© 2016

Meet our 2016 keynote speaker and judges

Michael J. Guthrie

President and CEO

Spectra LMP LLC

Guthrie is a serial entrepreneur born and raised in Gary, Indiana.


He received his A.B. from

Harvard University in 1972 followed by a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1975.


After graduation, Guthrie practiced corporate ligation for one of Chicago’s largest law firms and served as Vice President of Corporate Planning for the Johnson Product Company before he and his brother Carlton acquired Uptilt and Trumark in Lansing, Michigan, in 1985.


Today, Guthrie is the President and CEO of SPECTRA LMP LLC, a Michigan holding company.

Donald J. Babcock

Director of Economic Development


As the Director of Economic Development, Babcock serves more than 1.1 million customers at NIPSCO, the largest energy distribution company in Indiana.


Babcock has more than 30 years of experience with NIPSCO and NiSource and has held positions in sales, operations, customer service, marketing, public affairs and economic development.


He has also served as either governor, chairman, vice chairman or board member of 10 different committees, including the economic development corporations of Michigan City, LaPorte, Gary and Elkhart.

Chareice White

Director of Government, Community & Public Relations

Majestic Star Casino

Chareice White is Presdient and founder of ECIER Foundation, formerly the Barden Foundation that provided nearly $500,000 in scholarships. Under her direction, the Majestic Start Casino has donated millions of dollars to organizations that have made an impact in the region and nationally.


White has been widely recognized for her service and leadership including:


•  2012 Influention Woman

  of the Year of NWI

•  Woman of the Excellence      

  Chicago Defender

•  Society of Innovators of  

  Northwwest Indiana

Speros Batistatos

President and CEO

south Shore CVA

Speros Batistatos is President and CEO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authoirty. Formerly President and CEO of the Atlantic City CVA, Batistatos managed a marketing program to support southern New Jersey's $8 billion tourism industry.


Batistatos has been recognized for several achievements, including:


•  Champion of Diversity by

   Indiana Business Magazine

•   Sagamore of the Wabash

•   Top 25 Most Extraordinary

   Minds in Sales and Marketing

   by the Hospitality Sales and    

   Marketing Association

   International (HSMAI).