Ryan Smiley

Ryan Smiley, of both Boys and Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana and Porter County.

Tony V. Martin, The Times

The merging Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County and Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana have settled on a new name for the new organization.

Effective Jan. 1, the club will be called Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana, according to a press release from the group.

The new organization will have one board and one budget.

Naming the new organization consisted of a strategic process guided by AC Incorporated, a Valparaiso-based integrated marketing and consulting firm.

After a list of roughly 11 names was pared down to three, AC Incorporated polled board members, staff, community members and club members.

AC Incorporated conducted a focus group with club members from both Lake and Porter counties. Selected youth were asked to explain what they thought and how they felt about three possible organizational names. Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with 77 percent voting for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana.

"We had a list of truly creative and wonderful names. Through the expertise of AC Incorporated, they helped us to really focus and identify a name that best represents all of us — our youth, our families, and our corner of the state. Greater Northwest Indiana truly represents all of our collective communities, and places us on a geographic map as a large, strong and great organization. I am very proud of our process and our new name," said Ryan Smiley, president and CEO of the merged enterprise.

Now that Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana has a new name, communities will start seeing it "pop up" all over Northwest Indiana with a fresh website to be unveiled in the new year, according to the release.

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