Business and Economics

Lauerman Named Lake County Economic Development Group CEO

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August 26, 2014 — The Northwest Indiana Forum’s Director of Marketing and Communications Karen Lauerman will become  the first president and CEO of the Lake County IN Economic Alliance, a centralized effort to attract companies to the county’s 19 cities and towns.  She is also bringing one of her NWI Forum colleagues with her, as she makes the move in October.

Here is Monday’s official announcement:

Joel Gorelick, Chair of the Lake County IN Economic Alliance (LCEA) announced today that Karen Lauerman will be the new President and CEO of the organization. Lauerman is the first to lead the county-centered economic development group and will take the helm in October.  Joining the leadership team as Vice President of Economic Development is Donald Koliboski.

“We are fortunate to have Karen and Don as each brings an excellent set of skills to the table,” said Gorelick. “We originally intended to hire only one position, however a unique opportunity presented itself in the form of an established powerhouse economic development team.”

He reported that the LCEA Board of Directors approved the hire at its called meeting on August 20. Dave Lasser, LCEA Chair-Elect and Search Committee Chair noted Lauerman’s experience with organizational operations, community partnerships, business attraction/retention through various marketing efforts; media relations and fund development complement Koliboski’s expert skills in project management, economic development process, government relations, property identification and site selector relations.

“Being a life-long resident of Lake County, I am honored to be selected for this role and look forward to working with the Board and investors in moving the organization, Lake County and all of northwest Indiana forward,” said Lauerman “This is an amazing opportunity to focus efforts on a county with unlimited potential, continue to engage regionally and partner with the communities for the greatest success.”

Koliboski stated, “It’s my opportunity to assist the municipalities and the county enhancing their ability to attract and retain businesses, jobs and investment. Lake County receives the most interest because of its border with Illinois and proximity to Chicago, so it’s only fitting that there is a Lake County team ready and available to facilitate projects.”

LCEA evolved out of conversations between the Crossroads Regional Chamber, Lake Shore Chamber, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, NWI Forum (Forum), and NIPSCO to coordinate economic development efforts in Lake County. This has culminated in the hiring of two professionals deeply involved in economic development in Lake County through their years with the Forum, Lauerman as Marketing & Communications Director and Koliboski as Director of Regional Economic Development.

Heather Ennis, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum commented, “Karen has incredible passion for northwest Indiana, as does Don and combined, they take it to another level. It’s not good-bye, we have the good fortune to continue working together as regional partners, supporting each other in our efforts and mission to bring jobs and investment to the region.”

The LCEA’s mission is to advance the knowledge and understanding of economic planning and development as it relates to business development and retention. The overall goal is to foster quality economic growth and employment opportunities in Lake County.

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