2011-2012 Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana Finalists Announced • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine

2011-2012 Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana Finalists Announced

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Ivy Tech Community College Northwest announces the 2011- 2012 finalist candidates for Fellows and the Chanute Prize for Team Innovation in The Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana.  The names of the fellows and the Chanute Prize recipient will be released on Thursday morning, Oct. 20, 2011.

There are a total of 14 finalists consisting of 11 individuals and three teams. “These finalists demonstrate ‘great talent’ and ‘stunning diversity’ in innovation across the region,” said J. Guadalupe Valtierra, Chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College Northwest. Nominations come from Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski, and Starke counties.

All finalists are automatically bestowed honorary membership in The Society of Innovators.  However, up to six of the individual finalists will also be inducted as Fellows along with the Chanute Prize recipient during the Seventh Annual Innovators Induction Ceremony, set for Oct. 20 at 5:15 p.m. in the Ballrooms of the Horseshoe Casino, Hammond.

“Each year we ask ‘can we once again show the depth and breadth of innovation in this region?’  Again this year we received outstanding nominations and our finalists are extraordinary people who have demonstrated great talent and stunning diversity across all walks of life,” said Valtierra.

Valtierra added this demonstrates that innovation matters to this region and is important to encouraging growth, global competitiveness, and lifelong learning to the Northwest Indiana economy.

“The selection of the Fellows and Chanute Prize recipients is made by regional judges representing government, non-profit, and private sectors,” said O’Merrial Butchee, director, Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center.  Ivy Tech Northwest launched The Society in 2005 under the auspices of its Lamkin Center.  The Society is a project of the Center, which is unique among the 14 regions of Ivy Tech statewide for its diverse programs that promote “thinking differently” in a challenging economy.

Finalist Candidates for Fellows:

Janet Brown, Ph.D., Dean, Valparaiso University College of Nursing for launching “cultural immersion” experiences for nursing students, combined with turning around the performance of the nursing college.

Kevin Brunski, D.D.S., Crown Point for inventing a personal identification system involving a chip about the size of a grain of rice for implantation in a tooth or dental prosthetic called “I-DENTI-FIED.”

Mayor Jon Costas of Valparaiso, for creating a “culture of innovation” which has led to a number of innovative best practices citywide, including a revitalized downtown and new urban park and gathering space.

William Halliar, P.E., Robertsdale, with 21 patents for launching the Alternative Power Initiative sponsored by the City of Whiting to encourage alternative ideas for power sources through the “Race for the Future.”

Angela Hambling, Principal, Rolling Prairie Elementary School, for creating an off-site activities center that lifted the educational outcomes for over 100 underserved minority students in a mobile home community, and helped raise her school to “exemplary” status.

Henry Hansen, a retired engineer from Portage, for inventing a process at U.S. Steel Gary Works now widely used called Electric Discharge Texturing of the temper mill work rolls that results in a “brilliant” finish on automobiles.

Robert Johnson, President, Cimcor, Merrillville for developing cutting edge IT security software used by the U.S. Army, The National Nuclear Security Administration, and others  that takes real-time file change detection to the next level by offering instant remediation of unauthorized changes.

Julie Rizzo, President, US Greenworks and Executive Director, My Choice Recycling, St. John, for launching a national granite recycling initiative to recycle scrap granite into “gorgeous” pavers and tiles.

Carolyn Saxton, Executive Director, Lubeznik Center for the Arts, for expanding an after-hours gallery event as a catalyst to make Michigan City an “artists’ colony,” which now includes the Uptown Arts District; ArtSpace, a live/work space for artists; and public art displays.

Mayor Joseph Stahura of Whiting, for improving government efficiency, building partnerships with neighboring communities, and revitalizing infrastructure, including a new lakefront area and downtown baseball stadium.

U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky for launching The Marquette Project in 1985 with the goal of reclaiming at least 75% of the lakeshore for public use. Today, through investments by local communities and the Regional Development Authority, it continues to transform our lakefront.

Finalist Candidates for the Chanute Prize:

IVDiagnostics at Entech, Valparaiso, for launching a new diagnostic tool to fight cancer that provides identification of rare circulating tumor cells in vivo that is non-toxic and eliminates the problem of current methods that suffer from high false positives and negatives.

SolaRover Manufacturing, Michigan City, led by Winn Machine Inc., and MCTD, Inc. that designs and builds “highly portable and zero emissions” solar generators as an alternative to diesel generators for emergencies, the military and world markets.

Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk, for being the first project of the Marquette Plan that was built on a former toxic industrial site and today is an internationally recognized park fully accessible to all residents along our lakeshore.

The recipients receive cash prizes and plaques, and Society Members receive certificates as honorary members, said John Davies, assistant director, Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center.

The principal partners of The Society are Ivy Tech Community College,  ArcelorMittal, Bukva Imaging, Horseshoe Casino, Krieg DeVault, NIPSCO, Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly, and The Times Media Company. For details, contact Davies, who also is managing director of The Society, at (219) 981-1111, Ext. 2292.


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