Tech Talk Meeting

Thursday, May 18, 2017 from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM CDT

Avalon Manor
3550 U.S. 30
Merrillville, IN 46410

Join us for an afternoon of Tech Talk that includes Lunch, a Watson Overview and Demonstration, Cyber Security Presentation, (3) Tech Topic Break-Out Sessions along with Tech Industry Booth Displays. Interface with industry leaders and influencers at an end of conference Networking Cocktail Reception.

12 – 12:30 p.m. Registration & Box Lunch
12:30 – 1:45 p.m. IBM Watson Overview & Demonstration

Breakout Session Topics:
1. Internet of Things 2. Building Automation
3. Technology in the Region & Beyond

1:45 – 2:30p.m. Breakout Session
2:30 – 2:45 p.m. Breakout Session
2:45 – 3:30 p.m. Breakout Session
3:30 – 4:15 p.m. Breakout Session
4:15 – 5:00 p.m. Cyber Security
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Networking Cocktail Reception

Booth Space Opportunities are available!

Contact Raeann Trakas at to reserve your space.

Senate Update

Senate Update
April 22, 2017

Lawmakers Conclude 2017 Session

Passage of Indiana’s next two-year budget highlighted this week’s conclusion of the 2017 legislative session. The new state budget is balanced, has $1

Passage of Indiana’s next two-year budget highlighted this week’s conclusion of the 2017 legislative session.

The new state budget is balanced, has $1.9 billion in reserves, and provides significant funding increases for education, public safety and fighting drug abuse.

Highlights of the budget include increasing K-12 funding by $345 million and university operating funds by $91.3 million; providing Indiana State Police and other state law enforcement officers with a pay increase to make their salary levels competitive with other states; and investing in programs to help Hoosier veterans.

For the past decade, Indiana has been a national leader in responsible budgeting. In recent years, lawmakers have cut taxes for both workers and employers, reduced state debt and built up our reserves. An important part of our economic climate is creating policies that benefit tax payers and job creators.

This budget reflects these principles that have made Indiana the fiscal envy of the nation while continuing our strong track record of pro-growth economic policies.
Funding Indiana’s Roads for the Future

The Indiana General Assembly recently passed House Enrolled Act 1002, which provides a long-term, sustainable funding plan for building and maintainin

The Indiana General Assembly recently passed House Enrolled Act 1002, which provides a long-term, sustainable funding plan for building and maintaining Indiana’s transportation infrastructure.

The plan focuses on a user-pays approach, dedicating all of the taxes paid at the pump to road funding. This is the fairest system since those who pay the most will also get the most benefit.

When fully phased in, HEA 1002 will provide $1.2 billion per year in new road funding – about $850 million for state highways and about $350 million for local roads.

Under this plan, the average Hoosier driver will pay an additional $5 to $6 per month, which includes a 10-cent gas tax increase and a $15 annual BMV registration fee.

With these funds, Indiana can complete current and future projects while maintaining our roads and bridges for the next 20 years.

Contemporary Embroidery

Contemporary Embroidery: From Surface Design to the Stitched Mark
with Jennifer Gould

PS051817 — 3D Visual Art 
Using stitched marks and textile paints, you’ll create rhythm, movement, and visual and physical texture on fabric–not decorative, but an expression of yourself! Jennifer will guide you with samples, images and other references to pique your adventuresome spirit.
  • Thursday-Saturday, May, 18-20, 2017; 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT
  • Jennifer Gould, facilitator
  • Includes lunch each day. An additional $10 supply fee will be paid directly to the facilitator.
  • Materials List is provided on our website
  • MoonTree Paint Studio

Jennifer Gould’s life as a textile artist began early–as a child she made doll clothes on a sewing machine and learned to embroider from an elderly British neighbor woman. She made her own unique clothes, and taught herself to weave tapestries and crochet as a teen. As a junior in college, she spent a year in Tokyo, Japan at Waseda University where she studied weaving at the Yukitsumugi Kimono Factory in Ibaraki Prefecture and first saw indigo vats sunk into the ground.

Her exploration of weaving, dyeing, screen printing, textile painting and hand spinning has been a lifelong pursuit; a constant fascination with all things textile. Jennifer is known for her textile figures (dolls) that she began making over 30 years ago.
Register by Wednesday, May 3!

8th Annual Living Health, Balance and Hope Symposium

Join us for the 8th Annual Living Health, Balance and Hope Symposium!

Hosted by the Porter-Starke Services Foundation, the Living Health, Balance and Hope Symposium educates, advocates and celebrates mental health and wellness. Featuring leaders and innovators from the field of mental health, our forum of clinicians, sponsors and the community create a ripple effect of health, balance and hope within and beyond Northwest Indiana!

Living Health, Balance and Hope Symposium

Thursday, May 25, 2017 – 8:00 am – 4:00 pm 

Harre Union/Valparaiso University 

1509 Chapel Drive Valparaiso, IN 46383

Mind Over Mood
simple & practical tools for everyday living
with Christine A. Padesky, Ph.D.
Keynote Breakfast  8:00 am – 9:30 am 
Learn seven practical skills to improve your mood and boost happiness. These skills are research-tested, simple to learn and can be mastered in a few weeks. Dr. Padesky shows how to use these skills and a way to measure your moods so you can track your progress over time. Whether you struggle with particular moods or just want to increase your sense of well-being, this presentation is for you!

For Best Outcomes, Teach Mood-Specific Skills
Overview of the Full Day Conference (10:30 am – 4:00 pm)
with Christine A. Padesky, Ph.D.
Clients who learn mood management skills improve more quickly and are less likely to relapse. But what skills make the biggest difference in the shortest amount of time? Drawing from three decades of research, this workshop illustrates the best evidence-based skills (from CBT, mindfulness, acceptance therapies, and positive psychology) to help clients understand and manage depression, anxiety, anger, guilt and shame. Learn: a) why it is better to use gratitude diaries weekly than daily, b) when a focus on core beliefs can actually make depression worse, c) why Thought Records are not a core intervention for anxiety, and d) how the new 2nd Edition of Mind Over Mood (Greenberger & Padesky, 2016) provides an evidence-based roadmap for therapists who want to teach mood-specific skills. This workshop features live clinical demonstrations, innovative  and structured participant exercises, as well as detailed handouts. Each hour is infused with Dr. Padesky’s signature warmth, humor, and an emphasis on practical clinical tips. Participants are encouraged to bring the 2nd Edition of Mind Over Mood to the workshop. Dr. Padesky will be happy to sign books during breaks.

The Living Health, Balance and Hope Symposium offers 6 hours of continuing education units to mental health professionals who attend the full day event.
Keynote Breakfast Presentation: $35 (8:00 am – 9:30 am)
Full Day Conference: $135 (8:00 am – 4:00 pm)
Partial Day: $120 (10:00 am – 4:00 pm) – includes lunch, but excludes Keynote Breakfast

LaPorte Hospitals new home

La Porte Hospital officials announce site selection for new hospital


La Porte, Ind. – La Porte Hospital will be building a new $125 million hospital at its current site in downtown La Porte, officials announced today. The site selection announcement came after a thorough vetting of more than 20 locations throughout the county over the last year, and included input from building professionals, community leaders, hospital staff, physicians, and board members.

Groundbreaking is expected in early 2018, with a grand opening in 2020.

“La Porte Hospital staff and physicians are deeply committed to having a thriving community hospital, and we are excited to announce this major step forward. The site selection process was comprehensive, and we are confident that 1007 Lincolnway is the ideal location for us to be able to continue to provide high quality, compassionate acute care to the communities we serve,” said Ashley Dickinson, CEO of La Porte Hospital.

Dickinson said factors considered in the site evaluation included suitability of land, traffic patterns, ease of access, proximity to the newest EMS station, central accessibility for the communities served by the hospital, visibility, and economic development and vitality.

“As a board, it was important for us to select a site that would best serve our community. We believe this decision marks an important milestone in the future of healthcare for La Porte, while it also honors the legacy of healthcare innovation that precedes us,” said Mark Kosior, chairman of the La Porte Hospital Board of Trustees. Fifty years ago this month, Ben Bortz announced a hospital would be built at 1007 Lincolnway, where the current La Porte Hospital stands today.

While renderings and full-scale details are still being finalized, Kosior said the community can expect a five-story building of about 200,000 square feet. “The hospital will be designed to accommodate future growth, and will include a medical office building as well,” he said.

The current hospital will continue to operate while the new one is being constructed, and details including renderings and designs, will be released as they are finalized.

“Building this new hospital at the current location is significant for downtown La Porte,” said La Porte Mayor Blair Milo. “The hospital has long been an anchor for downtown activity, and remains a viable part of our physical and economic health and wellbeing of our community. The City of La Porte looks forward to working with La Porte Hospital to see the project to fruition.”

Dickinson said that new hospitals tend to be a positive influence in recruiting new physicians and nurses to a community. “Doctors and nurses want to work in facilities with leading-edge technology and spaces that have been designed to deliver healthcare in innovative ways. We expect to build a hospital that will keep the patient experience top of mind, so we will seek input from staff along the way to ensure workflow meets their needs for delivering safe, quality care,” Dickinson said.

Bert Cook, director of the Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation, said the new development will reflect favorably on the economic climate in the county.

“Any time you can show that new construction and state-of-the-art facilities are part of your downtown landscape, you’re contributing to positive economic growth. We’ll be able to showcase the new hospital as a bright development and look forward to featuring the project as a win for our community in the next two years.”

A special section of the hospital website is dedicated to the hospital construction – – and will feature construction updates, facts and figures, and frequently asked questions, including a place for community members to submit questions.


Networking after hours

Our amazing community has pulled together and found sponsors for the AM Starke County breakfasts for the entire year already – that’s exciting!   Now we have some interest in after hours events.   If you would like to sponsor an after hours event please let me know at either 772-5548 or and we will get you set up.   If location is an issue the Chamber Depot can be available as well.