Dennis Rittenmeyer, former president of Calumet College of St. Joseph, has assumed the role of executive director of the newly formed One Region, One Vision for Northwest Indiana's Quality of Life.
As director, Rittenmeyer will coordinate the group's "action initiatives," which range from a regional health care council to the mayors' roundtable and a chamber of commerce coalition. He also will facilitate quarterly "community conversations" designed to air issues of importance to Northwest Indiana.
J. Guadalupe Valtierra, chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College and co-chairman of the new organization, said, "We are fortunate that the organization has had good leadership in the past and are excited that Dr. Rittenmeyer has agreed to take on the challenges and responsibilities as executive director."
"His familiarity with issues and his past involvements position him to hit the ground running and help move our regional initiatives more toward success."
Rittenmeyer retired from Calumet College earlier this year after serving as president for 24 years. He is credited with building the school's academic offering and putting it in a solid financial position.
"I am extremely excited about this new opportunity to serve Northwest Indiana and be involved in addressing the most significant quality of life issues in our community," Rittenmeyer said. "I am very grateful to the members of the executive committee for selecting me for this important opposition."
The new organization is the result of the merger this month of the Northwest Indiana Quality of Life Council, begun 20 years ago by chancellors and presidents of the region's institutions of higher learning, and the One Region, One Vision initiative founded five years ago by The Times Media Co.
Rittenmeyer, a founding member of the Quality of Life Council, has been active in community events, having served as chairman or member of more than 30 organizations during his career.
Bill Masterson Jr., publisher of The Times and co-chairman of the new organization, said, "I am thrilled with the makeup of the new board and now the appointment of Dr. Rittenmeyer to this position. I can't think of a more qualified individual to direct the new organization."
The organization's office will be housed at The Times in Munster. Rittenmeyer succeeds Jim Flannery, who was executive director of the Quality of Life Council.