Crossroads Chamber brings the Region together at Annual Business Expo

Crossroads Chamber brings the Region together at Annual Business Expo

Nearly 70 different businesses and organizations from around the Region gathered at the Dean & Barbara White Community Center on May 21 for Crossroad’s Chamber’s Annual Business Expo. Featuring everything from banks and hospitals to artists and senior living communities– the event offered a true sampling of the Region’s dynamic business community.

The Business Expo is one of Crossroads Chamber’s marquee events and a tradition that continues to grow as more and more businesses jump on the networking opportunities it provides. This year’s rendition kicked off with the Chamber’s Monthly Program Lunch, which included a panel on Artificial Intelligence called “Unlocking Tomorrow for Business Today.” Following that, the businesses set up shop– touring rows and rows of tables that highlighted each organization’s mission and services.

“I can tell you from experience that the most important thing about this event is the chance it offers to get together as a business community,” said Kelly Dooley, consultant for SouthernCare Hospice and committee chair for the Crossroads Chamber Business Expo. “It really helps you understand that there are business partners out there that are willing to use your business, or team together to get more business for your community and grow Northwest Indiana as a whole.”

Crossroads Chamber Hosts Business Expo at the Dean & Barbara White Community Center 2024

Crossroads Chamber Hosts Business Expo at the Dean & Barbara White Community Center 2024 88 Photos
Crossroads Chamber Hosts Business Expo at the Dean & Barbara White Community Center 2024Crossroads Chamber Hosts Business Expo at the Dean & Barbara White Community Center 2024Crossroads Chamber Hosts Business Expo at the Dean & Barbara White Community Center 2024Crossroads Chamber Hosts Business Expo at the Dean & Barbara White Community Center 2024

One of the chamber’s newest members, Schilling IT, dove headfirst into the annual festivities– signing on as a platinum sponsor and bringing a big team to help make an impression.

“We realize that relationships are important to any business, and as a people first company they’re especially important to us,” said Mark Schilling, owner of Schilling IT. “We care about our people, our employees, and our customers. Getting involved with the chamber is helping to take that to another level. Building relationships within the business community is important because we all need each other.”

Most people around the Region are familiar with the expo’s main event sponsor, Franciscan Health, and even depend on their services for their families. Yet the event is just as essential for the organization, as it is an opportunity to share the work that the Franciscan Health Foundation, its philanthropic arm, accomplishes.

“People are often surprised to find out just how much we do,” said Michelle Reardon, development associate for the Franciscan Health Foundation.“They might know about our new hospital in Crown Point, or our hospitals in Dyer and Michigan City, but they don’t know about the philanthropic things we do inside and outside those hospitals. We combat food insecurity, offer prenatal assistance, and services like our Center of Hope and St. Francis Center.”

Michael Podobnik, executive account manager at Proven IT, the event’s speaker sponsor, echoed similar thoughts. He cited the impact the Chamber has had on their business in the three years since Proven IT entered the community.

“Our partnership with the chamber allows us to meet other businesses that we can support with our offerings,” he said. “Since we’ve started building our Indiana footprint, this expo has been a big asset to us for getting exposure and growing our name. It’s not just about meeting new people either. It's seeing friendly faces and others we already know who can make introductions. That’s huge.”

Dooley described the event as a snapshot of everything that Crossroads Chamber can offer.

“There’s too much benefit for a business that works with the general population of Northwest Indiana to not be integrated with a group like this that works towards an end goal,” he said. “So how do we improve Northwest Indiana? We get more people together, help them understand how to work together, and get them to move this whole section of Indiana forward. I can tell you that there have been huge changes and strides that have made it a much nicer place to live and work in just the 18 years that I’ve been in business in the area.”

To learn more about the Crossroads Chamber, visit crossroadschamber.org.