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One REgion's Opportunities Council

 One Region’s Opportunities Council (also known as NIROC) is a 501(c)(6) membership organization managed by One Region’s staff and Board of Directors with a mission to stimulate an environment attracting people and investments.

Who we Are

We are an organization of the top executives from Lake, Porter, and La Porte counties who work together to envision a stronger future for our region.  We advocate for and support catalytic, far-reaching projects that will attract and retain talent, grow the population and increase household income.  The Opportunities Council achieves this by convening, educating and advocating for the priorities that will make the greatest impact. Propel is our strategic framework for transforming our region from 2022-2024.

Interested in Joining?

Contact Matt Wells at

2022 Council Liaison:  Michael Schneider, Wintrust Bank


1st Source Bank
Matt Vessely, Regional President

ATG Real Estate
Eric Gastevich, Principal

Big Shoulders Fund
Dan Kozlowski, Regional Director

First Merchants Bank
Dale Clapp, Regional President

Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors (GNIAR)
Pete Novak, Chief Executive Officer

Robert Johnson, President & CEO

Diocese of Gary
Dr. Joseph Majchrowicz, Superintendent of Schools

First Financial Bank
Rick Dennen, Chief Corporate Banking Officer
Eric Evans, Market President

Franciscan Alliance
Patrick Maloney, President & CEO
Dean Mazzoni, President & CEO Michigan City

Hasse Construction
Bill Hasse, President & CEO
Kim Hasse O’Halloran, Director Business Development

Horizon Bank
Craig Dwight, Chairman & CEO

Lakeshore Bone and Joint
Dale Ingram, CEO

Regional Health Systems
William Trowbridge, Chief Executive Officer

Alliance for Regional Development
Mark Hopkins, Executive Director

Lewis & Kappes
Monica Conrad, Partner

McColly Real Estate
Ron McColly, President

Wintrust Bank
Gil Rynberk, Market President
Michael Schneider, Senior Vice President

Lakeshore Public Media
Nancy Clifford, Interim President & CEO



Violet Sistovaris, Executive VP and Chief Experience Officer, NiSource

Northwest Health
Ashley Dickinson, President & CEO

Digital Crossroad
Thomas Dakich, Managing Member

Indiana University Northwest
Ken Iwama, Chancellor

NWI Development Group
Rob Harte, Principal

Opportunity Enterprises
Neil Samahon, CEO

Peoples Bank
Benjamin Bochnowski, President & CEO

Purdue University Northwest
Tom Keon, Chancellor

NW Indiana ER & Hospital
Dr. Scott Samlan, Chief Executive Officer

Jeff Lewis, Managing Partner

Strack and Van Til
Jeff Strack, President & CEO

The Times Media Company / Lee Enterprises
Chris White, Publisher

Mike Telesky, Vice President, Sales

Valparaiso University
Jose D. Padilla, President

Weiss Entities
Don Weiss, President

Chicago Central Area Committee
Mark Hopkins, Executive Director

+WeCreate Media
Wade Breitzke, CEO

Mortar Net Solutions
Gary Johnson, President

Wightman Architecture
Carl Baxmeyer, Partner and Senior Planner
Stefany Holland, Commercial Sector Leader



The Opportunities Council’s priorities from 2022 through 2024 are highlighted in their Propel Framework to drive transformational projects to grow population, attract and retain talent and increase household income.