Thursday, December 31, 2009

Northwest Indiana Professionals - Worth Meeting

Our team of professionals spotlighting one another in a New Years Week Series:

Dave Woodson writes about Northwest Indiana Insurance Quotes
Aaron Simac writes about Kathy Sipple - Northwest Indiana Social Media Coach
Kathy Sipple writes about Nate Findling - Inbound marketing consultant
Nate Findling writes about Evelyn Johnston - Elkhart Indiana Real Estate
Evelyn Johnston writes about Steve Dalton - Northwest Indiana Mortgage Banker
Steve Dalton writes about Jeff Eriks - Northwest Indiana Commercial Contractor
Jeff Eriks writes about Scott Swinford - Credit Repair Specialist in NW Indiana
Scott Swinford writes about Richard Orelup - Web and Applications Development
Richard Orelup writes about Josh Walker - audio engineer in NW Indiana
Josh Walker writes about Chris Buckley - Northwest Indiana attorney
Chris Buckley writes about Dave Woodson - LaPorte and Michigan City Mortgages in Indiana

Happy New Year Northwest Indiana professionals. 2010 looks like a dynamite year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

New series for 2010 - Great bloggers in NWI

We're kicking off a new series, where we'll be spotlighting 10-12 great bloggers each week right here on Northwest Indiana Bloggers. None of the posts will be original, or shown in full format, since they are good enough we want you to go and read and enjoy.

Call it the Carnival of Northwest Indiana blogs if you want - stop back in tomorrow, or subscribe to our RSS today so you don't miss them. You can also watch #nwiseo on twitter for the links and conversations surrounding those chosen each week.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Made in Northwest Indiana—Local brewery taps further into region

Made in Northwest Indiana—Local brewery taps further into region:

Those favorite pints patrons down at Crown Brewing will soon be on tap at select establishments in the region.

Opened in 2008, Crown Point’s first brewery and brew pub since 1914 has partnered with Calumet Breweries Inc., which will be the company’s Indiana wholesale distributor.

“We think it’s a good fit,” said Crown Brewing co-owner Dave Bryan. “The partnership with Calumet has opened us up to some pretty good markets and they’ve done a lot of good work with other small breweries.”

Seasonal beers and Crown Brewing signatures like Special Force Ale will now be available on draught at restaurants and bars such as The Lighthouse in Cedar Lake, White Rhino Bar & Grill in Dyer and Gino’s East Pizza in Highland.


Opened: 2008

Location: 211 S. East St., Crown Point

Phone: 219.663.2545


Calumet Breweries President John Kiernan said the company is excited about Crown’s future and proud to represent and include them in a portfolio already comprising of brews from Anheuser-BuschInBev, Heineken, Pabst and Munster’s own Three Floyds Brewing.

“Crown is local, and we support the growth of local brewers,” he said.

Crown Brewing also is about to begin selling is Special Force Ale in 22-ounce bottles in select liquor stores such as Pete’s Liquor Bucket in Merrillville, Holiday Liquors in Cedar Lake and Ribordy Liquors in Valparaiso.

“It’s nice to see the business growing the way it is,” Bryan said.

Crown Brewing Brewmaster Steve Mazylewski said the company been taking small steps and doesn’t want to “go overboard” and accept everybody who wants the beer.

“We want to maintain our quality control and freshness, and make sure we’re not too big before we know it,” he said. “We want to concentrate local and slowly add more accounts.”

Mazylewski said he enjoys the pub environment and the creative freedom it brings.

“I really like the hands-on creation,” he said.

Assistant Brewmaster Sean Kasparian said distributing Crown brews will help the business grow substantially.

“The more we send out there, the more me and Steve can make,” he said.

Crown Brews

The Christmas Beer

Crown describes its Winter Warlock as a slightly spiced English Strong Brown Ale, brewed with 100 percent imported English malted barley and hops. Exotic ingredients including pure maple syrup, locally produced Dancing Queen Indiana honey and a blend of spices were used in the brewing process.

The description lists a warning: too much of this special brew (7.1 percent alcohol) will impair your ability to drive your snowmobile or guide your sleigh.

The Growler

Patrons can purchase the half-gallon “Growler” jar at Crown Brewing and have it filled and bottled with their favorite Crown brew. Not only does it make a good gift but it’s eco-friendly – it can be brought back for refills.

“It goes back to the old breweries,” Bryan said. “In the old days if you wanted to get beer from a brewery you had to take a bucket. It kind of evolved into a half-gallon.”

The Brewmaster

Steve Mazylewski discovered his calling at the age of 7.

“My father was a beer can collector and we toured breweries in the Great Lakes region,” Mazylewski said. “It was one of those things that left a big impression on me as a little boy.”

Finding bloggers in NW Indiana in 2010

2010 People worth meeting in Northwest Indiana I

I'll be doing a series of posts early this year on a bunch of great professionals, not all in real estate, whom I have enjoyed getting to know. Many are from right here in Northwest Indiana and I think can be valuable to you the reader of this blog.

Northwest Indiana Insurance Quotes

A site created for consumers in the Region who want to obtain better quotes for auto, health, home, life, and Northwests Indiana Insurancebusiness insurances. Is this the only online source for this type of information? Of course not. There are hundreds of sites like this one, but NW Indiana Quotes is right here in Northwest Indiana. That's reason enough for me.

Some Highlights:

There's an online form for authomatic insurance quoting at: FREE ONLINE INSURANCE QUOTE - FAST

For additional information and regular updates see Northwest Indiana Insurance Quotes on Twitter.

And NW Indiana Quotes (Insurance and Mortgages) on Facebook

Steve Dalton

Senior Mortgage Banker - Northwest Indiana

Sierra Pacific Mortgage - Residential Mortgage Group





Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas a time for joy - and politics?

Christmas isn't all that political ... right? (originally on Northwest Indiana Politics)

I couldn't resist, even though I know you will all be spending time with family and unwrapping presents ... so no one will have time to read this political site ... right!

Christmas is a bit political isn't it? (See Christmas Story on Blueletter) If you believe, as I do, that Jesus is actually God incarnate, born of the virgin Mary, in a stable in Bethlehem roughly 2,000 years ago. If you believe that this birth and his eventual crucifixion and resurrection make up the perfect trifecta of prophetic implication, such that humans can have contact with the only Holy deity. Then Christmas is a lot political, and makes people around you cringe. Words we don't use much in post modern society aren't they? Words that can make a conversation go mighty quiet, and people walk away uncomfortable that anyone would be so rude to talk about religion or faith. It's so much easier to pretend about Santa Claus or gaze at a lit tree, but to push faith in Jesus that's going too far.

It's not that faith is uncomfortable, it's that a faith of specifics and a faith in a specific truth like Christ is uncomfortable. In this culture we celebrate the fact that everyone has their own beliefs ... yet the downside is that we've lost the ability to truly debate which of those beliefs are right and which are just plain hogwash. It's even become rude to suggest that one has a belief that is true, since this assigns "false" to another belief. Let's be frank, truth exists and all other beliefs are false, even if that hurts someone feelings.

Please enjoy your families, pray for peace in Jerusalem, remember Jesus' birth in the lowly manger, give gifts of joy, worship with hearts of grace and mercy ... Merry Christmas Northwest Indiana.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chicago hockey legend to operate restaurant in Munster

Chicago hockey legend to operate restaurant in Munster: From IN Business

Chicago hockey legend to operate restaurant in Munster

Charlie’s Ale House in Munster is expected to close later this month while it goes through a change in ownership.

A spokesman for the new owners says the new restaurant at the site will attract families and hockey enthusiasts around the Chicago area. Former Chicago Blackhawks player and coach Denis Savard and Nicholas Sord, the son of Chicago-area restaurant owner Bryan Sord, are planning to co-own Savard’s Hall of Fame. Bryan Sord said Charlie’s will close Dec. 23 and the venue will reopen in late January as a sports-themed family restaurant and sports bar. The owners’ goal is to officially take over site ownership Jan. 1, he said.“There’s so many hockey fans on the south side of Chicago,” Sord said. “Instead of going into Chicago, we want to attract everybody from Indiana to the southern suburbs of Illinois who enjoy hockey who live here. That’s our main objective.”

Mark Corey, Munster’s chief building inspector, said in the next few weeks the building department will look over the plans for the establishment and figure out what permits and licenses the new ownership needs. Corey said the group plans to change signage and remodel the building’s interior. Sord said the Munster site purchase doesn’t include Charlie’s Chicago locations at Navy Pier and in the Andersonville neighborhood. Tim Rasmussen of Chicago Restaurant Corp. opened the Charlie’s in Munster in spring 2004. Rasmussen couldn’t be reached at his Chicago office Monday afternoon The menu at Savard’s will include fare from Sord’s Charley Horse restaurants and steaks from 94 West in Orland Park. Sord owns Charley Horse restaurants in New Lenox and Tinley Park and 94 West. Sandwiches will be priced from about $7 to $10 with half-priced hamburgers on Mondays.

Similar to Charlie’s, the establishment will continue to host banquets and parties and have a Sunday brunch, Sord said. He also said Savard’s plans to employ about 125 people, which is more than the establishment’s current staff. The restaurant will feature an ice bar and hockey memorabilia such as Savard’s jersey from when the Montreal Canadiens team won the Stanley Cup in 1993. Savard played nearly 1,200 games for the Chicago Blackhawks, Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning in 18 seasons. Savard was the Blackhawks head coach for parts of three seasons from 2006 to 2008. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000.

Sord said Savard is excited to open an establishment in the region and that he would welcome the opportunity to meet players from the Munster Hockey Club, who were state Class 1A high school champions earlier this year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

‘Creating Regional Unity’

‘Creating Regional Unity’: "

Quality of Life Council explores “One Region: One Vision”

Jim Flannery talks about the “Soul of the Community” at the Quality of Life Council's quarterly meeting Friday at the Lost Marsh Golf Clubhouse in Hammond. The program centered on “Creating Regional Unity.” (Photograph by Natalie Battaglia/The Times.)

Jim Flannery talks about the “Soul of the Community” at the Quality of Life Council's quarterly meeting Friday at the Lost Marsh Golf Clubhouse in Hammond. The program centered on “Creating Regional Unity.” (Photograph by Natalie Battaglia/The Times.)

In 1989, a plan was designed to turn the slag heap called Barstow Mountain at the corner of Calumet Avenue and 129th Street into a golf course complete with clubhouse.

On Friday, that Frank Lloyd Wright-style clubhouse at Lost Marsh Golf Course became a metaphor for the renaissance possible in the Calumet Region during the Northwest Indiana Quality of Life Council quarterly meeting there. The event, “Creating Regional Unity,” drew 120 people whom council executive director Jim Flannery called “120 ambassadors for Northwest Indiana.”

“This clubhouse is an acknowledgment of the creativity and vision of the people whose vision this was, and to their efforts to sustain sustainability, to improve the quality of life and to develop leadership,” said Dennis Rittenmeyer, president of Calumet College of St. Joseph and chairman of the council’s board of directors.

During a keynote speech, Times Publisher Bill Masterson Jr. said “One Region-One Vision,” is an effort he started more than two years ago “to unite Northwest Indiana in ways that will lead to mutually beneficial and sustainable economic, human and community development for the common good of all.”

A native of South Dakota, Masterson said when he moved to the area in 2006 to become publisher of The Times, he could see Northwest Indiana as “a wonderful area,” but became frustrated with the lack of unity.


“Soul of the Community,” a new Gallup study funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, explores the link between economic growth and residents’ loyalty to and passion towards where they live. The qualities that make people love where they live include social offerings (such as entertainment venues and places to meet), openness (how welcoming a place is) and community aesthetics (such as physical beauty and green spaces).

Results of the second year of the three-year study in Indiana’s seven northwest counties were revealed at Friday’s quarterly NWI Quality of Life Council meeting.

Among those results were:

66 percent of area residents are not “attached” to their communities, which is higher than the national average

Social offerings and openness were seen as areas needing improvement. There was a significant drop in ratings of nightlife and perceptions of the area as a good place to make friends in 2009, as well as the community’s perceived openness for families with young children.

The worst economic crisis in decades is not a key factor in attracting and retaining residents

One in four of those surveyed mentioned crime, violence and gangs as problems in their communities

38 percent of college students in the area want to leave the area when they get their degrees, and

66 percent of those surveyed said they are treated with some respect in their communities.

What he saw was the impact “balkanization has on life in the region,” he said.

The Times‘ effort began with a meeting of 170 leaders from education, banking, government and business leaders where he, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky and Bishop Dale Melczek of the Gary Diocese made their case for “bringing us together,” Masterson said. From that gathering came a steering committee and the establishment of the “One Region: One Vision” organization.

This organization works with other regional groups such as the Quality of Life Council and the Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission. Six issues have been identified as having prime importance.

These include education from pre-school through 12th grade; renewal/revitalization of the urban corridor; regional transportation service; quality health care throughout the area; less, but more efficient government and jobs created through diversification of the region’s economy to embrace new technologies, to join the global economy and to protect existing business and industry.

Another speech by O’Merrial Butchee, director of Ivy Tech’s Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center in Gary, outlined the “Dare to Dream” project funded through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The seven-county initiative by Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana Northwest and its partners seeks “to cultivate, enhance and inspire leadership to become aware of the regional challenges and opportunities under the ‘One Region/One Vision’ project,” Butchee said.

The counties represented in the project include Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Starke, Jasper, Pulaski and Newton.

“The focus of ‘Dare to Dream’ is that we can collaborate for the betterment of the area,” Butchee said. In addition to process, attitude is important in collaboration to better the area, she said. “Egos must stay home. We all work better together.”

Teamwork is the third essential ingredient.

“We all made the cake,” she said.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Get #Indiana to Trend Details - - Start Something!

Get #Indiana to Trend Details - - Start Something!: "Get #Indiana to Trend - December 3, 2009 (12:30pm EST / 11:30am CST) tweeters from the banks of the Ohio River to the shores of Lake Michigan will donate one minute to the future of our state by sending a tweet containing “#Indiana” The goal is to get #Indiana to trend among the top ten words on twitter, exposing our state to this global audience. - Twibbon is the best way to view what causes are hot on Twitter. Get your's today!"

If you are reading this, please feel free to copy and repost on your site today, this morning!