Local people creative in growing their businesses

2014-03-30T00:00:00Z Local people creative in growing their businessesTimes Staff nwitimes.com
March 30, 2014 12:00 am  • 

As part of its effort to highlight its 2013-14 class, the Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana has selected three people as its March Innovators of the Month.

The society is part of the Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center of Ivy Tech Community College Northwest.

As the health care industry undergoes transformation, Prompt Ambulance Service, owned by Gary and Shar Miller, is among the top-performing ambulance companies nationally and the largest in Indiana with more than 130,000 trips annually. Prompt moved to a larger location in Highland in 2003, said Gary Miller, whose family started in the ambulance business in 1932.

The family business doubled in volume when it invested in a $2 million state-of-the-art dispatch center in 2010, becoming one of two in the nation as a beta center for new software technology.

The company serves the region from Chicago to Lafayette and as far east as South Bend, with 100 ambulances and an equal number of support vehicles and more than 700 employees.

Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete, with its Indiana headquarters in Gary, is the leader in the industry regionally and nationally in converting its fleet of more than 500 trucks and support vehicles to compressed natural gas, known as CNG, said Tim Ozinga, co-owner and director of marketing communications.

The largest division of Ozinga Bros., based in Mokena, Ill., and serving the Great lakes region, is on schedule to convert its fleet by 2020 with nearly 25 percent of its vehicles now using CNG. This totals 115 vehicles, more than all other vehicles combined in the industry powered by CNG.

Ozinga also has set up fueling stations in St. Louis and Gary, and is planning to open one in Crown Point.

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