SOI Inducts 39 Individuals & Teams in NWI

The Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana held its 12th annual induction ceremony on October 20 at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond. The ceremony welcomed a new class of Northwest Indiana innovators into The Society.


“I look forward to this event every single year where we celebrate innovation in Northwest Indiana,” said Don Babcock, Director of Economic Development with NIPSCO, a sponsor of The Society.


Eighteen individuals and 21 teams were inducted as the newest Members of the Society of Innovators at the ceremony. These innovators were selected as the most unique and influential out of all of Lake, Porter, Newton, Jasper, LaPorte, Pulaski and Starke counties.


The evening began with introductions by board members of The Society. Following was a segment entitled “A Moment of Genius” which was delivered by Board Governor Larry Galler, in character as Octave Chanute, Northwest Indiana’s original innovator.


Introductions and opening comments continued until it was time to honor the 2016-2017 inductees. Individuals and teams were first inducted as Members. Then, six individuals were inducted to The Society as Fellows. Finally, two of the highest honors of the night, the Accelerating Greatness Award for Team Innovation and the Chanute Prize for Team Innovation, were bestowed upon Urschel Laboratories, Inc. out of Chesterton and Grand Calumet River Partners in Restoration, respectively.


Urschel Laboratories has been creating engineering innovations in cutting machines for industrial kitchens for generations. Recently, the company has positioned itself to be a major player in the global market.


Grand Calumet River Partners in Restoration is a collaboration of eight industrial companies and several regulatory agencies to revitalize the Grand Calumet River through clean-up efforts and promotion of water recreation in Northwest Indiana.


“Talk about a project that will be influencing us 100 years from now,” said Maggi Spartz, member of The Society’s Board of Governors, of the Grand Calumet River project.


It is the hope of The Society that recognizing and honoring innovation in the area will promote more individuals to push the boundaries of creativity and achievement.


“It inspires me to think innovatively,” said Spartz of the event. “Being able to take more risks and to really focus on all of the possibilities here in Northwest Indiana.” See some of what they saw by checking out the video below.




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