Action Initiatives


The Gary Region Investment Project identifies opportunities for urban revitalization. The program has sponsored an “Urban Exchange,” bringing representatives of successful urban programs from across the U.S. to address NWI’s urban leaders. The current focus is University Park.

Facilitators: Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Chancellor William Lowe

Northwest Indiana Health Advisory Council

Leaders concerned about our citizens health, hospital execs, doctors, nurses, academics, health care centers and others will be gathering to discuss issues and coordinate programs serving Northwest Indiana.

Co-chairs: Pat Bankston, Rep. Charlie Brown

Mayors’ Roundtable

Bi-monthly meeting of the 12 mayors from Northwest Indiana. Casual discussion over dinner is held highlighting issues vital to local communities.

Co-chairs: Mayors John Costas, Tom McDermott Jr.


Representatives of 19 cities and towns in Lake County meet monthly to discuss and share experiences and challenges.

Co-chairs: David Vinzant, Janice Malinowski

Northwest Indiana Committee for Better Government

Supporting the Shared Ethics Commission, the committee pursues reasonable but effective change to improve local government. Three changes to Indiana law pushed by the committee and enacted in 2012 will favorably impact the operation of local government.

Chairman: Dennis Rittenmeyer

Northwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce Coalition

Executives of 17 Northwest Indiana chambers of commerce meeting monthly to coordinate activities of interest throughout the region, to pursue economic development and share opportunities to benefit local business.

Facilitator: Chuck Hughes

Project READY

Structured organization of leaders from various sectors of the Northwest Indiana educational community to promote an improved assessment process for high school students, focus on providing youth with better interventions to keep them in school, more career pathway opportunities, college course work while in high school and improved data interpretation and use by teachers.

Facilitators: Linda Woloshansky,  Peggy Buffington

Community Summits

Periodic public gatherings during which local issues are discussed by those involved.

Facilitators: Kris Krouse, Danita Johnson Hughes

Northwest Indiana Environmental Council

A representation from public, private, community and environmental stakeholders operating in the three counties of One Region. The Council seeks to ensure that the personnel involved in the environmental initiatives occurring in the region are informed about the actions and activities of the other members.

Chair: Kay Nelson

Success By 6

A program in Lake, Porter, and La Porte counties in Northwest Indiana preparing preschool children for the education system. Provides traits for success.

Coordinator: Kim Olesker, United Way Porter County

Veterans Action Coalition

The Northwest Indiana Veterans’ Action Coalition seeks both to coordinate services provided to active military members and veterans and to promote awareness of new initiatives on their behalf. The Coalition is comprised of community leaders, both veterans and non-veterans

Chair: Michael Sparber

Public Safety Committee

This committee will strive to improve public safety in all our communities by enhancing cooperation and coordinating of public safety activities.

Chair: ATF Agent David Coulson

Race Relations Committee

This council seeks to foster diverse representation and participation in all our communities. The committee fosters the development of forums and educational programs to improve race relations throughout our region.

Co-Chairs: Vanessa Allen, Harry VandeVelde