Chesterton Tribune



Urschel Labs, AJs, Lakeside Wealth, Precision Dental honored by Chamber

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Rick Urschel, president and CEO of Urschel Laboratories Inc., has been quoted as saying that--inasmuch as “we are laying the groundwork for the next 100 years”--the construction of a new plant and corporate HQ in Chesterton “will be the most important thing any of us ever do for the company.”

Conceivably, a century from now, today’s new plant--tomorrow’s recollected one--will be seen as one of the most important buildings ever put up in the town.

It’s no surprise, then, that the Urschel Labs project is the recipient of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce’s New Construction Award, presented at its annual State of the Chamber and Awards Luncheon on Wednesday at The Spa in Porter.

The new Urschel Labs facility comes in at 350,000 square feet, 40 percent larger than the quarters it had outgrown in Valparaiso, which--after 28 expansions and re-models--had become a confusing landlocked warren and a drag on productivity and efficiency.

Urschel Labs is a world leader in the design, manufacture, and sale of precision food cutting equipment, used by every major food processor in the U.S. and in more than 120 counties around the world. Rick Urschel is the fourth generation of the family to lead the company.

More New Construction

Three other New Construction awards were presented on Wednesday: to AJ’s Pizza; Growing Kids Learning Center; and Culver’s.

As Jim Starin of Starin Marketing Inc. noted in his presentation, AJ’s has been “a staple in Porter County” since its establishment in 1982 at its original location at U.S. 6 and Old 49 in Liberty Township.

“The new location has more than doubled the size of the old location and now boasts a full bar, twice the number of ovens, and a separate party room,” Starin said. “Earlier this month, on July 2, AJ’s added a patio seating area, allowing patrons to enjoy the summer weather.”

AJ’s is head-managed by Lauren Vogelsang but her father, Rick, keeps his hand in the business.

Growing Kids Learning Center, meanwhile, was founded in 1995, is a family-owned business, and is “recognized as the child care provider chosen by most parents in the Northwestern Indiana area with constant parent satisfaction scores of 95 percent or higher,” Starin said.

Putting Duneland on the Map

The No. 6 Best Place to Work in Indiana was the recipient of the Chamber’s 2015 Putting Duneland on the Map Award: Lakeside Wealth Management Group.

“Lakeside was the leading sponsor for several Duneland non-profit events throughout the year,” said Mike Hogan of Hogan Consulting Group, “including Rebuilding Together Duneland, the United Way of Porter County’s Canstruction event, the Boys and Girls Club of Porter County’s capital campaign, Shirley Heinze’s Take A Walk with Shirley capital campaign, the Porter County Community Foundation’s annual campaign, the Duneland YMCA’s annual campaign, Frontline Foundation’s Hooked on Art Festival, and more.”

“What’s even more impressive is that Lakeside has at least one staff member represented on each of the above mentioned non-profit board of directors or campaign committees,” Hogan added. “These sponsorships bring positive regional news coverage to the Duneland area through press releases, news articles, and social media.”

In addition, Hogan noted, Lakeside Wealth Management Group’s senior vice president, Tim VerShure, has made NAPA’s Top 50 Plan Advisors Under 40 Award, the Times’ Top 20 Under 40 List, and the Financial Times’ Top 300 Plan Advisors of 2015.

“All these outstanding achievements combined have created national buzz around the Duneland community,” Hogan said.

Business Renovation Award

Receiving the Business Renovation Award this year was a business whose owners understand “that buying local creates a stronger business community”: Dr. John Balon of Precision Dental Center.

Balon “insisted on working with local businesses throughout the entire process,” said Christy Jarka of the Duneland School Corporation. “Working with Ennis Builders, Ellis Electric, Brainstorm Computers, and Landmark Sign Group, Dr. Balon completely gutted the space and redesigned it into a modern, well lit, and highly efficient dental practice.”

“All cabinetry and countertops were designed and built by Chesterton native Kevin Orthman and the Dunes photography came from local Pete Doherty,” Jarka said. “Tudor Floors Carpet One supplied the flooring and did a wonderful job with consulting and placement.”

“Dr. Balon is extremely conscientious about the local watershed and environment,” Jarka added. “Because of this, he installed state of the art amalgam scavenging systems to prevent any mercury from contaminating Chesterton’s fragile ecosystem. This has been inspected and monitored by the Town of Chesterton and continues to provide the most eco-friendly result.”

“Dr. Balon understands that local families and businesses are what will make this community continue to thrive and we are so happy that he chose his office at 1140 South Calumet to renovate,” Jarka said.


Posted 7/24/2015




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