A Northwest Indiana Life in the Spotlight: Matt Saltanovitz

matt-saltanovitzBorn and raised in Northwest Indiana, Matt Saltanovitz left briefly to attend Indiana University Bloomington where he majored in Journalism with a minor in Business. For six months following his graduation, Saltanovitz worked for a local Anderson paper before returning to Munster where he found a job at The Times, met his wife Karin, and started a family.

Saltanovitz remained with The Times until about a week ago when he started his new job as the Director of Economic Development for the Northwest Indiana Forum. Saltanovitz's first day with the Forum was Ocotber 20, and he couldn't be more excited about this new opportunity. Having always been interested in the economic development of Northwest Indiana, he found himself teaching business classes at IUN, where he received his MBA in 2009.

"When the opportunity presented itself, I was really intrigued to go from being an observer to being an active participant," Saltanovitz said. "Making my home a better place to live was really an attractive proposition for me. One that I couldn't refuse."

As the new Director of Economic Development, Saltanovitz is responsible for bringing new businesses to the area. He is also responsible for retaining businesses and jobs, while helping to expand current businesses, jobs, and, wages in Northwest Indiana.

"I get to learn about and see more of Northwest Indiana than I did before," Saltanovitz said. "I have enjoyed meeting the people I have so far, and look forward to the first big deal that the Forum can bring into Northwest Indiana since I've joined. It's great to be a part of positive change in the area."

In his spare time, Saltanovitz sits on the board for the Lake Area United Way. He is also a board member of a new Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana non-profit one of his friends started called Chicagoland Immigrant Welcome Network. This new organization helps new immigrants get settled in their new lives in the area, find their way around, take classes, learn better English, get jobs, and much more. One event, in particular, that Saltanovitz enjoys being a part of is the Lake Area United Way's Day of Caring, which is a day when all of their volunteers pool together for one day of area-wide volunteer work.

"The community feeling that you get is really something special," Saltanovitz said.

In what remains of his spare time, Saltanovitz enjoys many family-oriented hobbies. He and his wife take their seven year old son, Pablo, camping and hiking. They are also planning a trip to California for the upcoming summer season. Saltanovitz also enjoys collecting vinyl records, and making his own beer – made with the hops he grows in his own backyard. He and his wife also enjoy gardening. Saltanovitz especially enjoys growing different kinds of peppers, which he makes into various things including hot sauce.