Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Michiana Forty under 40 Demonstrates Pool of Talent

Posted by: Jeff Rea
President and CEO
South Bend Regional Chamber on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 12:00:00 am
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Jeff Rea

Last week, the Michiana Forty Under 40 Class was revealed. The 2017 class represents the 11th Michiana Forty under 40 class. This program is an annual collaborative effort between the South Bend Regional Chamber, the Young Professionals Network South Bend, the Elkhart County Community Foundation and other chambers of commerce across the region.

The program recognizes 40 regional business and professional leaders who have achieved success before the age of 40. It was developed originally to shine the spotlight on 40 of the area’s most talented and dedicated young executives, professionals and leaders who demonstrate career success and community engagement.

This year’s class includes a broad collection of individuals from a variety of industries: higher education; health care; food service; manufacturing; computer science; banking; government; financial services; legal, business services; retail; utilities; early childhood and K-12 education; engineering; insurance; construction; accounting and real estate.

Organizers of the first class wondered if the program could sustain over time. Would there be enough young professionals to recognize each year? Eleven years and 400 honorees later, there is no shortage of talent. The recognition has become highly sought after. This year, 200 nominations were received for the 40 slots.

Recipients were selected based on the following criteria: initiative and dedication in pursuing their career; proven success and achievement in their job/career; investment in and service to others through their involvement in civic, charitable and/or religious organizations; and passion for their community that motivates them to give back because of that passion.

In addition, nominees had to be under the age of 40 on May 16, and live and work in Michiana (LaPorte, St. Joseph, Elkhart, Starke and Marshall counties in Indiana; and Cass and Berrien counties in Michigan). Anyone in the region could complete a nomination, which are received in the spring of each year.

A committee from across the region annually reviews and scores the applications received, performing what has become a very difficult task of narrowing the list of 200 down to 40.

So why does this all matter? It should give us all confidence that our area has a “deep bench.” That we have leaders in virtually every industry and in each community in the region stepping forward to make a difference. That we have young people who have chosen to stay right here to launch their careers and plant roots instead of fleeing for larger metro areas or warmer climates.

The next few years are critical to our region. As we seek to attract young people, new families and businesses to our region, it will take a team effort from across the region. You’ll see members of this class play a vital role, especially as they join with their peers who were selected before them and work collectively to promote and grow the region.

Congratulations to this year’s class! We’ll celebrate their contributions at a recognition luncheon on Tuesday, May 16, at the Gillespie Conference Center. If you would like to join us for the celebration, visit The list of this year’s honorees is below.

The 2017 class of Forty under 40 honorees will be honored May 16 at the Gillespie Center. They are:

Jenna Bauer, Saint Mary’s College

Hayley Boling, Boling Vision Center

Dawn Brockey, Culver Coffee Co.

Joshua Cameron, Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory

Emanuel-Cristian Caraman, Bethel College

David Cieslak, Aunalytics

Kristen Collett-Schmitt, University of Notre Dame

Ansley Covey, 1st Source Bank

Ryann DeMoss, Beacon Health Foundation

Katelan Doyle, Elkhart County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office

Kyle Everett, Robert W. Baird & Co.

Dawn Farmer, Saint Mary’s College

Anne Fischesser, Faegre Baker Daniels

Dustin Geyer, Ranch Fiberglass

Latorya Greene, Saint Joseph Health System

Alexandria Hall, Ivy Tech Community College

Andrew Helfrich, Barnes & Thornburg

Angela Johnson, Faegre Baker Daniels

Erik Johnson, J2 Marketing

Brian Krider, Ben’s Soft Pretzels

Brian Main, Town of Bremen

Ashley Molyneaux, Elkhart Education Foundation

Ali Oesch, Ali Oesch Jewelry

Oluwaferanmi Okanlami, Memorial Hospital of South Bend

Andrew Polaniecki, Holy Cross College

Mark Robinson, Indiana Michigan Power

Dusten Roe, Beacon Health System

Dan Rousseve, TCU

Emily Rupchock, Early Childhood Alliance

Jennifer Sears, Penn-Harris-Madison School Corp.

Emily Smith, Naissance Inc.

Clinton Squadroni, Worldwide Express

Shawn Stevens, Edward Jones

Bryan Tanner, Lawson-Fisher Associates

Katie Tryniecki, Gibson

Matthew VanSoest, Ancon Construction Co.

Tammy Weisweaver, B Present Studio

Andrew Wiand, enFocus

Daniel Wolfson, RSM US LLP

Rudy Yakym III, Bradley Co.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Give Local St. Joseph County

Posted by: Jeff Rea
President and CEO
South Bend Regional Chamber on Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 12:00:00 am
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The Chamber has been a big advocate of the Regional Cities program since its inception. From the beginning business leaders recognized the importance of working together across the region and the value that quality of place improvements could provide to regional efforts to grow the economy. This summer we’ll see construction on many of those projects begin as almost $700 million in improvements are planned.

The business community is excited about another collaborative effort set to happen next month in St. Joseph County; that is Give Local St. Joseph County on Tuesday, May 9. On that day over a 24-hour period, 67 charities will benefit from the generous donations of the community together with $2.4 million in matching funds! A similar effort in 2015 attracted 5,487 donors who contributed more than $6.7 million.

The dollars raised will enhance other quality of place improvements like those happening with the Regional Cities program. Among those organizations participating this year will be organizations that offer local events and programming related to things like Arts & Culture, Camps, Parks & Recreation, Community Development, Education, Health & Human Services, and Youth Development.

The Community Foundation of St. Joseph County is leading this effort. Their mission is to build permanent resources for our community, Give Local St. Joseph County is designed to support local charities now and from now on. How? By passing through 75% of net dollars raised for each charity to support current programming, and by placing the other 25%—plus generous matching funds—into each charity's permanent endowment, increasing the annual support it receives year after year.

The help of you and your business is critical to this effort. I encourage you to get involved and to take advantage of this unique opportunity to benefit key nonprofit organizations working to improve the quality of life in our community. The 2015 effort was one of the tops in the country. Though there is no similar competition this time around, there is an opportunity to once again show others the generosity of this community.