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NWI Forum

Heather Ennis, NWI Forum president and CEO, discusses green growth at the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago in 2014. From left is James Stern, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, A.O. Smith; David Garman, founding dean, School of Freshwater Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, and Sammis White, interim dean and director of workforce development at the University of Wisconsin. 

The Northwest Indiana Forum held its annual meeting at Horseshoe Casino on Thursday, recapping many of the organization's achievements and electing new officers.

Forum CEO Heather Ennis reported that in 2015 the Forum participated with other organizations in projects helping to attract more than 980 jobs to Northwest Indiana. It responded to and developed 52 leads for attracting businesses, retaining businesses or expanding businesses.

In addition, it spearheaded plans to get more industrial space constructed in Northwest Indiana, hosting more than 100 site-selector, broker and developer meetings.

This year, the Forum has hosted members of the Indiana General Assembly and Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann at its annual legislative session in Indianapolis. And it brought 40 real estate brokers and developers together with Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith at a real estate forum in Chicago.

"We look forward to developing and nurturing our relationships to ensure that Northwest Indiana will be the region selected for new or expanding businesses," Ennis said.

Newly elected to the Forum board of directors at the annual meeting were Kelly Credit, of Porter Health Care System; Gus Olympidis, of Family Express; and Rex Richards, of the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce.

Eight members were re-elected to three year terms on the board. Those were Don Babcock, of NIPSCO; Speros Batistatos, of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority; Brian Boilek, of First Midwest Bank; John Diederich, of Peoples Bank; Larry Fabina, of ArcelorMittal; Tom Keilman, of BP Americas; Dewey Pearman, of the Construction Advancement Foundation; and Mark Tade, of U.S. Steel.

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