president and CEO of Urschel Laboratories Inc., has been quoted as saying
that--inasmuch as “we are laying the groundwork for the next 100 years”--the
construction of a new plant and corporate HQ in Chesterton “will be the most
important thing any of us ever do for the company.”
century from now, today’s new plant--tomorrow’s recollected one--will be
seen as one of the most important buildings ever put up in the town.
It’s no surprise,
then, that the Urschel Labs project is the recipient of the Duneland Chamber
of Commerce’s New Construction Award, presented at its annual State of the
Chamber and Awards Luncheon on Wednesday at The Spa in Porter.
The new Urschel
Labs facility comes in at 350,000 square feet, 40 percent larger than the
quarters it had outgrown in Valparaiso, which--after 28 expansions and
re-models--had become a confusing landlocked warren and a drag on
productivity and efficiency.
Urschel Labs is a
world leader in the design, manufacture, and sale of precision food cutting
equipment, used by every major food processor in the U.S. and in more than
120 counties around the world. Rick Urschel is the fourth generation of the
family to lead the company.
Three other New
Construction awards were presented on Wednesday: to AJ’s Pizza; Growing Kids
Learning Center; and Culver’s.
As Jim Starin of
Starin Marketing Inc. noted in his presentation, AJ’s has been “a staple in
Porter County” since its establishment in 1982 at its original location at
U.S. 6 and Old 49 in Liberty Township.
“The new location
has more than doubled the size of the old location and now boasts a full
bar, twice the number of ovens, and a separate party room,” Starin said.
“Earlier this month, on July 2, AJ’s added a patio seating area, allowing
patrons to enjoy the summer weather.”
head-managed by Lauren Vogelsang but her father, Rick, keeps his hand in the
Learning Center, meanwhile, was founded in 1995, is a family-owned business,
and is “recognized as the child care provider chosen by most parents in the
Northwestern Indiana area with constant parent satisfaction scores of 95
percent or higher,” Starin said.
Putting Duneland on
The No. 6 Best
Place to Work in Indiana was the recipient of the Chamber’s 2015 Putting
Duneland on the Map Award: Lakeside Wealth Management Group.
“Lakeside was the
leading sponsor for several Duneland non-profit events throughout the year,”
said Mike Hogan of Hogan Consulting Group, “including Rebuilding Together
Duneland, the United Way of Porter County’s Canstruction event, the Boys and
Girls Club of Porter County’s capital campaign, Shirley Heinze’s Take A Walk
with Shirley capital campaign, the Porter County Community Foundation’s
annual campaign, the Duneland YMCA’s annual campaign, Frontline Foundation’s
Hooked on Art Festival, and more.”
“What’s even more
impressive is that Lakeside has at least one staff member represented on
each of the above mentioned non-profit board of directors or campaign
committees,” Hogan added. “These sponsorships bring positive regional news
coverage to the Duneland area through press releases, news articles, and
In addition, Hogan
noted, Lakeside Wealth Management Group’s senior vice president, Tim
VerShure, has made NAPA’s Top 50 Plan Advisors Under 40 Award, the Times’
Top 20 Under 40 List, and the Financial Times’ Top 300 Plan Advisors
outstanding achievements combined have created national buzz around the
Duneland community,” Hogan said.
Business Renovation Award this year was a business whose owners understand
“that buying local creates a stronger business community”: Dr. John Balon of
Precision Dental Center.
Balon “insisted on
working with local businesses throughout the entire process,” said Christy
Jarka of the Duneland School Corporation. “Working with Ennis Builders,
Ellis Electric, Brainstorm Computers, and Landmark Sign Group, Dr. Balon
completely gutted the space and redesigned it into a modern, well lit, and
highly efficient dental practice.”
“All cabinetry and
countertops were designed and built by Chesterton native Kevin Orthman and
the Dunes photography came from local Pete Doherty,” Jarka said. “Tudor
Floors Carpet One supplied the flooring and did a wonderful job with
consulting and placement.”
“Dr. Balon is
extremely conscientious about the local watershed and environment,” Jarka
added. “Because of this, he installed state of the art amalgam scavenging
systems to prevent any mercury from contaminating Chesterton’s fragile
ecosystem. This has been inspected and monitored by the Town of Chesterton
and continues to provide the most eco-friendly result.”
understands that local families and businesses are what will make this
community continue to thrive and we are so happy that he chose his office at
1140 South Calumet to renovate,” Jarka said.