Chesterton Tribune

Chamber honors Kevin Nevers with community service award

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Chesterton Tribune reporter Kevin Nevers received the Community Service Award at Wednesday’s Duneland Chamber of Commerce summer awards banquet.

Nevers’ writing provides the community with “excellent news coverage and commentary that educates and empowers local citizens,” said presenter Jeff Trout.

“His commitment to the Duneland community can be read five days a week, almost 52 weeks out of the year,” Trout added.

Nevers’ background as an English instructor at Eton College in Berkshire, England; followed by graduate work at the University of Virginia and as assistant professor of English at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, was all writing intensive, Trout said.

“He brought all of his writing skills and talents here to Duneland,” Trout said.

Nevers won the first place in Best Ongoing News Coverage from the Hoosier State Press Association in 2000, and second place in both best Ongoing News and Best Economic/Business Coverage in 1999.

“Many of these articles relate to issues which directly affect our lives,” said Trout.

The award was not about professional recognition, but about recognition of one person’s passion to be a community advocate and “use his God given writing skills” to help citizens develop community knowledge and involvement, said Trout.

The award was not a criticism of other newspapers which provide coverage of Duneland, Trout said, but a way of recognizing a “thorough approach and unique dedication to the Chesterton community. Tonight we’re saying thank you to someone who has become an important component of the glue that holds this unique and wonderful community together.”

Nevers said he was honored and humbled by the award. “I’m just doing my job,” he said, adding much credit goes to the Canright family for hiring him and supporting him in his efforts.

“My editor [David Canright] doesn’t ask me what my lead is, he asks me how many stories I have and how much space I need. He winds me up and points me in the right direction,” Nevers added.

“He told me when he interviewed me the Chesterton Tribune is a ’newspaper of record,’ Nevers said. The award is for the Tribune, he said, not him as an individual. The community owes a great deal to the paper and vice versa, he added. The paper benefits from the “loyalty of Dunelanders and their community mindedness,” Nevers said.

Nevers also thanked his wife Meredith, who puts up with his late-night writing and bad humor after long meetings.

Renovation and New Construction

Renovation and expansion of existing structures earned notice at Wednesday’s awards banquet.

The YMCA’s addition of 5,000 sq. ft. to its facility this year, included two multi-purpose rooms. The wellness center was expanded and office space and two washrooms added. Interior renovations of the daycare rooms was done, which now total 2,000 square feet.

Accepting the award was interim YMCA director Bob Rhoda.

Renovations of Porter’s Hawthorne Park ball field also earned an award. State Representative Duane Cheney helped secure $75,000 in Build Indiana Funds and the Porter Park Department paid the remainder of the $90,000 project.

The infield was sodded, running paths and fielding areas established, a handicapped accessible ramp installed along with new aluminum bleachers and new water lines to the field and concession building. New trees and grounds work will complete the project this fall.

Parks Superintendent Jim Miller accepted the awards on behalf of the Park Board.

A new 24,000 sq. ft. warehouse added at Signature Graphics earned the third renovation award. Signature Graphics is a QS9000 certified company with sales last year of $32.5 million dollars.

Current customers included Ace Hardware, Coors Brewing, Daimler Chrysler, Dunkin’ Donuts, General Motors, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Marathon Oil, Meijers Inc., True Value and Yellow Light Freight Systems, Inc.

Located in Porter, their manufacturing facility has over 120,000 sq. ft. and is equipped with the finest technology and equipment available in the graphics industry.

Paul Godfrey, president of Signature Graphics, Inc., accepted the award.

For new construction, the Steel Family Health Care Center topped the list, followed by Williams Travel Center, Eagle Services Corp., Duneland Group, Small Fri Academy and Venturi Business Park.

Steel Family Health Care Center opened Feb. 1, 2001. It is a 15,000 sq. ft. facility built under a partnership between Bethlehem Steel, National Steel and United States Steel. Located at 2022 Kelle Drive on approximately 2 acres within Coffee Creek Development, the Steel Family Health Center is a full service medical facility.

The building was designed by Design Organization and general contractor was Tonn & Blank. The facility is managed by CHD Meridian, a national healthcare management company.

The facility employs over 30 people and is staffed by physicians of Porter Memorial Hospital, offering an in-house pharmacy, radiology services, on-site lab, mammography, minor surgery and other services.

Accepting the award were Dr. Angela Wheeler, of SFHC; Heidi Schwab, of CHD Meridian; Barbara Jasinski, SFHC administrator; Clarence Ehlers, of Bethlehem Steel and Mark Seaman, National Steel Corp, Midwest Division.

Williams Travel Center, which opened in January 2001, earned a new construction award. The 17,000 sq. ft. facility was constructed by Shields Sexton of Indianapolis, on 20 acres just off I80/94 on Rt. 20.

The full service facility provides employment for 70 area residents and gives travelers a restaurant and deli, ice cream shop, T.V. lounge, laundry and shower facilities and a complete convenience store.

Accepting for Williams Travel Center was Scott Coburn.

Eagle Services Corp., located at 290 W 1050 N, was also a recipient of a new construction award. Eagle Services Corp., provides filter pressing, sewer cleanings, video inspections and pit/pond/lagoon cleaning. The 50,000 sq. ft. building houses office and service space on seven acres just south of Rt. 20 on St. Rd. 149 in the Tech Business Center.

Their services are used by steel mills, corn and food processing plants, refineries, light and power generation plants and automotive production as well as water treatment, and local, state and federal institutions throughout the Midwest.

Sam Reich, III, president of the company, accepted the award.

Duneland Group, the local engineering and surveying firm, was presented with an award for their new offices at Venturi Business Park. The 4,800 sq. ft. brick and steel structure was designed by the firm and built by Chester, Inc.

Duneland Group has 28 employees and is the first unit completed in the Venturi Business Park.

Charlie Ray, director of the Duneland Group, accepted the award.

Another Venturi development business, Small Fri Academy, was given a new construction award. Small Fri was designed and built by Chester and is 7,400 sq. ft. The building houses a comprehensive child development center with a trained and certified staff of 11.

Tony Schifino, owner and operator of Small Fri Academy, accepted the award.

A 4,234 sq. ft. professional building, still available for lease, won the final award. One of the three available spaces is occupied by Quality Search, which also houses the regional transfer equipment of SkyeNet, a major Internet service provider.

The remaining two spaces available feature tiled entryways and bathrooms, high-efficiency heating/cooling units and professional landscaping by the Lawn Care Company.

Jim Jeselnick, owner of the building, accepted the award.

President Bob Crone thanked the Chamber staff and volunteers for their efforts in putting on the event and executive director Laurie Franke-Polz thanked the chamber board and organizational committee.

Indiana Oak Resort and Spa provided complimentary champagne for diners and held a raffle for a spa day at the closing of the event.

Lorelei Weimer, executive director of the Porter County Convention, Recreation and Visitors Commission won the drawing for a 50 minute massage, a facial, manicure and pedicure.



Posted 7/26/2001


Community Service:

The Duneland Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award was presented Wednesday to the Chesterton Tribune’s Kevin Nevers (left). Nevers was honored for his ongoing commitment to writing which informs and empowers readers to participate in their community. With Nevers is presenter Jeff Trout.

New construction lauded:

New construction was commended at the Duneland Chamber of Commerce awards banquet Wednesday. Left to right are Dr. Angela Wheeler, of Steel Family Health Care Center; Heidi Schwab, director of client operations with CHD Meridian Healthcare and Barbara Jasinski, Steel Family Health Care Center Practice Administrator. Standing are Jim Jeselnick, of Quality Search; Tony Schifino, of Small-Fri Academy; Charlie Ray, of Duneland Group; Sam Raich, III, of Eagle Services Corp.; Clarence Ehlers, of Bethlehem Steel and Mark Seaman, of National Steel.

Renovations noted:

Three entities were honored Wednesday for renovations of existing structures in the community at the Duneland Chamber of Commerce awards banquet, held at The WaterBird Restaurant in Indian Oak. Left to right are Paul Godfrey, of Signature Graphics; Bob Rhoda, interim director of the Duneland YMCA; Jim Miller of the Porter Park Department and State Representative Duane Cheney, who helped secure Build Indiana Funds for the Hawthorne Park project.