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February 2015

Visit the Valpo Chamber at


On January 28, the Valpo Chamber hosted its Annual Meeting with 400 business professionals and community members at Valparaiso University's Harre Union.


At the event, sponsored by Porter Health Care System, the Valpo Chamber celebrated its successses of 2014 and recognized Charles Conover and David Lain for their contributions to the residents of Porter County and their leadership example throughout their service as public officials. Mayor Jon Costas followed the recognition with the presentation of his "State of the City" address.


Click here to read The Times coverage of the Annual Meeting.

Mayor Costas



You asked for it and we want to give it to you!


Throughout the past year, the Valpo Chamber has looked at ways to better serve our members.  One request we often get is to host small business workshops. 


Starting in February, we are introducing a new series called FYI Business Workshop. These workshops will be hosted by local businesses and help you, our members, tackle some very important issues.


Our first FYI Business Workshop will be titled:  The Risky Business of Outdated Technology


Spending money on IT solutions can be a costly outlay for small-and medium-sized businesses, so it's easy to understand why you might cherish what you already know and love.  But failing
 to keep up with the times by using outdated technology could be putting your business in danger! At this workshop, Chester, Inc. will teach you how to mitigate business risks that come with your outdated technology.


Join us on Wednesday, February 18, from 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Valpo Chamber Office, 162 W Lincolnway for this FYI Business Workshop.


Registration is only $10 for members and $15 for non-members.


Click here to register


Chester, Inc. will be giving away a copy of Microsoft Office 2013 as well as other Microsoft giveaways at this workshop.

Legislative Hotline 2014

On January 16, State Senator Ed Charbonneau and State Representative Ed Soliday met with Valpo Chamber members for an update on the state legislative session currently taking place in Indianapolis.  This meeting was one of several that will be held during this session of the legislature.  State Senator Karen Tallian spoke via conference call from Indianapolis. 


The legislators briefed those present on such matters as the RDA funding request, environmental matters, and school funding.   The next meeting planned with the legislators will be February 6, at the Valpo Chamber conference room on the second level at 7:30 a.m.  All Chamber members are invited and there is no charge for attendance at the meeting.  The Chamber always provides coffee for the early morning meetings.  Any questions? Please call Rex Richards at 219-462-1105.  



Additional 2015 Legislative Hotline Dates:

Friday, February 6

Friday, February 20

Friday, March 6

Friday, March 20


Always check the Valpo Chamber on-line calendar for the most up-to-date information.


Envision the Future is a simulation game in which students, projecting themselves to age 28, research and identify their career interests through their class curriculum, consider family size (marital status and number of children), and receive a mock checkbook with the monthly income entered for their specific career. 


Students visit stations, manned by over 80 trained business volunteers, at which they pay their monthly bills. At each station, students make decisions concerning the standard of living they will assume. For example, at the housing station, students decide if they want to pay for a one-bedroom apartment or a three-bedroom house.


The program focuses on the monthly costs associated with rent/mortgage, utilities, taxes, insurance, childcare, and other living expenses such as food and clothing. The program also includes military information in the way of earnings and allowances if the student chooses the military as their future option.


The program also includes unexpected events such as unemployment, medical bills, and divorce. Students who go through these unexpected events must also visit an assistance station to seek counseling for legal, financial, or employment education issues.


The 2015 Envision the Future program is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, at the Porter County Expo Center.


Special thanks to Presenting Sponsors: Porter Health Care System and NITCO; Contributing Sponsors: Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & SpaCentier BankFrontier CommunicationsSt. Mary Medical Center, and The Times Media Company; Supporting Sponsors: 1st Source Bank, BMO Harris Bank, Burke Costanza & Carberry, LLP, Comcast Business, Horizon Bank, Metro Recycling, Rittenhouse Senior Living, Teachers Credit Union, and Weiss Entities; and In-Kind Donors: Home Mountain Printing and Porter County Expo Center.


Since 1998, the Valpo Chamber has partnered with Porter County middle schools to provide over 1,000 8th grade students with an amazing educational experience called "Envision the Future."


Click here to volunteer! For additional information contact Kurt Gillins at (219) 462-1105.



The Valpo Chamber recently honored community leader Spero Valavanis, Design Organizationas the 2014 "Distinguished Community Leader" and Dale Clapp, First Merchants Bank, with its 2014 "Legacy of Service" Award at its annual "Salute to Leadership" dinner on January 10.


Nearly 300 business and community leaders came out to honor the recipients. Also recognized were the recipients of the Valpo Chamber Business Longevity Awards: Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, 100 years; Anderson Insurance, 75 years; Indiana Beverage, Inc., 75 years; Kankakee Valley REMC, 75 years; and Barile Ford, 50 years.


The Distinguished Community Leader Award is given to an individual who demonstrates a leadership role, is successful in promoting business and industry, is involved and contributes to the community, and enhances the quality of life of the community on a sustained basis.


Clapp and Richards

The Legacy of Service award gives special recognition to individuals who have given service to the community above and beyond what is expected in their profession.  


The event was sponsored by Porter Health Care System.



Partner Program 2013

The Valpo Chamber Partners (VCP) program, launched in 2006, provides members with options for streamlining their Chamber sponsorship opportunities, while enhancing their visibility and promotional opportunities.


This annual marketing campaign, which runs from February through the following January, prominently promotes your business on signage, inside Chamber publications, on our website, and at events throughout the year.  The VCP is a terrific way to gain extensive exposure and valuable name and logo recognition.


The VCP features a choice of four partner packages - Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze - at four price points. Each package includes incentives, complimentary tickets to events, special recognition and promotion, and sponsorships to high-profile networking and educational events.


2015 Valpo Chamber Partners:



Porter Health Care System




Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa

Centier Bank

Frontier Communications

St. Mary Medical Center

The Times Media Company



1st Source Bank

BMO Harris Bank

Burke Costanza & Carberry

Comcast Business

Horizon Bank

Metro Recycling

Rittenhouse Senior Living

Teachers Credit Union

Weiss Entities



Anton Insurance Agency, Inc.

Blachly Tabor Bozik & Hartman

Fagen Pharmacy

First Merchants Bank

General Insurance Services

Hoeppner Wagner & Evans LLP

The Kotys Group

Ogletree Deakins

Peoples Bank

REGIONAL federal credit union


To inquire about the available packages and their specific benefits, contact Danielle Oeding, at 219-462-1105, or [email protected].












The Valpo Chamber wants to let you know there is a free service provided for business professionals who are looking for a little advice or guidance.


Northwest Indiana SCORE (Service Core of Retired Executives) meets weekly at the Valpo Chamber office, by appointment, to provide business professionals and entrepreneurs assistance with questions and concerns they have about their businesses.


SCORE's expert mentors provide effective business advice on everything from how to write a business plan, to cash flow management, to growing an existing business. Chamber members, as well as non-members, can access SCORE's free and confidential mentoring services face-to-face at the Chamber office, on the phone, or online.  


All SCORE mentors are volunteers with specialized training that increases the quality and effectiveness of their mentoring. SCORE is a branch of the Small Business Administration, with access to support resources and materials, free of charge. Workshops, roundtable discussions and on-site visits provide personalized and customized solutions for growing your business. Call the Chamber office at 219-462-1105, or go online: To arrange a meeting, to participate in one of the workshops, or to volunteer visit www.score.org.



You may have noticed there is a new look to the Valparaiso Magazine!


We are very excited to be working with AC Incorporated this year on the design of our quarterly publication.  Home Mountain Printing prints this publication, and Flanagin's Bulk Mail Service makes sure it gets to your mail box in a timely fashion.


Throughout the year, you will read feature articles by D. Cohn Communications, showcasing several Valpo Chamber member businesses.  Our Winter issue, already mailed, focused on nationally-recognized, franchise businesses.  In Spring, the issue will focus on pets and animals and the businesses who love them. The Summer issue will focus on the future of banking and the impact of technology on the banking industry. And finally, the Fall issue will focus on businesses who cater to Valparaiso's youth.


Another new feature this year is an article titled "A Look Back."  These articles are provided by the Porter County Museum and focus on the history of various buildings throughout Valparaiso.


Valpo Chamber members are encouraged to submit a 130 word (or less) press release to be featured in the Around Town section of the magazine.  This is a great way to get some free exposure for your business.


Click here to read the current and past issues of Valparaiso Magazine online.



Throughout the year, the Valpo Chamber has several advertising opportunities.  Here are two upcoming publications to get your business in front of thousands of people.

Valparaiso Magazine: Spring 2015
Topic: Pets and Animals 
Advertising Deadlines:
Spring 2015 Issue: March 6, 2015
In mailboxes the first week of April 2015

2015-16 Membership Directory
Advertising Deadline: March 13, 2015
Advertising rates start at $460
5,000 of these directories are printed each year.  They are mailed to every business in Valparaiso and are used extensively throughout the year by the Chamber.

Contact Danielle Oeding at 219-462-1105
or [email protected] for more information.



H&R Block

2310 LaPorte Ave


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

accountants/tax services




Tax & Accounting Alliances, LC

703 Calumet Ave


Thursday, January 8, 2015

accountants/tax services


THANKS TO...Chocolate CafeRich Schmidt of  Living Hope Community Church and Analisa Warring of  REGIONAL federal credit union for hosting the very popular Valpo Chamber monthly morning program A.M. Valpo!
THANKS TO...the following members who sent in membership leads in January: Beckie Guffin, Direct Mail ADvantage; Gary Taylor, KENPRO Cleaning Services, Inc.; Jane Szymczak, Laciak Accountancy Group; Michelle Porter, Valley Fire Protection Systems.


Tuesday, February 3


Inman's Bowling & Recreation Center



Wednesday, February 4

AM Valpo

South Bend Chocolate Cafe, 57 Franklin St

7:00 a.m.

No advanced registration required


Friday, February 6

Legislative Hotline

Valpo Chamber, 162 W Lincolnway

7:30 a.m.

No advanced registration required


Wednesday, February 18

FYI Business Workshop: The Risky Business of Outdated Technology

Valpo Chamber, 162 W Lincolnway

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

$10 Members; $15 Non-Members

Register Here


Thursday, February 19

Business After Hours

DeLaine Anti Aging Cosmetic & Eye Surgery, 1620 Country Club Rd, Ste C

4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.


Friday, February 20

Legislative Hotline

Valpo Chamber, 162 W Lincolnway

7:30 a.m.

No advanced registration required


Wednesday, March 4

AM Valpo

South Bend Chocolate Cafe, 57 Franklin St

7:00 a.m.

No advanced registration required


Tuesday, March 17
Envision the Future
Porter County Expo Center, 215 E Division Rd

Tuesday, March 24
Speed Networking
Valpo Chamber, 162 W Lincolnway
Click Here to Register

Tuesday, April 28
Valpo Chamber Quarterly Membership Meeting
Registration Coming Soon

Monday, June 22
FunDay Golf Classic
Registration Coming Soon

Tuesday, September 15
Valpo Chamber and Duneland Chamber present
Disney Institute: "Disney's Approach to Quality Service"
Registration Coming Soon

Thursday, October 15
Chamber Network Night
Registration Coming Soon