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20 Under 40 celebrated at annual reception
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20 Under 40 celebrated at annual reception

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MICHIGAN CITY — This year’s 20 Under 40 honorees gathered Thursday in a socially distant setting to celebrate their achievements.

“It really gives me hope to see so many talented young people rising through the ranks,” The Times Media Co. Publisher Chris White said.

The Times’ 20 Under 40 recognizes young professionals from Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties who stand out in their professions and their communities. They were honored at a dinner at Blue Chip Casino’s Stardust Event Center.

This year’s honorees are a diverse group, distributed geographically and through all walks of life, White said.

“The breadth of talent is impressive,” he said.

Stephanie Trendowski, 36, is a business professor at Ivy Tech Community College. She is being honored for her work with the Mom Congress, which raises legislative awareness of maternal health issues.

Indiana has the third highest maternal mortality rate in the United States. Trendowski came close to being a part of that statistic four years ago, when her daughter was born. Since then, Trendowski has been trying to make a difference so fewer mothers and infants experience that trauma.

“There are seven countries with better maternal health care than we have, but they don’t even have access to clean water,” Trendowski said.

“We’re just trying to make a positive impact,” Trendowski said.

“Never let anyone tell you no,” she advised. “Always follow your gut.”

Binika Henderson, 39, is in the real estate business. “I started off in the midst of a recession,” in 2007, she said, and her business has been doing well despite the pandemic. She just purchased her dream car, a Range Rover.

Henderson qualified for the 20 Under 40 honor in her final year of eligibility. She turns 40 next spring.

She urged others to “stay true to who you are and persevere.”

Having different streams of income helps, too, she said.

Alan Myszkowski, 38, is owner of Local 219 and president of the Crown Point Chamber of Commerce board.

Myszkowski is “humbled and grateful” to be named a 20 Under 40 honoree, he said.

As the owner of a media company, being acknowledged by The Times Media Co., a leader in the Region, is a dream come true, he said.

“It’s a great reflection of the community,” he said.

Myszkowski urges others to get involved. “I think that’s what this community needs,” he said. “Relationships are everything.”

In his role with the chamber, Myszkowski enjoys the opportunity to meet with businesses throughout the city. As Local 219 owner, has has traveled across the Region.

This year’s 20 Under 40 honorees, named by The Times Media Co., include:

• Jeff Daneff, chief financial officer at Northwest Health System

• Chuck Dayton, 37, mortgage loan officer at Centier Bank

• Tricia Hall, 39, director of marketing and patient relations at NorthShore Health Centers

• Tionna Harris, 28, residential clinical manager with Campagna Academy

• Binika Henderson, 39, Realtor at Heritage Real Estate

• Dale Holsti, 40, Crown Point paramedic/firefighter and travel agent

• Samantha Holsti, 39, physician assistant on the inpatient oncology floor at UChicago Medicine

• David Kwait, 39, senior vice president and Wealth Management Group Leader at Peoples Bank

• Charlie Mathewson, 37, special agent for Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad

• Tara McElmurry, 30, communications lead at NIPSCO

• Melissa Mitchell, 39, chief operating officer for HealthLinc Community Health Center

• Alan Myszkowski 38, owner of Local 219

• John O'Block, 38, owner of Tavern on Main and Sure Fire Tattoos and co-owner of Crown Point Toys & Collectibles

• Alex Olympidis, 33, president of operations and human resources at Family Express

• Anthony "Bo" Patton, 30, teacher and head boys basketball coach at Merrillville High School

• Alissa Schnick, 38, principal at Westville High School

• Bethany Albanese Shelhart, 35, co-president, Albanese Confectionery Group

• Stephanie Trendowski, 36, business professor at Ivy Tech Community College and member of Mom Congress, an advocacy organization

• Andrew Tylka, 37, owner of Tom & Ed’s Auto Body

• Morgan Vlassopoulos, 38, eduator at Merrillville Community Sschool Corp.

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