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Looking over the roster of business leaders that are on our list this issue, I couldn't help but notice the mix of well-known and lesser-known names as well as the diversity in ages, cultural background and gender. Learning about our top professionals impressed me even more with the flexibility and adaptation that these leaders display. There are lots of intangible benefits for managers with a natural ability to create, invent and innovate. Devising new ways of working and new products are hallmarks of leadership in our modern economy.

Every single day I see new collaborations emerge as well as new businesses. In the business news in one recent week, Potash Corp. moved into Hammond, a fuel cell component maker landed in Crown Point and St. John's SunRise Solar Inc. said it expected to double exports this year. And that was a pretty typical week.

There are numerous examples in this group of outstanding professionals whose names and reputations are familiar. BP's Whiting Business Unit's Tom Keilman, Highland Clerk/Treasurer Michael Griffin, Heather McCarthy of Geminus Corporation, Andrew Kyres of First Financial Bank, Mark Spencer of West Side Theatre Guild, Calumet College Chancellor Dan Lowery, Porter Hospital's Kelly Credit and Charlie Blum of the Star Plaza Theatre are all in expanded and evolving roles in their organizations and they continue to shine by solid strategic thinking applied to new situations.

Others pros have made a leap into a key leadership role in the Region without breaking stride including Arnell General Sales Manager Rob Henderson, NIPSCO President Kathleen O'Leary, Chelsea Stalling Wittington, Gary Director of Communications – who started her career at the Times – and Harry VandeVeide of the Legacy Foundation.

Then there are those who you may be meeting for the first time including entrepreneurs like Martin Oleksy, building a public relations network and simultaneously creating buzz around one of NWI's new epicenters in Cedar Lake; Roger Blythe, deftly steering the family business through a changing industry and Dr. Navin Kumar, who recently won a coveted St. Luke award for his work in internal medicine at St. Margaret's.

The theme running through so many professionals' career stories is the constant renewal of initiative and energy. Every day is a new opportunity and another chance. If the old idea doesn't work, get a new idea.

Thank you all for making the time to tell us about how you do, even though it is still kind of mind-boggling. You are the role models who inspire us, you set a stellar example and you are definitely the people we need to watch.


Bill Masterson Jr.


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