Starke County Economic Development Foundation, Inc.

musial, norem named finalists for nwi influential women awards

STARKE COUNTY – Carla Musial and Kathy Norem, members of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation Board of Directors, were named finalists for the 2014 Influential Women of Northwest Indiana recognition awards. Both were nominated by the Foundation for their work in Starke County.

Musial was one of five finalists for Influential Woman in the Finance category, while Norem was one of three finalists for Up and Coming Woman in Government. One Influential Woman and one Up and Coming Woman will be recognized in each of the 11 business categories. In addition to finance and government, categories include business, construction, economic development, education, healthcare, law, market/media, non-profit and service/tourism.

Musial has been a member of the Board since 2007, representing DeMotte State Bank. With more than 30 years of experience in community banking, she has served as vice president and Knox branch manager for DSB. She also has been the treasurer of the Greater Knox Area Chamber of Commerce, now the Starke County Chamber, for more than 20 years, is a SCILL Center Board member and treasurer, and the treasurer of New Hope Baptist Church, Knox.

Norem has served as the Starke County Commission representative on the Board from 2009-2012 and in 2014. She received undergraduate degrees in nursing from Purdue University and Valparaiso University before receiving her master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame School of Business. Norem previously served as CEO of Starke Memorial Hospital and developed and implemented the Ancilla College School of Nursing. She is a past director of the Starke County Community Foundation, and is in her second term as County commissioner, where she has served as president.

Two members of the Foundation Board previously won awards at the annual event. Wendy Hoppe, owner of Hoppe Hardware in North Judson, and president of the North Judson Town Council, was named 2012 Influential Woman in the construction/ interior design category. Diane Thalmann, current president of the Foundation Board and an economic development manager with NIPSCO, received top honors in 2011 as Influential Woman in economic development.

Winners will be announced at the annual awards banquet. Over the last four years, more than $40,000 has been raised through the Influential Women banquet, with all proceeds donated to local charities of Northwest Indiana.

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The Starke County Development Foundation is a not-for-profit local economic development organization (LEDO) providing economic development opportunities on behalf of Starke County, Indiana, the City of Knox, and the Towns of North Judson and Hamlet through the development of industrial parks, rail spurs, greenfield sites, shovel-ready sites, infrastructure and workforce development. For more information regarding Starke County Development Foundation, visit