2018 Endorsements

For the past eight years, the Chamber, through its Political Action Committee (ChamberPAC), has carefully evaluated and endorsed candidates for local offices. Only one other chamber in Indiana does this, and only a handful across the country do. The Chamber’s involvement isn’t because it likes politics, but instead, because it knows good leaders lead to good public policy, and good public policy leads to economic growth.

The Chamber knows you are busy running your business and that you can’t understand everything you need to know about a candidate in a 30-second political commercial or debate sound bite. That’s why we dive deeper into each candidate and the skills and abilities they bring to the position they are seeking in candidate questionnaires and interviews.


Reasons Why

Our non-partisan Political Endorsement Committee has completed that process and made their recommendations to ChamberPAC. We encourage our members, their employees, friends, and family to support the ChamberPAC-endorsed candidates on November 6.

The Chamber believes St. Joseph County has made some great progress in recent years despite some of the biggest budgetary challenges ever faced by a unit of government. County leaders have had to change the way they do business and find new innovative and cost-effective ways to deliver the public services our businesses and citizens demand. That progress has been in large part because of the strong leadership of Commissioner Andy Kostielney, and we believe he has charted an exciting course for the county’s future and has demonstrated the leadership skills necessary to lead county government efforts.

Councilmen Corey Noland and Robert Kruszynski have both played key roles advancing county interests and in balancing the difficult budget challenges encountered by the county and prioritizing the delivery of services. Both have been hard workers, active participants, are easily accessible, and have demonstrated a willingness to work with and across the aisle and with other elected officials on improving the business climate. Both are deserving of another term.

Councilman Dick Pfeil and Candidate Brian Pawlowski are relative newcomers to county government, but neither is a stranger to working with the public sector. Pfeil has admirably filled the shoes of former Councilman Jamie O’Brien, who stepped down earlier this year. He has brought his many years of business leadership skills to his new council post. We believe he has the business background and experience to help implement important changes where necessary while, at the same time, balancing the interests of the business community. We believe he deserves a full term.

Brian Pawlowski has played a key role in recent years in South Bend’s turnaround, serving as the city’s director of community investment. His economic development experience, together with his role in education with the Garatoni Foundation and his military experience, have us convinced he has the right skills and will be a great asset to the council at a time when economic development will play such a critical role in the county’s future.


Vote for these ChamberPAC-Endorsed Candidates on Nov. 6:


Andy Kostielney
St. Joseph County Commissioner
District 1

Kostielney currently serves as the incumbent district 1 county commissioner, a role he has filled since January of 2009. He has served the last six years as president of the Board of Commissioners. Prior to his time as commissioner, Kostielney served as a county councilman. He is also the assistant manager of the Robinson Community Learning Center, where he oversees operations and budget matters for the center that provides educational programming for participants of all ages.




Robert “Bobby K” Kruszynski
St. Joseph County Council
District A

Kruszynski currently serves as the incumbent district A councilperson, a post he’s held since 2015. He has a long and distinguished career in public service, including 14 years as St. Joseph County highway commissioner, former manager of the Department of Sanitation, former superintendent of the Sewer Insurance Program, and former construction job leader in the South Bend Water Works Department.


Corey Noland
St. Joseph County Council
District B

Noland currently serves as the incumbent district B councilperson, a post he’s held since 2009. For the past 29 years, he has worked in the electrical construction and services industry, and currently serves as a service manager for Koontz-Wagner Construction Services in South Bend. In his current position, he oversees a team of more than 70 people and does departmental and project budgeting, cost management and projections for approximately $12 million annually. 

Dick Pfeil
St. Joseph County Council
District C

Pfeil currently serves as the incumbent district C councilperson, a position he’s held since 2018. Pfeil received a degree in electrical engineering from Michigan State and his MBA from Indiana University. He served for 45 years as the CEO of Koontz-Wagner Electric Company. At his retirement, Koontz-Wagner was doing over $70 million in sales annually and employed 550 people. In 2011, he founded the Pfeil Innovation Center in South Bend, a center that provides innovation and listening education to businesses across the country, and now boasts more than 1,200 graduates.


Brian Pawlowski
St. Joseph County Council
District H

Pawlowski is currently the executive vice president of the Garatoni Family Office and the Garatoni-Smith Family Foundation. He is a veteran of the Marine Corps where he served as a human intelligence/counterintelligence/interrogation and operations officer. Locally, he formerly served as the deputy chief of staff and as the director of community investment and cconomic development for Mayor Pete Buttigieg and the city of South Bend.



Vote for these ChamberPAC-Endorsed School Board Candidates on Nov. 6:


John Pinter
South Bend Community School Corporation
District 1

Pinter is the owner of Pinter Consulting, the executive director of the United Religious Community of St. Joseph County, and is an adjunct professor at the University of Notre Dame. This seat is an open seat; the incumbent chose not to seek re-election. Pinter is the father of three South Bend Community School Corporation graduates. He currently teaches board governance and leadership classes, which the Chamber believes gives him a strong understanding of the role of effective board leadership and prepares him well for a role on the board. The Chamber has come to know Pinter over the years and has found him to be well rounded, a positive thinker, innovative and a problem solver. He has experience in strategic planning and in managing budgets. We have found him to be a good facilitator, and we've ween him work to solve problems through partnerships, something we believe is critical for the school board. The Chamber believes Pinter has a good understanding of how important community engagement is and how critical that is to the long-term success of the corporation. The ChamberPAC believes Pinter will be a great addition to the school board and that the skills he brings to the table will help the school corporation continue to advance.

Stan Wruble III
South Bend Community School Corporation
District 2

Wruble is the current district 2 representative and is the current president of the school board. He is a lawyer in South Bend and a law professor at the University of Notre Dame. The ChamberPAC believes Wruble has done an excellent job during his time on the board and should be re-elected. Wruble has provided strong and sound leadership through some difficult corporation decisions and has made hard choices that we believe help better position the corporation for long-term success. He has also worked hard to make sure all kids in South Bend have access to quality educational opportunities. The ChamberPAC has seen Wruble work well with others, including fellow board members, the school administration and the public. The ChamberPAC believes that the skills Wruble brings are needed for the school corporation to continue to advance.