At its annual meeting last week in Hammond, the Northwest Indiana Forum celebrated its economic development successes in 2015. The nonprofit organization also elected its 2016 board members.
The NIF touted its participation in helping to attract over 980 jobs to northwest Indiana last year, including responding to and developing over 50 leads for attraction or business expansion in the region. The organization also revamped its strategic plan, which provides guiding metrics for success and increased its membership by six percent.
"2016 promises to be even more exciting," said Chief Executive Officer Heather Ennis. "One month into the New Year, the Forum has hosted members of the Indiana General Assembly along with Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann at our reception in Indianapolis. We’ve bought together over 40 brokers, developers and site selectors to meet and hear Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith tout the great economic value of doing business in our state and we have advocated at the state house for policy change of the urban enterprise zones deadlines."
The group also elected three new members to its board and re-elected eight others. This year’s board members include:
- Kelly Credit, Porter Health Care Systems
- Gus Olympidis, Family Express
- Rex Richards, Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce
- Don Babcock, NIPSCO
- Speros Batistatos, South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority
- Brian Boilek, First Midwest Bank
- John Diederich, Peoples Bank
- Larry Fabina, ArcelorMittal
- Tom Keilman, BP Americas
- Dewey Pearman, Construction Advancement Foundation
- Mark Tade, U.S. Steel.
The organization says it will work to stop the migration of medical services to Chicago and continue its collaborative efforts with regional partners to make sure the region will be chosen for new or expanding businesses.