Chesterton Tribune

Brock Lloyd of LaPorte Savings installed as Chamber President

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Brock Lloyd of LaPorte Savings Bank has succeeded to the presidency of the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce.

Lloyd was installed as president at the Chamber’s 2010 annual meeting at a luncheon on Wednesday at the Community Building in Hawthorne Park in Porter.

The well-attended luncheon in fact was a departure from the evening galas of previous years’ annual meetings. Outgoing president Chuck Parkinson of Harris Welsh & Lukmann told the Chesterton Tribune that the hope was to make the event a little more affordable in a tough economy.

For Parkinson, who made it his mission in 2009 to big-tent the Chamber, “break outside the box, and become more active outside the Downtown Chesterton core,” last year was a success marked especially by the triumph of the Duneland fireworks extravaganza at Indiana Dunes State Park in July. “We helped to bring that together by co-sponsoring the event,” he said. “It was a phenomenal success and the Chamber can be proud as the fireworks celebration continues in later years to have stepped up at the time.”

The Chamber Board also adopted a number of resolutions advocating economic development in Duneland and Northwest Indiana. In particular, Parkinson pointed to the Board’s support of the Town of Porter’s successful application for funding from the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) for the Dunes corridor project; its support of Porter County’s continuing involvement in the RDA, “critical to the region and also to Duneland”; and its encouragement of Porter hospital to go through the Town of Chesterton for its new facility’s wastewater treatment.

Serving “as a model for bringing together Duneland communities and the reset of Porter County as well as LaPorte County,” Parkinson noted, was the Duneland Economic Development Company’s first ever economic development summit, held in July.

The Chamber is presently participating in the update of the Chesterton Comprehensive Plan and was strongly in favor of the creation last year of a Riverfront Development District in the Downtown, Parkinson said, sponsored a presentation on the new adopted Burns Harbor Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance, and is planning an economic-development bus tour of the Tri-Towns in the spring.

“Many members spent a lot of time and effort making the Chamber what it is,” Parkinson said. “It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to serve as president and meet and get to know so many members. The enthusiasm we see today is due to your membership in the Chamber and your belief in the Chamber.”

Parkinson took a moment to express his gratitude to Chamber Executive Director Heather Ennis. “Heather has demonstrated a great deal of competence in leadership,” he said. “I’ve received many compliments about the Chamber and those mostly belong to Heather and her staff.”

Lloyd Installed

Lloyd opened his own comments by recalling how, about a year ago, the Board sat down to craft a strategic plan for the Chamber. “We spent a lot of time on it as a Board,” he said. “We wanted to make it a part of our everyday lives at the Chamber.”

The results of that work: four key goals.

•Improving membership growth and retention.

•Solidifying a central office function.

•Providing a leadership role in the economic development of Duneland.

•And leveraging partnerships with other entities and organizations in Porter County and Northwest Indiana.

So far, Lloyd said, the strategic plan has worked like a charm, as the Chamber finished in the black last year, unlike many other Chambers struggling right now. “The praise goes to the staff, the Board, and especially the members.”

This year, Lloyd promised, the Chamber will continue to foster economic development in Duneland. “Even with tough times, the leaders of Duneland will continue to prime the pump of economic development,” he said. “When the economy springs back, we’ll be in a good position.”

Lloyd made special note of two really historic projects on which ground is scheduled to break this year: Porter hospital’s new facility in Liberty Township and the 24-hour emergency medicine department being built on the site of the old Jewel/Osco in Chesterton by the owner of St. Anthony Memorial in Michigan City, the Sisters of Saint Francis Health Services Inc.

“We recognize that growth will occur,” Lloyd said. “We must encourage the communities to promote smart growth.”

Lloyd concluded his remarks by observing “We can only be a strong Chamber if our members are strong.” To that end the Chamber will continue to hold monthly topical luncheons and will begin to hold educational seminars “to add value to the membership,” he said.

Farewell

Ennis did take a moment to bid a tearful farewell to long-time Board member Jane Delligatti, who after six years—and three executive directors—is stepping down.

“She has given an awful lot to this membership,” Ennis said. “She spearheaded the Duneland Today magazine, an excellent revenue stream and a beautiful publication that showcases our membership to the business community.

“We will miss her insight on the Board,” Hennis said, “and it is my great honor to pay respect to Jane.”

Delligatti—who works for Lake Area Regional Recovery of Indiana—will continue as a member of the Chamber.

Elected

Also elected officers were Jim Anton of Anton Insurance Agency, vice-president; Maribeth Conyne of Regal Rabbit, secretary; and Mary Fox of Kramer & Leonard Office Products, treasurer.

Newly elected to the Board were Wendy Levenfeld of Wendy J. Levenfeld & Associates; Fred McNulty of Purdue University North Central; Bert Miller of Raymond James & Associates; and Jim Smith of Able Disposal. Elected to a third three-year term on the Board by special exception was Mark Chamberlain of Lakeside Wealth Management.

 

Posted 1/21/2010