Heather Ennis, Northwest Indiana Forum (Forum) President and CEO, announced today that Matt Saltanovitz will be the new Director of Economic Development and Raeann Trakas will be the new Director of Marketing & Communications for the regional economic development organization.
“I’m delighted to add two new team member s that are committed to improving upon the great reputation in the region as well as nationwide, said Ennis. “Matt & Raeann’s enthusiasm for moving Northwest Indiana forward will complement the existing Forum team. Being natives of the region, their enthusiasm know no bounds.”
Saltanovitz is purposeful in his intent to help deliver economic development to the Northwest Indiana Forum’s seven-county area.
“Northwest Indiana has always been my home, and I’m proud to join an organization constantly striving to make our home better.” Saltanovitz said. “I’m determined and ready to apply my business and economic background to build upon the solid foundation on display at the Northwest Indiana Forum.”
Previously, Saltanovitz was the Business Editor at The Times Media Co. in Munster, where he oversaw business and economic coverage. He served as part of the newsroom management team and coordinated The Times Board of Economists, a symposium of region business leaders who meet quarterly to assess the region's economic level.
Matt serves on the Board of Trustees for Lake Area United Way, where he is the Marketing and Communications Committee Chairman. He also is part of a volunteer group of professionals, community leaders and stakeholders from Lake and Porter counties who in November 2014 organized TEDx CountyLineRoad, the first-ever live TED event in Northwest Indiana.
He earned an MBA from Indiana University Northwest, where he teaches economic courses as an adjunct instructor, and he received a BA in journalism from Indiana University in Bloomington. He has been named a Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center Champion and is an alumnus of Leadership Northwest Indiana. Matt also enjoys going on new adventures with his wife and son.
Trakas will utilize her experience in marketing, promotions and special events to showcase the best of what Northwest Indiana has to offer.
“The impact the entire organization and its members have made on making the region a better place to bring business investment and quality jobs is substantial,” said Trakas. “I’m very excited to be part of the team promoting Northwest Indiana.”
Trakas gained her marketing and communications experience through her previous positions with the Post-Tribune newspaper, serving a Vice President of Marketing and as Director of Circulation Marketing for the Chicago Sun-Times.
Immediately prior to joining the Forum, Trakas was Special Events Director for the City of Hobart, serving under Mayor Brian Snedecor. During her time with the City of Hobart, she worked on numerous projects including the redesign of the City’s website, expansion of the Hobart Summer Market on the Lake, increasing the number of city sponsored events and the redevelopment plans for Brickie Bowl.
Raeann currently serves on the Board of Directors for the South Shore Convention & Visitor’s Authority. A graduate of Indiana University, she is proud to call Northwest Indiana home and along with her husband, Tom, strives to create a positive environment in the region for her children Zoe, 9 and Theo, 6.