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Local Influential Women Honored at Awards Ceremony

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Influential Women winners
MERRILLVILLE – More than 450 people attended the Influential Women of Northwest Indiana Awards Banquet at Avalon Manor Thursday night to honor the most successful women in 11 different industries.
The categories for which women were awarded include business, construction, economic development, education, finance, government, healthcare, law, media/marketing, nonprofit and service/tourism. Two women were awarded in each of the 11 industries, one for the Influential Woman Award and one for the Up and Coming Woman Award.
“Our nominating committee had their work cut out for them this year,” Event Organizer Andrea Pearman said. “We had more than 172 applicants and 90 finalists to choose from, and the number of deserving women was truly amazing.”
Alumni who received Influential Women Awards during previous ceremonies were also in attendance to welcome the class of 2013.
An overall winner was also chosen for Influential Woman of the Year and Up and Coming Woman of the Year. JoAnn Birdzell, Chief Executive Officer of St. Catherine Hospital, was named the 2013 Influential Woman of the Year, while Tricia Hanrath, Safety Coordinator for Superior Construction Company, Inc. was honored as the 2013 Up and Coming Woman of the Year.
NIPSCO also received the Empowering Business of the Year Award, which recognizes one company that demonstrates excellence in supporting women’s success.
Denise Dillard, Chief Consultant of Government and External Affairs at Methodist Hospitals, received the 2013 Community Leader Award for her service throughout Northwest Indiana, andCalvin Bellamy, of Krieg DeVault, was named 2013 Supporter of the Year for submitting the most nominations for the Influential Women of Northwest Indiana Awards during the three years since the event began.
“All of our finalists and winners are deserving of these accolades,” Pearman said. “They are committed throughout the year to making Northwest Indiana such an exceptional place to live and work.”
During the past two years, Influential Women of Northwest Indiana has also donated more than $20,000 to area nonprofits. This year, four more organizations received funds – Sojourner Truth House, The Caring Place, Discoveries Unlimited, and the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana.
“The nonprofits that we selected are solely focused on improving the quality of life in Northwest Indiana,” Pearman said. “We had a very impressive list of organizations to choose from, and these four stood out. The projects these funds go to will specifically benefit girls and women.”
A full list of the women, organizations and nonprofits that were honored at the Influential Women of Northwest Indiana Awards Banquet can be found at www.nwiwomen.com.
 
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And the winners are …
 
2013 Overall Influential Woman of the Year
JoAnn Birdzell, Chief Executive Officer
St. Catherine Hospital
 
2013 Overall Up and Coming Woman of the Year
Tricia Hanrath, Safety Coordinator
Superior Construction Co., Inc.
 
Empowering Business of the Year 
NIPSCO
 
2013 Community Leader Award Winner
Denise Dillard, Chief Consultant, Government and External Affairs
Methodist Hospitals
 
2013 Supporter of the Year 
Calvin Bellamy
Krieg DeVault
 
 
2013 Influential Women of the Year (Category listed above each name)
 
Business
Kimberly Broader, Manager, NISPCO Business Office
NIPSCO
 
Construction
Melissa Neff, President
Mechanical Concepts
 
Economic Development
Dawn Collins, Broker/Owner
Century 21 Executive Realty
 
 
Education
O’Merrial Butchee, Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center Director
Ivy Tech Community College
 
Finance
Rachel Saxon, President/Senior Trust Officer
Horizon Bank
 
Government
Senator Earline Rogers
Indiana State Senator
 
Healthcare
JoAnn Birdzell, Chief Executive Officer
St. Catherine Hospital
 
Law
Sean Kenyon, Attorney
Hoeppner Wagner & Evans LLP
 
Marketing/ Media
Chelsea Whittington, Communication Director
City of Gary
 
Nonprofit
Maggi Spartz, Asset Developer
Unity Foundation of La Porte County
 
Service/Tourism
Lorelei Weimer, Director of Tourism
Indiana Dunes Tourism
 
2013 Up and Coming Women of the Year (Category listed above each name)
 
Business
Theresa Valade, President/CEO
Success Trek, Inc.
 
Construction
Tricia Hanrath, Safety Coordinator
Superior Construction Co., Inc.
 
Economic Development
Tina Rongers, President
Karnerblue Era, LLC
 
Education
Regina Biddings-Muro, Interim Vice Chancellor for Advancement
Purdue University Calumet
 
Finance
Jocelyn Hibshman, COO/Chief Compliance Officer
Lakeside Wealth Management Group
 
Government
Commissioner Nancy Adams 
Porter County Board of Commissioners
 
Healthcare
Cynthia Thompson, Patient Care Services Hammond Director
Franciscan Physician Hospital
 
Law
Dana Rifai, Attorney
Burke Costanza & Carberry LLP
 
Marketing/ Media
Brandi Anstine, Marketing & Special Events Director
Lakeshore Public Television & Radio
 
Nonprofit
Monique Ruiz, Administrator
Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce
 
Service/Tourism
Allyson Baughman, Marketing Director
Duneland Chamber of Commerce
 
About Influential Women of Northwest Indiana
Influential Women of Northwest Indiana is an organization devoted to providing women with the resources, recognition and motivation necessary to be successful in the business world. Each year, Influential Women of Northwest Indiana honors the area’s most successful women in eleven different industries, ranging from construction and healthcare to education and government.
 


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