Northwest Indiana Forum Announces 2012 Officers, Committees

By: Northwest Indiana Forum Last Updated: February 21, 2012

Manwiforumnaging Board Welcomes New Directors

The Northwest Indiana Forum elected Don Babcock (NIPSCO) to continue in his role as Chair of the 2012 Managing Board of Directors with a unanimous vote. Jill Ritchie (United States Steel Corporation) will serve as Chair-Elect and Tom Keilman (BP) as Secretary/Treasurer.

Building on the history of strong and effective volunteer committees’ work, Charles Weaver (Starke County Economic Development Foundation) will lead the Economic Development efforts. Chairing Environmental Affairs and Public Policy are Robert Crookston (Microbac Labs) and Jill Ritchie (United States Steel Corporation) respectively. Cal Bellamy (Krieg DeVault) will oversee the Audit Committee while Dewey Pearman (Construction Advancement Foundation) will handle member retention and recruitment duties.

“The Forum is focused on creating high paying jobs and quality capital investment while respecting the environment and creating a better business climate. We have built a credible institution over the past several years thanks to strong volunteer leadership and we look at 2012 as a year of driving the region forward,” said Don Babcock, Forum Chair.

The Forum welcomed new Directors James Dworkin (Purdue North Central) and Joe Coar (Tonn & Blank). In addition to the officers and committee chairs, directors elected to continue their service on the Forum’s Board are Speros Batistatos (South Shore Convention & Visitors Authority), Ron Bush (DRD), Gene Diamond (Franciscan Alliance), George Douglas (North Coast Distributing), Danita Johnson Hughes (Edgewater Systems), Larry Fabina (ArcelorMittal), Andrew Fox (Chicago South Bend/South Shore RR), Jim Jorgensen (Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans), Mike Lisac (Chase), Bill Nangle (The Times), Dan Nita (Horseshoe Casino), Pete Novak (Greater NWI Association of REALTORS), Erica Passauer (Regional Development Company), Craig Pratt (Fifth Third Bank), Matt Reardon (SEH), Bill Wellman (Whiteco), Curtis Whittaker (Whittaker & Company) and Linda Woloshansky (Center of Workforce Innovations).

Jim Flannery (Quality of Life Council), Bill Hanna (Regional Development Authority), Steve Landry (Gary/Chicago International Airport), Leigh Morris (Indiana Economic Development Corporation/Regional Development Authority), Jim Staton (Indiana Economic Development Corporation) and John Swanson (Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission) will serve in ex-officio roles as will Forum President and CEO, Mark Maassel.

The Forum is the regional voice for the business community and a significant catalyst for initiatives that promote economic development to create and retain quality jobs in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Starke, Jasper, Newton and Pulaski Counties. Funded by membership contributions and grants, membership translates into a direct investment in the region. For more information or to become a member of the Forum, contact Karen Lauerman, Director of Marketing and Communications at 219/763-6303 x181 or or visit