A public figure that is known throughout Northwest Indiana, Crown Point Mayor David Uran has had a most interesting life. We wanted to put a spotlight on it (hence the series name) so that you can see what has taken place to bring him from the very beginning of his life, to where he is now. A native to NWI, Uran was born in Hammond and raised in Cedar Lake. The youngest of four kids, Uran was active in sports growing up. He gives credit to his older brother for making it possible for him to be able to play sports and take part in other activities.
“My brother worked and helped me pay for my sports so I could play,” Uran said. “I’m very grateful for that.”
Uran held on to his love of sports as well as his desire to help out and work hard. Everyone in his family worked and each member had to pull his or her weight in order to support the group. “We were just a regular, blue collar family,” Uran said. “We grew up with a sense of responsibility… My dad was a very hard worker with a great work ethic and my mom was a very compassionate person.”
Uran went to college at Vincennes University then Wabash Valley and then Indiana University Northwest. He played baseball throughout his college career and finished up with an associate’s degree in science and a bachelor’s degree in sports management.
Life brought Uran back to the Crown Point Police Department. He was interested in law enforcement and found that the department was hiring.
“I decided to take the test just for the experience,” Uran explained. “I didn’t think I would get in immediately because I was still in college, but I was the top finisher here in Crown Point.” So in June of 1990, Uran became the 23rd officer of the Crown Point Police Department. Three years later, Uran bought a house and became a Crown Point resident along with his wife, Katie, a native of Crown Point.
Uran rose through the ranks at the police department to detective. He took a leave of absence in 1995 to help his parents with their restaurant in Wisconsin. He went to bartending school and became a mixologist so he could tend bar at the restaurant. When he came back to Crown Point he pick up where he left off at the police department, and bartended on the side at Ditka’s Restaurant in Merrillville.
As most police officers have two jobs, Uran worked a lot and was gone at odd hours. Wanting a change so he could spend more time with his family, Uran got into real estate, leaving the police department.
“Situations change,” Uran said. “And opportunities arise. I was an independent broker in 1996 to 2003, and the City Savings Bank out of La Porte and Michigan City offered me the opportunity to be their head construction loan officer for this area. I ran the entire independent office here.”
During that time, Uran still kept his athletic side alive. In 2000 he became the head basketball coach at Hanover Central. Before that he was a basketball official at various sporting events in the area. So Uran was always doing something.
“I have always been a busy person,” Uran said. “I don’t like to sit around.”
Adding another thing to his resume, Uran got his health and life insurance license in the late 2000s. So he sold insurance, worked at the bank full-time, and coached basketball. In 2007 the former mayor of Crown Point approached Uran and proposed that he run for mayor.
“Jim Metros is a very good friend of mine and I knew him well from when I was a police officer,” Uran said. “He said, ‘Look at your background. You’ve worn a lot of hats. You have understanding of the needs and wants of the community so you should try it.”
Putting his background in law enforcement, coaching, insurance, and real estate together gave Uran a significant advantage. He put together DVDs titled Four Minutes for Four Years and sent them to the citizens of Crown Point with the thought process that if he was going to give four years in a term for mayor, community members could give four minutes of their time and see his proposal and vision.
“We’ve been able to hold true to the promises that we made,” Uran said happily. “It was challenging, but we really wanted to do it and we want to continue to do the right thing for our community.
Uran built trust with the community and when his first term was up he ran for a second term. Uran has gained recognition for his efforts. In 2010 he earned the silver and bronze awards for Advance City Leadership from Indiana University and IACT, in 2009 the South Shore Visitor Convention Authority named him as the Elected Official of the Year, and 2008 he was named Northwest Indiana Building Trades Elected Official of the Year.
“We’re very transparent with our information. All of our meetings are televised, you can contact us anytime, and here are this week’s calls,” he said gesturing to a stack of notes on his desk. “I return all of my calls myself. Or if the situation calls for it I’ll go to someone’s house… We’re a larger community at 27,000, but we still have that hometown feel. Having an interaction with someone is important so things won’t get lost in translation, and I just like to do it. It’s been a credence of mine since I was a police officer. With human contact you can eliminate uneasiness and enforce that your word is your bond.”
In his free time, Uran loves to spend time with his family and he is active. He’s an avid softball player and he just recently completed his first half marathon.