“Three of the positions listed below were created for succession purposes,” stated Mayor McDermott. “For instance, Mark, Rick and Matt will be able to step in and fulfill the duties of their respective Directors in the case of illness, vacation or other unforeseen circumstances. We need to know there will be continuity of services in these three major Departments.”
Philip Taillon has been name Chief of Staff replacing Mark McLaughlin. Mr. Taillon has been with the City for the last nine years serving as Executive Director of Planning and Development. He is a graduate of Purdue University Northwest with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management. Prior to coming to the City of Hammond, Mr. Taillon worked at First Midwest Bank as Assistant Vice President and Office Manager as well as teaching through the American Institute of Banking. Mr. Taillon was recently appointed to the Regional Development Authority as the City of Hammond representative. With his new position, he will be stepping down from the RDA. He serves on numerous boards such as Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, Early Learning Partnership, Hammond Development Corporation, etc.
Africa Tarver has been promoted to Executive Director of Planning and Development. Ms. Tarver is a native of Hammond and graduated from Calumet College of St. Joseph with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organization Management. She has been employed with the City for the past 16 years in various positions. In her most recent position as Director of Economic Development, Ms. Tarver conducted business visits to promote retention and expansion and is continuously working to create an environment that produces a healthy business climate in the City of Hammond. In her new position, Africa will be taking over Phil’s responsibilities with the RDA.
Mark McLaughlin has been named Deputy Executive Operator of the Water Department. Mr. McLaughlin is a native of Hammond and graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry. He was employed with the City of Hammond as Director of Planning and Development before going on to the Northwest Indiana Forum where he was the Vice President. Mr. McLaughlin was employed as the Director of the Hammond Development Corporation where he managed the Hammond Innovation Center, Towle Community Theatre and Hammond Urban Enterprise Association before coming back to the City as Chief of Staff.
Anne Anderson has been promoted to Director of Economic Development. Ms. Anderson is originally from the East Coast having moved to Hammond 12 years ago from Chicago for the sole purpose of purchasing her first home for her growing family. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Washington and Lee University in Virginia. Anne has worked for the City of Hammond since 2013, first as Marketing Coordinator for the Economic Development Department, and then as the Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Staff in the Mayor’s Office.
Richard Szany has been with the Hammond Port Authority for the past nine years serving as Finance Director. As well as being Finance Director, he will also be responsible for Port Authority operations in the absence of the Port Authority Director. Mr. Szany is a native of Hammond and an Air Force veteran having served in Viet Nam. He earned a Master in Business Administration from Indiana University Northwest as well as Bachelor of Science in Business also from Indiana University Northwest. He also received an Associate Degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University Northwest.
Matthew Muta has been named Deputy District Manager of the Hammond Sanitary District. He is a native of Hammond and was in the first graduating class of the College Bound Scholarship Program. Matt graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil (Environmental) Engineering from Purdue University, West Lafayette. Since his graduation, he came back to home, purchased a home in Hammond and began working in the area. Mr. Muta has served on the Board of Sanitary Commissioners since August of 2013.
Aileen Ibarra has been hired to the position of Administration Assistant to the Chief of Staff in the Mayor’s Office. Aileen is a Hammond native and a graduated from Indiana University, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Affairs; Civic Leadership with a Minor in Policy Studies and Spanish. She also attended the American College of Greece in Athens, Greece where she studied democracy in a globalized and contemporary world. In her most recent position, she worked for Mayor Joe Hogsett, City of Indianapolis as a Constituent Services Intern. Ms. Ibarra is fluent in both Spanish and English.
“I have been fortunate to have a great team working with me,” stated Mayor McDermott. “It just keeps getting better.”