MERRILLVILLE | The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, in partnership with Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza hosted its annual Bring It Home Hero Ambassador Reception on Tuesday.
The reception at the Radisson Hotel Star Plaza invites members from associations and organizations to learn about creating a positive economic impact in their community by bringing meetings and events home to the South Shore.
Speros Batistatos, president and CEO of the South Shore CVA, said meetings and events help support businesses and create jobs along the South Shore.
“The economic impact created by events hosted in the region trickles down,” he said. “By educating our local association and organization representatives, we have the opportunity to attract new events and conventions.”
Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter is also president of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council. He said he is pushing the council to hold its convention in Northwest Indiana in the next few years.
Carter said the council’s sister organization, the Childhood Support Division for the state of Indiana, is going to have its convention in Northwest Indiana in 2016 that will bring in about 400 to 500 people.
“I’m very proud to push this community, our county and certainly the Radisson Hotel,” he said. “We do have interest in bringing other groups here. We sell our area here and it’s a nice area to sell and we do have a lot to offer.”
Munster Clerk/Treasurer Dave Shafer served as president of the Indiana League of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers in 2010-11 and brought its convention to Northwest Indiana.
“Why not Northwest Indiana?” he said. “There are a lot of fantastic things to do here in Lake County. It was a lot of fun to show off our hometown.”
Shafer said the organization’s current president is deciding whether to hold its next convention in Merrillville or French Lick. Shafer said he plans to do what he can to “make sure they come back to Northwest Indiana.”
Batistatos said throughout 2013, Bring It Home Heroes and their events generated more than $850,000 in estimated economic impact, while various meetings, conventions and sporting events contributed more than $2.9 million in estimated economic impact to the South Shore.
He said organizations are treated like “just another number” when meeting in Indianapolis at the same time as 15 to 20 other conventions.
“When you’re here in Northwest Indiana, you’re treated special,” he said. “Everyone pays attention to what you need.”