The GreatNews.Life (GNL) office was transformed into a tropical paradise for the return of the highly anticipated Biz in the Backyard event on Thursday, August 3. It was a fun-filled afternoon that invited GNL partners to network with one another and the Lifer team, accompanied by some tasty treats and live entertainment all centered around a luau theme.
“We started Biz in the Backyard years ago as a way to not only connect with our partners and have them connect to the team, but to also have them connect them with one another,” said GreatNews.Life Executive Director Jenny Craig-Brown. “We have an incredible community of partners that are similarly community and positive minded and I want to ensure we create a space to bring them all together to connect.”
Employees from 50 plus different local businesses visited Camp Life for the event. With so many in attendance, it provided a unique networking opportunity for those who wouldn’t normally cross paths otherwise. From educators to park officials to healthcare workers and more, visitors at Biz have worn a variety of different hats in their careers. For this reason, many enjoyed getting to mingle with people outside those in their field they typically see on a day-to-day basis.
The opportunity to meet so many new faces was an especially intriguing factor for Lora Kokot, commercial property manager at 1st American Management Company, Inc. Having joined the Lifer team just last year in 2022, 1st American is still relatively new to the GNL experience. However, Kokot and her team noted that coming to Biz was a great way to break down that barrier between company and client, and helped to make it feel as if they’ve already been a part of the GNL family for many years leading up to the event.
“We wanted to come to be able to meet other people from the Region and this seemed like a good opportunity to do so,” Kokot said. “We’ve enjoyed meeting everybody here at NWI.Life because we only knew a couple of people here before this, so seeing everybody and meeting everybody has been really nice.”
Biz veterans similarly shared the same excitement and enthusiasm as the newer partners. General Insurance Service (GIS) Employee Benefits Advisor Candace Arvin has always enjoyed coming to GNL events such as Biz to connect with these newer partners and, as a former member of the media team herself, catch up with her good friends back home at Camp Life.
“It’s a really fun networking event,” Arvin said. “It's good to collaborate and get to know other businesses who share like-minded values. My employer, GIS, is a sponsor of the event - we have been for many years, as well as for All About the Girls. Our mission at GIS is to secure the future of the communities we serve, and a lot of the businesses that also partner with the Life Sites share those similar values. It's good to come out and meet and greet everyone that’s here.”
GNL partners also had the chance to partake in A Luau Lovin' Culinary Sponsor for some extra business exposure and to be more immersed in the Biz experience. GNL would like to extend a specialized thank you to these sponsors, whose contributions helped to make this year’s Biz a great success: 1st American Management, Currie Motors Ford of Valpo, Domino’s Pizza, General Insurance Services, Latitude Commercial, Life Care Center of Valparaiso, La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership (LEAP), Steindler Signs & Graphix, Team Chevrolet Valparaiso, and UnitedHealthcare.
GNL also extends a warm thank you to the many partners and team members who all contributed to making the return of Biz a great one. The company wouldn’t be what it is today without the many others who have believed in the mission of positive, local news over the years, and the GNL team is grateful to be able to show its thanks for that support through fun events such as Biz.
Stay up to date with the GreatNews.Life sites (Valpo.Life, Portage.Life, NWI.Life, and LaPorteCounty.Life) to learn more about all the positive news happening throughout Northwest Indiana. Be sure to keep in touch with all things GNL as well so you can grab your ticket to the next Biz in the Backyard event to fully experience what the Lifer mission is truly all about.