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Date Published: June 2, 2011

Influential Women of Northwest
Indiana Honored

More than 560 business leaders joined together for the inaugural Influential Women of Northwest Indiana Awards Banquet, held Thursday, June 2 at the Avalon Manor in Merrillville, Ind. Complete with networking, cocktails, and a gourmet dinner, the evening was kicked off by Gene Diamond, Regional CEO of Franciscan Alliance, presenting sponsor of the evening. Twenty-three awards were presented to some of Northwest Indiana's most influential women. The event benefited the United Way organizations serving Lake and Porter Counties, as well as some of the winners' charities of choice.

"We created this event to encourage, support, and celebrate our female business leaders in Northwest Indiana," said Andrea M. Pearman, president of Diversified Marketing Strategies (DMS), a full-service marketing communications agency headquartered in Crown Point, Indiana. DMS is also the publisher of Building Indiana News, an award-winning magazine that is the leading source of business and economic development news throughout Indiana. "We are so honored to bring together such an accomplished group of women to share their successes and facilitate networking between the real movers and shakers of our business communities," Pearman added. Building Indiana News, which is also sponsoring the event, will cover the celebration in their third quarter issue.

More than 100 nominations were received, and a five-member committee of local business professionals was challenged with selecting the winners. Nominees were separated into 11 selected industries including healthcare, finance, construction and engineering, economic development and real estate, education, government, law, manufacturing, marketing and media, service and tourism and nonprofit. An "Influential Woman of the Year Award" and an "Up and Coming Woman of the Year Award" were presented in each of the 11 categories.

The 11 industry winners were also eligible for three overall prizes of the evening. Barbara Greene, President of Franciscan Physicians Hospital, was presented with the "Influential Woman of the Year" award, Niko Sullivan, Golf Course Administrator at Lost Marsh Golf Course/Hammond Port Authority, accepted the overall "Up and Coming Woman of the Year" award, and Frankie Fesko was presented with the Community Leader Award. Marjie Laciak from Fagen Pharmacy won the 2011 "Up and Coming Woman in Healthcare" award.