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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Mishawaka man is looking to help provide assistance to seniors in northern Indiana. Terry Cuzzocrea left a 30-year career in the automotive industry to launch a Seniors Helping Seniors franchise in St. Joseph, Elkhart and LaGrange counties earlier this year. The company hires active seniors to provide non-medical home care to less-active seniors in their community, and Cuzzocrea says the decision to start his franchise came after having to assist his mother following his father’s passing.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Cuzzocrea said the gratification from helping his mother planted the seed for him and his wife to start their own business.

“We came across Seniors Helping Seniors, and this organization checked off every single box for us,” Cuzzocrea said. “It was something that we could make a living doing. We could give back to our local community. The culture of the organization was fantastic from the leadership on down, and we really liked the heritage of the company.”

Seniors Helping Seniors was founded in 1998 by Kiran and Philip Yocom. Kiran Yocom, a native of Indiana, spent time working on humanitarian efforts alongside Mother Theresa.

The company now has about 125 franchisees in 34 states, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Malta.

The northern Indiana chapter of Seniors Helping Seniors currently has six employees, and Cuzzocrea says they are actively hiring more.

“These employees we’re bringing on board have to have a lot of compassion,” he said. “They have to be caring, and they’re the type of people we want to make sure they get something out of this; it’s not just for a paycheck. They’re going to this job for all the right reasons, and that’s to help a senior that needs a little bit of assistance.”

Cuzzocrea says his short-term goal is to generate enough revenue to bring his wife, Becky, on board full-time to help run the business. Looking long-term, he hopes to carry the company into his and his wife’s retirement years.

“There’s no urgency in us retiring, and if we’re enjoying what we’re doing, we may just carry on with this business until we pass away,” he said.

He adds the possibility of expanding the business beyond the initial three counties is something he is not ruling out.

The northern Indiana chapter is the second Seniors Helping Seniors location in Indiana. The other is based in Shelbyville serving that city, as well as Greenwood and the southeast Indianapolis metro area.

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — For nearly a century, Kamm & Schellinger Brewery boomed along the St. Joseph River, at one time producing more than 75,000 barrels of beer per year. But time has taken its toll on the pre-Civil War era building in Mishawaka that has sat empty for several decades. Indiana Landmarks has placed the brewery on its 10 Most Endangered list.

Around INdiana Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman spotlighted the brewery in the final installment of our Endangered Indiana series. View video

The company was founded by German immigrants Adolf Kamm and Nicholas Schellinger in 1887, but the brewery building dates back to the 1850s. The brewery would become one of Mishawaka’s most celebrated manufacturers.

Both founders had their family residences built on the property and Kamm’s wife would prepare meals for the workers. When prohibition hit, Todd Zeiger with Indiana Landmarks says the company shifted to making root beer and other products.

When prohibition ended, Kamm & Schellinger was the state’s first brewing operation to resume making beer and production hit an all-time high. But the prosperity wouldn’t last.

The brewery permanently closed in 1951 but would see new life in the late 1960s, when developers adapted the site into a popular complex of shops and restaurants known as the 100 Center.

“It was the place to be until the 1980s when the new malls were built up north of down, and the energy shifted, and this has kind of been a slow decline since then,” said Zeiger.

Kate Voelker with the Mishawaka Historic Preservation Commission says because the building has an out-of-state owner, they haven’t been able to go inside to see the state of the interior.

Indiana Landmarks says the historic boiler house, stables and several other buildings have been repurposed. Voelker says now is the time to add the main, four-story brewery building to that list.

“It’s one of the oldest structures left in the city of Mishawaka,” she says. “From a historical standpoint, its worth it.”

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The Bethel University Board of Trustees has unanimously approved Barbara Bellefeuille as the university’s eighth president. She has served in the role on an interim basis since June 2021 and is the first woman to hold the position.

Bellefuille took on the interim position after former President Gregg Chenoweth stepped down to become president of Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois.

“Dr. Bellefeuille has led with a stalwart dedication to the university’s mission,” Eric Kinsman, chair of the Bethel Board of Trustees, said in written remarks. “The Board of Trustees recognized in her an experienced and effective leader who, by God’s providence, was already stationed at Bethel and ready to lead. Through the search process, it became evident to the committee and board, and affirmed by Bethel constituents, that Bellefeuille should be our next president.”

Bellefuille joined Bethel in 2012 as vice president for academic services. During her time as interim president, the university says she helped secure a $1 million gift from the Mely and Rick Rey Foundation and oversaw Bethel’s most successful Giving Tuesday to date.

The university says Bellefuille will begin her tenure as president immediately. An official inauguration will take place at a later date.

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Last month, Indianapolis-based Sun King Brewing Co. announced plans to open a new tap room at The Mill at Ironworks Plaza in Mishawaka. Flaherty & Collins Properties, which operates the mixed-use project, says Sun King will now have a larger footprint on the property.

Original plans called for Sun King to occupy about 5,000 square feet of space on the northeastern side of The Mill next to Jack’s Donuts. However, the brewery will now take over the Jack’s Donut space, bringing the tap room to about 6,700 square feet.

Sun King co-founder and chief executive officer Clay Robinson says the additional space will provide more room for guests, as well as a private area for meetings, parties and community events.

“We’re very happy this negotiation worked out well for Sun King, Jack’s Donuts, The Mill at Ironworks Plaza, and most importantly, for the Mishawaka community,” Brian Prince, vice president of development for Flaherty & Collins Properties, said in written remarks. “We’re thrilled Sun King has committed to expanding its footprint and we thank Jack’s Donuts for our great partnership over the past several years.”

Jack’s Donuts CEO Lee Marcum says while the location at The Mill will be closing, there are plans to open a new location in Mishawaka.

Sun King plans to open the new tap room this summer.

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Indianapolis-based Sun King Brewing Co. has announced plans to open a new taproom in Mishawaka. The news comes as our partners at the Indianapolis Business Journal report the brewery is closing its Broad Ripple location in Indianapolis.

The new taproom will be located at The Mill at Ironworks Plaza mixed-use development in Mishawaka. Sun King says the 5,000-square-foot location will feature a food hall concept in partnership with How and Brown Hospitality Group, which currently operates the restaurant portion of the brewery’s Fishers location.

“I grew up in neighboring South Bend, and my family and friends from the area have been asking me for years when Sun King will open a location in Northern Indiana,” Dave Colt, co-founder and owner of Sun King, said in a news release. “We are excited to expand access to our delicious beers to our great fans up north and to be a part of the Mishawaka community and The Mill at Ironworks Plaza.”

The new location is expected to open next summer.

Meanwhile, Sun King says it will close its taproom in the Broad Ripple neighborhood in Indianapolis on Dec. 19. Colt tells the IBJ the closure of the location, which Sun King has operated for the last two years, is a “temporary break” from the neighborhood as the brewery does plan on having a Broad Ripple presence sometime in the future.

Colt cites upcoming construction in the area of the taproom as the main reason for the closure, saying it would cause a decrease in traffic to the location. He says employees of the taproom have been offered the chance to relocate to another Sun King location.

You can read the full story from the IBJ’s Dave Lindquist by clicking here.

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A re-tooled factory at the former AM General plant in Mishawaka where the civilian Hummers were once manufactured has started to produce electric-powered delivery vans. Michigan-based Electric Last Mile Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: ELMS) says it started production of its Urban Delivery Class 1 EVs on Monday. It says the first units will be shipped next Tuesday.

“From the outset, we stated that our goal was to deliver the first commercial Class 1 EV to the U.S. market, and with the start of production this week we will achieve that milestone,” said ELMS Chief Executive Officer James Taylor. “This order is reflective of the work that we do with our customers and sales channel partners to understand and meet their unique business needs.”

The company says the vans are intended for “last mile” deliveries and has agreements with several e-commerce and package delivery companies. ELMS says it has received a binding purchase order for 1,000 units from Randy Marion Automotive Group, one of the largest commercial fleet dealers in the U.S.

“There is no doubt that the commercial last mile delivery market is demanding electric vehicles and ELMS is leading the charge,” said Randy Marion, founder and CEO of Randy Marion Automotive Group. “Our customers are excited to get their hands on the Urban Delivery vehicle for their many use cases, including e-commerce transportation, utilities, telecommunications and other commercial vehicle applications.”

Earlier this year, the ELMS said it 45,000 non-binding pre-orders for the EVs. ELMS says the van is anticipated to have approximately 150 miles of range and priced at $25,000 after a federal rebate intended to entice consumers to purchase electric vehicles.

ST. JOSEPH CO., Ind (Inside INdiana Business) — South Bend-based HUMVEE maker AM General has named Jim Cannon chief executive officer, succeeding Andy Hove who served in the role for five years. Cannon most recently served as CEO of Oregon-based FLIR Systems, a manufacturer of thermal imaging cameras and sensors for military and industrial customers.

FLIR is a subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. (NYSE: TDY). AM General, which has a manufacturing plant in Mishawaka, says Cannon also served in the U.S. Army for over a decade

“I’m honored to join AM General, a company with such a proud legacy. It is a privilege to be in a position to serve the best customers in the world, the American military and our Allies globally,” said Cannon.

He also held leadership roles at Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK) and Eaton Corp. (NYSE: ETN).

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Bethel University is the recipient of a grant designed to provide educational opportunities related to science, technology, engineering and math. The university has received a $255,000 Labs for Industry Futures and Transformation grant, which will support future talent pipeline development and adult and incumbent digital skills retraining.

The university says the goals will be to better prepare current Bethel students as technical managers for manufacturing jobs in the South Bend-Elkhart region.

“Local industry indicated their greatest need is for graduates to understand how to solve problems and apply Lean Manufacturing concepts,” says Sheri Campeau, assistant professor of engineering at Bethel. “We will purchase two robots, with a goal of adding more in the future, and create two new classes for the Engineering & Management degree. The engineering lab will also be refreshed, allowing more flexibility and the chance to eventually offer classes to local industry.”

Bethel University computer science professor Cathy Bareiss says the second goal is to increase the cloud computing skill set of the region’s current workforce.

“With computing work being transitioned to the cloud, this grant provides us with a great opportunity to develop cloud information technology workers in the local area. It also serves to help develop cloud computing as a main pillar in Bethel’s computing programs,” said Bareiss.

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Michigan-based Electric Last Mile Inc. says it has received 45,000 non-binding pre-orders for its “last mile” electric delivery vans the company intends to produce at the former Hummer plant in Mishawaka. ELMS says it expects to begin production of the Class 1 Urban Delivery EV by the end of the third quarter of 2021.

The company announced in December it intends to go public via a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) with Forum Merger III Corp., a Florida-based investment company. The EV company says there is no set date for a closing of the acquisition.

According to a spokesperson for ELMS, the plant in St. Joseph County requires minimal retrofitting, as it was already EV production-ready.

The company, which will operate under the name of Electric Last Mile Solutions, says there are already staff members at the plant but will ramp-up additional employees once the SPAC merger closes.

“The interest we have seen for the Urban Delivery has been overwhelming as fleet managers continue to seek solutions that will reduce their total cost of ownership and help them to achieve aggressive sustainability targets,” said ELMS Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer James Taylor, who is the former general manager of the Mishawaka plant when it produced civilian Hummers. “We’re excited by the anticipated first-to-market opportunities and thankful for the state of Indiana’s support as we look to begin production later this year.”

ELMS says the van is anticipated to have approximately 150 miles of range and priced at $25,000 after a federal rebate intended to entice consumers to purchase electric vehicles. The company says many of the pre-orders are with the largest e-commerce and delivery companies in the U.S.

The company says after the launch of the smaller Class 1 delivery van this year, it is planning to manufacture larger Class 3 trucks in late 2022 at the Mishawaka plant.

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The Bethel University Board of Trustees has selected Barbara Bellefeuille as the university’s interim president. 

Bellefeuille, the vice president for academic services, will begin the role in June following the resignation of President Gregg Chenoweth.

Bellefeuille has been with Bethel for more than eight years and also spent 21 years at Toccoa Falls College in Georgia. Randy Lehman, chairman of the board of trustees, said her appointment received unanimous approval.

“When considering our next steps in the presidential search for Bethel University, it became quickly apparent that a qualified interim candidate already existed within the current cabinet,” Lehman said in a news release. “Since 2012, Dr. Bellefeuille has provided excellent leadership over the faculty and academic services areas of the university.”

Bellefeuille, who has a Doctorate of Education degree, will become the first woman to serve as interim president at Bethel.

Earlier this month, the university announced Chenoweth would step down to become president of Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois.

The university says it will begin a national search for Chenoweth’s permanent successor before Bellefeuille begins her new role.