Portage Press
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In This Issue
Chamber News
Community News
Community Education
Business News
Business Education
Activities and Promotions
Help Wanted

November 15, 2017
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Chamber News
Member of the Week
The Member of the Week for the week of November 13-November 17, 2017 is Espionage Escape Rooms Espionage Escape Rooms is proud to bring the hottest new trend in entertainment to Porter County!
Escape rooms are an interactive adventure game where you and your team are locked in a themed room.  You have 60 minutes to find a series of clues, solve puzzles, and crack codes to escape before your time is up!  At Espionage Escape Rooms, their ultimate goal is to stimulate social interaction in today's world of technology.  Escape rooms help to foster creativity and human ingenuity in an entertaining format.  Fun for all ages, this activity can bring together just about anyone!  Their rooms are "The Wild Bunch Gang Escape Room" and the "King Tut's Curse Escape Room".  Contact them at (219) 476-7699 or at espionageescaperooms@gmailcom .  They are located next to the Viking Chili Bowl on 103 E. Morthland Dr. Unit 1 in Valparaiso, IN.


Rise Shine and Share-Success in 60 Series
Date: December 14th, 7:30am-8:30am-Central Time @ Portage Best Western
The Rise, Shine and Share will continue with the Success in 60 Series featuring Larry Galler. This session will teach you how to become a Power Networker. 
Register Online

MidWeek Mingle
The monthly MidWeek Mingle is a laid back networking event. This event allows Chamber Members to meet each other in a relaxed atmosphere. The Mingle is traditionally held at a Chamber restaurant with drinks being available for purchase. If you are interested in hosting a MidWeek Mingle, please contact the Chamber office. 
Upcoming Mingles:
November 29th at Best Western Plus Portage Register Online. This mingle will be from 5p-7p.

State of the Chamber Luncheon
Join Chamber representatives and the community at the State of the Chamber Luncheon on November 16th at Woodland Park from 11:30a-1p. This Luncheon will provide a recap of the past year in the Chamber as well as the opportunity to learn about the goals of the Chamber in 2018. The State of the Chamber Luncheon will feature the presentation of the 2018 slate of Board Members. 

Annual Awards Banquet

The Annual Chamber Awards Banquet will be held at Woodland Park on November 18, 2017. This evening will recognize businesses and individuals for their time and dedication to the Portage community. 
*NEW* This year dinner will feature a choice of Prime Rib, Chicken, or Vegetarian plate plus we will have an open bar for the entire evening. The cost for the Awards Banquet will be $75 per person or $700 per table of 10. 



Chamber Office Closed
The Chamber office will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday, November 23rd and Friday, November 24th. 
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Shop Local and Win!
This year to enhance your holiday shopping experience, the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce (GPCC) is proud to sponsor "Shop Local and Win!" just for shopping local. From November 25, 2017 through December 24, 2017   spend a combined total of $200.00 (excluding gas/diesel) or more at GPCC Member businesses,  submit by mail:copies of receipts along with entry by January 3, 2018 and receive a $10.00 Chamber gift certificate  **Limited to the first 50 entries** Entry Form Businesses print this flyer and encourage your patrons to participate. Member businesses can be found here
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Community News
Board Seeks Community Member
Portage Township Education Foundation
As a Portage community member, you have an exciting opportunity to support the Portage Township Schools!  Consider becoming a Board Member for the Portage Township Education Foundation!  The Portage Township Education Foundation provides funds for the Portage Township School (PTS) employees who submit grants.  These grants provide unique learning experiences for students which are not able to be funded through the typical school budget.  The funding for these grants largely comes through our fundraising efforts. Please send your name, email, phone and occupation to the Portage Township Education Foundation (PTEF) at pteinfo@portage.k12.in.us.  We hope you can join us!

November Events at Bonner Senior Center
Bonner Senior Center
The Bonner Senior center is open Monday-Friday 8a-4p and is located at 5800 Lexington Ave in Portage. To see a schedule of November events, please click here. A calendar of the November menu can be found here

Special Christmas Offering for Non-Profits
Real Life Community Church
Real Life Community Church, in its mission to Love God, Love People and Serve the World, is seeking out local non-profit charities to partner with. Annually, Real Life donates funds taken during a special Christmas offering, to local and world-wide charities. We plan to give away a total of $30,000.00 to local charities this December 2017. Real Life will consider all applications that meet the qualifications below, however, Partnerships will be chosen based on a number of factors by members and staff of Real Life Community Church. More information

Working together to make a difference in the Ptg. Twp. Community
Portage Township Park Department
Brendan Clancy, Portage Township Trustee and Aqua Indiana work together to make a difference in the South Haven Community.  A partnership that has continued to grow and make a difference in the lives of Portage Township children and families has just taken another step forward as representatives from Aqua Foundation Inc. presented a $1000.00 check to Brendan Clancy, Portage Township Trustee and Jessica Bailey, President of Friends of Portage Township Foundation Inc. earlier this week.  Aqua's involvement with Portage Township Parks includes their participation in the park's 'Team Up 2 Clean Up' event which takes place each year in April.  Not only do volunteers perform cleaning and beautification tasks at the Township's South Haven parks but they also reach out into the community and have completed projects for the Boys & Girls Club, South Haven Little League, and even cleaning a 2 mile stretch of McCool Road. 
To learn more about Portage Township Parks, Friends of Portage Township Foundation Inc., or Aqua Indiana visit  www.portagetrustee.org ,  www.townshipfriends.org, or  www.aquaamerica.com

Indiana Tourism Bureau Encourages Organizations to Apply
Indiana Dunes Tourism
Indiana Dunes Tourism is offering grant money to people and groups who plan to bring visitors into the county by building new attractions or by organizing festivals, events, meetings, conventions, or sports tournaments during 2018.  Grants are available to for-profit, nonprofit, and government entities.
A total of $50,000 is available to be awarded in 2018. Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official tourism bureau of Porter County, is specifically looking to support endeavors that will bring visitors from outside of the Lake, Porter, and LaPorte County areas, fill hotel rooms, and have a positive economic impact on local businesses and attractions.
In 2017, Indiana Dunes Tourism awarded grants to Gears of Hope Duneland Tour, Fish-On Annual Outdoor Show, Indiana Dunes Birding Festival, Taltree Acorn Concert Series, Northern Amateur Golf Tournament, Prairie Music Fest, Chesterton European Market, and many others.
The grants can be used for such things as construction of new attractions, as well as advertising, printing, and promotional expenses that bring visitors to Porter County and encourage overnight stays. The funds can also be used to develop brochures, websites, and other tools that encourage visitation.  Those interested in the 2018 grant program should visit:   indianadunes.com/grants .

Exercise Classes
Miller's Senior Living Community
Miller's Senior Living Community offers FREE Senior Zumba Gold Classes for everyone! These classes are offered every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday in the Main Lobby at 10:45 am. The Zumba Gold class is taught by a certified YMCA instructor. All are invited to attend. 
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Community Education
Health Series: Balance & Fall Prevention
Rittenhouse Villiage at Portage
Falls can cause serious injury and dramatically affect a person's quality of life, especially for older adults. Join us at  Rittenhouse  Village at Portage, for a free fall prevention workshop, presented by Priority Rehab, to uncover the top causes of falls and tips to prevent them. Please contact Melissa with any questions or to RSVP 219-764-2900. The event will be held on Wednesday, November 29th from 2:30-3p.

Let Us Have Peace
Edmonds & Evans Funeral Homes
Edmonds & Evans Funeral Homes will be sponsoring "Let Us Have Peace" at the Bonner Senior Center on Friday, December 15th at 10:30am. This program provides a unique tour of America and guests will learn intriguing, often untold stories behind our presidents' final days and resting places. This event is free and open to the public.  

Dollars and Sense Program 
Modern Woodman Fraternal Financial
Dollars and Sense Financial Literacy Program is designed for kids from elementary through high school, our online educational platform helps your child establish good savings and spending habits at an early age.  Every child that signs up through his or her school, athletic team, or church, will be able to take a financial literacy quiz every year they are in school from kindergarten through 12 th
grade. Every year they take the quiz, Modern Woodmen will pay them $20 just for taking the quiz. In addition to the money they receive every year from Modern Woodmen, we will donate $50 per kid to the team, school, or church they sign up with. If you are interested in learning more or incorporating these programs please contact Alex Ferreira at 219.851.5732 or Alex.Ferreira@mwarep.org

FAFSA Fridays
United Way of Porter County
United Way of Porter County has partnered with three community partners to provide free FAFSA filing services beginning  Friday, October 13 Known as FAFSA Fridays, the program offers services at two Porter County locations October through April on the second Friday of each month. The program is available thanks to a partnership with Valparaiso University, Neighbors' Educational Opportunities and Indiana Tech.  "As I conversed with parents sending their children off to college, we saw a need to assist them in getting the financial support they needed to do so," said Kim Olesker, president & CEO of United Way of Porter County. "We are grateful to our partners for joining us in this effort." This opportunity is open to all seeking assistance to file their college financial aid paperwork. Participation is by appointment only. Participants should bring a hard copy of their 2015 income tax information, including W2, and the student's social security number with them to the appointment. Appointments are approximately 30 minutes long and available from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Program locations are United Way of Porter County in Valparaiso and Neighbors' Educational Opportunities in Portage. For more information about FAFSA Fridays and to make an appointment, visit UnitedWayPC.org/FAFSA.

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Business News
Shannon Burhans, New CEO
Portage Township YMCA
The board of directors of the Portage Township YMCA today announced that Shannon Burhans, a Portage native with over 20 years of non-profit experience, has been named the organization's new President and Chief Executive Officer.
Burhans has been awarded the Top 20 under 40 Business People by NWI Times, Outstanding Public Citizen by Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce, and Distinguished Club President by Kiwanis International.  She has been actively involved in several community service organizations and missions over the past 20 years, and has a heart for serving those in Portage. Burhans graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications. 

Look Who's in the Portage-IN Office
Century 21 Affiliated
Century 21 Affiliated has added new faces to the Portage Office. Ben Crozier chose Real Estate so he can build his own business and help people chase their dreams! He is a graduate of Purdue University and avid reader. Call or text Ben at 219-877-4364. Beth Lloyd chose real estate because she loves people and loves houses. She is excited about finding the "Dream Home" for her clients. Beth also freelances as a make-up artist, assisting in weddings and special occasions. Call or text Beth at 219-393-4430.
  
New President/CEO
Porter-Starke Services
The Board of Directors of Porter-Starke Services is proud to announce that Matthew J. Burden,Ph.D., has accepted the position of President/CEO effective  December 29, 2017 . Burden, who has an extensive academic background in psychology and cognitive neuroscience research related to public health matters, has many years of executive experience in community mental health, serving as Executive Director/CEO at Swanson Center since 2009.  He also currently
serves as a Board Member for the Indiana Council of Community Mental Health Centers. "I'm honored and excited to accept this position and will work to build upon the positive legacy the organization has established," said Burden. "With comprehensive in patient and outpatient behavioral health services as well as primary care, Porter-Starke Services is well-positioned to continue to provide high-quality healthcare services to the residents of Northwest Indiana. Current President/CEO, Rocco Schiralli, will remain with Porter-Starke as Chief Strategy Officer and take a leadership role in strategic planning for the organization.

Attorney Kenneth J. Allen Ensures Safe Before/After School Care
Boys & Girls Club of Porter County
Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland Injury Attorney Kenneth J. Allen, for a second year, donated $10,000 to the Porter County Boys & Girls Club Kidstop program which provides safe and affordable after school childcare for area families. The Kidstop programs allows parents to work or attend school while knowing their children are safe and is currently offered in nine schools in three school systems throughout Porter County.  Kidstop engages youths in fun activities while supporting personal development focusing on academic success, good character and citizenship, and living healthy lifestyles. This is accomplished through targeted Club activities and caring, capable staff who forge relationships with young people and influence their ability to succeed in life.  Providing financial stability for a family often involves finding affordable childcare. And, finding affordable childcare is often an insurmountable challenge for many families in Porter County, forcing many parents to choose between paying for childcare and leaving their child home alone after school.

The Pangere Corporation Selected as General Contractor
The Pangere Corporation
The Pangere Corporation was selected by Community Healthcare System as the General Contractor for the construction of a new Stroke and Rehabilitation Center. Along with its team of 38 subcontractors and its many supplies, the Pangere team will be constructing a four-story, 129,000 square-foot, multi-specialty facility to be located in Crown Point, IN. Pangere will self-perform all the carpentry work and the erection of the building steel structure. The architect for this project is Design Alliance. The new facility will feature inpatient rehabilitation treatment, along with physician practices, outpatient services, and immediate care for family health and wellness. Read More
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Business Education
Business Start-up 101
ISBDC
This workshop is a first step toward owning a successful small busines s and it aims to help entrepreneurs evaluate their business ideas, prepare a sound b usiness plan, manage expectations and increase chances of accessing capital.  The workshop is based on the ISBDC's A Sound and Proven Path Towards Launching Your Own Business Workbook, available at all ISBDC offices. A free copy of this 60 page step-by-step workbook will be distributed to participants and used during the class.  Topics include:  Identifying personal objectives, skills and resources;  Describing your business idea and requirements;  Developing a sales forecast;  Identifying start-up expenses;  Estimating your operating budget;  Analyzing your feasibility results.
When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday Nov. 16
Where: greenCOW Coworking, 5209 Hohman Avenue, Hammond, IN 46320
There is no cost for this workshop as First Midwest Bank is partnering with us to offer it at no cost.   Registration is still required:  Register Online

Apps Unleashed: Grow Your Business Using Just Your Phone
SCORE
Date: November 16th, 1pm Eastern Time
With a smartphone or tablet you've got an incredibly powerful computer, communication device and online marketing tool... in your pocket! There are hundreds of free (or very inexpensive) apps at your disposal that can drive sales, improve communication with your customers, and market your business.  Join Ron Cates, digital marketing icon and renowned app expert, as he highlights and discusses the following:  Must-have apps (including both the newest and the obscure gems you've never heard of),  How to use apps for maximum impact,  How to utilize apps in conjunction with your other marketing efforts to magnify results.  Note: This session is designed for EVERYONE. "Beginners" will not feel lost, but "power-users" will still learn something new. 
Register Online

All in the Family:Confronting Unique Business Challenges
ISBDC
The ISBDC is partnering with Indiana University Northwest School of Business and Economics to offer a no-cost workshop on addressing the challenges faced by small- and medium-sized family-owned businesses in Northwest Indiana. With significant consulting in small business management, Subir Bandyopadhyay, PhD,a professor of marketing along with Dr. Charles Hobson, professor of management, will facilitate the workshop.
When: Noon to 4 p.m. Friday Nov. 17
Where: Indiana University Northwest, 3400 Broadway, Gary, IN 46408 in the Dunes Medical Professional Building, Room 1156
There is no cost for this workshop, but registration is required.
Register Online  More information : Email northwest@isbdc.org or call (219) 644-3513.
 
4 Ways to Market Your Business Locally
SCORE
Date: November 21st, 1pm Eastern
Need tips on how to make your small business stand out in your neighborhood? Get insider marketing tips and inspiration from Amanda Brinkman, Chief Brand Officer at Deluxe and creator and co-host of the acclaimed series, "Small Business Revolution - Main Street."
In this webinar, you'll learn how small businesses like yours have reignited the spark that drives their success. Whether you own a brick and mortar business or operate out of your home, you'll learn how to:  Create a website with purpose to generate more sales,  Increase your odds of getting found online in local directories,  Cost-effectively connect with your most valuable customers,  Build an identity to match your unique story Register Online

5 Marketing Moves You Can Make Now To Increase Your 2018
SCORE
Date: Thursday, November 30th, 1pm Eastern
2017 is nearly over and smart business people are already looking ahead to the next year. They're making investments, planning out their next moves and creating strategies to grow both sales and profits in the months ahead.  Hopefully, you're doing the same.
 
In this webinar, nationally-recognized CRM expert Gene Marks will share the marketing moves these successful people are doing right now to profit next year, including:  Investing in customer relationship management: What apps they're using and what pitfalls they're avoiding.  Creating more online content:  The best practices for starting your own video or podcast series.  Revisiting their website and social media:  The latest SEO and advertising tools and how they're working with consultants.  Moving towards marketing automation:  The latest marketing automation technologies and how they're generating leads.  Establishing metrics:  How data is driving their decision making and what metrics are most useful.  And, you'll walk away with great ideas and concrete strategies for creating a 2018 marketing plan specifically for your business. Register Online

Philanthropy Roundtable-Building a Board
South Shore Leadership Center
The South Shore Leadership Center will be hosting a Philanthropy Roundtable on December 1 st , at their office from  8:30am-10am.  The program is free and open to any organization that has a board or a board member looking to be the best board member they can be! The topic of the presentation will be Building a Board, A tool kit for constructing a Highly Functioning Board. Please RSVP for this event, if you have any questions please contact Cortney at 219-989-2802
 
Thank You, Non-Profit Day
South Shore Leadership Center
Date: December 6th 11a-1p @ South Shore Leadership Center
This will be a lunch, free for employees of a non-profit. It will be a laid back lunch with remarks from Bill S, Director of The Fund Raising School at IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
Max is 100 ppl. Please  RSVP

Advocate for Your Business
SCORE
Date: December 7, 1pm Eastern
Small business owners must perform countless tasks, but many forget to advocate for their businesses. Government officials make decisions that impact your ability to conduct business, so shouldn't you be involved in advocating for your company?  In this session, Joy Lutes, Vice President of External Affairs at NAWBO National (the first advocacy organization founded to represent all women business owners), will discuss how to engage in business to government advocacy efforts that will strengthen your business.  
You'll learn:  How decisions made at all levels of government can affect how you conduct business;  How to assess advocacy opportunities that exist for your business and integrate them into your plans;  How to communicate with your employees, customers and other stakeholders about the actions you take in the advocacy arena. Register Online

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Activities and Promotions
An Evening with Santa
Portage Township YMCA
Families are invited to join us at our annual Evening with Santa on Friday, Dec. 8th. Children and their parents will discover the magic of the holiday season by attending the Portage YMCA event. The festivities run between 5:30-8:00 p.m. and include, games with a prize every time, crafts and pampering in our Peppermint Palace with painted nails, temporary tattoos and hair streaks. A choice of pasta or a hot dog dinner and beverage will be available for the cost of $4/dinner. Free dessert with advanced dinner tickets purchased by Dec. 7th. All guests are welcome to take a picture with Santa for $2. Finish the night off with a visit to "Make your own Sundae Bar" or a Bag of Popcorn. Join us in all the fun or just some of the fun. Tickets are available for purchase beginning November 17th at the YMCA Welcome Center for $4/dinner. Activity tickets are 50ยข each or 11 for $5 and sold only during the event. Activity tickets are needed for games, crafts and the Peppermint Palace. All tickets are available at the door for this affordable family fun night! The Portage YMCA is located at 3100 Willowcreek Road, Portage, IN

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