Category: Business

Great Economic Development Selling Points

TAKE THE TRAIN The South Shore Line expands its reach to Munster.

Northwest Indiana offers a host of attractive attributes.

by Michael Puente

On paper, Northwest Indiana has a lot going for it that other parts of Indiana simply don’t have.

That includes easy access to major highways, a well-trained workforce, an extensive rail system, regional airport and close proximity to the nation’s third-largest city: Chicago.

“We’ve got great assets. We’ve got access to the fifth-largest economy …

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Posted in Business, Current Issue, Economic Development, Fall 2015 | Leave a comment

Paco’s Custom Clothiers

CUSTOMERS ALL OVER Paco Fernandez
aims to create the best handmade
garments in the country.

Quality lands thousands of customers across the country.

by Michael Puente

On August 17, 1999, Paco Fernandez resigned from his job at the Chicago clothing company where he had worked for 28 years.

At the time, the native of Tampico, Mexico was living in East Chicago.

He set out to start his own clothing company to take advantage of the knowledge and experience he had …

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Posted in Business, Current Issue, Fall 2015, Regional Leadership | Leave a comment

Optimistic Climate

MEDICAL SPACE IN MISHAWAKA Demand for various types of commercial space is on the rise across St. Joseph and Elkhart counties.

Demand is high and the region’s attributes are attractive.

by Jacqueline Von Ogden

The state of the development in Northwest and Northern Indiana has, of course, had its peaks and valleys within the last decade. Remember 2009? Most want to forget it. We took the time to speak with leading commercial realtors who not only identified the latest developments but also told of the possibilities …

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Posted in Business, Commercial Real Estate, Current Issue, Fall 2015, Real Estate | Leave a comment

Keying Into Customer Needs

GOING MOBILE Banks and customers are embracing mobile deposits, online bill payment,
electronic person-to-person payments, online statements and other electronic services.

High-touch meets high-tech–personalization with less human interaction is keying into customer needs.

by Phil Britt

Over the past few years, banks have added mobile banking, enabling customers to deposit checks by taking pictures of them with smartphones. Banks have also extended their online banking offerings, so that customers can have more convenience to bank when and where they choose, and to take advantage of upgraded …

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Posted in Banking, Business, Current Issue, Fall 2015, Finance | Leave a comment

Agents of Change

“FIGHTING FOR TALENT” Craig Menne is president for
General Insurance Services,
which helps employers craft
benefits packages to gain an edge in hiring top people.

Insurance pros are agents of change on the front lines of health care reform.

by Laurie Wink

Leading health insurance professionals in our region describe the Affordable Care Act as “overwhelming,” “complex,” “high stakes,” and “time consuming.” But they also say the health care reform legislation has been a boon to their business.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA)–referred to as Obamacare by its critics–was enacted …

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Posted in Business, Current Issue, Fall 2015, Health Care | Leave a comment

Companies to Watch

ON THE DRAWING BOARD President Pat Pasterick
leads Design Collaborative in Fort Wayne.

Special Report

Northern Indiana companies with great results and lots of promise.

by Steve Kaelble

The biggest success stories start small. Among the six Northern Indiana organizations on the 2015 Indiana’s Companies to Watch list are firms that started in garages and kitchen tables, companies created from scratch that have grown organically. They make wood pallets and architectural woodwork, provide architectural and environmental services, sell …

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Posted in Business, Current Issue, Fall 2015 | Leave a comment

Five Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask

Starting a business can be an incredibly daunting endeavor. From creating the initial concept to executing it in a smart, cost-effective manner, building a business and continually fostering it takes time, strategy and a tremendous amount of determination. Jay Yadon, co-founder and CEO of ResortShare, an award-winning company helping timeshare owners share their vacation time with travelers, can fully attest to this process. …

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Posted in Women in Business | Leave a comment

Honoring Innovation

GROUND-SHIFTING WORK Geologist Erin Argyilan’s research involving
Mount Baldy reveals how people impact the Indiana Dunes.

Risk-takers challenge the status quo. Honoring innovation in the region.

by Jerry Davich

The word innovation is defined simply as implementing a new method, product or idea. But behind those new methods, products or ideas are creative risk-takers, adventurers and entrepreneurs who simply won’t settle for the status quo.

Their innovations can be fueled by fear, chance, accident or necessity. In Northwest Indiana, such problem-solving …

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Posted in Business, Cover Story, Fall 2015 | Leave a comment

Publisher’s Note – Fall 2015

Spotlight on Innovators

Visionaries are leading the way and challenging the status quo.

Where would we be without the idea people, risk-takers and self-made entrepreneurs? They boost our quality of life and drive the location economy.

For the past 11 years, the Northwest Indiana Society of Innovators has put the spotlight on these kinds of people who have shared their remarkable innovations with the world. …

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Posted in Business, Current Issue, Fall 2015 | Leave a comment

Leaders as Heroes Inductees

SALUTING LEADERSHIP Pictured in front: Tiffany English, executive director,
The First Tee of Hammond, and O’Merrial Butchee, director of the Ivy Tech
Community College Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In back are
Alicia Nunn, founder and executive director of ARISE, and Scott Bourrell, first class patrolman with the Crown Point Police Department.

Winners of the 2015 South Shore Leadership Awards.

by Jerry Davich

Keith Kirkpatrick asked hundreds of guests to raise their champagne glasses to symbolically toast the newest Leaders as Heroes inductees.

More realistically, Kirkpatrick hoped his toast at the jam-packed Avalon Manor in Merrillville raised awareness to the importance of publicly recognizing our region’s “doers, founders and risk-takers,” as he calls them.

“This is our …

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Posted in Business, Making a Difference, Summer 2015 | Leave a comment