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HAMMOND | Teresa Zorzi found her last two jobs through networking at an INsight Design Conference. Martin Oleksy and Matt Valuckis met at an INsight Design Conference and have since collaborated to rebrand a local business.

All three were present at the 2012 INsight Design Conference on Thursday at the Hammond Arts Center, which was bound to continue its mission to inspire, educate and transform the creative community in Northwest Indiana.

This year’s INsight was the fifth in four years from co-chairs Joseph Gonzalez and Kevin Bruinsma. Centered on graphic designers, the conference features networking, portfolio reviews and guest speakers.

“If we have one success story that’s enough for us,” Gonzalez said. “If one person could make a difference in their career or make a connection that’s going to last, that’s kind of the purpose of this whole thing.”

Gonzalez has seen the doors open for Zorzi, who as a guest at the first conference won the award for “Best Portfolio.”

This year Zorzi was one of the portfolio reviewers.

“If that isn’t full circle, I don’t know what is,” she said.

Zorzi also started a graphic/web design mentoring program, Four11 Mentors, with local designer Ryan Wake -- whom she met at a previous INsight.

“In this world it’s all about knowing people and networking,” she said.

Oleksy, of Cedar Lake, attended the first INsight in 2009 at Faith Church in Dyer. Impressed, he volunteered to be the media coordinator for the following one. There he met Valuckis, owner of Hobart-based V as in Victor Designs & Strategy, and the two became friends and collaborators on creative projects. Their most current is the rebranding of Catch 22 restaurant in Merrillville.

“I will always be grateful for INsight,” Oleksy said. “Any success I have enjoyed can be traced back to INsight.”

In addition to Zorzi, this year’s INsight portfolio reviewers included Bob Sirko, who is chairman of the department of art and teaches graphic and digital design at Valparaiso University.

This year’s guest speakers were graphic designers from Chicago and Northwest Indiana and included Chad Kouri, Margot Harrington, Steve Shanabruch, Yvette Perullo and Eric Benson.

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