Category: Business

Cooperation Not Competition

Alliance brings together Chicago region.

The relationship between Northwest Indiana and the Greater Chicago area has often been described as a love-hate relationship. We love the proximity and the jobs provided for Hoosiers, but the state line has often seemed to be a barrier to collaboration.

A landmark study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2012 analyzed the economic interdependence between …

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Posted in Business, Current Issue, Economic Development, Viewpoint, Winter 2016 | Leave a comment

Pioneer Packaging

PALLETS AND MUCH MORE For Susan and Wade Kohler, the business of making
pallets has led to warehousing, wholesaling, trailer rental, contract manufacturing,
and creation of livestock bedding made of ground-up wood scraps.

Service and ingenuity are the keys to this pallet manufacturer’s growth.

Entrepreneurs know to always be listening so they’ll hear when opportunity knocks. What about when an opportunity goes “moo”?

Yes, Wade and Susan Kohler of Pioneer Packaging answered that opportunity, too, when they got into the business of livestock bedding. It’s a perfect–but not necessarily obvious–complement to their primary business of making and delivering …

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Posted in Business, Current Issue, Leader & CEO Profiles, Winter 2016 | Leave a comment

Girls and Paint

CHANGING THE WORLD Norma Williams has a huge heart for helping others.

Non-profit changes lives by teaching business and painting skills.

by Lauren Caggiano

Everyone has the power to change the world for the better if they try. That’s the mantra Norma Williams embraces in her personal and business life.

The entrepreneur currently operates a successful residential and commercial painting business, Excellence By Design, which celebrated its tenth year in 2015. But it’s not just about making …

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Posted in Business, Current Issue, Winter 2016 | Leave a comment

Buzz Points

Loyalty program benefits financial institutions, merchants, members.

by Phil Britt

Financial institutions and local retailers and restaurants alike find themselves competing with much larger national companies for customers.

For the local financial institutions, the need to attract and retain customers has never been more critical. The largest banks in the country control half of the financial industry’s $15 trillion in assets.

In order to gain …

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Posted in Banking, Business, Current Issue, Finance, Winter 2016 | Leave a comment

A New Convention Center

CENTURY CENTER South Bend’s convention center is a regional economic magnet.

Is the region ready, and can leaders make it happen?

by Jerry Davich

Is Northwest Indiana ripe for a new, modern convention center, or is our region too rife with narrow-minded parochialism and political shortsightedness to finally pull it off? As with most long-term, big-scale projects in this contentious corner of the state, it depends which officials you ask.

“For the first time in my …

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Posted in Business, Current Issue, Winter 2016 | Leave a comment

Finding Skilled Workers


The economy is strong, but manufacturers are having trouble filling jobs.

by Steve Kaelble

Indiana’s jobless rate as 2015 wound down was holding steady at 4.4 percent. That’s as low as it has been in a decade and a half, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

That’s fantastic news, right? All in all, it’s a good sign for the workers of Indiana, a …

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Posted in Business, Current Issue, Winter 2016 | Leave a comment

Encouraging Employee Wellness

EMPLOYEES SAY “THANKS” Penny Holsclaw, an RN and program supervisor, and Sally Ramirez,
director of compensation and benefits, work on wellness initiatives for Methodist Hospitals.

Cut costs, improve quality of life and keep workers happy.

by Laurie Wink

“Who has time to exercise?” is a common refrain in our tightly scheduled, overcommitted society. And, in spite of intentions to eat better, our fallback plan too often is a quick, high-fat meal grabbed on the run.

We all know a healthy diet and regular exercise are the keys to a quality …

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Posted in Business, Current Issue, Winter 2016 | Leave a comment

Entrepreneurial Excellence

Glee Renick-May, who
passed away in January
2016, was honored for her
stewardship of Northwest
Indiana Business Quarterly.

The 24th Annual Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards.

by Laurie Wink

The Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center (NWI-SBDC) honored ten outstanding regional business professionals at the Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards luncheon on Nov. 4 at the Star Plaza in Merrillville. The event marked the 24th year the organization has singled out entrepreneurs from its seven-county service area for special recognition.

A number of award recipients entered family …

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Posted in Business, Cover Story, Current Issue, Winter 2016 | Leave a comment

Publisher’s Note – Winter 2016


Honoring Glee Renick-May

Carrying forward the publishing legacy of my beloved wife.

We usually look forward in this part of the magazine, forward to preview the excellent articles in the pages that follow. Today, though, I want to take a look back, to reflect on the 25 years that the pages of this magazine were the life’s work of my wife, Glee Renick-May.

As Glee …

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Posted in Business, Current Issue, Winter 2016 | Leave a comment

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, Economic Development, Fall 2015 | Leave a comment