News Release

Herb Higgin                                                                                                                        Ned E. Kalb
2017 Ned E. Kalb Award Winner

Nominations for Ned E. Kalb 2018 Community Leadership Award Now Being Accepted

For Immediate Release: January 18, 2018

Nominations are now being sought for the 7th Annual Ned E. Kalb Community Leadership Award.  The award was established in 2011, following the passing of Mr. Kalb, a true leader in La Porte County for many years.  The award honors and memorializes Ned Kalb’s life and deeds in La Porte County and beyond.  The Award annually recognizes a quiet, behind-the-scenes leader in La Porte County.  Joint sponsors of the award are the Purdue Extension Office of La Porte County and Leadership La Porte County, two organizations that Ned Kalb impacted.

“Ned was a key founder of Leadership La Porte County,” stated Jim Jessup, a 30+year volunteer for Leadership La Porte County, Inc., which started in the Extension Office.  “He spent several years in the early 1980’s guiding and facilitating the new non-profit training group,” Jessup added.   Ned spent fifteen years as the Purdue Extension Director in La Porte County, where he served on many boards, both public and private.  He was an educator and connector.  Recently retired Extension Director, Hugh Tonagel, remembers Ned as someone who recognized needs and got things done.  “He worked with people and organizations to improve our quality of life in La Porte County, and he did it with little fanfare and recognition,” Tonagel explained.  “That’s the spirit of this award. We are dedicated to preserving Ned’s legacy by annually recognizing those who serve the community in a fashion similar to Ned’s,” Monica Komasinski, Executive Director of Leadership La Porte County, added.  After leaving La Porte County Ned went on to serve the Purdue Extension Office in other counties and later even went overseas teaching under-developed countries to be self-sufficient through modern farming and business methods.  “Ned left his impact on La Porte County and the world,” Tonagel concluded.

Nominations are being sought for the 7th annual award now through February 28th.  John Coulter, James Dworkin, George & Dory Morley, Diana Werner, Cynthia Hedge and Herb Higgin are past recipients of the award.  Nominees can be individuals or organizations.  “We are looking to recognize people or groups who are demonstrating servant leadership to improve our county in a quiet and behind-the-scenes way,” Komasinski said. “We are proud to partner with Purdue Extension on this annual award and we are also grateful for the support of Dick Reel, retired Extension Director, for his financial sponsorship of the award”.

A panel of local leaders will select the winner, who will be announced and honored at the Extension Annual meeting taking place in late March.

Nomination forms are available from the Leadership or Extension Offices.  Call Leadership at 219-325-8223, or Purdue Extension at 219-324-9407or 219-874-5611 for more information. You can request a form also by email to: , or  You may also complete an online nomination form at: