Economic growth, quality jobs, good health care choices and cooperation between business and local communities top Northwest Indiana leaders' holiday wishes.
“My Christmas wish for the health care industry is that the wrenching change we’re experiencing will produce long-term benefits in the form of a more realistic financing mechanism, genuine consumer choice, a greater degree of coordination among the components of the delivery system, improving outcomes and moderating costs,” said Gene Diamond, CEO of Franciscan Alliance Northern Indiana Region.
Many small businesses continued to struggle during 2013. Barbara Young, owner of Barbara Jean’s Gifts and Gourmet, recently moved her store to a new location on the Crown Point square at 105 S. Court St.
“My wish for my fellow small business owners is to have a successful new year in 2014,” Young said. “We all put our heart and souls into each of our respective businesses. We all have our own unique style and personality, which shines through our business. My wish, also, is for our community to embrace, support and meet the person behind each name. We believe in shop local. We believe in our community.”
Centier Bank completed renovations this year on its downtown Crown Point location.
“My wish would be to continue to see cooperation between all municipalities and business people so that we can achieve many of the initiatives that will make Northwest Indiana the best place in Indiana to build a business as well as to live and work,” said Carol Highsmith Senior Partner of Centier Bank. “In addition I would wish that we can find ways to live peacefully together and reduce the amount of gun violence that has occurred in many parts of the region.”
Andrew Kyres, Vice President at First Financial Bank wishes for “love, peace, health and prosperity for our residents and our businesses.”
Stack & Van Til President Dave Wilkinson said the grocery business has become extremely competitive.
“It would be nice to have great sales and good profits for all the grocers and all retail,” Wilkinson said. “It would be nice to see the economy continue to improve and all the retailers in the area to have greater sales and better profits. The retail environment is much more challenging for all of us than it ever has been. It has to do with an extreme amount of competition in our markets.”
Porter Health Care System CEO Jonathan Nalli said his community wish is for good health.
“My Christmas wish for our community is identical to the wish I would bestow upon my family,” Nalli said. “I wish for each individual the inspiration to improve your health and overall well-being, to be your own health advocate and use the tools available to empower your best health.
"A great first step is to find a physician you can talk to and establish a medical home to ensure you get the must-have medical tests and exams that may save and lengthen your life. And the best part is good health is truly the gift that keeps on giving," Nalli said. "When you’re healthy everyone benefits – you, your family and even your community. It’s a big win for all.”
Northwest Indiana Forum Director of Economic Development Donald Kolibosi said his Christmas wish for 2014 is that “we will continue to grow the Northwest Indiana economy by working to attract and retain quality jobs and capital investment to the region, enhance the business climate and preserve and protect the environment.”
“As we work toward nurturing this growth I wish and pray for the safety of the workers that make Northwest Indiana a thriving place to do business,” Kolibosi said. “Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!”