CROWN POINT – To discover more innovators and encourage more innovation to make Northwest Indiana more competitive, The Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana, Ivy Tech Community College, announced today the “13th Annual 7-County Call for Nominations.” Nominations open tomorrow, which is called “Innovation Day” and are open until 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 5, 2017.
Held at the Purdue Technology Center here, O’Merrial Butchee, Director, Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center for Excellence introduced the annual “Call,” along with the rebranding of the Society’s Accelerating Greatness Award for Team Innovation and the refreshing of the Society’s web site sponsored by SMDG LLC, a social media company based in Gary. The rebranded award is called the Leonardo da Vinci Accelerating Greatness Award for Team Innovation. It is sponsored by Tom Sourlis, Founder and Chair, Mortar Net Solutions. The Society offers two top team awards, the da Vinci Award and the Octave Chanute Prize for Team Innovation. This is the Society’s premiere award for team innovation co-sponsored by Krieg DeVault and NIPSCO.
Keynoting the Annual Call is Mayor Joseph Stahura of Whiting, who gave an update on the National Mascot Museum, a new destination point for the Midwest, joining Pierogi Fest which brings thousands of visitors to this lakeshore community. Construction is underway on the new museum, which will feature interactive exhibits featuring mascots recognized on the Hall of Fame and other venues. Sponsorships are being sought nationally and locally.
Following the keynote address, Janice Tazbir, Chair, The Society’s Awards Committee and Professor of Nursing, Purdue University Northwest, announced the da Vinci Accelerating Greatness Award. She said the new name for the award was appropriate because “…both da Vinci and Chanute were pioneers in flight.” Helping making the announcement were Chair Richard Marrell, who portrayed “Leonardo” on the cover of the Times Innovation Insert, and Cindy Hedge, President, Center for Creative Solutions.
Milton G. Thaxton, Jr. CEO, SMDG LLC, announced the changes to the Society’s website: www.nwisoi.org. He was assisted by Wardell Glass, III, also SMDG. SMDG powers the online nominations process and is the Society’s web and social media sponsor. Brandon Griffin, COO of SMDG also serves on the Society’s Board of Governors.
The Society Chair Richard Marrell announced the “Call for Nominations.” He also announced that the 13th Annual Induction will be in the Venue hosted by Horseshoe Casino on October 26, from 5 to 9 p.m. Announced will be the new individual and team Members, Fellows, who are the recipients of the innovation awards and the top team awards consisting of the Da Vinci Award and the Chanute Prize.
John Davies, Assistant Director, Lamkin I & E Center for Excellence, and Managing Director, The Society of Innovators, said all nominations are online, and he emphasized that The Society wants to encourage more “startups, entrepreneurs and established companies to embrace innovation.” He said The Society is seeking the most innovative individuals and teams in Northwest Indiana. “The Society has inducted over 300 Members, and when you aggregate our Teams, we have recognized 1685 individuals and teams. That’s amazing for a 7-county region since 2005.” Nominations are accepted for Jasper, Lake, La Porte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski, and Starke Counties.
For information, contact Davies at 219 – 981-1111, Ext. 2292, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.