The Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana’s 7-County Expedition Innovation 2015 – ‘A Call for Nominations’

Fact Sheet Overview

Purpose: Expedition Innovation 2015 – ‘A Call for Nominations’

Conduct 7 News Conferences in 7 Counties between June 2 and June 17, 2015 to kick off the second decade for The Society of Innovators, Ivy Tech Community College.  This expedition is sponsored by NIPSCO and Ivy Tech Community College.  The goal is to discover more innovators and encourage more innovation among startups, entrepreneurs and established companies in our 7 counties of Northwest Indiana. From these individuals and teams, The Society will induct new Members and continue to be refreshed and vibrant, contributing to quality of life and stronger regional economy as a forward-looking region in a global economy!


Participation in Regional News Conferences:

Participating in each news conference will be Don Babcock, Director, Economic Development NIPSCO & Board Governor, The Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana; O’Merrial Butchee, Director, Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center, Ivy Tech Community College; and John Davies, Assistant Director, Lamkin I & E Center and Managing Director, The Society of Innovators, Ivy Tech Northwest.



Schedule for Regional News Conferences

(All news conferences begin at 11 a.m. (CDT);

News conference in Pulaski County is at 11 a.m. (EDT))


Lake County – June 2, Whiting City Hall, 1443 119th St., Whiting, 46394

The news conference and briefing is hosted by the Whiting-Robertdale Chamber of Commerce. Economic Development remarks by Tom Dabertin, WRCOC President. Focus is on transformation of Whiting’s lakefront and downtown with comments by Mayor Joseph Stahura, 2011-2012 Society Member.



Newton County – June 4, Fair Oaks Farms, 754 N. 600 E., Fair Oaks, 47943

The news conference and briefing is hosted in the Farmhouse Restaurant by the Newton County Economic Redevelopment Commission led by President Tim Drenth, with remarks by County Attorney Patrick Ryan. Focus is on this Midwest agricultural destination featuring  Gary Corbett, CEO &  Julie Basich, Chief Operating Officer, Fair Oaks Farms, 2009 – 2010 Society Chanute Prize Recipient. Welcome by President Tim Drenth, Newton County Commissioners.



Jasper County – June 5, SP 19 American Kitchen & Bar at Sandy Pines Golf Club, 10527 Bunker Drive, DeMotte, 46310

The news conference and briefing is hosted by Greg Hamstra, President & CEO, The Hamstra Group, Wheatfield, with Kevin Kelly, President, Jasper County Economic Development Organization. Focus is Jasper County Economic Development with welcome by President Kendell Culp, Jasper County Commissioners, and special remarks by Hamstra, 2010- 2011 Society Member.



Starke County – June 10, Kemin Industries, 3960 W. 800 South, North Judson 46366

The news conference and briefing is hosted by Robert Stomp, Director of Operations, Kemin Food Technologies, 2010 – 2013 Society Chanute Prize Recipient. Special remarks by Charles Weaver, J.D., Executive Director, Starke County Economic Development Foundation and 2010- 2011 Society Member. Focus is on new spearmint variety grown in Starke County that has both food preservative benefits, and enhances and preserves cognitive retention abilities in older adults. Welcoming remarks by Kent Danford, President, Board of Commissioners.



Pulaski County – June 11 – Pulaski County CDC/Economic Development Offices, 623 W. 4th St., Winamac 46996  

The news conference and briefing is hosted by Nathan P. Origer, Executive Director, Pulaski County CDC/Economic Development.  Focus is the late Ralph Braun, Founder, BraunAbility, 2010 – 2011 Society Lamkin Fellow. Remarks by Megan Wegner, BraunAbility Brand Manager, presenting “The 5 Lessons of Ralph Braun,” with welcome by Board of Commissioners President Larry Brady.



La Porte County  – June 16  – La Porte County Historical Society Museum, 2405 Indiana Ave., La Porte 46450

The news conference and briefing is hosted by the Greater La Porte Chamber by Mike Seitz, President, at the La Porte County Historical Society Museum. Welcome by Susie Richter, Director, with special remarks by Dr. Peter C. Kesling, D.D.S./ Sc.D., 2008 – 2009 Society Fellow. Welcome by La Porte County Commissioner Mike Boharek.



Porter County – June 17 – Family Express Corporation, 213 S. State Road 49, Valparaiso, 46383

The news conference and briefing is hosted by the Greater Valparaiso Chamber at Family Express with welcome by Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas, 2011 – 2012 Society Fellow, followed by Rex Richards, President. Special remarks by Gus Olympidis, President and CEO, Family Express & 2012 – 2013 Society Fellow.

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