3rd Annual Good Life Awards Celebrates Good, Rewards Nonprofits

Ideas in Motion Media takes pride in providing good news to the community with the help of hard-working individuals behind the organizations and events that make this community unique. To celebrate the individuals in the community who exceed in their efforts to provide great events and service to the public, Ideas in Motion Media held their third annual Good LIFE Awards. People from various companies and organizations gathered together to celebrate the "Good LIFE" that is well-represented in our communities of Northwest Indiana.

Industrial Revolution Eatery and Grille happily opened their restaurant to host the event for the third year in a row. They provided delicious food and drinks for guests to enjoy during the festivities.

“We love the fact that we are the host of this great event! Ideas in Motion Media supports all the positive news that is happening locally, and we enjoy seeing what they are doing with the community,” said owner of Industrial Revolution, Jennifer Leeson.

The Good LIFE Awards honored six awardees who excel with their impact on the Ideas in Motion Media news network. To help reward their amazing efforts, the six awardees received a custom solid-steel Good Life Award trophy, that was designed by the ever-talented Industrial Revolution owner, Mike Lesson.

Guests entered the event in style by walking the red carpet. The Lady Lifers were dolled up and looking great, sporting dresses from Catherine’s Bridal Boutique and hair and makeup by Beauty Pros and Pros Perfect Cosmetics.

Music and entertainment were provided by 27 Entertainment of Valparaiso. Through a new app developed by sister-company We Create Media, attendees were also able to broadcast their live tweets on the televisions at Industrial Revolution under the hashtag, "#goodlifeawards2014".

To start off the awards, US Congressman, Pete Visclosky and Indiana Senator, Edward Charbonneau took to the mic to share their thoughts on the immense influence that Good LIFE has on Northwest Indiana.

"I want to congratulate Chris and everyone connected with the LIFE group for accentuating the positive stories and news in Northwest Indiana. Too often, at the national level, media is opinion," said Visclosky. "I appreciate the fact that what is reported by the group is news. This is all about positive news and contributions made in the community."

“Northwest Indiana needs to be focusing on the good and positive things that are going on here. We not only need to be a good place to live, but we need everyone to believe and recognize that Northwest Indiana is a great place to live and raise a family. I am here to recognize the people who are making a difference,” said Indiana Senator, Edward Charbonneau.

Every year, the event raises funds for nonprofits in Northwest Indiana. The Good LIFE Awards have previously donated the funds to the Porter County Career and Technical Center, Portage Township YMCA, United Way of La Porte County and the Valpo Schools Foundation.

Kris Pate, Executive Director of United Way of La Porte County, talked about receiving an award last year and why they appreciate the work done at Ideas in Motion Media. “One of the things I love about the work done by Chris and his staff is that they focus on the good things going on. When you focus on the good things, it’s inspiring.”

"I really want to thank the LIFE team for making YMCAs a priority within their organization. We were able to give out $125,000 worth of scholarships last year to families to afford the services that the Y offers. The money that we received last year went into funds to make sure all the people in Portage that wanted to participate in our programs were able to," Chris Aungst, Executive Director of the Portage YMCA said of being a nonprofit chosen to receive funds last year.

This year, the event benefited A Positive Approach to Teen Health and La Porte County Family YMCA.

“Our award today will allow us to mentor kids in after school programs. We will graciously and thankfully take this award and put it towards programs for the kids in our community. I can’t wait to come back next year and report on some of the lives that have been touched as a result of this generosity,” said Donna Golob, Executive Directer at PATH.

"I just want to say thanks to Chris and his crew. We love hanging out with you guys! You just make a great event event better. Ideas in Motion Media put their walk and talk all together. The staff really goes out and gets involved. I feel like a lot of the staff members are part of our family. They help us promote the great things that the Y is doing. The funds that we are receiving will go to our scholarship fund for financial assistance in all our different programs," Cindy Bercham, Executive Director of the La Porte County Family YMCA said.

After these touching stories of gratitude, Chris Mahlmann, CEO and Publisher of Ideas in Motion Media took to the mic to hand out the six awards and recognize these outstanding individuals.

Last years winners including: Mayor Blair Milo, Donna Flanagin, Nancy Simpson, Mary Koselke, Tom Steindler Jr., and Dr. Tom Cavanaugh, Jr. The first year's winners were: Jon Groth, Olga Velazquez, Jonathan Nalli, Ivan Bodensteiner, Cathy Brown Brown, and Natalie Mahlmann. Many of the winners came back in support of the event and this year’s winners.

The first award went to Ideas in Motion Media’s very own, Brett Fuller.

“This is more like a life time achievement award. Brett Fuller has literally been there with me every step of the way since we created LIFE. He’s always stood strong, come back for more and has been our big guy in the middle,” Mahlmann said of Fuller.

Next up, was Dave Kasarda of the La Porte County Family YMCA.

“Dave cares about people," Mahlmann said of Kasarda. “He cares about the people the Y serves, the people that work for the Y, and the partners that the Y relies on to help those people.”

The third winner was Darlene Cohn of D. Cohn Communications.

“I met her when she came to work for us part-time,” said Mahlmann of Darlene. “Right away, I knew she was incredibly capable. She has an awesome personality and an incredibly strong work ethic. She knew how to write, understood social media, and had a strong internal tuning rod that shaped her appreciation for teachers, nonprofits, and good people.”

The fourth award went to Dave Sisk of the United Way of La Porte County. Dave couldn’t be there, so Kris Pate accepted the award of his behalf.

“Dave is passionate about the United Way, passionately appreciative of what we were doing on behalf of the United Way, and generally just positive and happy to be alive. Dave did not just say thanks; He has helped us communicate and connect to tons of people. Dave is the kind of guy that just makes you want to work hard,” said Mahlmann of Sisk.

The fifth award winner was Bert Cook of the Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation.

“Bert Cook is a younger guy that sees how communication works, sees how partnerships are mutual, sees how media is not only the old kind, and combining all of that, can reach positive results for everyone,” said Mahlmann of Cook.

Lastly, an award was given to Mahlmann’s mother, Loretta Finnegan, who during her life shaped the good news mentality that the company is based upon.

“This is someone that has not only impacted the business, but went above and beyond to impact the one person that is driving the business. Few of you have met this lady, but everyone who knows me, knows her. Without knowing it, she gave me the idea for this business with her constant harping on the old expression, ‘If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all,’” Mahlmann spoke of his mother.

As the awards wrapped up, the recipients were grateful and honored to be taking home a Good LIFE award. It was a great night to celebrate the outstanding people that go above and beyond to serve our community and provide good news for us to share.

“I am really excited to be not only recognized, but also included with the other people that are honored tonight. I absolutely love Chris and the whole LIFE team. Everything they’ve done has been amazing in our community. To have them recognize you for being helpful in that process, I couldn’t ask for anything more,” said award recipient, Bert Cook.

"It's a great honor and I know that these awards mean a lot to Chris," said Brett Fuller. "It has been exciting to be a part of the team for over five years and to see how much this company has grown, so I definitely appreciate the honor."

"I am very humbled. I love working with the LIFE team. Chris has supported anything I've ever done, so I love him and the crew," explained Darlene Cohn.

"I was overwhelmed and totally surprised to receive this award. I've always believed in Chris, LaPorteCounty and PortageLife. Ideas in Motion Media does amazing work and it's an honor to work with them," said Dave Kasarda.

"I am very honored and appreciative of everything Chris and his team do for the region," said Dave Sisk.

A special thanks goes out to this year’s sponsors including: D. Cohn Communications, Century 21 Alliance Group, Task Force Tips, We Create Media, Blue Chip Casino, Sauers Buick/GMC, Beauty Pros, Steindler Signs, Air One Custom Photography, Rittenhouse Senior Living, South Shore Convention & Visitors Authority, NIPSCO, Sticky Fingers Candy Company, Horizon Bank, Sage-Popovich, Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation, Lakeshore Paws, Community Healthcare System, Hines Plumbing, Economic Development Corporation Michigan City, Indiana, Worthy Women Recovery Inc., Berman's Infiniti of Merrillville, Porter Regional Hospital, Engstrom Jewelers, Goodrich Quality Theaters Portage 16 IMAX, Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Executive Group, Impact Solutions and Catherine's Bridal Boutique.

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