Obama administration officials are expected to address Northwest Indiana leaders at an event two region groups are hosting in Merrillville next month.
The One Region, One Vision committee and the Northwest Indiana Quality of Life Council, whose goals are to help improve conditions in the region, are collaborating to host an annual meeting Sept. 8.
Check-in begins at 11 a.m., the luncheon event begins at noon, and the event lasts until 4 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza in Merrillville.
Jay Williams, former mayor of Youngstown, Ohio, and director of the White House's Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, and Martha Kanter, undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Education, are expected to speak about local and national issues as they relate to the quality of life.
After the speakers, the Quality of Life Council will hold its annual meeting and announce winners of its three awards to Northwest Indiana residents who have worked to improve the area's quality of life.
Bill Masterson Jr., publisher of The Times and chairman of One Region, One Vision, said it made sense for the groups to become partners because they have similar missions.
"Sept. 8th is going to be an incredible day in Northwest Indiana," Masterson said. "I encourage everyone to block from 11 o'clock on as we have now announced this event and hope to announce other exciting things going on that day in the near future."
The Gary and Region Investment Project initiative, known as GRIP, grew out of last year's One Region, One Vision effort, sponsored by The Times Media Co. The project aims to bring together community leaders, regional stakeholders, national experts and state and federal representatives to develop an investment strategy for economic recovery. The Chicago-based Metropolitan Planning Council is coordinating GRIP.
The Quality of Life Council aims to inspire regional leaders to improve the economy, environment and society in Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties.
Nominations still are being accepted for the Quality of Life Council's Outstanding Contribution, Lifetime Achievement and Promise of the Future awards. For more information on the nomination criteria or process, contact event chairwoman Danita Johnson-Hughes at (219) 885-4264, ext. 2312.
Reservations for the event can be made by calling the Quality of Life Council or sending an email to email@example.com. The admission costs $30, and reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.
Business sponsorships are available for the Sept. 8 event and can be secured by calling Roger Wexelberg, business development manager with The Times at (219) 548-4376 or the Quality of Life Council.