About Us

One Region is a nonprofit, 501c(3), focused on growing population, attracting and retaining talent, and increasing household income.

Regional Civic Engagement – through collaborative partnerships One Region will take action to share information about regional projects. In 2017, One Region will focus on the South Shore Rail Line’s Double Tracking and West Lake Corridor Projects.

Why Now? Improvements in our commuter rail system will drive population and economic growth. Average household income of South Shore riders is $82,000, which is nearly double the state’s median income. Currently, NWI residents employed in Chicago bring $427 million in personal income and $14 million in sales and income taxes to Indiana annually. An improved and larger commuter system will bring even more money and people to our region.

Regional Benchmarking and Tour identify other metropolitan regions in the United States similar to Northwest Indiana and assess how these regions have leveraged and built assets to the benefit of their region economically and qualitatively.  Core to this initiative is a proposed academic assessment of infrastructure assets, regional collaborative groups, and governmental unification and/or collaboration models.

The initiative will culminate in a tour for business and regional leaders of a key region identified in the study. The tour will provide a first-hand learning experience where NWI leaders from the business, government, non-profit and education sectors can meet with their counterparts in another region.

Why Now? Similar to activities of other Chambers of Commerce throughout the country, we will provide a platform for regional community and business leaders to meet and discuss the future of our region while giving examples of other successful regional leadership and planning.

NWI Next Step engaging young professionals and working with millennials in Northwest Indiana to learn more about their vision for our region. Through an open question summit for millennials we will address “Why don’t millennials want to live here?” to break the cycle of asking the same people the same questions and open a door for new thinking. Similar to young professionals boards, this is a young professionals civic action committee.

Why Now? Northwest Indiana suffers from “brain drain.” Today, our region’s population growth is only 4%, which is half of the state’s growth and even less than the country’s. The average person living today in Lake County Indiana is 43% older than in 1970, which means younger populations have left.

History: In 2013, One Region merged two organizations: The Quality of Life Council, founded over 20 years ago by the region’s institutions of higher learning, and the One Region: One Vision initiative, launched about ten years ago by The Times Media Co.  As a result of the merger, One Region, Inc. operates as an independent organization and 501c3.

STAFF

President & CEO

Leah KonradyLeah Konrady-1-1

lkonrady@oneregionnwi.org

Leah Konrady was born and raised in Michigan City, IN.  She recently returned to Northwest Indiana after living in California, Colorado, and Washington, D.C. Prior to joining One Region, Leah worked for CH2M in Fresno, California, focusing on government affairs and community outreach for water infrastructure.  While in Washington, D.C. she served as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Pete Visclosky and worked at the Northeast Midwest Institute as Director of the Great Lakes Washington Program collaborating with the bipartisan Congressional Great Lakes Task Force.

Leah is passionate about Northwest Indiana as she is fifth generation to the area.  Leah has a B.A. in Geography and a MBA from the University of Denver.

 

Board of Directors

  • Chris White, Publisher of the Northwest Indiana Times
  • Mark Heckler, President of Valparaiso University
  • Ben Bochnowski, President and CEO of Peoples Bank
  • Tom Keon, Chancellor of Purdue Northwest
  • Violet Sistovaris, Executive Vice President NiSource
  • BR Lane, Resolute Consulting
  • Matt Glaros, Chief Strategy Officer Meyers-Glaros
  • Michael Bergerson, Associate Winston and Stern LLP