Top 10 ValpoLife Business Stories for 2014

BusinessArticleImage VLWe published several hundred business stories to the Business page this year. Everything from great local businesses to a spectacular showing on Chamber Network Night were fair game for good news.

It’s still as easy as ever to share your business story with us! Just send an email to and we’ll be on it!

Without further ado (and in no particular order), here are your Top 10 business stories in Valpo from 2014!

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Meet Bryan Bennett: An Ethical Family Man That Gives Back

In 2005, Bryan Bennett had a life changing event that led him to do some serious sole searching. In identifying his strength’s, Bryan’s list is chockfull of what should be admired in any man; incredible customer service, self-motivating, maintains strong marketing skills, the ability to be honest with others, and a desire to be his own boss.

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Building a Team: Thom Holley Puts his Passion to Work at Holley's Landscaping

Thom Holley, owner of Holley's Landscaping in Valparaiso, knew at an early age that hard work paid off, starting in middle school with a push mower mowing individual lawns to earn some spending money.

"As a kid, you want to have some money to spend, and I understood you gotta work to earn it," he said. But he had no idea, however, the passion that it would light inside of him to learn about everything green, landscape design, and building a strong business around him with a team of hard workers just like him.

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Bill Wellman Named Citizen of the Square

Bill Wellman was honored on Thursday night at local restaurant Don Quijote for his decades of contribution to Valparaiso’s business scene as well as being a prominent figure in the history of the town.

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Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service a Successful Family Business Through and Through

Flanagin's Bulk Mail Service is a family owned and operated business established in 1996. Owner, Donna Flanagin, and her two daughters, Erica and Monica, take pride and care in providing first class service and first-rate savings to their customers.

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What's Up in Social Media with D: Facebook’s Disappearing Page Posts

Q: I have 2,317 Likes on my Facebook page, but suddenly no one is seeing my posts. My Reach has dropped to almost nothing. I hear I’m supposed to pay now. Why? What do I do?

A: It’s true. This process began almost two years ago, but small businesses are really feeling the pinch now. Facebook is restricting Page and Post views in earnest, and some businesses have seen their posts.

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LIFE Partners Ribbon Cutting

Friends, old and new, came together in Ideas in Motion Media’s Napoleon Street office on Thursday night for the LIFE Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Representatives from the Hobart, La Porte, Duneland, and Portage Chambers of Commerce attended the open house for a symbolic ribbon cutting.

The event served to thank the Chambers for their continuous support of Ideas in Motion over the last five years. LIFE partners in the community also attended to show their support. Zao Island, Don Quijote, Firehouse Subs and Texas Roadhouse catered the event. When guests walked through the door they received a bag of goodies and were ushered into the kitchen to mingle over pizza, beer, and snacks..

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The 2014 Porter County Chamber Network Night Was a Golden Opportunity for Businesses

Chamber members and guests were invited to join Porter County's Largest Chamber Expo onThursday afternoon at the Porter County Expo Center. This is one of the best events for local businesses to gather and show off their wares while learning about other businesses and making the community aware of their presence. It's the most positive triple threat you will ever see!

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1st Source Bank Highlights Women in Business at Luncheon

The Valparaiso Country Club was filled with ladies who were all there for one purpose: to celebrate women in business.

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Focus on Teamwork Makes the Olga Petryszyn Team Stand Out

In the Northwest Indiana real estate market, there are a variety of complex factors involved in taking a client from listing to closing. For McColly Real Estate of Valparaiso’s Olga Petryszyn Team, the teamwork and variety of expertise the team possesses that allows them to stand out among the competition.

The team, consisting of Olga Petryszyn, Amelia Kowalisyn and Catherine Craigin, works as a well-oiled machine to ensure their clients are happy and in the homes that fit them best. This teamwork creates a “three-for-one deal,” as Petryszyn explains, which gives the trio the upper hand in finding the right home for the right family or selling their home.

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June 2014 NWITweetup Offers Fun For All Amidst Charitable Giving, Networking

The June 2014 NWITweetup was a great showcase for the meetup organization, with over 50 individuals heading out to Zao Island on a Thursday night for an evening of fun, networking, and contests for charity.

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Thanks for sharing your business stories with us, and please send us more next year. Who knows, they may crack this list in December 2015!