2017 Business & Industry Hall of Fame logo

Happy new year, everyone. Here’s to a great 2017.

With the new year comes the start of the nomination process for The Times’ Northwest Indiana Business and Industry Hall of Fame.

A new class will be inducted in May at what is always a signature business event in the Region. Details on the date and venue will come soon.

This is the 10th year for the Business and Industry Hall of Fame, and for the second straight year we are expanding it.

Last year we announced an annual category for enterprise of the year, and the deserving recipient was Urschel Laboratories Inc.

This year we’d like to expand the nomination process to include residents of Lake, Porter or LaPorte counties who have made a substantial contribution to business and industry outside the Region as well as in the Region.

The key addition is outside the Region. We feel it’s time to remove the restriction of recognizing distinction only from achievements in Northwest Indiana.

The nomination process is open through January, and we welcome your contributions to help us build a a diverse field of nominees for our panel of judges.

To date, more than 40 award winners have been named to the Northwest Indiana Business and Industry Hall of Fame since the initial event in 2008.

Last year’s recipients, in addition to Urschel Laboratories, were Greg Ludkovsky, JoAnn Birdzell, Frank Schilling and Harley Snyder as Hall of Fame members and retiring state Sen. Earline Rogers as Partner in Progress.

Please visit www.nwi.com/halloffame this month to nominate.

Sharing your thoughts

There was a lot to write about in 2016, and when you turn the page you’ll see how many people wrote for Sunday Forum and our daily Opinion pages last year.

We want to thank the 777 writers, and we’ve listed all names on Page D3.

Find yours if you contributed a letter or a column to what essentially is a Region town hall. Also find others like Gov. and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Gov.-elect Eric Holcomb and U.S. Sen.-elect Todd Young, who wrote columns during the year.

Editorial page editor Marc Chase welcomes 150-word letters and 500-word columns on topics of interest. Send them to letters@nwi.com.

"This is one of our most effective ways of interacting with readers and reflecting their ideas and thoughts," Chase said of editorial page contributions from the public. "We have a vast diversity of opinion in Northwest Indiana, and we like to reflect that."

With more contributions in 2017, our list of writers will top 1,000 next year. How about it?

Bob Heisse is editor of The Times Media Co. He can be reached at (219) 933-3327 or bob.heisse@nwi.com.

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Bob is editor of The Times Media Co. He started in Northwest Indiana in April 2014 following stints as executive editor of The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., and The Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa.