Thomas G. Katsahnias has 45 years of highly diversified corporate management and operations experience.He began his career at Inland Steel Industries as a Technical Service Assistant in Research and Development and was promoted, through a series of management positions, to Chief Operating Officer of the Steel Division.In that position, he directed the largest steel works in the United States, employing over 20,000 people with an operating budget of $2.2 billion. In 1986 Mr. Katsahnias became Senior Vice President for Ancilla Systems Inc., a multi-institutional health care system that owned and operated nine hospitals throughout Illinois and Indiana.In this capacity he was the operating head of all nine hospitals.In 1993, he was elected President and CEO of Beta Steel Corporation, a $225 million producer of hot rolled steel products.Mr. Katsahnias earned a Bachelors of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Chicago.Calumet College of St. Joseph recognized Mr. Katsahnias with the conferral of the degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa in 2001.During his corporate career, Mr. Katsahnias has served on the Board of Directors of several banks and corporations including Gainer Bank, Gainer Corporation and Republic Bank of Chicago.His civic activities include being a Trustee of the Illinois Institute of Technology.
"With these awards, the college recognizes corporate entities that are an integral part of the Northwest Indiana landscape," said Thomas Katsahnias, Calumet College of St. Joseph chairman of the board of trustees.
Katsahnias noted the numerous civic activities U.S. Steel and Horseshoe engage in and also the contributions made by both firms. "U.S. Steel, a backbone of the community for nearly a century, evinces its leadership through more than $1 million in contributions annually to the Lake Area United Way and employee board and committee appointments," Katsahnias told a crowd of nearly 500 people. In noting the achievements of the Horseshoe Casino, Katsahnias said the casino has been "one of the few recent bright spots in our local economy." He added: "Their impact has gone far beyond the taxes they have paid and the mandated responsibilities they have shouldered. From the outset, one of our newest corporations, the Horseshoe Casino, has had owners, managers and employees who recognize that the giving of time, energy and creativity is crucial to the ongoing success of any enterprise." The ball is the major fund-raising event sponsored by the college's board of trustees.Money is used to provide scholarships to many of the college's 1,000 students. Calumet College of St. Joseph is a private Catholic college with campuses at 2400 New York Ave., Whiting; 10 W. 35th St., Chicago; and 2400 Louisiana St., Merrillville.
The advisory board members are: Dr. John Wadas III, a dentist who has lived in Munster for 11 years; Thomas Katsahnias, president and CEO of Beta Steel Corp., and a Munster resident for 17 years; Mark Grantner, owner/operator of Grantner Construction Inc., resident for more than 26 years; Michael Mellon, employed with American Savings, and resident for 22 years; Joseph Mazanek, who has lived in Munster for the past 42 years and whose career included serving as chief intelligence analyst of the U.S. Army, and later a medical consultant for Edwards Medical Company.
The 2014 Hall of Fame class included Thomas Katsahnias, former general manager and chief operating officer of Inland Steel in East Chicago; Jim McGill, former owner of McGill Manufacturing Co. in Valparaiso; Fred Halpern, a co-owner of Albert's Diamond Jewelers in Schererville and Hobart; Adela Ortega, owner of Professional Locomotive Services in East Chicago; and O'Merrial Butchee, entrepreneur, author and director of Ivy Tech's Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center.
"The Times Business and Industry Hall of Fame is filled with brilliant and distinguished people," Katsahnias said, after thanking his late wife for making him the person he is.
"It's an honor to be put in such company.
I probably don't deserve it, but I'm not going to give it back."
Katsahnias credited his Greek immigrant parents for teaching him the value of hard work, faith, personal responsibility, perseverance and education.
He said such values guided him well through a long and varied career that included running Ancilla Health Systems and being chairman of the board of Calumet College of St. Joseph.
Ed Charbonneau, Outstanding Achievement Award; Thomas Katsahnias, Lifetime Achievement; and Dharathula "Dolly" Milender, Lifetime Achievement.
Thomas Katsahnias spent most of his professional career at Inland Steel, where he was general manager and chief operations officer.He then served as CEO at a number other companies.He is widely known for his interest in academia and has served on boards for the Illinois Institute of Technology, Purdue University Calumet and Calumet College of St. Joseph.
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