Chesterton Tribune



Access/Inspire moves into the 505 Warehouse Building, motivating relationships and more

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Not quite six years ago, Derrick Serianni moved to Chesterton from Upstate New York, looking to be near his son but, as an entrepreneur, also looking to establish himself in the business community.

Serianni did some consulting--his specialty, his passion really, is putting people in touch with other people, germinating relationships, brokering synergies--but then he made a connection of his own: Joshua Strasburg, a Valparaiso contractor. Together they founded Prepared Services and went into the restoration, remodeling, and mitigation business.

Now Serianni and Strasburg are upping their game, with the latest iteration in the Prepared Services family of companies: Access, the linchpin of which is the old warehouse at 505 Grant Ave., the original location of Pioneer Lumber; also formerly the home of AccuCast Industries, a concrete-block manufacturer, and of H2O Industries, an industrial cleaning outfit; and for several years a rented outpost of the Chesterton Utility.

This time, however, 505 Grant Ave. is going to be put to an altogether different use: as a facilitator of human capital, as a catalyst of community. For one thing, the facility has a permanent stage and seating for several hundred, and Serianni sees it as an ideal venue not simply for weddings and receptions but for all manner of events networking and churning folks creatively: concerts, dances, performances, and exhibits. The warehouse also features offices available for co-working space and a conference room for seminars and workshops.

“We’re here, we’re right in the heart of Downtown Chesterton, and we want to position ourselves to serve the community,” Serianni says. “I just want to connect people, build relationships, and blow life into those around me. Our business model came from a deep desire to help people meet each other’s needs. Relationships are one of the most important things in my life. And seeing others succeed and donating to the local community motivates me intensely.”

To that end Serianni is cordially inviting Dunelanders to attend the grand-opening and ribbon-cutting of Access from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 21. Access is partnering with Running Vines Winery, 119 S. Calumet Road in Chesterton, hors d’oeuvres will be served, and Darren Tyler and Daniel Asher will provide the entertainment.

Yet Serianni also feels he has a higher calling, part and parcel of his mission to connect people, and that is to motivate them as well: to give them the tools, attitude, and will to desire and achieve excellence. Hence Inspire at the 505 Warehouse: what Serianni envisions as a series of three to four events every year, hosted by Prepared Services, and featuring guests with stories to tell.

First up, from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 22, the day after the Access grand opening: Michael Franzese, a former caporegime of the Colombo crime family in New York--The Yuppie Don--who made the mob millions in the gasoline tax rackets, then went to federal prison and came out, after nearly a decade, a different man. Since then Franzese has gotten right with God, devoted himself to family and community, and become a motivational and life-skills speaker who’s talked on hundreds of college campuses, to professional athletes in the NBA, NFL, and MLB, and keynote-addressed corporate seminars and retreats.

The choice of inaugurating the Inspire series with Franzese was hardly random. Serianni was still living in Upstate New York when he caught Franzese discussing his rise and fall and then rise into decency on The Discovery Channel, and felt a connection to him, as a fellow New York Italian then “down on his luck and looking for inspiration.” To Franzese’s story of a made man made good, Serianni attributes his own upward trajectory and his desire to pay forward by constellating and exhilarating others.

Also appearing with Franzese: singer/songwriter Chris Cleveland of “Stars Go Dim,” singer/songwriter Keri Cardinale, and local singer/songwriter Daniel Asher. Food trucks will be on hand too.

More: all Inspire events will be fundraisers too. A portion of the proceeds from Franzese’s appearance will be donated to the Duneland Unit of the Boys & Girls Club; The H Life, supporting pediatric brain cancer research; and Reins of Life, which provides equine-assisted therapy to children and adults with disabilities.

Tickets start at $20 and are limited. Purchase tickets on or at the door. Ages 13 and over only.

Maura Durham, president of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, is thrilled to welcome Serianni and Prepared Services into the community. “Derrick came to town with all guns blazing (in a good way),” she says. “Like many entrepreneurs, Derrick and his team have great vision and great ideas, and those ideas feed into each other and have spun into separate businesses. The Duneland Chamber is excited to see the success of their many endeavors and the effect it will have on our community.”

“Our concept of helping the community, providing jobs, a place to collaborate and inspire, should be proven and five years from now our plan to duplicate what we have done in Chesterton in other small towns will be in motion,” Serianni says.

For more information on Prepared Services, on Access, and on Inspire at the 505 Warehouse, call (219) 203-3232.


Posted 6/14/2019





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