NIRPC Welcomes New Officers, Commissioners for 2021; Releases Annual Report

January 22, 2021

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January 22, 2021 

Contact:  Ty Warner, AICP, NIRPC Executive Director; (219) 763-6060; 

NIRPC Welcomes New Officers, Commissioners for 2021; Releases Annual Report

Portage, IN – The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) elected new executive officers and welcomed new members for the 2021 Commission on Thursday, January 21, 2021. Outgoing NIRPC Chairperson Michael Griffin was presented with the Chairperson’s Gavel and George Topoll assumed leadership. The Commission also released its 2020 annual report.

Commissioner George Topoll, Union Township Trustee, Porter County, assumed the Chair of the Commission from outgoing NIRPC Chairperson, Michael Griffin, the Clerk-Treasurer of the Town of Highland. Topoll has served as a commissioner since 2015 and on the NIRPC Executive Board for three years. Griffin joined the Commission in 2013 and served as Chair of the Commission in 2018 and again in 2020. Both welcomed three new representatives to the Commission, recognized outgoing Commissioners, and accepted the election of new members of the Executive Board at the first meeting of NIRPC in 2021. 

“Michael’s leadership of the Commission allowed us to be successful during an exceptionally difficult year,” said Ty Warner, NIRPC’s Executive Director. “The new makeup of officers and of the Executive Board will continue to help the region thrive under these challenging circumstances as we work to recover from the pandemic’s impact on Northwest Indiana.”  

A new slate of officers for 2021 was elected during the meeting, including George Topoll (Union Township), Chair; Justin Kiel (LaCrosse), Vice Chairperson; Richard Hardaway (Merrillville), Secretary; and Greg Stinson (Porter), Treasurer. Executive Board representatives elected for Lake County: Wendy Mis (Munster) and Bill Emerson (Lake County Surveyor); for LaPorte County: Sheila Matias (LaPorte County Commission) and Tom Dermody (City of LaPorte); and for Porter County: James Ton (Chesterton) and Sue Lynch (Portage).  

Welcomed onto the Commission as newly-appointed representatives of their respective jurisdictions were Denise Ebert (Wanatah) Clerk-Treasurer, replacing Diane Noll; Robert Forester (Kouts), Town Council President, replacing Tim Jones; and Bob Poparad, Porter County Council, District 1, replacing Jeff Larson. 

The Commission released its NIRPC 2020 Annual Report at the Thursday meeting. The report, highlighting NIRPC’s activities over the past year, is available online at . 

NIRPC is the Metropolitan Planning Organization and Council of Governments for Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties in Northwest Indiana. Working collaboratively across the region, NIRPC coordinates regional comprehensive planning and programming for transportation, economic development, and environmental policy. 

Download the NIRPC 2020 Annual Report at: 

Learn more about NIRPC at:


Last modified: January 22, 2021