Board & Staff



Jerry Gurrado, President

SCILL Center, Inc.

Phone: 574-772-8001

Board Member Since: 2012

Jerry Gurrado has served as Programming Director since July of 2011. He has returned  to his Starke County roots after several years as a teacher and coach in both Indiana and Ohio as well as an adjunct faculty member for Ivy Tech Community College and most recently as a real estate salesman in Whitley County. He also served as Community Health Improvement Coordinator for Whitley Hospital and as a District Manager for Sprint Yellow Pages.  He graduated from Knox High School and although he has been away from Starke County for several years, he has maintained close contact with many friends and family members, thus keeping a pulse on the community. Gurrado earned his BS degree from Ball State University and an MS degree from Indiana Unitversity.

Since returning to Starke County, Gurrado has become very active in several organizations including serving on the Board of Directors of the Starke County Community Foundation (also Vice President), and the Northern Indiana Community Foundation.  He also serves as a member of the Indiana Health Starke Advisory Committee.


Sandy Rudd, Vice President

SandykerstingruddphotoKerstings Cycle Center

Phone: 219-863-3192


Board Member Since: 2013

Sandy Kersting-Rudd is the General Manager of Kersting’s Cycle Center.  She is a lifelong resident of North Judson and a graduate of International Business College in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Following graduation from IBC Sandy began her business career with Weninger Insurance Agency in Knox. After working with Weninger’s for over 10 years, Sandy made the move to the family business where she has worked her way up the ladder for the past 22 years.

Sandy enjoys being involved with community, charities, and family.  She serves as Treasurer of Post #92 American Legion Auxiliary, has served on the board of Starke United for 2 terms, and remains active in the Kankakee Valley Harley Owners Group.

Sandy is married to Jansen Rudd and has 3 daughters and 2 beautiful grandchildren, Kerslynn and Kash Collins all who live in the North Judson area.

Donna Henry, Secretary

Phone: 574-896-


Donna is a lifelong resident of North Judson and Starke County. She has been a member of the Chamber of Commerce since 1975.  She has held the office of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, as well participated on several committees.    Donna held the role as the North Judson Clerk Treasurer, and previously had been in the banking industry since 1972. Donna is proud of the accomplishments of our Starke County Chamber of Commerce and after taking a year off from being a Board Director, she has returned and looks forward to continued participation.  She has accepted the role as Chamber Secretary.


Billie Achison, Treasurer


Business Owner: BA Accounting

Phone Number: 219-608-7505


Member since:  2016

Billie is the president of BA Accounting.  She works with small businesses, self employed business owners as well as individuals.  Billie specializes in Quickbooks, accounting, payroll and tax.  She is a graduate of Purdue University with a bachelor in accounting.  She’s married with three children and four grandchildren.


Jessica Craig


Century 21 Affiliated 

Phone (219) 380-9591

Member Since 2015

Jessica is a Broker for Century 21 Affiliated and is active in the community in several ways.   She serves on the Chambers Board and is also active in Scouting, Young Professionals Groups, and on numerous committees.






Brandon Collins

First National Bank of Monterey

Phone: 574-896-5059

Board Member since: 2015

Brandon is the manager of the FNBM, North Judson Branch.  Brandon is also a graduate of the Leadership Starke County Class of 2015.

John Darnell

O’Reilly’s Auto Parts

Phone: 574-207-4271


Board Member since: 2015

Jim Hernandez

Board Member since: 2011

Jim runs Job Placement business in Starke County and works directly with many businesses to help them find employees that will fit their organization.

He brings a good deal of business experience to the board. Jim also a volunteer with the Starke County CASA program working with children.


Sarah Lawrence

SarahlawrencepicAncilla College



Board Member Since: 2013
Sarah Lawrence was the Assistant Director of Admissions at Ancilla College in Donaldson, Indiana where she has been employed since 2004.   A lifelong resident of Knox and Starke County, she is a graduate of Knox High School and received a BS degree in Liberal Studies from Purdue University.   She has served on a Gold Star Counseling Committee for a local high school as well as serving on a school improvement committee for a high school outside the county.  She also participated in the Leadership Starke County program classes.  She has now retired and working at home.


Joan Ludwig

Phone: 574-935-1172


Board member since: 2011

Joan is the Administrative Assistant for CenturyLink’s Regional Marketing director and is also the Schedule Director for the local technicians.  Joan is a past President of the Chamber and is the liaison for Starke County Economic Development Foundation to the Chamber.




    Bernadette Manuel

Business Owner of GB & Sons Transport in Knox since 2002
Phone: 765-428-2349
Board Member Since: 2015
Bernadette is a lifelong resident of Starke County and has a diversified background and is the co-owner of a family trucking company.    Bernadette graduated from Knox High School and received her Paralegal degree from Valparaiso University.  Past president of the Yellowstone Trail Festival, she also serves on the Indiana State Festival Association board.  She held several officer roles with the Starke County Tourism until the merge with the Chamber at the end of 2015, where she continues on the Tourism committee.  Bernadette  is on Starke County’s Convention and Visitors Commission, is a First Responder for the Washington Township Fire Dept., and is Vice President of the Golden Horseshoe Saddle Club.  Married to her husband Geary Manuel, Bernadette is mother to three children,  Jordan, Aaron (deceased in 2000) and Brandon.

She is also the founder of the Mounted Gun Runners, a horseback riding shooting club, and she holds the distinction of being the 2014 Cowgirl Rider of Indiana.


Amanda Steeb

Kankakee Valley REMC

Phone: 219-733-2511


Board Member Since: 2015

Amanda is the Marketing person for the Kankakee Valley REMC in Valparaiso.  KV REMC serves all of Starke County’s rural area’s electric.  Amanda is also on the KV REMC’s philanthropic Operation Round Up program that provides grants to organizations.  She is also a graduate of the first Leadership Starke County program.

Irene Szakonyi

ireneStarke County Youth Club

Phone: 574-772-1600 x 1851


Board Member Since: 2015

Irene is the Executive Director of the Starke County Youth Club.  She has worked for SCYC for 15 years. With an extensive background in youth development programs, she serves on several boards to support community growth: Moving Starke County Forward, Earthworks, and Drug and Tobacco Free Starke County. Irene lives in Grovertown with her husband Scott,  and is the proud parent of two grown daughters.


 TBD Director

– Starke County Chamber of Commerce, Director



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