Chesterton Tribune


RDA Board names new officer, okays 160K planning grant to Town of Pines

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The Board of Directors of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority has named Sherri Ziller as the RDA’s first Chief Operating Officer.

The board made that appointment at its meeting on Tuesday in Crown Point.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda: the board approved a grant to the Town of Pines and adopted an implementation policy for its new Regional Challenge grant program.

Ziller, 31, has served as the RDA’s Finance and Grants Manager since 2006. “For more than six years, Sherri has done an outstanding job for us,” said RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna. “She has overseen the commitment and execution of more than $200 million in RDA grants and been instrumental in securing matching funds on both the local and state level. Sherri has been tireless in her efforts to ensure that every dime of public money we receive is utilized properly and accounted for, and her input has been invaluable to both RDA staff and the Board. I have no doubt that she will execute her new duties as COO with the same professionalism and commitment to excellence that she has always brought to her work.”

Town of Pines

In other business, the board awarded a $160,000 Regional Challenge grant to the Town of Pines, on top of $40,000 in matching funds authorized by the Porter County Commissioners, to fund a series of comprehensive plan including land uses, zoning, parks and recreation, economic development, and utilities.

“The Town of Pines is an important piece of the ‘Eastern Gateway’ to the Indiana Dunes,” said Jeff Good, Porter County appointee to the RDA Board. “Situated on U.S. Highway 12 close to attractions like the National Lakeshore, Pines is an ideal spot for tourism and recreation. These studies will lay out a road map for the town so that it can maximize the economic development opportunities inherent in its location.”

Regional Challenge

The new Regional Challenge Fund policy establishes a $1 million pool to be used for public initiatives or projects of regional significance. These competitive grants have a maximum of $200,000 and require a minimum 20-percent match. Complete details will be available shortly on the RDA Web site at


Established in 2005, the RDA is a “quasi-governmental development entity entrusted to make public investment decisions within a regional framework for supporting catalytic infrastructure projects and inducing private sector investment,” the statement said. “Its mission is to be a catalyst for transforming the economy and quality of life for Northwest Indiana.”

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Posted 11/23/2012