Alliance RV names customer service VP

ELKHART — Alliance RV has announced Bill Martin as vice president of customer service and customer experience. In this role, Bill and his team will be tasked with delivering a best in class experience to Alliance customers and dealer partners. He will also be responsible for engagement on Alliance’s social media platforms.

“We established Alliance RV with a goal to develop a customer service function that helps raise the bar for the industry,” said Alliance co-founder Coley Brady. “With the consolidation of manufacturers that has occurred in our industry, we look forward to a much more intimate and transparent relationship with our family of product owners and dealer partners. Bill’s passion for doing the right thing and taking care of customers is undeniable and will help us set new standards.”

Alliance RV earlier this year announced plans to build 132,500-square-foot manufacturing facility at C.R. 17 and Beck Drive.

Martin began his RV career at Coachmen Industries Inc. where he moved up the ranks to vice president of marketing. Martin also gained experience on the supplier side of the industry as the sales and marketing director for Atwood Mobile Products. More recently Bill played a key role in the marketing and customer experience initiatives for Grand Design and Jayco that helped create a family of RV owners across the country.

“It is not a coincidence that our first full time hire was for customer service,” said Alliance co-founder Ryan Brady. “It speaks to the importance that we have placed on enhancing the customer service experience. Having Bill as a partner and leading our customer service initiatives will be invaluable to Alliance RV.”

“I am honored to be a part of Alliance RV Team and have the opportunity to start with a blank sheet of paper as we develop our company from the ground up,” Martin said. “When I met Coley and Ryan it was immediately apparent that they shared my obsession with providing the best RV ownership experience possible.”

Bill and his wife Tracy and their two children reside in Goshen.

LEX 530 hires event director

ELKHART — LEX 530 Metropolitan Event Center has announced the hiring of Rachel Dobrzykowski as event director. With more than 10 years of experience in hospitality and culinary arts, she brings a wealth of experience to Michiana’s newest event center, the company said. 

Dobrzykowski will run the day-to-day operations and manage all events held at LEX 530, including weddings, receptions, corporate events, not-for-profit galas, private family parties including birthday and anniversary parties, baby showers, graduations, rehearsal dinners and quinceañeras.

Dobrzykowski, who has a background as a pastry chef, previously worked in event sales, event management and as a chef. She has a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Food Service Management from Ball State University and an associate degree in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson & Wales University. She is a resident of South Bend.

“Rachel is the perfect fit for LEX 530,” said owner Carl Tiedemann. “She has gained so much experience from planning events and working with clients at several local event centers. We are thrilled that she has chosen to be a part of the team at LEX 530.”

LEX 530, which opened in November, specializes in offering unique boutique wines found nowhere else in Indiana. Tiedemann, a vintner, makes his own line of boutique wines in Napa Valley, California, and brings that wine back to Elkhart to sell. His numerous connections to small, independent winemakers in Napa, and around the world, allow LEX 530 access to exclusive, rare wines.

Hiatt honored by fellow bankers

MIDDLEBURY — James G. Hiatt, director of First State Bank of Middlebury, was recognized by the Indiana Bankers Association as a Leader in Banking Excellence, the association’s highest honor. The award was initiated in 2018 to celebrate exceptional leaders who have positively impacted Indiana banks and the communities they serve. Additionally, five other members of the Indiana banking community were inducted into the class of 2019 honorees.

The awards ceremony took place at the IBA offices in Indianapolis on Aug. 9.

Hiatt is a director of First State Bank of Middlebury and Crystal Valley Financial Corp. He also served the bank as president and CEO from 1982 to 2015. Prominent among Hiatt’s accomplishments, the association said, is his leadership during the Great Recession of Elkhart County, successfully maintaining bank profitability and retaining all employees despite area-wide economic hardship.

Hiatt began his career in 1970 as a computer programmer with First National Bank, Elkhart. His community outreach includes Middlebury Development Corp., Northridge Dollars for Scholars, Greencroft Foundation, Elkhart General Hospital, the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County and Michiana Public Broadcasting, among other organizations. He is a member of the Indiana Bankers Association 40 Year Club, a past IBA board member, and a graduate of Ball State University and the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin.

Kruggel Lawton to open new office

GOSHEN — Kruggel Lawton CPAs is expanding its Elkhart County practice with the opening of a full-service office in Goshen in October. The regional accounting, tax and advisory firm’s newest office will be located at 220 S. Main St., Suite 150.

This location marks the fifth office for Kruggel Lawton, with existing offices in South Bend and Elkhart in Indiana, St. Joseph in Michigan and Knoxville in Tennessee.

“We’ve been privileged to serve numerous Goshen-area clients for years from our office in Elkhart,” said Michael E. Varner, partner-in-charge at Kruggel Lawton’s Elkhart County practice. “We continue to experience growth and attract talented professionals with roots in the Maple City. Our expansion into Goshen is a natural evolution of our mission to serve our clients and our communities.”

Kruggel Lawton provides a range of audit, tax, accounting and advisory services to business, non-profit organizations, individuals and families.

Ziker launches ‘Lightning Laundry’ service

ELKHART — Ziker Cleaners is celebrating its recent rebranding project along with launching its new Lightning Laundry service.

Ziker and the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon Wednesday, along with an open house until 2 p.m., at the company’s Elkhart location, 1808 East Bristol St. Ron’s River Dogs will be onsite so visitors can celebrate over lunch.

“This open house is a celebration of Ziker’s 102-year-old brand striving to stay relevant in today’s marketplace,” owner and operator David Ziker said. “Ziker customers and the community are invited to join us in this celebration.”

Ziker Cleaners is a family-owned and operated dry cleaning and laundry service company that has 10 locations in South Bend, Elkhart, Granger and Mishawaka along with home pick-up and delivery services.

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