Noteworthy News Bits From Around the Region
by Michelle M. Searer
Accu-Mold LLC has hired Walter Hill as its strategic sales director. He will collaborate with the entire Accu-Mold team to develop short and long term sales plans that support the company’s business plan. Accu-Mold specializes in metal-to-plastic conversion as well as manufacturing and assembly of plastic injection molded components for the automotive industry.
The Building Services Contractors Association International has awarded Corey Bush of Bryco Services Inc., Merrillville, its Registered Building Service Manager designation. The designation means Bush has satisfied stringent criteria and passed an examination certifying he now meets the high standards of the association.
Ivy Tech Community College announced Peter Linden as the new president of Ivy Tech’s Michigan City campus when he assumed his new role on August 1. He succeeds Rick Soria, who left Ivy Tech in February to become president of Miami Dade College’s Wolfson campus. Linden most recently has been serving as senior academic dean of Career and Technical Education at Joliet Junior College. Linden has a Ph.D. from Loyola University of Chicago in Higher Education and Policy Leadership and also holds an M.B.A. from North Park University, a B.S. in Business and Management from Northeastern Illinois University, and an Associate of Occupational Studies from the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, N.Y. Peter Biegel was appointed assistant vice chancellor for Student Affairs at Ivy Tech’s Michigan City campus. Biegel most recently served in various leadership positions at Florida State College in Jacksonville and previously worked in various capacities at Indiana University South Bend. He has a Ph.D. in education from Capella University. Devin Hughes has been named the associate director of Admissions for Ivy Tech Community College’s Gary campus. He is a resident of East Chicago and previously worked as the Dual Credit coordinator at Triton College in River Grove, Ill. … Purdue University Northwest Dean of Technology Niaz Latif was recently honored with a Frederick J. Berger Award presented by the American Society for Engineering Education at its 123rd Annual Conference and Exposition in New Orleans. The award is presented to individuals and schools that have demonstrated leadership in curriculum, scholarly contributions, innovative techniques, or administration in engineering technology education. Professor Jeff Shires has been appointed PNW’s executive director of Concurrent Enrollment/Dual Credit. He will provide leadership and strategic vision, managing daily operations and facilitating partnerships with local school systems to meet the Indiana objective of increasing the number of in-state college graduates … Indiana University Northwest has announced the selection of Cynthia Roberts as the dean of the School of Business and Economics. Roberts served Purdue North Central for the past 16 years in the roles of Chair of the Department of Business and Leadership, Director of the M.B.A. Program, and the Teddy Jacobi Dean of the College of Business. Roberts earned her Ph.D. in Organization Development from Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill. and two master’s degrees from Loyola University in Chicago. Michelle Dickerson was appointed as IUN executive director of Finance, a post she assumed in July. Dickerson will oversee the university’s Office of Fiscal Affairs and the Office of Human Resources. She previously worked in finance, budget and audit roles at Building Better Futures (BBF) Family Services, Canteen Corp. and McDonald’s Corp. Aneesah Ali has been appointed IUN director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action programs and Deputy Title IX Coordinator. She will coordinate IUN’s compliance with nondiscrimination and affirmative action in educational programs and employment, and will also coordinate affirmative action plans for women, minorities, protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.
Fifth Third Bancorp has named Eric S. Smith market president for the Chicago region, which includes Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan. He will be focused on driving the bank’s growth in credit, treasury management services, capital markets and corporate advisory solutions. Smith most recently served as chief financial officer of middle market banking for JPMorgan Chase … Residential mortgage lender Ruoff Home Mortgage has hired Gina DeCicco as senior loan officer at its Crown Point office. DeCicco most recently worked with the Bank of England. She has been doing mortgages since 2003 and is green belt certified in Six Sigma. Dave Ellingsen was the top loan originator for the Crown Point office of residential mortgage lender Ruoff Home Mortgage for the month of August. He has worked in the banking industry since 2003. David Leeper was recognized as the top loan originator, based on the number of loans closed, for their Crown Point office for the month of April. Leeper joined Ruoff in May 2015 and has been in the banking/mortgage industry for 12 years … Meridian Title Corporation recently recognized Cindy Finley, Dawn Zigler and Palmer Myers, all of Northwest Indiana, with its “Excellence in Sales” award and “Outstanding Performance and Sales Achievement” award for 2015 … The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has authorized Wesley M. Kotys, president and wealth adviser at The Kotys Group, Valparaiso, to use the Certified Financial Planner certification marks. He has met the experience and ethical requirements of the board, completed financial planning courses, and passed certification exams … Edward Jones Financial advisor Brock Lloyd recently received the firm’s Eagle Award for his “clear vision of both client and business goals” over the past year. Only 1,959 of the firm’s more than 14,000 financial advisors received the award. He works out of the firm’s Valparaiso office and lives in Chesterton … Allegius Credit Union has hired Marcelina Ramirez as a vice president/chief financial officer. Ramirez will focus on the credit union’s financials, asset/liability management policies and procedures, along with overseeing the comptroller and accounting department.
Carl Risk II has been named the new president of Elkhart General Hospital. Risk comes to Beacon from St. Vincent Jennings Hospital in North Vernon, Ind., where he had been serving as the lead administrator since 2011. During his tenure, Risk was instrumental in leading overall operations of the hospital, implementing the hospital strategic plan and budget, developing effective working relationships with the board, managers, physicians, associates and community and improving patient care services and satisfaction. Risk previously served in senior leadership positions at King’s Daughters’ Hospital and Health Services in Madison, Ind. Overall, he has 17 years of experience in health care administration … Porter Health Care System has welcomed Dr. Vijaya Chapala, to its medical staff. Chapala, a board-certified Internal Medicine physician, will practice at Portage Medical Group in Portage. She earned her medical degree at Ross University School of Medicine and completed her residency in internal medicine at the Allegheny University Hospitals in Philadelphia and continued as an attending physician at the VA hospital in Asheville, N.C. … Franciscan St. Anthony Health–Michigan City honored Dr. David Miller with a 35-year service certificate. Miller practiced as a physician for more than 40 years before retiring. Hospital CEO Dean Mazzoni thanked Miller for making a positive difference in the lives of others through his dedication, service and commitment to the community and to the hospital. Nurse Kathy Koehler, of Franciscan St. Anthony Health–Michigan City’s medical-surgical unit, was recognized with the St. Camillus Award for her exceptional service. Dr. June Brown, an emergency room physician, was recognized with the St. Luke Award. Nominated by nursing staff members, Brown was praised for her rapport with staff, being approachable, and staying calm during emergencies … In recognition of National Nurses Week, St. Mary Medical Center awarded 2016 Nursing Pillar Awards to registered nurses Steve Lopez, for service; Josette Crostreet, for quality; Sheena Tinner, for finance; Jennifer Mulvihill, for growth; and Randall Quirk, for people. Registered nurse Jodie Blackman won the superstar award. The awards honor nurses who go above and beyond their duties, providing the best in patient care … Orthopaedic Specialists of Northwest Indiana has welcomed Drs. Craig Best and Daniel Woods to its practice. Best is a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist who will help expand the practice’s non-operative spine and sports medicine services. He specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal disorders. Woods, who is fellowship trained in sports medicine and orthopaedic surgery, will focus on treating injuries to the knee and shoulder, including ACL and rotator cuff repair. He was team doctor for the Flyers and the Philadelphia Eagles during his fellowship. Woods will also be heading a new orthopaedic surgery program at St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago…. The Academy of General Dentistry has given Leonard F. Anglis, DDS, its Lifelong Learning & Service Recognition Award for the second time during the AGD 2016 Annual Meeting. The award recognizes continuing education, community service, and service to dentistry. He completed 100 hours of dental-related community volunteer service and 500 credits in course attendance, teaching, or publications since his previous award … St. Mary Medical Center’s Cancer Care Center in Hobart has welcomed Patty Higgins, RN, OCN as its new oncology nurse navigator. Higgins will assist oncology patients through treatment, education and coordination of care. She will help patients develop a survivorship plan after treatment concludes. Higgins most recently served as a nurse in the oncology unit. Nurse practitioner Lindsay Gordon has joined Dr. Christina Huynh in practice at the Portage Health Center II of St. Mary Medical Center. Gordon received her B.S. in nursing from Valparaiso University. Nurse practitioner Ann Trapp has joined the physicians of Porter County Primary Care in practice at the Valparaiso Health Center of St. Mary Medical Center in Valparaiso … The American Optometric Association has recognized Dr. Richard W. Ireland of Valparaiso with a 2016 Continuing Recognition Award for completing 50 credit hours of continuing education. He was one of 69 optometrists nationwide receiving the award … Family practice physician Donald Phillips has joined the Community Care Network Inc., the physician group affiliated with St. Mary Medical Center and all Community Healthcare System hospitals. Joining him at his Hobart offices is nurse practitioner Melissa Dvorscak … Family Medicine Physician Kajal Patel, MD, has joined the Porter Physician Group. The doctor focuses on preventive care and believes in current evidence-based guidelines when caring for patients. She received her medical degree from Windsor University, College of Medicine, West Indies. She completed her internship and residency in Family Medicine at Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center in Chicago. Her office is located on Willowcreek Road in Portage … Registered nurse Megan Walker, of the post-partum unit at Methodist Hospital’s Northlake Campus in Gary, is the only nurse from a Northwest Indiana hospital to be named a finalist for the 2016 Nurse.com GEM Awards from the Midwest states. The award recognizes nurses nationwide for excellence in leadership, management, education, volunteerism and clinical practice. Regional finalists will be announced in November and national winners early next year. Methodist Hospitals welcomes Drs. Raphael Albert and Isidora Nantes to Methodist Physician Group. Both physicians were formerly part of Porter Physician Group, a division of Porter Health Care System and the United States Steel (USS) Family Medical Center, prior to Porter Health System purchasing the clinic in December of 2014. Albert and Nantes have served Northwest Indiana families for many years in Merrillville and, by joining the Methodist Physician Group, their patients are now supported by the advanced, nearby resources of Methodist Hospitals … Physical therapist Tracy Campbell, MPT, has joined the staff of Integrated Therapy Practice PC in Valparaiso. Campbell earned her M.S. in physical therapy from the University of Findlay in Ohio. She has more than 15 years’ experience and the Indiana chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association honored her with its Emerging Leader Award in 2009 … The Board of Lower Extremity Surgery has granted Dr. Armand Gasbarro, Lansing Foot & Ankle Center, certification in lower extremity medicine and surgery and the title of Diplomate after he passed written and oral exams and submitted examples of his surgical cases. … Community Health Network has named George Hurd vice president of the network’s Behavioral Health Services. Hurd will provide strategic, fiscal and operational leadership, filling the needs of patients and the network through an integrated and comprehensive continuum of services. Veteran TV personality Kris Kirschner has joined Community Health Network as PR and media relations strategist. Kirschner spent the past 19 years as a reporter and anchor at WTHR in Indianapolis. An award-winning journalist, Kirschner has earned several Emmy nominations for reporting, writing and anchoring. She most recently took home an Emmy and has also been honored by the Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists.
HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM
Mark Timejardine, general manager of the Red Lobster in Munster, has been recognized with the Red Lobster’s People Developer Award, which honors general managers who demonstrate a passion for mentoring others. He is one of only eight general managers to be selected from the more than 700 Red Lobster restaurant leaders in North America … Buffalo Wings and Rings owner Mike Weyer, of Jasper, Indiana, and general manager Ann Benet recently were awarded the Club Level Experience award for best customer service within the chain at the company’s national conference. Cincinnati-based Buffalo Wings & Rings has almost 60 locations, many located in the Midwest.
MacLennan & Bain Insurance, Valparaiso, has hired Kyle Yelton as a commercial property and casualty insurance agent. He was formerly a financial services specialist at Northwestern Mutual Life. He serves on the Porter County Planning Commission, the Boys & Girls Club of Porter County board of directors, and other community organizations … Todd Avery has opened a State Farm Insurance Agency in Highland. Prior to becoming a State Farm Agent, he worked for Ossur Americas in sales management. He is a lifetime resident of Northwest Indiana, currently residing in Crown Point … Allstate agency owners Nick Adams and Travis Huber have had their agencies designated as Allstate Premier Agencies. Adams owns the Adams Insurance Agency Inc. in Griffith, and Huber owns the Team Huber Agency in Highland. The Premier Agency designation is awarded to Allstate agency owners who have demonstrated excellence in delivering an accessible, knowledgeable and personal customer experience while achieving outstanding business results … Northwestern Mutual in Chicago has announced that Dionna Johnson has joined the firm’s downtown Chicago office as a recruiter. She will play a key role in finding talented individuals who want to be part of a caring performance culture and want to build enduring relationships with clients. She is a Lansing native who now lives in Hyde Park.
Attorney Brian Custy has graduated from the prestigious Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College in Dubois, Wyo. The College is led by famed trial attorney Gerry Spence and dedicated to training lawyers who are committed to the jury system and to representing and obtaining justice for individuals … Attorney Patricia Roman Hass has joined Reminger Co. LPA’s Northwest Indiana office, located in Crown Point. She practices civil defense litigation, with a focus on general tort liability, civil rights litigation, commercial disputes, and employment litigation. Roman Hass was previously a member of the litigation practice group of a law firm in Northwest Indiana for six years. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and earned her law degree from Indiana University Maurer School of Law.
Haire Group of Merrillville has welcomed corrugated industry veteran Tim Engle as its new machinery product manager. Engle will be responsible for heading up sales of new machinery with a focus on Dong Fang machinery, including APSTAR Rotary Die Cutters and APSTAR Flexo-Folder-Gluers. Engle has more than 16 years of experience in the corrugated box industry.
The South Shore Leadership Center has appointed Harry J. Vande Velde III as its new president and CEO. Vande Velde, a former president of the Legacy Foundation, brings extensive experience in not-for-profit management, education and development to the role. He replaces SSLC founder Keith Kirkpatrick, who stepped down in 2015. Leigh Morris has been serving as interim president and CEO of the center since early 2016. Vande Velde is a graduate of the LNI program and former member of the SSLC board … The Pines Village Retirement Communities Inc. has named Karen Vogelsang to its board of directors. Vogelsang, a Valparaiso resident, is a senior financial adviser and registered principal of Vogelsang Asset Management LLC. Pines Village Retirement Communities provides housing, services and advocacy for older adults.
The Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS) announced Stephanie Blanco has been elected chair of the Government Report Review Committee. Blanco, 39, is the Senior Manager at John Kasperek Co. Inc. in Calumet City. The Government Report Review Committee conducts annual reviews of audit opinions issued by public accountants and related financial statements for local governments … Matthew Stosich, CPA has been appointed tax manager at McMahon & Associates CPAs PC. His tax and accounting services include individual, partnership and corporate tax returns, tax projections and tax planning. He serves a variety of industries including professional services, construction, manufacturing, real estate and nonprofits.
The National Pawnbrokers Association has selected Greg Engstrom, founder of Ameripawn in Valparaiso, as the recipient of the 2016 Pawnbroker of the Year Award, presented to an NPA member who has demonstrated exceptional success in their business and local community and has made a significant contribution to the pawn industry.
South Shore Leadership Center Announces Affiliation with Purdue University Northwest
The South Shore Leadership Center (SSLC) announced that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Purdue University Northwest (PNW) to develop an expanded range of leadership programs and services designed to address the needs of private, public and not-for-profit participants. The affiliation, effective Oct. 1, will benefit both the organization and the university through opportunities to jointly provide leadership development programming that enhances the economic, social and cultural well-being of residents from across the seven-county area of Northwest Indiana. Under the terms of the agreement, PNW will serve as the host organization for the SSLC. The SSLC office will relocate to PNW-hosted facilities, while the center will remain an independent 501(c)3 organization. The SSLC also will seek opportunities to support and augment PNW’s research and economic development efforts across the region.