With more than 20 years of experience in journalism, media extraordinaire Dave Wellman leads Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority’s (RDA) communications department, spearheading the organization’s visuals like social media, presentation material, and video projects. He’s good at it, but Wellman didn’t always know what he wanted to do.
In his senior year of high school, Wellman met with his guidance counselor to talk about his plans post-graduation, unsure of which career path to choose. His advisor noticed Wellman’s strengths in his English classes and suggested pursuing journalism.
“My guidance counselor asked, ‘Have you ever considered a career in journalism?’ I said no, then he told me to check out Ohio University for their journalism program. I said ‘okay,’ and so I became a journalist.”
During his time in Southeast Ohio, Wellman developed a passion for journalism. He met his future wife his senior year in college. Following graduation, they married and returned to his wife’s home state of New Jersey. It wasn’t long before he got a job in trade publishing for a marketing magazine.
“I spent two decades writing for the “Frozen Food Age,” “Supermarket Business,” “Food & Beverage Marketing,” and a few other interesting businesses,” Wellman said. “I eventually worked for a magazine that covered mass merchandisers called Retail Merchandiser, which was bought out by a company in Chicago.”
With the buyout came new opportunities: a position at headquarters in Chicago. Wellman and his family packed up and moved to Valparaiso.
“A buddy of mine had moved here about a year before I had from Long Island. He really loved Valpo and talked about how it was an amazing place to live,” Wellman said. “After visiting him a few times, my wife and I really liked the community.”
For two years, Wellman commuted to Chicago before his journey with that company ended. From there, he freelanced as a consultant and publisher.
“After doing some freelance work, I took a job as an editor at a magazine called “Building Indiana,” Wellman said. “Then, about 7 years ago I joined the RDA as their communications manager.
“The people I work with are great and we’re doing something we believe is really important,” Wellman continued. “Those are my two biggest criteria when I’m happy with a job I’m in; is it something we feel is important that we’re doing and are the people around me good people? The answer to both of those questions is a big yes!”
Today, Wellman handles all of the RDA’s visual storytelling content and sees tremendous opportunity to help Hoosiers in Northwest Indiana for years to come.
“I think there’s an opportunity for things to happen in the Region,” Wellman said. “Like reinvigorating the parks we have on the lakefront and other major projects like railroad expansion, which is what we’re working on now. It’ll have a huge impact on people not just immediately but for generations to come.”
For more information on Regional Development Authority, visit www.in.gov/rda/.