Club boards, volunteers, staff receive national recognition

Pictured from left, Chris White, of The Times Media Co.; Ben Ballou, of Hodges & Davis LLC; Tanya Leetz, of Peoples Bank; Bonnie Coleman, of Hodges & Davis LLC; Michael Simpson, of M.E. Simpson Co. Inc.; Steve Disney, of River Forest Community School Corp.; Jeffrey Strack, of Strack & Van Til; Larry Moore, retired from Computer Services Inc.; Michael Baird, retired from BMO Harris Bank; (Kneeling) Julie Bieszczat, of Barney Enterprises and Jeff Leetz, of Indiana Beverage.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County and Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana’s boards of directors gathered together for their last meetings of the year before becoming Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana.

Ryan Smiley, president and CEO of both organizations, recognized outstanding dedication of board members, community volunteers and staff with several distinguished national Boys & Girls Clubs of America awards including:

• Service to Youth Awards: Leslie Plesac – five years of service; Timothy Rice and Larry Moore – 10 years of service; Michael Simpson, Chareice White and Jeffrey Strack – 15 years of service; and Michael Saks – 30 years of service

• National Bronze Medallion:  Jeff Leetz, of Indiana Beverage, and Julie Bieszczat, of Barney Enterprises

• National Silver Medallion: Ben Ballou, of Hodges & Davis LLC, and Michael Simpson, of M.E. Simpson Co. Inc.

• National Professional Service Award: Rosemarie Joiner, director of the John Will Anderson Club in Gary, and Ronald Ranta, director of the Duneland Club in Chesterton.

• National Award of Merit: Steve Disney, superintendent of the River Forest Community School Corp., was given this honor for his work in providing a new home for the Lake Station Club and its club members

Other recognition included 10 board members serving on the due diligence committee: Chris White, of The Times Media Co.; Timothy D. Rice, of Lakeside Wealth Management; Larry Moore, retired executive of Computer Services Inc.; Tanya Leetz, of Peoples Bank; Michael Simpson, of M.E. Simpson Co. Inc.; Michael Baird, retired executive of BMO Harris; Bonnie Coleman, of Hodges & Davis LLC; Julie Bieszczat, of Barney Enterprises; David Hollenbeck, of Blachly, Tabor, Bozik & Hartman and Ben Ballou, of Hodges & Davis, LLC.

Four board members resigning their board service were thanked and recognized. They included: George Vrabel with 21 years of service; Analisa Warring with four years of service; Gary Maxwell with 23 years of service and Dr. Edward Williams with 28 years of service.

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Community Coordinator

Annette is Porter County Community Coordinator for The Times. She has been with the paper for 20 years. A resident of Hobart, she graduated from Purdue University with degrees in English and German.