Chamber presents awards to local businesses
ELKHART — The Elkhart Chamber of Commerce presented several awards recently.
Receiving Business of the Month Awards were:
JJ Babbitt Co. Inc., 2201 Industrial Pkwy.: Babbitt was started more than 100 years ago by Jesse James Babbitt making mouthpieces for saxophones and clarinets in his garage. Bill Reglein was the third-generation owner and the great-nephew to Jesse. Reglein recently passed away and the company was sold to Steve Rorie. The company’s products are sold internationally to a wide customer base that includes instrument manufacturers, students, professional musicians and distributors. The company has 40 employees.
LaVanture Products Co. Inc., 3806 Gallatin: Richard E. Lavanture is the third-generation president/owner. Founded in 1969 in downtown Elkhart, LaVanture Products warehouses and distributes a wide variety of products to general industry and original equipment manufacturers. The line of products includes trims, foam tapes and seals, hardware, truck/automotive accessories, 12-volt lighting, electrical supplies, recreational vehicle components, manufactured housing components and many other specialty items.
The company is planning a 40,000-square-foot expansion to an existing 100,000-square-foot warehouse to accommodate growth.
Westwind Brewery Co., 911 Plum St.: Aaron West started brewing beer with a club and met Kurt Durfke who was brewing beer at home. Aaron’s brother Jordan and Rocco Scicchitano became a part of the group. All four men were hobby brewers. The Westwind Brewery opened in November 2019 and the business continues to grow. A recent upgrade will improve their brewing capacity from one barrel to seven barrels in the same time period.
Glass Doctor, 500 Baldwin St.: The company was founded in 1933 as Dygert Trim and Glass by Ralph Dygert, and in 1948, moved to 515 E Jackson Blvd. Dave and Debra Herrli purchased the business in 1990. In 2018, Glass Doctor moved to a new location on Baldwin Street and Dygert Trim became a separate division. A business that began as an auto glass replacement service has grown to include business and home, including custom shower doors, patio doors, table tops, insulated thermal panels, store fronts, commercial doors, security mirrors, and showcase repairs. Glass Doctor is certified in windshield recalibration for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. The business began producing glass protective shields for offices during the pandemic.
The Horton Group, 340 Columbia Place, South Bend: The Horton Group was founded by Glenn Horton in 1971 and he is still involved with the company along with his sons, Dan Horton (CEO), and Dave Horton (operations). The Horton Group is headquartered in Orland Park, Ill., and has expanded with offices in five states. The Horton Group is an insurance company that offers personal, business, employee benefits, consulting, and human resources services. The Horton Group has 400 employees with 45 of those employees are in South Bend.
Fruit Hills Winery and Orchard, 55503 Ind. 15, Bristol: David and Michele Muir opened the orchard in 2010 on land that has been in David’s family since 1852, and have three acres of apples and grapes. The winery is open for tastings and small gatherings, and in 2018, they added live music and built a deck for outdoor seating.
Jacob Hogan joins Interra’s ag team
Jacob Hogan has been named agribusiness lender at Interra Credit Union. Hogan will assist and support agribusiness members in fulfilling their financial needs with lending and product expertise, a company release states.
Hogan serves as a conservation consultant for Steward Link LLC, a technical service provider for the USDA. Hogan is also a Part 107-certified small UAS (drone) pilot who focuses on precision agriculture and mapping applications
Originally from Benton County, Indiana, Hogan received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Ball State University. He lives in North Liberty with his wife and son.