The Inside Scoop

The Inside Scoop

A Sneak Peak at 2017’s Generosity
By Nick Dmitrovich

There’s a whole lot happening in Hoosier generosity these days – the new year is already shaping up to be a strong one. Late last year, we started asking a few of the largest companies in the area about their plans for philanthropy in 2017. We wanted to know whether or not these companies had any plans on the table for taking generosity up a notch over the coming year, and we definitely were not disappointed with all that we’ve learned. Take a look, and get the inside scoop!


Anthony Contrucci

“As an organization that has had the privilege to serve the community for 121 years, we view philanthropy and community involvement as who we are versus merely something that we do. In fact, how we engage with the community is so important to us that Centier is forming a new division in 2017 which will focus, in large part, on community engagement. This new division will coordinate our efforts in philanthropy, financial wellness, and community reinvestment (CRA) and work to develop a broader strategy with our community partners so we can become even more impactful and relevant.”

“Each year, our goals are based on impact in our communities, with a focus to have a long-lasting effect on financial and social well-being, making Indiana a better place for all of us to live. Over the past five years, Centier has extended the hand of friendship through our partnerships and support of our communities by donating nearly $2 million to over 1,500 organizations.  In addition, Centier associates have volunteered countless hours to support community initiatives, including those of:  The United Way, American Red Cross, Making Strides for Breast Cancer, March of Dimes, JDRF, and Boys & Girls Clubs across the state, to name a few. We also manage regional philanthropic efforts at a community level, with more than 30 Community Coordinators throughout our retail footprint.”

Anthony Contrucci 
Vice President of Business & Community Development
Centier Bank


Violet Sistovaris

“In 2017, we plan to continue efforts within our primary focus areas: education, environmental stewardship, safety and emergency response, basic human needs, and economic development. Our goal is to build partnerships and support initiatives with local charitable and not-for-profit organizations that continue to make our communities great places to live, work, and do business.”

“In recent years, our Community Investment Program has generally provided $1.5 million in annual support. While we would anticipate a similar commitment for 2017, we intend to look for more opportunities for our employees to donate their time and their talents. Our parent company, NiSource Inc., offers a Dollars for Doers program, which translates our employee’s community service into financial support for the organizations they care about most. The program contributes up to $500 per employee to an organization in return for their volunteer time.”

“The hallmark of our giving efforts is our annual Charity of Choice campaign. Each year, employees vote and select one initiative or organization to support outside of our other planned giving efforts. This has not only proven to be an effective philanthropic effort, but it has contributed toward greater employee engagement across our company – part of the reason why NIPSCO is such a great place to work.”

Violet Sistovaris
Executive Vice President, NiSource
President, NIPSCO


Kate Hill-Johnson

“Franciscan Health conducted a Community Health Needs Assessment in 2016 to review the health of the communities in which we serve to determine how we can best use our resources.   We determined pediatric asthma, colorectal cancer, infant mortality, and adolescent behavioral health are the health issues we can most impact in Northwest Indiana throughout 2017 and 2018. We had been working in these areas previously, but we’re starting 2017 with renewed commitment and resources. We will be working in schools, churches, and other community locations to provide care and support.”

“In 2015, we gave over $129,000,000 in charity care and program services and served over 400,000 people in Lake County alone. A majority of our giving is in charity care and serving those most in need, from providing food to medication assistance.  However, we do offer a wide variety of free health programs, such as support groups, screenings, educational programs, and prevention activities.”

Kate Hill-Johnson, MA
Administrative Director of Community Health Improvement
Franciscan Health