Executives awarded for success in business
Five longtime Northwest Indiana businessmen were honored Wednesday by The Times Media Co. for their contributions to the community and success in business.
Nearly 300 people attended The Times’ third Business and Industry Hall of Fame luncheon at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza Theatre.
The 2010 inductees were David Bochnowski, James Dye, Stewart McMillan, Joseph Morrow and Gus Olympidis. Times Executive Editor William Nangle received the 2010 Partners in Progress award for his dedication in serving the community.
The five inductees were selected among more than 100 people who were nominated for their success in business, leadership qualities and vision for developing the region.
Times Publisher Bill Masterson Jr. said the five new members of the now 17-member Hall of Fame represent the “good people who have been a part of the region’s leadership” for years.
Indiana Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman said the inductees are the characters who keep Indiana moving forward and was pleased they chose the Hoosier State as a good place to turn a profit.
“The governor and I, we appreciate how much Northwest Indiana does and the impact that you have on the state economy,” she said.
Stewart McMillan, president and CEO of Task Force Tips in Valparaiso, attributed a part of his success to his father, who saw innovation as something necessary to stay ahead of competition. He pointed to the fact his dad installed seat belts in the family’s Buick vehicle in 1954, well before they were required in passenger vehicles.
McMillan also said that at a recent National Association of Manufacturers conference, representatives from other states approached him and said they wished their state governments were as supportive of business as in Indiana.
“Indiana is the poster child for business around the country,” he said.
Gus Olympidis, president and CEO of Valparaiso-based Family Express Corp., said he would accept The Times’ award that’s “designed to inspire others and its design to stimulate the pursuit of the American dream, which has been my life journey.”
Bochnowski, chairman and CEO of Munster-based NorthWest Indiana Bancorp and Peoples Bank, said his bank has survived 19 recessions in the 100 years of its existence. The key to 100 more years of success is proper planning and backing business and community collaboration efforts such as One Region/One Vision, a concept conceived by Masterson.
In addition to Wednesday’s broadcast, Lakeshore Public Television is airing the luncheon program at 10 a.m. Sunday on its station.
Click here to read more about each of the inductees.