After working in the Northwest Indiana construction industry for many years and serving on many different boards in the past, Lake County Appointment Vice Chairman of Northwest Indiana RDA Randolph (Randy) Palmateer knows a thing or two about what it takes to get a project off the ground. He greatly enjoyed his time serving on the Merrillville Stormwater Management Board, Lake County Redevelopment Commission, Crown Point Redevelopment Commission, and Crown Point Board of Public Works and Safety, but he felt an even stronger pull when it came to serving Northwest Indiana RDA.
“There are so many moving parts to the RDA; it's challenging, but also rewarding at the same time,” Palmateer said. “I think that's why it’s the only board I'm still on. I resigned from everything else so I could devote all my attention to the RDA. We're doing good things and completing big projects.”
Palmateer has served on the Northwest Indiana RDA Board for 12-13 years, so he has been able to see the impact that the RDA’s projects have had on communities in Northwest Indiana. Two of the projects he is most excited about are the Gary airport project and the train project.
He believes that Gary has to be successful for all of Northwest Indiana to be successful, and he feels that getting the Gary airport project off the ground is a crucial step in furthering Gary’s success. Since becoming a father, Palmateer’s interest in the train project has grown.
“It means more to me now than it did at the start. I have a four-year old and a one-year old now, and I hear all these stories from these parents that I'm friends with, saying their kid is going to college and moving to New York, California, or Indianapolis to go work because there's nothing around here,” Palmateer said. “I believe wholeheartedly that the train project, in particular, is going to keep more of our young people here in Northwest Indiana and keep our economy growing.”
With his previous experience in the construction industry and hope for his children’s future, keeping the jobs and money local for these projects is crucial and a great source of pride.
Palmateer counts it a pleasure to serve on the Northwest Indiana RDA Board and appreciates the support from his fellow board members. Being able to drive positive changes in Northwest Indiana alongside the other board members is the best reward for all the hours put into each project.
“Everything that we backed was built, and you can see it driving through Gary, Chicago, and Portage,” Palmateer said. “Seeing everything that you voted on and all the hours you put into it come to fruition is huge.”
To learn more about Northwest Indiana RDA and its current projects, visit www.in.gov/rda.