Leadership La Porte County 36th Adult Class Graduation and Outstanding Alumni Award Presentation

Leadership La Porte County 36th Adult Class Graduation and Outstanding Alumni Award Presentation

Leadership La Porte County honored its 36th Adult Class at a recent event held at Kesling Park. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this event was held outdoors with social distancing measures in place.

For the 36th year a group of La Porte County citizens have spent the past 9 months engaging in leadership   skill-building, gaining information about La Porte County, and networking with local leaders. “The annual graduation celebrates and recognizes the leadership class as they prepare to use their knowledge and information to make a positive change in the community,” explains Monica Komasinski, Executive Director of Leadership La Porte County.   “This year looked a bit different as we made some modifications      to keep everyone safe. We are proud of the commitment this group has made to developing leadership skills and getting involved in their community.  Many thanks to Jim Jessup, who once again volunteered his time to serve as co-facilitator of the class.” Thirty six individuals from throughout La Porte County participated in this year’s course. 

36th Class Graduates, social distancing with their completion awards
36th Class Graduates, social distancing with their completion awards

At the event, the Outstanding Leadership Alumni Award was also presented.  Each year the board of directors of Leadership La Porte County chooses a past graduate of the program to receive the Robert J. Hiler, Jr. Outstanding Alumni Award.  The award recognizes one alumnus who has demonstrated ongoing commitment to his/her profession and to the La Porte County community.  The award is named in honor of Robert J. Hiler, Jr. (now deceased) who served as a board member, benefactor, and was an inspiration for many in the community.  

“Bob Hiler was a true community leader who gave time, talent, and treasure to our organization and many others,” stated Komasinski.  “We are proud to honor Bob’s spirit in recognizing outstanding community leadership.  We are pleased to announce this year’s award recipient, Lisa Pierzakowski.”   

Pierzakowski, a member of the 34th Leadership class, received the award in recognition of her outstanding service to the community as the Center Township Trustee.  Komasinski stated, “She has consistently gone ‘above and beyond’ in her daily activities assisting those in need of support.  Her significant effort to promote food security, financial independence and housing for those in need is unparalleled.”

Lisa has worked for many years on the issue of homelessness. This past year, she worked on a homeless/overnight shelter for the community. In its first year (January 2020–March 15th, 2020) 38 clients went through the shelter. 30 of those were able to get into housing, rehab, back with family or on to the next journey.

Pierzakowski has been recognized with many other awards and accomplishments, including:

  • Indiana Trustee of the Year Award in 2018
  • Circle of Corydon Award from Governor, awarded on October 13, 2018
  • Northwest Indiana Township Director (among 166 townships)
  • Board member of the Indiana Township Association
  • President, La Porte County Township Association
  • Treasurer of the Republican Women’s Group for La Porte
  • Former President and Secretary, Maple City Lions Club

The event concluded with the formal recognition of the 36th class members for completing the program, which included monthly sessions on a variety of community leadership topics, a county bus tour, a trip to the State Legislature, and team projects.  Board President Carrie Campbell, Vice President Cathy Homan and Board member Kim Peffley distributed commemorative plaques to each graduate.  Monica Komasinski challenged class members to stay connected to each other, to find their passions, and to continue giving back to the community. Several friends and colleagues of the graduates did a drive by parade to celebrate the culmination of the program.

La Porte Hospital employees came out to celebrate their co-worker
La Porte Hospital employees came out to celebrate their co-worker

Leadership La Porte County, Inc. a non-profit organization has a mission to inspire, develop, cultivate and connect emerging and existing leaders to serve their diverse communities. Leadership La Porte County is committed to providing a forum for the development of community leaders. For more information on Leadership La Porte County, or to nominate an individual for the 37th Adult Program beginning in September, visit www.leadershiplaportecounty.com/applynow; contact Leadership La Porte County at 325-8223, or email:  info@leadershiplaportecounty.com.