Looking On

FOCUS ON

Luecke: South Bend will continue high-tech journey

It’s the start of a new year, and South Bend’s high-tech future is looking bright.

Although some final work remains in preparing the city’s Ignition Park, Mayor Stephen J. Luecke says the former Studebaker site will soon be ready for development.

“We’ve made terrific progress in 2009, and the two remaining buildings there will be coming down early in 2010,” he says. “I’m excited about the opportunities Ignition Park represents. We already are getting some inquiries from companies that are coming on the radar. We are beginning to become a viable option as people think about making investments, particularly as the economy is starting to improve.”

FEATURES

Area leaders express views on top 2010 priorities

Looking to the new year ahead, we recently talked to area leaders about what the future holds for South Bend.

Many of their observations were formed last fall when they visited Albany, N.Y., as part of a delegation sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County.

During the trip, the group noted some common traits between Albany and South Bend. Both cities are pursuing research and technology-based economic development, and are home to major universities with nanoelectronics research centers.

But the group noticed significant differences, too. IBM was a significant source of jobs and economic development in Albany before it became a major center of nanoelectronics research. Moreover, IBM was crucial in establishing Albany’s high-tech reputation, which has helped attract new businesses like chipmaker AMD’s spinoff, Global Foundries. And, as capitol of the Empire State, Albany’s economy also is driven in large part by state government jobs and projects.

So, in the context of these interesting similarities and differences between Albany and South Bend, area leaders offered the following informed views on what might lie ahead for South Bend.

New Carbon Co. thrives in South Bend

When managers at the New Carbon Co. began looking for a new home about 10 years ago, they found an ideal building in South Bend.

Better yet, they also got a tax break worth nearly $100,000 from city officials to entice them to relocate from their old location in Buchanan, Michigan just a stone’s throw north of the Indiana-Michigan border.

“It was a very good move for us,” says Rick McKeel, president and CEO of the 72-year-old company, which makes the Golden Malted brand of pancake and waffle mix widely used in hotels around the world. “We could be anywhere, but we like being in South Bend.

IN CONVERSATION

Jacqueline Barton, CEO, Specialized Staffing Solutions

By Phil D’Amico, director of business growth, the Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County

I recently sat down with Jacqueline Barton, president of Specialized Staffing Solutions, LLC, to discuss South Bend’s prospects as a recruiting mecca for technology-based jobs and growth.

Jacqueline Barton is no stranger to managing business through tough economic times. She started Specialized Staffing Solutions in 2001 during a downturn in the economic cycle. For Jacqueline, the more challenging the situation, the more satisfying the results. Today, specialized Staffing has expanded to five locations throughout the Midwest.

MULTIMEDIA

South Bend on “TODAY”

South Bend’s great real estate values were touted on the NBC “TODAY” show on Jan. 5, 2010. “TODAY” show real estate contributor Barbara Corcoran featured South Bend first among 10 U.S. cities offering the best real estate values, based on the following criteria: home size and value; job growth in the area; and rising real estate prices over the past year.

Take a tour of South Bend

Want to see the great things taking shape around town in South Bend?  Take this tour, led by Mayor Stephen J. Luecke.

EVENTS & HAPPENINGS

Quilt honors South Bend as All-America City finalist

A quilt featuring squares from South Bend and 29 other finalists in the 2009 All-America City competition will visit South Bend in early January as part of a national tour.

The quilt will be on public display for one week, Jan. 8 through Jan. 15, at the main branch of the St. Joseph County Public Library, 304 S. Main St., in downtown South Bend.

Volunteers made a quilt square highlighting iconic South Bend images for incorporation into a quilt of all 30 All-America City finalists. Although South Bend was not among the winning 10 cities selected, an 18-member delegation, supported entirely by private contributions, made a strong case for the city in an oral presentation at the 60th annual All-America City awards in Tampa, Fla.

Sponsored by the National Civic League, the All-America City award is given annually to 10 communities and, as the most prestigious municipal competition, is considered “a civic ‘Oscar’ for communities of all sizes.”

Mayor Luecke to present State of the City on Feb. 15

Mayor Stephen J. Luecke will deliver his 14th annual State of the City address at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15, at the Century Center recital hall.

Presented to the South Bend Common Council, the 2010 State of the City address is open to the public and features a visual slideshow of recent and upcoming developments.

Participants will have an opportunity to tour the renovated C hall and see drawings of renovations to Century Center’s Island Park.

Luecke is expected to highlight accomplishments of the past year and look ahead to priorities for the coming year.

Chamber of Commerce: Salute to Business Luncheon

When:   Tuesday, February 11, at 11:30 a.m.
Where:  Century Center, 120 South St. Joseph St., South Bend, Ind.

Join the Chamber as it recognizes top individual and business accomplishments, honoring the W. Scott Miller Distinguished Business Leader and the ATHENA winner for helping women reach their leadership potential. The Salute will also recognize the Small Business of the Year, and the company achieving the greatest economic impact from the past year.

A celebration of business and individual success, the Salute to Business also features a keynote address delivered by Doug Keeley. One of North America’s leading communicators and a self-professed “leadership junkie,” Keeley will deliver The Mark of a Leader, a keynote that will inspire you to make your mark as a leader in the community, yet challenge you to determine what that will take.

The cost for Chamber members is $40 per person or $320 for a table of eight. Nonmembers pay $65 per person or $520 per table of eight.

Construction moves forward at Harper Hall

Construction is under way at Harper Hall, the new home of expanded medical and cancer research initiatives at the Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend (IUSM-SB) and the University of Notre Dame.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place last November, and was attended by the project’s benefactor, Charles “Mike” Harper, retired chair and chief executive officer of ConAgra Foods and RJR Nabisco.

“This is a big boon that will eventually lead to hiring more lab technicians, attracting top-quality graduate students, and generating more income for the community” says Rudolph M. Navari, assistant dean and director of IUSM-SB.

Scientists from Notre Dame and Indiana University will collaborate on research in cancer biology, with an emphasis on such areas as genomics and proteomics, and breast, prostate and colon cancers.