The Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce along with the Hammond Development Corporation and the HUB of Innovation celebrated on Friday evening a special Holiday Party at the HUB on Hohman Avenue. The organizations decided to get together to celebrate the season as well as to unveil a new mural inside the HUB created by Felix ‘Flex’ Maldonado.
“We have members of the Chamber, tenants here at the HUB and community members here to celebrate,” said Sue Anderson, Program Director at the HUB of Innovation. “We’ve been looking at and evaluating downtown Hammond and we want bring it back with a new vision. Here at the HUB we have both college and high school students working. What’s nice is that we have both nonprofits and businesses operating here, and then we have interns as well. Everyone gets involved and the creativity really flows.”
Dave Ryan, Executive Director at the Lakeshore Chamber, spoke about bringing all the organizations together and unveiling the HUB’s new mural.
“We talked to Sue (Anderson) and said ‘why don’t we just do a combined Christmas party and show off the HUB?’,” Ryan said. “Coincidently, Sue let us know that Felix was going to do this big unveiling of the mural and it was a great opportunity for everyone.”
Maldonado’s mural, titled “Futura”, is an 8’ x 20’ aerosol and enamel on wood design that took him about a month to put together.
“First, I’m really grateful for the opportunity, I gotta say that,” Maldonado said. “I’m honored to be a part of anything the Lakeshore Chamber is involved in. I like to try and have fun wherever I can and that’s basically what I’m in here for. I really appreciated the invitation.”
“Futura is a unique word that rolls off the tongue,” said Maldonado. “From what I’m told, this place (the HUB) is an incubator and a place where you can develop your skills whether you’re an intern or already somewhat of an established business person. I looked around and I grab the inspiration from what I see in the surroundings and the businesses here participating. I’d like the viewer to take their time and see the stories in the painting. It’s more than just a day at work or a raise; there’s emotion in there. I hope the HUB enjoys it and they get inspired by what I did.”
Hammond Development Corporation board member and Director of Economic Development for the City of Hammond, Africa K. Tarver, was at the Holiday Party and unveiling and spoke about economic development in Hammond and working together with other agencies.
“I always tell people that economic development fall into three categories: business attraction, business retention and business expansion,” said Tarver. “When we have partnerships with agencies like the Lakeshore Chamber and HDC they encourage one of those three activities that fall under economic development. The Chamber is really good about making sure that a lot of business network with one another so they can support utilizing local services and so that businesses know about each other. Hammond Development Corporation is instrumental in helping a lot of the small business in the city and they bring in a lot of business. We work very well together for the betterment of the City of Hammond.”
To find out more about the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and the Hammond Development Corporation, visit: http://www.lakeshorechamber.com/ and http://www.hammonddevelopmentcorp.com/