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BusINess » 2010 Professionals To Watch

Posts Tagged ‘2010 Professionals To Watch’

Andy Arnold

(Photograph by Robert Wray.)

(Photograph by Robert Wray.)

When Andy Arnold founded Precision Control Systems Inc. in 1980, the United States was heading into a deep recession—not a great time to start a business, in theory at least. Thirty years later, Arnold is steering his company through an even worse recession, and it’s no worse for the wear.

Precision Control Systems—based in Griffith and affiliated with identically named sister companies in Chicago and Indianapolis—contracts with area institutions and businesses to install temperature control systems and retrofit buildings for more efficient energy use.

The key to survival in Northwest Indiana’s fast-changing business environment, he says, is building long-lasting customer relationships and a highly skilled employee base. “Because we are more stable with our customers, we tend to provide better quality than our competitors,” says Arnold, a native of Lombard, Ill., who now lives in Chesterton. Read the rest of this entry »

The emphasis on professionalism remains critical

Looking over the roster of business leaders that are the focus of this issue, I was struck by the mixture of familiar and unfamiliar names as well as the diversity in age, gender and cultural heritage. Learning their success stories only further convinced me of the versatility and adaptability of the pros that stay in the game. One of the real world benefits of the many challenges that businesses face right now is the opportunity for good leaders to show just how innovative and creative they can be. True professionals inevitably rise to the top no matter what economic conditions surround them.

NWI Forum CEO Mark Maassel embodies professionalism and always has. Maassel, who is already an alumnus of the BusINess Hall of Fame, who played a key role in the long-term building NIPSCO and Northwest Indiana, might seem to be at a point in his career where he could ease up on the 24/7 schedule and his typical intense level of involvement. But at this critical time for the region, he has stepped up again—first as Forum Chair and now back in the daily fray. Thank you, Mark, for all you do. You are certainly, undeniably a person to watch.
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Debora Owen

Challenging times call for innovative approaches and strong leadership, especially if your job is to provide reliable and affordable energy service to more than 712,000 natural gas customers and 457,000 electric customers across Northern Indiana.

As director of Customer Contact Center for Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO), Debora Owen knows firsthand how today’s difficult economic climate has affected people in our region. She and her team have been at the forefront of NIPSCO’s efforts to help customers manage their monthly bills, and to assist low-income residents, elderly people on fixed incomes, or other customers working hard to make ends meet.

“Everyone on our team understands that these are challenging times,” Owen says, standing amid some of the more than 160 customer service representatives who work in NIPSCO’s Merrillville call center. “That’s why we are doing everything we can to keep customers’ rates as low as possible, to help people get the assistance they need, and to continue delivering the reliable, efficient service that they and their neighbors depend on.”
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Barry Levin

(Photograph by Barry Levin.)

(Photograph by Barry Levin.)

For more than 90 years, a Levin family member has been at the helm of the Levin Tire Center. “My grandfather, Henry Levin, started the business in Gary at 21st and Broadway. In the early 1970s, we built the facility in Highland on Indianapolis Boulevard and moved our operation here,” says Barry Levin, a Schererville resident and the company’s third-generation owner.

Today, Levin Tire Center has expanded to include six other stores in five communities—Hammond, Hobart, Crown Point, Valparaiso and Merrillville, where two Levin Tire Centers operate. The newest facility in Valparaiso opened two years ago in a newly constructed building.

Levin Tire Center has been affiliated with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. of Akron, Ohio, for decades, Levin says, and that has helped grow the business.

“Goodyear contacted us that they were putting a facility in Hobart and asked if we would run it. We were an existing Goodyear dealer so it was a natural,” Levin says.
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