On Thursday, La Porte citizens and business owners trekked through the blustery weather to attend the 15th Annual Salute to Business Awards and Luncheon, hosted by the Greater La Porte Chamber of Commerce.
The yearly event allows influential business representatives to gather in one common space to give one another a ceremonial round of applause for their hard work, as well as the differences they’ve made in the community.
“This is a way to recognize and say, ‘Thank you’ to businesses that are continually enhancing quality of life in our area,” said Jackie Dermody, Chair of La Porte Manufacturers Association and Chair-Elect.
The awards ceremony was a prelude to the casual luncheon, giving attendees a chance to mix and mingle.
“Most importantly, we want to network,” Dermody said. “We want everyone to have fun, and we want to gather everyone for more events like this.”
Dermody joked in her address to the crowd that the highlight of the event was meant to be a keynote address from Indiana Secretary of Career and Talent Connections Blair Milo. Sadly, the day’s inclement weather got in the way of her travel plans.
Nevertheless, the Chamber made lemonade with the lemons they were handed, using the additional time leftover to let business representatives deliver a 30-second pitch about their organization to the room.
The ceremony gave the Chamber an opportunity to discuss projections for the economic climate in 2019, which predicted additional $4,535,000 in capital investments.
In addition to the expected awards given to businesses based on their key years of service to the area, increasing of area employment, and success as a capital investment, the Chamber introduced some new awards to specific businesses and individuals.
These awards included:
Small Business of the Year—Salon Rouge
Mid-size Business of the Year—Winn Machine
Large Business of the Year—1st Source Bank
Community Organization of the Year—Paladin
Workforce Development of the Year—Arconic
Blue Collar Worker of the Year—Jimmy Pressel of Pressel Enterprises
Outstanding Young LaPortian—Erin Parker of La Porte High School
Outstanding Young LaPortian—Catherine Mrozinski of 1st Source Bank
Footnoting the event was the bittersweet news that Rita Mrozinski, Greater La Porte Chamber President, will be resigning from her post for a new opportunity. Voting for a new President of the Chamber will soon commence. The rest of the award categories and recipients are listed below.
Salute to Business Gold Award for Key Years of Service:
Larson-Danielson Construction Company (118 Years), IN/KY/OH Regional Council of Carpenters (115 Years), Hamilton Grove (96 Years), Purdue Federal Credit Union (77 Years), Seymour Sales & Service, LLC (47 Years), READ La Porte County, Inc. (30 Years), Unity Foundation of La Porte County (26 Years), Packaging Logic, Inc. (23 Years), American Licorice (13 Years), Maple City Dentistry (11 Years), DuneLand Media (4 Years), Salon Rouge (1.5 Years)
Salute to Business Gold Award for Employment Increase:
Packaging Logic, Inc. and Salon Rouge
Salute to Business Gold Award for Capital Investment:
American Licorice, Packaging Logic, Inc., Larson-Danielson Construction Company, Duneland Media, Seymour Sales & Service, LLC, and Salon Rouge