Event Types


We Connect

We Connect is an Employee Resource Network (ERN), collaborative La Porte community partnership that aims to help employers engage, empower and retain employees, helping to prevent employee turnover and spur business growth. The ultimate goal of We Connect is to empower employees with the necessary resources to improve their lives.

Aug 02, 2018

Media Relations Director - INDOT Northwest District

Adam Parkhouse, a lifetime resident of Michigan City, is currently the Media Relations Director for the Indiana Department of Transportation's Northwest District, based in La Porte.  There, he handles media and social media responsibilities, among other various internal communications items.  Adam spent 17 years with The News-Dispatch, spending the bulk of that in the sports department before taking over editorial operations as Managing Editor for the last four years of his time there.  In April of 2018, Adam left the N-D for INDOT.  Adam is a 1998 graduate of Michigan City High School adn a 2004 graduate of Indiana University-South Bend with a B.A. in Mass Communications.  He's been involved in various activities and board in Michigan City, including Michigan City Mainstreet Association, The United Way, MCAS' Future Wolves Advisory Board and others.  He and his wife, Tabitha, live in Michigan City with their two children, Cecily (CeCe) and Cooper.

Aug 09, 2018

Leadership La Porte County

Join us as Monica Komasinski, executive director of Leadership La Porte County, tells us about her organization and leads Rotarians through an activity.

Leadership La Porte County is a non profit organization dedicated to promoting community leadership. Our mission is to inspire, develop, cultivate and connect leaders to serve their diverse communities. Our programming reaches adult and youth community members.

Aug 16, 2018

Executive Director/Boys and Girls Club of Michigan City

Since 2015, Brandi Lewis has served as Executive Director for the Boys & Girls Club of Michigan City. Prior to joining the Boys & Girls Club movement, she worked for Dunebrook for over 14 years developing her passion for empowering others and serving the community. Under her leadership, Boys & Girls Club of Michigan City has benefited from an array of innovative programs, expanded partnerships and increased involvement in the greater Michigan City community. 

Brandi studied for 3 years at Indiana University Bloomington before receiving both her undergraduate degree in Communications and MBA from Purdue North Central.  She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and a graduate of Leadership Northwest Indiana. Born and raised in Michigan City, she is married to her high school sweetheart with 3 children.

Aug 23, 2018

Ivy Tech Community College

Dr. Sue Ellspermann has more than 30 years of experience in higher education, economic and workforce development, and public service. In January 2018, under Ellspermann’s leadership, Ivy Tech launched its new five-year Strategic Plan, “Our Communities. Your College. Pathways for Student Success and a Stronger Indiana.” The plan’s vision is for Ivy Tech students to earn 50,000 high-quality certifications, certificates, and degrees per year aligned with workforce needs. The plan aligns with Indiana’s goal to equip 60 percent of the workforce with a high-value, post-secondary degree or credential by 2025. Through achievement of this goal, the College will help increase Hoosier per capita income and support the transformation of the state’s advanced industries economy. The plan development covered 18 months, including a restructure of the College, comprehensive fact finding conducted internally and externally, including thousands of faculty, staff, students and statewide stakeholders. In May 2016, she was selected to serve as President of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. She is the ninth individual to hold the position and first female president for the college. She replaced Thomas J. Snyder who announced his retirement in September of 2015 after serving as President since 2007. Ellspermann assumed the role of President on July 1, 2016. Prior to officially assuming the role as President, Ellspermann visited all 14 regions and 22 different locations in June of 2016 as President-elect. She convened 52 small groups meeting with an estimated 750+ faculty and staff on a listening tour prior to July 1. She most recently served as Indiana’s 50th Lieutenant Governor from 2013 until March of this year. As the vice chair of the Indiana Career Council she led efforts to align Indiana’s education and workforce development system to meet the needs of employers which is her continued focus at Ivy Tech. Her public service began in 2010 when she was elected as the State Representative for District 74. Ellspermann formerly served as the founding Director of the Center of Applied Research and Economic Development at the University of Southern Indiana and also owned and operated Ellspermann and Associates, Inc, an independent consulting firm licensed in the training and facilitation of Simplex Creative Problem Solving. Early in her career she spent time with Frito-Lay and Michelin Tire Corporation. Ellspermann holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from the University of Louisville in Industrial Engineering and a B.S. from Purdue University also in Industrial Engineering. She is married to James Mehling, a recently retired high school principal. She has a blended family of four daughters, three sons-in-law, two grandsons and two granddaughters.

Aug 30, 2018

East Chicago Drinking Water Quality & Remediation Plans

Contaminated soil in the superfund site in East Chicago caused experts to evaluated the water quality in homes in and around that location.  The tests results were not good and Rotary jumped into action supplying bottled water to the residences until a more lasting solution could be put in place.  The plan has been developed and a Rotary Foundation Global Grant drafted.  A key meeting with the East Chicago Mayor is in the works to brief him on our findings and our plans to address the health hazards.

Sep 06, 2018

District Governor 6540

A member of the DeMotte-Kankakee Valley Rotary Club since 1988,  Dan has served on the Board of Directors for several years and as Club President twice, 1994-1995 and 2000-2001.  Since 1988 he has served as Scholarship Chair.  He has received the Distinguished Service Award from his club.

  • 2002-2003 to 2005-2006 Assistant Governor (eight Clubs year one, five Clubs thereafter)
  • 2002-2003 to 2005-2006 Polio Area Coordinator (Ten Clubs)
  • 2003-2004  Co-chair District Foundation
  • 2004-2005 to 2012-2013 District Foundation Chair
  • 2013-2014 to 2015-2016 District Membership Chair  
  • 2013-Present  District New Club Chair:  New clubs in Lowell; Summit City South of Fort Wayne; Portage (restart) and Frontier.
  • 2016-2017  District Conference Co-Chair
  • 2013-2017  Zone 30 PHS Coordinator

Dan is a Major Donor, Level 2, and along with his wife, both Bequest Society Members, Level 2, and Paul Harris Society Members.
Dan and Kathy have been married for 46 years, have three daughters and ten grandchildren.  He has been at DeMotte State Bank for 34 years and serves as Executive Vice-President and Loan Administrator.
Dan has been honored by District 6540 with the District Foundation Service Award and by The Rotary Foundation with The Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service, and the Distinguished Service Award. He has also been honored within District 6540 with the Rich Angle Lifetime Achievement Award, the Cable Award, and the Jack and Kay Kissinger Award.

Sep 20, 2018

Executive Director of the Economic Development Corporation of Michigan City

Recognized as a visionary leader in the community and economic development profession, Clarence Hulse is known for his passion and talent in implementing and executing a community’s vision. His diverse background includes achievements in performance management, affordable housing, strategic planning, redevelopment, business recruitment, project financing and building community partnerships. In his current role as the Executive Director of the Economic Development Corporation of Michigan City IN, he is spearheading the revitalization in the area.  Working with the current Mayor of Michigan City, Ron Meer, over $1billion in public and private investments have been completed and/or initiated in Michigan City.

As the former Director of Economic Development in Jeffersonville IN, he was instrumental in creating 3,500 new jobs and $300 million in capital investment. In creating the Jeffersonville Neighborhood Leadership Institute, he improved the city’s neighborhoods and won recognition by the Indiana Planning Association winning the 2011 Outstanding Community Initiative Award. He also served as the Executive Director of the Jeffersonville Urban Enterprise Association implementing strategies to assist small businesses on Mainstreet, promote tourism and augment historic preservation in the downtown.

Clarence earned his BS at Harding University, AR in Public Administration, magna cum laude and an MS in Economic Development from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is also a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute. In his spare time, the native of Belize keeps up with current events-global and national, travel, art and music festivals, Roman and Greek history, biographies, golf and fishing.

Oct 11, 2018

The Rotary Club will meet at the Career Cafe at the AK Smith Career Center for lunch

The address for Career Cafe is 317 Detroit St.  This is the entrance for Elston High School.  Members may park on the street, or in parking lot across from the entrance.  
Career Cafe is the only student run restaurant in the area.  These culinary arts students are learning all parts of the profession, with the majority of them hoping to attain a degree in Culinary Arts.  Many of our students also aspire to owning their own restaurant some day.  Career Cafe is open to the public for breakfast and lunch (days of the week may vary next year based on our schedule).  Our students also cater events, parties and meetings.  Students in the Culinary Arts program at AK Smith Career and Tech Center work to earn 3 industry certifications - ServSafe, Prostart 1 and Prostart 2.  All of these are National Restaurant Association certifications and are considered college level or professional level certifications.  Our students may also receive Dual Credits from Ivy Tech, meaning the curriculum for our program is strict and meets the requirements of college level programs. Our students are passionate about cooking and dedicated to learning what it takes to succeed in the culinary industry.  Finally, we are very happy to start a new project during the 2018/19 school year- we will be installing and maintaining our own garden.  AK Smith was awarded a garden grant by the Whole Kids Foundation.  This grant will allow 4 different programs to come together and create a new tool for teachers to use in their curriculum.  We are very excited to begin this new adventure into better understanding where our food comes from and the intense work and knowledge it takes to grow healthy food for our customers and guests.  
Oct 25, 2018

Tour of Barker Mansion experience the splendor of a Barker Christmas!

Lunch will be held at Barker Mansion 631 Washington Street -- Michigan City, Indiana

optional Guided tour after meeting

Barker Mansion is the former residence of local millionaire-industrialist, John H. Barker, who built the Haskell & Barker Railroad Car Company, which later became Pullman-Standard. The mansion was built in 1857, and shortly after the elaborate 38 room structure was finished, both Mr. and Mrs. Barker passed away, leaving the mansion and the Barker fortune to their only child, Catherine, who later donated the structure to Michigan City. The building is now a lasting tribute to Barker's philanthropy and is open to the public for tours. A tour of the mansion and grounds makes for a fascinating study in "gracious living." It is typical of turn-of-the-century opulence and features rare woods and marble, beautiful one-of-a-kind tapestries, impressive collections of books and paintings, and a third-story ballroom where the Barkers entertained in royal fashion.

The architecture is modeled after the stately English manors of the Victorian Era. The rich furnishings, almost all original, were imported from Europe and the rest of the world. The drawing room features a hand carved marble fireplace and ceiling of molded plaster in baroque design. Silver-plated bronze torches and a white limestone fireplace invite one into the foyer of the mansion. The walnut table in the formal dining room has a beautifully carved pedestal base ornamented with cherubs, each one a unique "winged child." Throughout the mansion, the discerning visitor is intrigued by the repetition of lions, winged women, cherubs, and garlands worked in various mediums. Much of the decor consists of authentic Barker family artifacts, including furnishings and art objects, family portraits, library collections, and personal belongings. Outside, an elaborate sunken garden hosts a bronze equatorial sun dial, a tea house complete with leaded-glass globes, and a 19th Century Italian statue of "The Three Graces"; these delightful elements combine to make the courtyard and perennial garden an especially unique setting for weddings.

If the visitor is lucky enough to be in LaPorte County around the holiday season, he or she can experience the splendor of a Barker Christmas! In December, all three floors are bedecked with Christmas decor of the Victorian period. It is a magical sight for children and adults. Barker Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Barker Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Nov 29, 2018