HAMMOND | Times Publisher Bill Masterson Jr. and Adela Ortega, president/CEO of East Chicago-based Professional Locomotive Services, were honored Saturday as Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce Business Persons of the Year during the Hearts of the Lakeshore annual dinner at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino.
A lifelong newspaperman, Masterson has been publisher of The Times since 2006. The winner of numerous newspaper and civic awards, he was named Publisher of the Year by Editor & Publisher Magazine in November 2012.
Ortega began PLS in 1996. The privately owned company provides repair and maintenance service on-site for locomotives. Customers include customers include chemical, steel and pharmaceutical companies, power generating plants and short line railroads.
Three East Chicago businesses won kudos for economic development – Ameristar East Chicago Casino Hotel, Safety-Kleen Systems and The Community Builders.
Hammond-based businesses honored for economic development included PotashCorp, Pyramid Development, First Financial Bank, Huhtamaki, Inc. and Quad Plus, LLC.
Longevity Awards were given to Ambitech Engineering Corp., BMO Harris Bank, Campagna Academy, Comprehensive Care Occupational Medicine, First Financial Bank, Franciscan St. Margaret Health, the Hammond Education Foundation, Hammond Machine Works, Haven House, Horizon Bank, Ivy Tech Community College, Lakeshore Public Television & Radio, St. Catherine Hospital, Transportation Support Group Inc., VIA Marketing, Inc. and Eichhorn & Eichhorn, LLP.
Civil Service awards were presented to East Chicago Fire Department Capt. Brandon K. Carpenter, East Chicago police Detective Maurice Phillips Sr., Hammond Fire EMT-2 Bryan K. Bean, Hammond police Patrolman Ryan A. Orr, Hammond fire Pvt. Christopher Ondas, teachers Tracy Mis of Hammond Academy of Science and Technology, Gladys Ullstam of the School City of Hammond and Christine L. Gesiakowski of East Chicago Central High.