Ivy Tech Community College Northwest announces the 2012 - 2013 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. 18, 2012.
There are a total of 14 finalists consisting of 9 individuals and five
teams. “These finalists demonstrate amazing creativity and innovation across
our 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 up to two Chanute Prize recipients during the
eighth Annual Innovators Induction Ceremony, set for Oct. 18th at 5:15 p.m.
in the Ballrooms of the Horseshoe Casino, Hammond.
“Each year we set out to discover innovation in this region,” he said. “Once
again, we have selected innovative individuals and teams who have
demonstrated great talent and stunning diversity across all walks of life,”
said Valtierra. The core theme of The Society is “anyone can be an
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
Candidates for Fellows
Raymundo Garcia, El Taco Real, Hammond, for demonstrating initiative,
risk-taking and personal leadership in combating social ills in his
neighborhood and as an early “urban pioneer” from the private sector
investing in the renewal contemporary downtown Hammond.
Eugene S. Smotkin, Ph.D., NuVant, Crown Point, with 8 U.S. patents and 12
international patents, for redirecting his business into electronic
instrumentation to augment dwindling government contracts for fuel cell
research, enabling advancement in both sectors for world markets.
Gregg VanDusseldorp Sr., for founding a medical device company called
Omnitech Systems, Inc., Valparaiso, who holds 8 patents for products used by
surgeons worldwide treating patients with gynecological or urological
conditions through minimally invasive, less traumatic surgical techniques.
Pearl Prince, principal, Frankie Woods McCullough Girls Academy, Gary for
creating and implementing an educational model now in its 7th year of the
city’s first public all-girls academy, grades K – 7th, that has become a
high performing, award-winning elementary school for students from low
income areas, including two of the largest public housing developments.
Olga Petryszyn, Executive Broker, Re-MAX Affiliates, Valparaiso, for being
named one of the top hosta hybridizers in the U.S. and possibly the world,
registering 24 hostas with 22 of varieties commercialized since 1993,
including the world famous H. ‘Niagara Falls’ variety celebrated as the
“ultimate” hosta plant by the American Hosta Society in 2012.
Gus Olympidis, Founder and CEO, Family Express, for measuring up against
global competitors utilizing the nationally recognized Family Express
business model of highly efficient logistics; unique brands, including the
“Living Brand” for customer service; and state-of-the-art connectivity with
57 convenience stores linked to a new $4 million headquarters/training
Neal H. Haskell, Ph.D., Saint Joseph’s College, Rensselaer, for being a
global advocate, pioneering scientist and world renowned expert in forensic
entomology studying insects to solve criminal cases, testifying in more
trials than any other forensic entomologist and being a trailblazer
receiving the first master’s and the first doctorate degrees in his field in
Marc Chase, The Times & founder of the Calumet Region Civil War Preservation
& Tourism Project, for rediscovering the lost legacy of NWI Civil War
soldiers by restoring grave stones with environmentally durable granite
stones and launching a Civil War Memorial Trail utilizing technology to
attract tourism and build pride during the 150th anniversary of the nation’s
Dave Ryan, Executive Director, Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, for his
vision, leadership and determination to “step outside the box” by calling
for and leading merger of two chambers of Hammond and East Chicago into a
500 plus-member chamber that blazed a new trail for regional chambers of
commerce more than a decade ago, and by its example, benefited its members,
both communities and the entire region.
Candidates for the Chanute Prize:
IBEW 697, Merrillville, for marking its 100th anniversary by building a
$10.4 million training and administration center using the criteria for
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) as its design
“compass,” becoming a model for unions wanting to show the world “a
sustainable building for a sustainable industry.”
NIPSCO for its “In-Charge Electric Vehicle Program,” a two-phase, five-year
project supporting and encouraging plug-in Electric Vehicles while providing
financial incentives for charging stations among homeowners and communities,
becoming the first program in the U.S. offering free electricity during its
pilot program utilizing energy renewable credits.
Omnitech Systems, Inc.,Valparaiso, for being a leader in the medical device
industry and beginning a new era of growth led by a young management team
dedicated to building on its international reputation for entrepreneurial
excellence, innovative products, fast turnaround, and a “family culture”
celebrated by employees.
The Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) of
Purdue University Calumet, for integrating visualization and simulation
technologies to solve “real world problems,” a model for similar technology
centers across the nation by its application driven research to discover
innovative solutions saving more than $30 million for local business,
industry and communities.
“S-in motion” is a revolutionary catalogue of steel solutions developed and
introduced to the world’s car makers with a huge contribution by
ArcelorMittal Global R&D Center, East Chicago, representing a “first” for
steel companies in embracing a new way of designing and creating steel for
passengers cars that reduces the weight of vehicles to meet higher fuel
standards and assure the use of steel in future automobiles.
The principal partners of The Society are ArcelorMittal, Bukva Imaging,
Horseshoe Casino, Krieg DeVault, NIPSCO, Northwest Indiana Business
Quarterly, and The Times Media Company. For details, contact John Davies,
assistant director, Lamkin I & E Center and managing director of The
Society, at (219) 981-1111, Ext. 2292.
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public post-secondary
institution and the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community
college system serving nearly 200,000 students enrolled annually. Ivy Tech
has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of
workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that
are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs
that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is
accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North