At its February Executive Board meeting, the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) proudly presented the Norman E. Tufford Award to Barbara Waxman. Norman Tufford served as the first Executive Director of NIRPC from 1966 to 1985. The award named in his honor recognizes former Commissioners and NIRPC staff who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and service to the region. “In addition to recognizing Barbara’s tremendous contributions to the region,” said NIRPC Executive Director Ty Warner, “it is especially appropriate, following the celebration of NIRPC’s 50th anniversary, to give this award to someone who knew and worked with Norm Tufford, NIRPC’s first Executive Director.”

Some of Barbara’s many contributions during her tenure at NIRPC from 1983 to 2000 include:


  • Served as Executive Director of the Lake Michigan Marina Development Commission, which as responsible for planning and coordinating the development of a series of new marinas along the region’s shoreline;
  • Served as Executive Director of the Lake Michigan Shoreline Development Commission, which explored opportunities for strategic public investments in shoreline areas;
  • Served as the inaugural Executive Director of the Northwest Indiana Quality of Life Council, which has subsequently evolved into the One Region initiative;
  • Advocated effectively for safety and modernization improvements to the Borman Expressway in Lake County; and
  • Provided leadership to NIRPC’s environmental programs.


NIRPC is the Metropolitan Planning Organization and regional council of local governments for Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties.  NIRPC provides the forum for local elected officials, regional, leadership, and citizens to address regional issues relating to transportation, the environment and community and economic development.  NIRPC seeks to develop consensus solutions with the broadest participation.