The Noble County Economic Development Corp., Kendallville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center in Fort Wayne have arranged to make free one-on-one consultations available to Noble County residents who want to start or grow a small business.

A new business adviser, Mary Popovich, will be at the Kendallville Chamber office at 122 S. Main St. for that purpose at least once a month and also will consult by appointment with entrepreneurs and small business people there and at the NE-ISBDC office in Albion.

Popovich joined the center in 2007, following a decade as communications vice president for the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce. She previously served as a marketing specialist for home building in Allen County and operated a public relations company.

The graduate of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and Carroll High School will complete a master’s degree at IPFW in May. She is trained to counsel small businesses in matters of strategic planning, financial analysis, marketing, funding and business plan development.

Appointments are made through the EDC, chamber and other partner referrals, or the ISBDC website, www.isbdc.org, through completion of an online survey. For more information on appointments and the center’s services, contact Popovich directly at (260) 481-0494 or mpopovich@isbdc.org.

Exelis gets $7.6 million order for GNOMAD systems units

The Fort Wayne operations of Exelis received orders valued at $7.6 million to supply the U.S. Department of Defense with mission command on-the-move systems through the department’s Defense Logistics Agency Tailored Logistics Support program.

The order made for the DOD by ADS Inc. calls for delivery by March of the Exelis Global Network on the Move-Active Distribution product, which uses satellite communication to provide mobile broadband network connectivity for command and control.

With GNOMAD, Exelis delivers “a combat-proven, modular, reliable communications system that fully integrates into a variety of armored combat vehicles, commercial SUVs, and military platforms of all descriptions,” the company said in a statement.

With an open system architecture and low profile antennae designs, GNOMAD units are smaller, weigh less and use less power than other military communications systems. The Army has used it and so has the Department of Homeland Security in critical domestic emergency response missions.

“GNOMAD is a proven mission essential command and control on-the-move solution ideal for the difficult communications environment that Army units operate in daily while deployed,” Nick Bobay, president of the Exelis Night Vision and Communications Solutions division, said in the statement.

Learn government contracting at regional PTAC workshop

The Northeast Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center will hold a workshop on government contracting March 11 at the Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center.

The free event from noon to 1:30 p.m. at 4312 Hobson Road will cover topics such as Indiana PTAC’s free “BidMatch” services, what the government buys, how the government awards contracts, marketing strategies for government contracting and the Defense Logistics Agency and General Services Administration.

PTAC also is partnering with organizations including the Northeast Indiana Defense Industry Association and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne to present a NIDIA Mega Conference on April 17 at IPFW.

The theme of the event for NIDIA members is is “Collectively Solving the DoD’s Innovation Challenge: Key Enablers, Leaders and Strategies.”

Retired Col. David Augustine will offer welcoming remarks and speakers will include Major General Omer “Clif” Tooley of the Indiana National Guard and Shane Springer, Indiana PTAC’s executive director.

The events require registration available at www.NIDIAonline.org. Mega Conference registration also is available at http://links.isbdc.org/NIDIA.Spring.2015.Registration. For more information, contact Gil Perry, a northeast Indiana PTAC counselor and trainer, at 260-205-3624 or fperry@osbe.in.gov.

IPFW, regional schools plan science and engineering fair

The 60th Northeast Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair will take place March 7 at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Judges will interview 6-12 grade students participating in the fair at their displays from 9 a.m. until noon. The competition will feature science projects in 15 categories ranging from animal sciences to physics and astronomy.

Logbooks, research papers, exhibit boards, abstracts and completed approval forms are required for entries in the regional science fair to advance to the state science fair. More information is available at http://sites.ipfw.edu/scifair/.

Saint Francis schedules

planetarium programs

The University of Saint Francis has scheduled 7:30 p.m. shows Feb. 27-28 and a 5:30 p.m. show March 1 at the Edwin Clark Schouweiler Memorial Planetarium as part of WinterFest 2015.

The 90-minute “Explorers of Mauna Kea,” “Hotter Than Blue” and “Aurora” programs are pre-produced multimedia shows accompanied by a staff-led tour of Fort Wayne’s night sky. Visitors receive a star chart to take home.

Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and children under 18 and $1 for USF students and employees who present university identification. The family admission price for two adults plus children is $14.

Tickets are available at the door and visitors are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes early to purchase them. There is no admittance to a show once it has started. For more information, go to www.sf.edu/sf/planetarium.

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