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BusINess » Heather Augustyn

Posts Tagged ‘Heather Augustyn’

Burns Harbor poised for growth in 2011

A rendering of the proposed Manor Homes in Burns Harbor. (Rendering provided.)

A rendering of the proposed Manor Homes in Burns Harbor. (Rendering provided.)

In early December, the Burns Harbor Advisory Plan Commission gave the green light to The Village developer Cliff Fleming to add additional units to his original plat, which Fleming says will fulfill a vision of building up the town.

The addition is planned for the 30-acre parcel just to the east of The Village and will include what Fleming calls Manor Homes. They are two-story buildings composed of eight units with between one and three bedrooms each, some with an attached garage, some with an external garage.
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Increasing popularity of gender specific services

When it comes to serious health issues, like infertility or ovarian cancer, or when it comes to simple matters, like annual checkups or allergies, finding a doctor that not only has the right kind of knowledge and skill, but also a doctor who truly understands, is critical. That is why when many women choose a doctor for themselves they turn to another woman, selecting a female doctor, to advise and to identify with their issues and their needs.

According to the Boston Globe, “Nearly half of medical school students nationwide are now female, and as they enter the profession, they are making patient care friendlier and therefore may be less likely to get sued than male physicians. Women physicians also are more likely to serve minority, urban, and poor populations and are twice as likely to go into primary care.”
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Museum exhibit chronicles Burns Harbor’s past

Westchester Township History Museum curator Jane Walsh-Brown talks last week about the Burns Harbor Exhibit, which traces the history of Westchester Township's youngest town from its early 19th century settlement through the years when it was known as Westport. Through various artifacts and photographs, the exhibit also looks at the construction of Bethlehem Steel, the town's incorporation and its present-day life. The exhibit is open through mid-January. (Photograph by The Times.)

Westchester Township History Museum curator Jane Walsh-Brown talks last week about the Burns Harbor Exhibit, which traces the history of Westchester Township's youngest town from its early 19th century settlement through the years when it was known as Westport. Through various artifacts and photographs, the exhibit also looks at the construction of Bethlehem Steel, the town's incorporation and its present-day life. The exhibit is open through mid-January. (Photograph by The Times.)

Bulldozers crisscross the Dunes, shoveling huge masses of sand and removing “vegetation.” Buckets hauled by cranes remove silt from “swamps” as other machines fill in the pockets of water left behind.

Footage from a Bethlehem Steel promotional film made in 1968 plays on a monitor at the Westchester Township History Museum, surrounded by a display that chronicles the controversial destruction of the Central Dunes and the creation of Bethlehem Steel. The steel company was one of the groups involved in incorporating the town of Burns Harbor more than four decades ago.
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Sharon Stanzione

(Photograph by Tony V. Martin.)

(Photograph by Tony V. Martin.)

Sharon Stanzione grew up in Crown Point, Indiana and says that she always thought she would either become an actress or a lawyer in life, so she decided to combine the two and become a trial lawyer. “I get to use some of my thespian skills in my law work, during opening arguments and closing arguments,” says Stanzione.

Today she is a partner and shareholder with Johnson & Bell, Ltd., with offices in Chicago and Merrillville, Indiana and is licensed to practice in both Indiana and Illinois.

Stanzione attended Purdue University and majored in English and philosophy, graduating in 1993. She obtained her law degree from Indiana University in Bloomington in 1996. She was brought by her firm to the Northwest Indiana location to open a medical law branch in the region. “I concentrate my practice in civil trial and appellate litigation. I have dedicated my entire legal career to representing the medical community including hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers, doing so exclusively for the past 14 years. I was brought in to spearhead Johnson & Bell’s medical malpractice and health care law section in Indiana. Since then, the office has grown exponentially,” says Stanzione.

Her work has helped to establish law in the state of Indiana. She says, “I have successfully tried many difficult cases, and have argued on appeal to the Indiana Court of Appeals and the Indiana Supreme Court, resulting in published opinions that have helped shape Indiana health care law. Just recently, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in my client’s favor on a case of first impression in Indiana. This case has been published and has created favorable law for health care providers by protecting them from liability for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect.” Read the rest of this entry »


Michael Rakers

(Photograph by Tony V. Martin.)

(Photograph by Tony V. Martin.)

Michael Rakers grew up in St. Louis and attended school at Purdue Calumet where he studied information technology. While in graduate school at Purdue Calumet, also studying technology, Rakers was awarded a graduate assistantship and became an instructor at the school.

Shortly thereafter, he says that he and a friend, Jason Bockenek, came up with the vision to begin their own company. They started Calumet Tech Services, where Rakers serves as acting CEO and Bockenek is CIO.

Rakers recalls, “I was working at Lincoln Elementary School District as a tech assistant and they won a grant and needed someone to install 250 machines and servers, so we decided to start our own company to help the school district fulfill their grant. We completed that project and from there word of mouth spread about our work and we moved on to other schools, churches, and not-for-profits.”

Calumet Tech Services’ slogan is “IT solutions at minimum cost,” and Rakers says this is because they want to help bring technology to those in need, to make a big impact on the lives of students throughout their endeavors. They recently completed work for Hoover-Schrum Memorial School District 157 located in Calumet City, Illinois.
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Douglas Holok

(Photograph by Tony V. Martin.)

(Photograph by Tony V. Martin.)

Douglas Holok grew up in Merrillville until the age of 13 and then moved to Richmond, Indiana, where he graduated from high school. Then he graduated from Valparaiso University on a football scholarship and majored in finance, met his wife Jennifer, who was originally from the area, and stayed.

“We grew up together and today we have four kids, Andrew age 9, Jackson age 7, Rae age 4, and Luke who is 20 months old,” says Holok.

Six years ago, Douglas and Jennifer decided to make a change in their lives that would set them on a course of helping others. “We made the decision to start investing in real estate as a supplement to retirement down the road. At the time I was selling machinery for the corrugated box industry and I was traveling all over Midwest, which wasn’t a good lifestyle for us and raising kids. So we made the decision to do real estate full-time. Then four years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. It was a rare carcinoma on my fingertip and they caught it early and everything is clear, but it provided some important perspective for us and we decided to simplify and do what we love,” he says.

Pursuing real estate full time began first as a money-making endeavor and then turned into something much deeper, Holok says. “We started prior to the diagnosis and were looking in Gary. We wanted to invest in real estate purely from a profit standpoint because there was a lot to buy affordably. But then we stumbled into a purpose. There’s a huge need, both for the City of Gary as a whole for the neighborhoods to be revitalized, and then there’s a whole population of people who need a stable living environment. We started working with agencies, such as mental health facilities and organizations like the Catholic Charities that have special housing programs to give folks a second chance to live on their own. It’s more fulfilling, taking it from a pure profit business model, and adding a purpose aspect to it,” Holok says.
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Jennifer Heath

(Photograph by Tony V. Martin.)

(Photograph by Tony V. Martin.)

Jennifer Heath, interim administrator at Barker Woods Enrichment Center in Michigan City, began her work helping children with special needs after she and her husband Jerry’s lives crossed paths with the center.

Heath, who grew up in South Bend, Skokie, and then Michigan City, attended Indiana State and PNC and studied marketing, but she says that career vision changed when she had her first child. “I came into a totally different area than what I intended, but that all changed when I had my oldest daughter, Libby, who was born with Down Syndrome,” says Heath. “I studied about Down Syndrome, I learned about it and I became involved with Barker Woods Enrichment Center. I served on their board for eight years before I began working there,” Heath says.

Barker Woods Enrichment Center provides childcare and preschool services for children of all abilities, specializing in serving children with special needs. They also provide pediatric occupational and speech therapy services for children. The facility was started by a group of parents whose children were not welcomed in the public school system during the 1950s.
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James W. Dye

(Photograph by Natalie Battaglia.)

(Photograph by Natalie Battaglia.)

James W. Dye, president of JWD Management, Inc. and president of the James W. and Betty Dye Foundation, both in Munster, had building in his blood from the beginning.

“I started working young and had a good work ethic. I started working at odd jobs at Standard Lumber and elsewhere. I worked as a block layer, soda jerk, had a paper route, delivered vegetables, raised chickens,” says Dye.

After Dye graduated from Hammond High School in 1949, he went on to attend Indiana University and is still very involved in the campus today. “I was active down there, in charge of student spirit and I was a basketball manager. I was a Sigma Chi while I was in school and graduated as a business major and studied real estate,” he says. Dye has since served on the board of trustees for Indiana University from 1984 to 1990 and last October received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the institution.

After college, Dye served with the Army Corps of Engineers and further honed his real estate skills, he says. “I was a real estate utilization and inspection officer and because the war was over I was very busy with releasing properties back to Korea and Japan,” says Dye.
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Chesterton approves Oz dates for 2010

The Chesterton Town Council unanimously approved a request from the Duneland Business Initiative Group regarding next year’s Wizard of Oz Festival dates.

DBIG, which brought the festival back to Chesterton this year, requested a three-day event again on Sept. 17, 18, and 19.

Council member Sharon Darnell asked if costs to the town will be addressed by the event organizers. Council member David Cincoski, who moved to approve the dates, asked the group to work with department heads on cost and booth space requests.
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Oz fest working magic on local economy

A pair of ruby slippers is on displayed at the Oz Museum in downtown Chesterton, which is gearing up for this weekend's Wizard of Oz Festival. The popular event, which starts today and ends Sunday, is back in Chesterton and is benefitting local businesses. (Photography by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

A pair of ruby slippers is on displayed at the Oz Museum in downtown Chesterton, which is gearing up for this weekend's Wizard of Oz Festival. The popular event, which starts today and ends Sunday, is back in Chesterton and is benefitting local businesses. (Photography by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

Organizers of the Chesterton Wizard of Oz Festival, which takes place this weekend, say they hope to help the economy this weekend and many months to come.

Machelle Blount, president of the festival’s organizer, Duneland Business Initiative Group, said, “It’s definitely a positive impact, not only on our local economy and bringing people into town who will quite possibly come back to visit again or purchase a home or business in the future, and local residents are really excited to have this festival back in town.”

Lorelei Weimer, executive director of the Porter County Convention, Recreation and Visitor Commission, said a report conducted on the festival when it was located in Chesterton revealed the festival does have an impact on the local economy.
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