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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

February / March 2016

Building Evansville

Double Vision

When Skip Seaman and Dillip Patel met an appraiser to assess the building on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Vine Street, they were told its best use was a parking lot. Ignoring the advice, the two partners dove head first into restoring the former Catholic women’s organization Daughters of Isabella building with a vision for a party and event rental facility. In December 2015, the 1920s structure opened completely remodeled as Party Central with a banquet hall, foyer, bathrooms, a warming kitchen, a taproom machine, an outdoor patio, and ample parking.

Back Talk

Dr. Steve Becker

Hometown: Hazel Park, Michigan Job: Associate Dean and Director, and Professor of Clinical Radiology and Imaging Sciences at the Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville (IUSM-E)

Business Front

Turn of Fate

The face behind the oldest continuous manufacturing business in Evansville is an owner who has been alive only for a quarter of its tenure. When the International Revolving Door Company’s previous owner Rahmi Soyugenc died in 2014, 24-year-old University of Southern Indiana student Josh Kratochvil fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning a manufacturing company when he purchased the business in 2015.

Working Tirelessly, While Tired

Even for a small magazine publishing company, we have been unusually busy over the last 90 days. In addition to our bimonthly publications of Evansville Living and Evansville Business, we also have produced custom content magazines for others as well as the 2016 issues of Evansville City View and Social Datebook. I am especially proud of our staff, who continue working tirelessly, while tired, to put our city’s best possible foot forward. This is not a business that is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., where you can leave, go home, and forget about the day.

Where the Wild Things Are

On a chilly February morning, Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden Zookeeper Shannon Irmscher stands in the outdoor exhibit of the zoo’s red panda Celeste. As the animal sleeps curled up at the top of a tree, Irmscher stands with her hand outstretched, offering a grape to Celeste, attempting to lure her awake and down the branches. “She’s got one of the cutest faces you’ll ever see,” says Irmscher fondly. Eventually, Celeste unwinds herself, stretches along the tree limb, and crawls down to investigate Irmscher’s offering.

Forward Thinking

Great ideas can happen anywhere. The MakerStation, a technology-driven MakerSpace in Evansville, is now providing an area and the tools for those ideas to occur on Main Street in Downtown. MakerStation calls the bottom floor of Innovation Pointe, 318 Main Street, home. The purpose of a MakerSpace is to be a workroom open for people to create, invent, tinker, and explore a specific subject together, whether they are artists, woodworkers, or engineers.

New Chapter

Amy Canterbury’s journey from a small town in Kentucky to a corner office of the nonprofit that tops Forbes’ list of 50 largest U.S. charities isn’t so much a Cinderella story as it is a hardworking tale of success. In December, the United Way of Southwestern Indiana, a division of United Way serving Vanderburgh, Warrick, and Spencer counties, named Canterbury as its new president and CEO. It’s not the first time she’s had the title of CEO, and it’s her past that has prepared her for this new venture.


In the 1990s, Julie Bosma was working at Schnucks grocery stores when she was approached by Janice Miller of ERA First Advantage Realty Inc. with an offer to change her career. “Every time I would check out, I would say, ‘Why are you the checkout girl? You should be in real estate,’” says Miller of Bosma. “She has a wonderful personality. That was why I knew she would make a great real estate agent. She likes people.”

Road to Recognition

The road to a lifetime achievement award doesn’t always come easy, and Chris Traylor says he didn’t walk it alone. The co-president of Traylor Bros., Inc. — a heavy civil contracting business that specializes in building landmark bridges, tunnels, and marine infrastructures — attributes the recognition that comes with his 2016 Outstanding Projects and Leaders Lifetime Achievement Award for Construction to his family and his team at the company.

Engineering Culture

In a lab near Downtown Evansville, a mechanical arm opens the doors of a refrigerator, pauses a moment, then closes them. Then it does it again. And again. Over the course of several weeks, the machine will open and shut the main fresh-food door 365,000 times while the freezer door will be tested 150,000 times, simulating the wear the doors would experience over a lifetime of household use. Engineers will study the degree of door drop — determining whether the doors begin sagging on their hinges — and the integrity of the gaskets.

Born From Ashes

The smell of smoke and sounds of crackling wood trigger Kim Hanor’s memories of Sept. 3, 2015. The assistant manager of Kitchen Interiors was the first to realize the lumberyard behind the building had caught fire, which would later destroy the 6,000-square-foot store located next to Kight Home Center off Morgan Avenue.