This spring, Calumet Collaborative hired a communications manager as part of its strategic plan to grow the organization and provide staff capacity. Nichole DeMario has nearly a decade of communications experience. Most recently she worked for the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of REALTORS®, a trade association with more than 2,000 members covering Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, Starke and Pulaski counties, as Director of Communications and Professional Development. Her background also includes freelance writing on a local, state and national level; communications consulting and instructing public speaking courses at a local college.
DeMario’s family returned to Northwest Indiana when she was in kindergarten, a common move among many from the Region. She graduated from Lake Central High School. She was drawn to the opportunities that abounded in Chicago and opted to attend Columbia College Chicago for her undergraduate degree. She completed her B.A. in broadcast journalism in three years.
She is a graduate of Leadership Northwest Indiana Class 34 and Times’ Media Company 20 Under 40 award recipient. She volunteers with numerous organizations and currently chairs the group charged with bringing TEDxCountyLineRoad to Northwest Indiana.
She and her husband currently live in Crown Point with their two dogs. When her husband isn’t in the throws of studying for the bar exam, they can be found exploring the various local trail systems; hopping on the South Shore to dabble in their collective amateur photography hobby, taking in a play or grabbing pizza at their favorite restaurant Giordano’s and traveling.
DeMario was drawn to the work of the Calumet Collaborative because she has seen the assets and opportunities available in the Calumet region nearly her entire life. She wants to play a larger role in the solution and forward momentum, helping to shore up gaps and bring people together in ways that have never been done before.
“Being part of the Calumet Collaborative team at such an early stage of its existence has been the most thrilling, challenging time in my career. I am enamored by the organizations, companies and community groups already involved and can’t wait to see what the future has in store as we work together to advance the Calumet region,” DeMario says.