Society of Innovators Celebrates Inventive Members of NW Indiana Community

Society of Innovators Celebrates Inventive Members of NW Indiana Community

Several key contributors to the growing surge in economic development were on hand for the 13th Annual Induction Ceremony for The Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana. Ivy Tech Community College hosted another successful ceremony filled with the brightest and best rising stars that span across this 7-county region of Indiana.

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With team and individual members of this 2017-2018 class ranging from non-profit organizations to military veterans to business owners, CEO’s and more, innovation is clearly an important concept for Northwest Indiana.

Tyrell Anderson, new team member for the 2017-2018 Society of Innovators class and president of the Decay Devils Team, spoke about the importance of being a part of such a forward-thinking organization.

“We’re looking to inspire our area [of Gary, Indiana] and this was a beautiful event for us because we have tons of ideas. But, with us being on the ground level, coming in with only two years of existence, to be a part of an event filled with innovators that have been in their industry for several years and have multimillion-dollar projects shows us that we’re on the right path,” said Anderson.

Stewart McMillan, past inductee into the Society of Innovators was also in attendance as he returned as a team member with his Multi Agency Academic Cooperative (MAAC) Foundation. A name derived in memory of his father who was affectionately known as, Mac—further proof that the dreams and legacies of our forefathers not only live on but also thrive here in our small region of Northwest Indiana.

Chris Mahlmann, Founder of Ideas in Motion Media, was honored to become a Fellow at the ceremony, and offered an inspirational address to those in attendance.

"Times change, life happens, and innovation is all about imagining what could be," Mahlmann said. "I am here because of so many people who believe in that simple idea, as well as this crazy guy who asked them to sign up for a mission to change this little corner of the world and everywhere else we go." 

Also recognized as a Fellow this year was Michael E. Schrage, Chairman, President, and CEO of Centier Bank, who proudly exclaimed, "I am proud to be a banker, and to be honored up here as a banker is even more incredible!"

Norman Fischer was inducted as a Fellow for his work with ArcelorMittal and his patented technology on desiccant dryers. "This is a true honor. I have always been a problem solver, and when Mittal came to me with a problem, I kept at it until I could find a solution." 

Dr. Teresa Eineman, Superintendent of the Crown Point Community School Corporation, was inducted as a Fellow for her work in the field of education, and expressed her reason for working so hard to aid the community. 

"We need strong leaders in all areas of education. We need positive influences on our children from the time they get picked up by the bus drivers, during lunch and throughout the day, and that is my inspiration," Eineman stated.

Terry Murphy from The Hammond Group gave a little insight into his work and the driving force behind the Chanute Prize, which he was recipient of. "We have found a way to make your car battery work like your cell phone battery, but more efficiently, so think of us when you start your cars tonight," Murphy commented. "One hundred years after Chanute we are still creating and the innovations continue to impress."

Andy Sickinger, a member of the Arconic Power and Propulsion La Porte Engineering Team won the Leonardo da Vinci Accelerating Greatness Award along with Charles Romberger of the Plate Accelerating Cooling Technology Team. Both expressed excitement at receiving such an honor for their technologies.

“This technology will really allow ArcelorMittal to be more competitive on the global markets, it will allow us to run more efficiently,” explained Romberger.

Sickinger explained his technology and the impact it has for the Region, “The casting is called ‘the cornerstone’ and has been something truly amazing for Northwest Indiana because this has laid the foundation for a major expansion. Our team is amazing and have worked so hard to make this a reality.”

Another among those receiving awards was Chenn Zhou, Director of the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation at Purdue University Northwest. She was granted the Gerald I. Lamkin Fellow for Innovation and Service.

"It's a great honor to be recognized by The Society of Innovators," said Zhou. "I am very proud of the many contributions by our PNW students, staff, and colleagues. I want to thank the PNW leadership who value the unique opportunity of housing the Center on our campus. Their support helps assure the distinctiveness of our work as a contribution to the major industries in Northwest Indiana and beyond, as well as to the education of our students." 

In his opening keynote, R. Louis Gonzalez, in reference to the society, asserted, “This is really a world class institution right here in Indiana.” Anyone indigenous to this region can attest that his words are absolutely true as Northwest Indiana continues to be known both locally and worldwide as a region that promotes and celebrates creativity and innovation.

Congratulations to all the following award recipients at The 13th Annual Induction Ceremony for The Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana:

New Members: Marianne Burell-Moore, Jason Zaideman, D.E. “Sunshine” Troche, Jerry Jackson, Nick Minich, Todd Taylor, Norman-David P. Fischer, Sheriff David Reynolds, Jerome Fleming, Jerry Skorupa, Dr. Peggy Buffington, Dr. Teresa Eineman, Janet Seabrook, M.D., Troy McCloskey, Chief Greg Mance, Manghui Tu, Capt. Adam Klimczak, Angie Smilgius, Richard Hug, Ph.D.

New Team Members: “Alley Cats,” Positive Approach to Teen Health, Inc., “Making the Grade,” Lakeshore Public Media, Arconic Power & Propulsion La Porte Engineering Team, The Amanda Forum (The Caring Place), History Team (The Times Media Company), Frozen Garden “Green Smoothies,” Munster Police Department, Plate Accelerated Cooling Technology, Arcelor Mittal Global R&D & Burns Harbor Plate, Multi Agency Academic Cooperative (MAAC) Foundation, Hammond Group Inc. (Lead Acid Battery Laboratory), MonoSol New Ventures (Single Use Minis Shaving Cream), Decay Devils Team, Promise Porter County (Valpo Family “Y” and Porter County Community Foundation), Lake County Library (Sparks Lab), “Week of Coding,” Economic Development Cooperation Michigan City, Unity Park (Unity Foundation of La Porte County), QuickNet Center (Purdue University Northwest), Civic Innovators Convening (Legacy Foundation), Hot Shot Valpo Team, Sonam Technologies (LLC), City of Whiting (Whoa Zone)

Fellows: Dr. Teresa Eineman, Norman-David P. Fischer, Chris Mahlmann, Michael E. Schrage

Leonardo da Vinci Accelerating Greatness Co-Recipients for Team Innovation: The Arconic Power and Propulsion La Porte Engineering Team, ArcelorMittal Global R&D Center in East Chicago

Chanute Prize Recipient for Team Innovation: The Hammond Group, Inc.

Gerald Lamp Fellow Award for Innovation & Service: Chenn Q Zhou, Ph.D.