WESTVILLE | Purdue University North Central Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin has been presented with the Ned E. Kalb Leadership Award, an honor co-sponsored by the Purdue Extension Office of La Porte County and Leadership La Porte County, two organizations that Ned Kalb impacted.
The award is presented annually to recognize a quiet, behind-the-scenes leader in La Porte County.
Kalb played a key role in the formation of the organization that became known as Leadership LaPorte County.
"He spent several years in the early 1980's guiding and facilitating the new non-profit training group," explained Jim Jessup, a 30-year volunteer for the organization, which started in the LaPorte County Extension Office.
"Ned Kalb was a true leader in La Porte County for many years," added Monica Komasinski, executive director of Leadership LaPorte County. "When he passed away on Nov. 19, 2011, the award was instituted to honor and memorialize his life and deeds in LaPorte County and beyond."
The first Ned E. Kalb Leadership Award was presented in 2012 to John Coulter.
Kalb spent 15 years as extension director in La Porte County, serving on many boards, both public and private. Current extension director, Hugh Tonagel, remembers Ned as an educator and connector who recognized needs and got things done.
"He worked with people and organizations to improve the quality of life in LaPorte County and did it with little fanfare and recognition," said Tonagel. "That's the spirit in which we are creating this award. Ned left his impact on La Porte County and the world."
In a letter of nomination for the Kalb award, Dworkin was described as "committed to improving the leadership skills of PNC students, employees and others in the communities PNC serves."
As an advocate for community service, he serves on a number of boards of directors and encourages PNC employees and students to volunteer in their communities.
In 2003, he formed the Chancellor's Leadership Seminar, which is available to PNC students who have shown leadership potential. Nearly 200 students have been through this program. Many have graduated and are serving in leadership roles in their communities and with their employers.
He is also created the PNC Leadership Academy, a two-year leadership training program for selected PNC employees.
As an active member of the community, Dworkin stepped forward to play an instrumental role in working with the county commissioners and the mayors of Michigan City and LaPorte to form LaPorte County's first "Economic Development Alliance." That initial partnership has grown to include a county-wide economic development initiative, with Dworkin serving as advisory committee chair.
He is active in the United Way organizations of both LaPorte and Porter counties as a board member emeritus of the LaPorte County United Way and governance committee member of the Porter County United Way. He earned the Indiana Association of United Ways Castaldi Award for his service, leadership and commitment to the United Way and the programs it supports.
Since his arrival as PNC chancellor in 2000, Dworkin has worked to enhance higher education in LaPorte County. The campus student population has grown from 3,459 students to 6,048 students. The number of baccalaureate degree programs has increased from six to 22 programs. To date, more than 11,000 PNC alumni have graduated and more than 85 percent of alumni reside in the PNC service area.
"Jim Dworkin leads by example and his strong leadership qualities make him an excellent role model," concluded the letter of nomination. "He strongly believes in not only continually improving his own leadership skills, but in supporting others as they improve their leadership skills. He is a strong proponent of team building to solve problems and challenges faced whether they are at PNC or within LaPorte County. He continues to make a difference in LaPorte County!"