Knox, Ind. – Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Assistant Mary Perren is in prestigious company as part of the 2022 Northwest Indiana Influential Women’s Association (NWIIWA) Class of 2022. She was recognized as the Up & Coming Woman of the Year in Economic Development and Government at the NWIIWA awards banquet on Thursday, Sept. 29.
Perren joined the SCEDF staff in May of 2021, having most recently worked at the Starke County Highway Department. She has an extensive background in journalism and government relations, which she has used to raise SCEDF’s media profile.
The Foundation most recently hosted the countywide Starke Tank Small Business Pitch Competition, which saw 10 unique small businesses competing for seed money to establish, grow or expand in Starke County. First-place winner Irelynd Alexis Boutique received $12,000. Bone Boss Game Calls was the runner-up and won $6,000.
“Mary has been instrumental in raising money, recruiting candidates, and helping Starke Tank to grow,” SCEDF Executive Director Lisa Dan said. “She suggested the name ‘Starke Tank’ a few weeks after joining our staff and raised more than $11,000 in prize money for last year’s competition, which was limited to businesses in North Judson.”
Perren is a 1992 graduate of North Judson-San Pierre High School and a 1996 graduate of the University of Indianapolis, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in journalism, with an emphasis in electronic media.
She worked as a broadcast journalist in Hopkinsville, Ky. and Nashville, Tenn. for many years before returning to Northwest Indiana in 2010 to take a job at the “Pulaski County Journal” before joining the staff at WKVI AM/FM in early 2013.
“When I moved back to Northwest Indiana 10 years ago, I told myself I needed to be the change,” Perren said. “I love having a job where I can work to improve Starke County through events like Starke Tank, the Rural Opportunity Zone Initiative, and our Manufacturer’s Day and Prospectus and Achievement.”
Perren also serves on the Starke County Humane Society Board of Directors, the Knox Gateway committee and is the treasurer of the Starke County Convention and Visitors Commission. She is an active member of North Judson United Methodist Church, where she serves on the council and teaches children’s church.
Date Published: 2022-09-30 14:47:00