a photo, if available, to 601 W. 45th Ave., Munster, IN 46321, e-mail to business@nwitimes. com or fax to (219) 933-3249. Faxed photos will not be published. Tolbert



Your Automotive Source for Northwest Indiana

Locate Auto Dealers with Ease, in NW Indiana & Chicagoland ACURA




JOE RIZZA ACURA • 29 159th St. & 80th Ave., Orland Park, IL 708-403-7770 •

ARNELL CHRYSLER • 14 U.S 20 & I-94, Burns Harbor, IN 866-593-0997 •

SCHEPEL HUMMER • 9 2929 West Lincoln Highway, Merrillville, IN 219-738-1900 •

SOUTHLAKE NISSAN • 34 Rt. 30, 1 Mile E. of I-65, Merrillville, IN 888-966-4772 •


CENTER CHRYSLER • 41 11009 West 133rd Ave, Cedar Lake, IN 219-374-7171 •



SHAFFER HYUNDAI • 43 1000 W. U.S. Hwy. 30, Merrillville, IN 219-736-2277 •

SCHEPEL PONTIAC • 9 3209 West Lincoln Highway, Merrillville IN 219-769-6381 •

TEAM HYUNDAI • 45 9236 Indianapolis Blvd., Highland, IN 219-923-2277 •

SMITH PONTIAC • 7 700 W. Commercial Avenue Lowell, IN • 219-696-8931

KENNEDY BUICK • 3 3200 N. Calumet Ave., Valparaiso, IN 219-462-3111 or 800-293-9454 SCHEPEL BUICK • 9 3209 West Lincoln Highway, Merrillville, IN 219-769-6381 •

GRIEGERS MOTORS • 5 1756 U.S. 30 West, Valparaiso, IN 219-462-4117 • THOMAS CHRYSLER • 11 9604 Indianapolis Blvd, Highland, IN 219-924-6100 •

CIRCLE BUICK • 65 1300 U.S. 41,, Schererville, IN IN. 219-865-4400 • IL. 773-221-8124


RIDGEWAY CHEVROLET • 1 17730 Torrence Ave, Lansing, IL 60438 708-474-4990 •

GRIEGERS MOTORS • 5 1756 U.S. 30 West, Valparaiso, IN 219-462-4117 •

GRIEGERS MOTORS • 5 1756 U.S. 30 West, Valparaiso, IN 219-462-4117 •

THOMAS JEEP • 11 9604 Indianapolis Blvd, Highland, IN 219-924-6100 •

THOMAS DODGE • 11 9604 Indianapolis Blvd, Highland, IN 219-924-6100 •

FORD SMITH FORD • 36 1777 E. Commercial, Lowell, IN 219-769-1090 •


KENNEDY MAZDA • 3 3200 N. Calumet Ave., Valparaiso, IN 219-462-3111 or 800-293-9454


CHEVROLET OF HOMEWOOD • 15 18033 S. Halsted., Homewood, IL 60430 800-409-5187 •

MITSUBISHI SHAFFER MITSUBISHI • 43 1000 W. U.S. Hwy. 30, Merrillville, IN 219-736-2277

CIRCLE GMC • 65 1300 U.S. 41,, Schererville, IN IN. 219-865-4400 • IL. 773-221-8124

SAAB SCHEPEL SAAB • 9 2929 West Lincoln Highway, Merrillville, IN 219-738-1900 •

SUBARU OF MERRILLVILLE • 24 1777 West, US Rt. 30, Merrillville, IN 219-756-7900 •


SCHEPEL GMC • 9 3209 West Lincoln Highway, Merrillville, IN 219-769-6381 •

PORSCHE JOE RIZZA PORSCHE • 2 8130 W 159th St., Orland Park, IL 708-403-0300 •


WEBB FORD • 71 9809 Indianapolis Blvd., Highland, IN 888-869-8822 •

SMITH CHEVROLET - LOWELL • 7 700 W. Commerical, Lowell, IN 219-696-8931 •

CIRCLE PONTIAC • 65 1300 U.S. 41,, Schererville, IN IN. 219-865-4400 • IL. 773-221-8124

SOUTHLAKE KIA • 34 Rt. 30, 1 mi. East of I-65, Merrillville, IN 866-639-8542 •

THOMAS KIA • 16 9825 Indianapolis Blvd, Highland, IN 219-934-2266 •

JOE RIZZA FORD ORLAND PARK • 35 8100 W 159th St., Orland Park, IL 60462 708-442-7000 •

SMITH CHEVROLET - HAMMOND • 37 6405 Indianapolis Blvd., Hammond, IN 219-845-4000 •

MIKE ANDERSON CHEVROLET • 4 The Chevy Giant on I-65 I-65 and 61st Avenue, Merrillville, IN 219-947-4151 •

CENTER JEEP • 41 11009 West 133rd Ave, Cedar Lake, IN 219-374-7171 •

CENTER DODGE • 41 11009 West 133rd Ave, Cedar Lake, IN 219-374-7171 •


ARNELL CHEVROLET • 14 U.S 20 & I-94, Burns Harbor, IN 866-593-0997 •

ARNELL JEEP • 14 U.S 20 & I-94, Burns Harbor, IN 866-593-0997 •

ARNELL DODGE • 14 U.S 20 & I-94, Burns Harbor, IN 866-593-0997 •

SCHEPEL CADILLAC • 9 2929 West Lincoln Highway, Merrillville, IN 219-738-1900 •

TEAM CHEVROLET • 48 1856 W. U.S. 30, Valparaiso, IN 219-462-1175 •



SUZUKI RICHARDSON SUZUKI • 38 9110 Indianapolis Blvd., Highland, IN 219-923-4000 •

TOYOTA TEAM TOYOTA • 44 9601 Indianapolis Blvd., Highland, IN 219-924-8100 • TOYOTA ON 30 • 46 4450 E. RT 30, Merrillville, IN 219-947-3325 •











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