Who is the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority?

January 2, 2018-Over the course of the past several years, we have talked a lot about the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority-commonly referred to as the RDA. In order to advance the understanding of the organization, it is important that Gazette readers understand who the RDA is and how the RDA Board Members are selected. According to their website the RDA was:

Established in 2005 through a bipartisan effort including former Governor Mitchell E. Daniels, Congressman Peter J. Visclosky, key state legislators, and local elected officials, the RDA is quasi- governmental development entity entrusted to make public investment decisions within a regional framework for supporting catalytic infrastructure projects and inducing private sector investment.

In the coming weeks we will be taking a close look at each of the Board Members and any potential conflicts which they have regarding RDA projects.

The following biographies are provided on the RDA website.  RDA Board members include:

Donald P. Fesko Governor’s Appointment Chairman of the Board

Donald Fesko, OD, MBA, FACHE is the CEO of The Community Hospital in Munster. A doctor of optometry, Fesko also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Purdue University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Indiana University.   As the Chair, Dr. Fesko has absolute veto authority over any measure passed by the Board.

Thomas Golab Governor’s Appointment

Thomas Golab is Founder and Managing Member of Route 6 Development LLC and related real estate development entities, including Lakeshore Real Estate Management Inc. Golab has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Purdue University and is a CPA. Prior to forming his real estate company in 2005, Mr. Golab held the following positions: Chief Financial Officer, Navitas Systems LLC and its predecessors 2005- Present (technology), U-Stor-It Group LLC 2003-2005 (real estate sector), Chief Financial Officer, Lexstar Technologies Inc. and predecessors companies 1992-2003 (manufacturing sector), Corporate Controller, RTO, Inc. 1989-1991 (finance sector), Audit Manager, KPMG Peat Marwick 1984-1989 (public services). Golab has a diverse background in finance including mergers, acquisitions, financial consulting, development, capital formation and structured finance. He has two children and resides with his family in the City of Portage.

Africa Tarver Hammond Appointment (No photo provided)

Africa Tarver is Executive Director of Planning and Development for the City of Hammond. Ms. Tarver is a native of Hammond and graduated from Calumet College of St. Joseph with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organization Management. She has been employed with the City for the past 16 years in various positions. In her former role as Director of Economic Development, Ms. Tarver conducted business visits to promote retention and expansion and is continuously working to create an environment that produces a healthy business climate in the City of Hammond.

Milton Reed Jr. East Chicago Appointment

Working Groups Served: Lakeshore Redevelopment

Milton Reed Jr. is Principal of Global Consulting Solutions. Milton is an economic development and organizational cost reduction specialist with over 20 years of experience in business and economics. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. Milton is a six sigma certified Engagement Manager for strategic, technical and efficiency oriented projects helping clients become high performance businesses and governments. He has worked for many years for leading senior managers and directors in large-scale projects from engineering concept, analysis, contractual agreement, and vertical integration. Milton provides program management and oversees economic development initiatives for the City of East Chicago. He has served as a member several professional and civic boards and commissions.

Randolph Palmateer Lake County Appointment

Working Groups Served: Gary/Chicago International Airport

Surface Transportation Economic Development

Randolph Palmateer is Business Manager of the Northwestern Indiana Building Trades Council. He is a 16-year veteran of the Northwest Indiana construction industry, joining the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 697 as an apprentice in 1997. He holds multiple industry certifications and an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science from Ivy Tech Community College. Palmateer is active on numerous boards throughout the region, including those of the Lake Area United Way, South Shore Promotions, the Challenger Learning Center at Purdue Calumet, and the Construction Advisory Board of Ivy Tech. He also sits on the Board of Public Works for the City of Crown Point and is a member of the Lake County Redevelopment Commission.

Bill Joiner Gary Appointment Secretary/Treasurer

Working Groups Served: Lakeshore Redevelopment, Chair Economic Development

Bill Joiner is a private investment portfolio manager and President of Gary’s Economic Development Commission, where he has overseen the sale of more than $400 million in Industrial Revenue Bonds. He also sits on the Investment Committee of the Legacy Foundation and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Visiting Nurse Association Foundation of Porter County and St. Mary Medical Center. He is a former First Vice President of Bank One / First Chicago NBD Bank and was President and Secretary of Structure Resources, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in business development and best management practices.

Chris Campbell Porter County Appointment

Working Groups Served: Surface Transportation Lakeshore Redevelopment

Chris Campbell, an executive at Centier Bank, oversees lending in Porter, Laporte, Marshall, St. Joe and Elkhart Counties along with small business lending. He serves on several nonprofit boards, including the Porter Starke Foundation Board, where he is finance chairman. He also serves as the treasurer for the Valparaiso Community Festivals and Events Board, and is the endowment chairman for the Valparaiso Parks Foundation board, and the redevelopment commission for Valparaiso. Chris has recently joined the boards of the NWI RDA and the Porter County Boys and Girls Club. He also is chairman of the EF Wildermuth Foundation, an organization that is dedicated to helping people with eyesight issues. He holds an undergraduate degree from Wittenberg University and an MBA from Valparaiso.


1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the information,Ken. Now we need to know what pay and benefits they all receive but even more importantly, what benefits their decisions will have for them personally or professionally.

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