CEDAR LAKE | Julie Olthoff, inducted as chairwoman of the Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, said 2013 will be a year of innovation.
Olthoff, the owner of Via Marketing, is the third person to have that position since the group was formed through the merger of the Crown Point and Merrillville chambers of commerce. She was installed at the annual holiday luncheon Friday at Cedar Lake’s Lighthouse Restaurant.
“Let’s take this chamber to the next level,” Olthoff said. “It’s time to add some finishing touches to what we started.”
Olthoff, who designs and creates pottery as a hobby, used the analog of two lumps of clay being molded into a pitcher to symbolize the chamber’s collective ability to come together and pour out into the community to make Northwest Indiana stronger.
“Together as a business community we can contribute more to the success of Northwest Indiana than any one of us can do on our own,” Olthoff said. “Local businesses provide jobs, pay taxes and raise local purchasing power. Local businesses support city and town events, sponsor local sports teams and assist with many types of nonprofits. Let’s keep this going. Let’s support each other. Let’s be leaders.”
Olthoff also said 2013 will be a year of study.
“You really have to do your homework to find out what people want, what is important to people from there you can adjust the committees and the programs we have. We can enhance the ones that we have based on that feedback or create new ones,” Olthoff said.
Olthoff said she will seeking member input and brainstorm about what can be done better.
“You will start to see changes pretty soon because as a good idea surfaces we are not going to hold it until the next year,” Olthoff said. “We are going to implement it right away. As a matter of fact, we have a few surprises to tell you about at our January membership meeting.”
Olthoff thanked the outgoing chairman, attorney Kent Jeffirs for his leadership, hard work, wisdom and sacrifices.
Other newly elected Executive Committee members were: chairman-elect corporate affairs, Skip Bosak, of Bosak Chrysler Jeep Dodge; treasurer/membership affairs, Nancy Culp, WiseWay/Payless Food Center; wecretary/community relations, Rosemary De St. Jean, Rosemary’s Heritage Flowers; and business development, Michael White, Indiana Wesleyan University.
Taghi Arshami, of Arsh Group, presented the Landscape and Architecture Awards.
The winners for their community enhancement were: Crown Point Boy Scout Troop #45, Merrillville’s Chick-fil-A restaurant, the Merrillville McDonald's on 81st Ave., Methodist Hospital, Crown Point Community Library and Crown Point’s D & L Wood Products.