The Northwest Indiana Forum is highlighting successes in 2020 and has elected 11 business leaders to serve on its managing board of directors. The organization says it was able to attract more than $254 million in new investment and nearly 2,500 job commitments to the region last year.
The forum says despite the pandemic, it was able to host four in-person events throughout the year, including three regionally-based economic development boot camps where more than 100 people participated. Additionally, the organization’s Zoom series included 22 virtual events that reached more than 1,100 participants.
“Amidst a year of trials and uncertainty, Northwest Indiana managed to outperform 2019 metrics,” said Heather Ennis, president of the Forum. “We look forward to working more closely with our regional partners, maybe even face-to-face, in 2021 to continue to build on that success.”
Additional 2020 accomplishments highlighted by the forum include:
- The forum’s Ignite the Region economic strategy continued to make progress with 88% of the five-year plan in process or complete in just two years.
- The forum welcomed four new investors and continued to cultivate new prospects.
- Represented northwest Indiana on regional, state, national and international boards and commissions.
- The organization says it will continue to work with brokers, developers, consultants and site selectors to ensure northwest Indiana remains in the spotlight for business development.
The 11 members elected to the forum’s managing board include:
- Justin Mount of Indiana America Water and Matt Gower with Carmeuse Lime and Stone
- Nine members were re-elected to three-year terms: Dave Bareham, Enbridge; Brian Hittinger, Krieg DeVault; Chancellor Tom Keonn, Purdue University Northwest; Richard Leverett, AT&T; Dean Mazzoni, Franciscan Health Michigan City; Kathryn Jenkins, Horseshoe Casino; Lori Tubbs, McColly Bennett Commercial Advantage; Michael Helsdingen, First Midwest Bank; and Erica Dombey, Regional Development Company
- Joining the board in 2020 are: Chancellor Ken Iwama, Indiana University Northwest and Tony Kazakevicius, Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad.