Sunday, July 25th, 2021

Niederman is new Chief; Little, Jr. Miss named

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019

The 51st Annual Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe Breakfast was held Thursday morning, June 20 at the Historic Forks of the Wabash with over 100 people in attendance. John Niederman, president of Pathfinder Services Inc., was named the 2019 Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe in recognition of his contributions to Huntington County.

Randy Warner, Huntington County Chamber board chairman, opened the breakfast, and introduced John Nelson, Edward Jones, as the master of ceremonies. Nelson then asked Steve Zahn, 1990 Chief, to lead the Pledge of Allegiance, and David Brewer, 1982 Chief, to lead the morning’s prayer.

Jeremy Nix, 2018 Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe, introduced Niederman and presented him with the traditional Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe plaque holding the traditional chief design. The past Chiefs chose Niederman as the new Chief describing him as a “positive, visionary force in this community.”

“Although Niederman is not a Hoosier native, he has worked for more than 30 years for the improvement of the Huntington community, with a special focus on those who need the most assistance, Nix said.

Those activities include involvement with the Huntington County Community Foundation, Hometown Improvement, Harmony Initiative Task Force, Lifelong Learning of Huntington County, Huntington County United Economic Development, Huntington County Literacy Coalition, United Way of Huntington County, Huntington County Chamber of Commerce and a number of national and statewide boards, committees and councils. Niederman has also received multiple leadership and excellence awards, including a Distinguished Hoosier Award and a statewide award named after him.

In response to receiving the award, Niederman said, “I was thinking, ‘Wow! No, that’s not me,’” as he listened to the list of achievements read off by Nix. “What an amazing honor this is to be recognized by this amazing community in this way.”

Niederman’s wife, Judy, and many family members and friends were in attendance and celebrated the award.

“Judy and I got married, and that was a great day. And then we had four children, and that was pretty amazing. This is up there,” he said. “So many of you in this room have been my mentors and assisted in so many ways, to my family and myself, to be part of this community and able to just be here and be supportive … Thank you for everything. As we all know, none of us are able to do anything without the support of others and this community is an amazing community.”

Also in attendance were the new Little Miss and Junior Miss Heritage Days selected in the Wednesday evening pageant. Claire Shafer has been named the 2019 Junior Miss Heritage Days while Little Miss Heritage Days is Olivia Landrigan.

Niederman’s first official act as a newly-installed chief was to formally open the 2019 Heritage Days festivities, dedicating the rest of the week through Sunday, June 23, to the multitude of events scheduled with the theme of The ’60s: “Yesterday.”

Also honored during the program were two Chiefs who passed away during the past year, Homer Hiner and Gene Snowden. Two white carnations were a tribute to all they contributed to the community during their lives.

“These were two men that did such a tremendous service to Huntington County and they touched so many lives in so many different ways,” Nelson said. “It was always an honor to just talk to them, listen to their thoughts and their ideas.”

In observance of the 50th year of the Chiefs of the Flint Springs Tribe (2018), the Chiefs began a new endowment called the Chiefs’ Legacy Fund. The fund, which mainly comes from the fellow Chiefs, is administered through the Huntington County Community Foundation, and provides a gift each year for a charitable purpose. Nix announced that this year’s gift will benefit the Keystone Club of the Parkview Boys and Girls Club. The club is the leadership program for high school members, focusing on academic success, community service, career preparation and teen outreach.

Shown in the photo at left is John Niederman, right, 2019 Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe as he is being congratulated by Mel Ring, 1996 Chief. The Chamber sends our congratulations to the new Chief John Niederman, a well-deserved honor in recognition of all of his contributions to the community, and to Little Miss and Junior Miss Heritage Days.