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Driven Doer: Roger Hayward

06.21.17 | Announcements

Roger (center) with a group of job trainees.

Once again, it’s time for our Driven Doer series! Every month, we highlight the passionate, motivated people who help advance Delta’s mission of achieving a resilient Great Lakes environment and economy.

This month, we’re featuring Roger Hayward, founder of It’s Gary’s Time and one of our most passionate, involved local partners for our Steel City Salvage project in Gary, Indiana.

What do you do?

About seven years ago I formed It’s Gary’s Time Inc. a nonprofit whose mission is to assist re-entry residents in their transition back to society. I also serve on advisory boards for Steel City Salvage and the newly formed Lake County Mental Health Court. I am on the Board of Directors of Brother’s Keeper, Inc., a homeless shelter for men. I am also the new Director of the National Alliance on Mental Health’s Gary, Indiana chapter. I’m also beginning a new program titled, “Jobs not Guns,” where the focus will be to get guns off the streets and to mentor kids who are involved in gun violence.

What drives you and inspires you to get up in the morning?

This is a no-brainier. See, I have been in re-entry and recovering from substance abuse for fourteen years myself. I am very in tune with the barriers these re-entry residents face, and I know a great deal about what does not work and how to help them get to where they want to be. I simply serve.

How did you first get involved with Delta?

Delta and I competed for the same pool of funds from the Legacy Foundation. After the winners were announced, I reached out to Director Eve Pytel with congratulations and offer of support instead of climbing into my pity pot. This “touched a nerve,” she said, and as a result Delta added me to the advisory board of Steel City Salvage.

Delta in 4 words or less:

Energetic, Disciplined, In-tune, and Knowledgeable

Favorite place in the Great Lakes region:

Really anywhere that I am able to help those who just do not seem to “get it”. Geographic location does not matter much. I love the region, its people, and the opportunity to encourage forward thinking. I am called to promote positive change in lives here which will impact the region in ways that break down stigmas and encourage investment. If I had to pick one, I’d say the dirtiest alley in the highest-risk section of Gary. 🙂

Follow It’s Gary’s Time on Twitter and Facebook.