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Northwest Indiana SBDC Awards 2021 Entrepreneurial Excellence (E-Day) Awards

Michigan City, IN. — On November 11, 2021 the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center held it’s Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards at the Avalon Manor in Hobart, Indiana. “It is amazing that we have been celebrating our entrepreneurial community for 30 years,” said NW-ISBDC Regional Director Lorri Feldt. “The Class of 2021 honorees continue to confront and overcome the varied challenges that the current business climate has been throwing at them.”

E-Day continues to honor the exemplary entrepreneurs who are helping drive the Northwest Indiana economy and those who support them on their journeys. This event has been hosted in the region for 30 years and attracts nearly 300 people, including top business leaders from throughout the region. Both the award recipient and nominator are recognized each year.

“While our winners may represent a wide range of industries, they all have created a ripple effect of positive impact in our communities,” Feldt said. “Also, our advocate category was expanded with the addition of youth entrepreneurship this year.”

The Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center awarded its 2021 Entrepreneurial Excellence (E-Day) winners and among the award winners were three businesses that serve on Horizon Bank’s Lake County Advisory Board. They include:

  • Small Business Person of the Year: Dave Lasser, Commercial In-Sites LLC, Merrillville
  • Minority-Owned Business of the Year: Michael and Shelice Tolbert, Tolbert & Tolbert LLC, Gary
  • Gary and Advocate for Youth Entrepreneurship: Chareice White, ECIER Foundation (Educate, Create, Innovate, Entrepreneur, Relationships), Merrillville

“We are so very fortunate to have diverse and great leaders from various industries and backgrounds as part of our Advisory Board to help us have a pulse on the local communities we serve,” stated Steve Dahlkamp, Horizon’s Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer serving Lake County.

This year’s class also included:

  • Women-Owned Business of the Year: Amy Perry and Erin Lively, E&A Jewelers, Valparaiso
  • Family-Owned Business of the Year: Konrady family, Konrady Plastics, Portage
  • Emerging Business of the Year: Akhtar Zaman, Advanced Engineering Services, Hammond
  • Young Entrepreneur: Brianna Hairlson, Bri’s Dance Place, Merrillville
  • Small Business Advocate: Bert Cook, La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership (LEAP), LaPorte
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Stewart McMillan, Task Force Tips

About Horizon Bank

Horizon Bancorp is a locally owned, independent, commercial bank holding company serving Indiana and Michigan through its commercial banking subsidiary Horizon Bank. Horizon also offers mortgage-banking services throughout the Midwest. Horizon Bancorp may be reached online at Its common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol HBNC.


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