Business leaders, government officials connect and forge strong relationships for future growth

Business leaders, government officials connect and forge strong relationships for future growth

“It’s La Porte’s time,” said Julie West-Schroeder, La Porte’s First Ward City Council Member. 

Helping to continue the growth of La Porte and make it the excellent city its citizens know it is, La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership (LEAP) hosted their Elected Officials Reception on Wednesday evening. The event provided the La Porte business community time to network with each other as well as mingle with the newly-elected Mayor Tom Dermody and other City Council members. 

“We wanted to host this mixer to give people a chance to get to know their elected officials and get some face-time with them,” said Bert Cook, Executive Director at LEAP. 

LEAP 2020 Elected Officials

LEAP 2020 Elected Officials 25 Photos
LEAP 2020 Elected OfficialsLEAP 2020 Elected OfficialsLEAP 2020 Elected OfficialsLEAP 2020 Elected Officials

LEAP has been an outstanding resource in connecting local business leaders with government officials. This reception provided yet another opportunity for government and business to work together, forging those personal connections that encourage growth. 

“All of these officials live here in the city, they’re our neighbors, they professionally participate, they run for office and make decisions that will affect our community for the next four years. Businesses and residents are going to be impacted by that, and to have exposure to those who are running our government is huge,” Cook said.

Mayor Tom Dermody found this event helpful for connecting with local business leaders, making the important connections that will help boost the local workforce.

“I’m newly-elected and this is a chance to reconnect with a lot of the business people in our community. I really appreciate LEAP hosting this event,” Dermody said. “People want jobs, and what better way to connect business owners and the business community with the elected officials so we can share thoughts and ideas and get off on the right foot together moving forward?”

Newly elected Council member West-Schroeder recognized the event’s importance in getting to know more about the people in the city she would be serving. 

 “An event like this really gives us an opportunity to meet people that can share what they’re doing in the city, what they want to see happen in the city,” West said. “Being newly elected, I’ve been learning a lot but I still have a lot to learn. I’m excited about that and about seeing the growth in La Porte.”

Laura Cutler, City Council Member for the Third Ward, was happy to use the momentum from her previous term to build on the relationships and trust of those she connected with at the event. 

“This event is nice because you get to see people you haven’t seen or connected with in a while and they, in turn, introduce you to other people. Those personal connections are important because you have to earn a person’s trust. The more we get to know each other, the more we can trust each other when we’re looking for help,” Cutler said.

For business leaders, having that face-to-face connection with their elected officials adds that personal touch.

“As a business leader, it’s really important for me to get to know the elected officials, and to meet people in a non-business environment,” said Bill Gertner, Assistant Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer at Horizon Bank. “You never know when you might meet a like-minded individual and connect over something that has nothing to do with the original purpose you met them for. It places a more personal feel to their office.”

The evening proved to be a great success for LEAP, Mayor Dermody, and the business leaders of La Porte. The relationships and connections established through tonight’s event will help to ensure the further growth of La Porte throughout the coming years.

For more information about LEAP, visit their website: