Inside INdiana Business

Purdue Northwest unveils Innovation Award winners

PORTAGE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The Society of Innovators at Purdue University Northwest has announced the winners of the 2020 Innovators Awards. The organization says the individual winners and teams will be inducted into the Society during a virtual event Nov. 19.

More than 40 finalists were evaluated by the selection committee, with members examining the innovations that were required to provide a new solution, benefit society and create measurable value. 

“Originally launched in 2005, our induction ceremony celebrates the spirit of creativity and ingenuity that lights up the communities throughout Northwest Indiana,” said Sheila Matias, executive director of the Society of Innovators and Leadership Institute at Purdue Northwest. “We are thrilled to be able to induct 28 individuals and team members into the Society as members of our class of 2020. Now, more than ever, our region needs these gifted, innovative leaders who are guiding our communities into the future.”

The Society of Innovators Class of 2020 includes:

Individual Inductees

  • Ken Barry: Executive Director, City Life Center (Gary, Ind.)
  • Magesh Chandramouli: Associate Professor of Computer Graphics Technology, Purdue University Northwest (Hammond and Westville, Ind.)
  • Emily Edwards: Founder, Emily’s Foods / Paradise Icing (Schererville, Ind.)
  • Jamie Fankenhauser: Owner, Bun’s Soapbox (Valparaiso, Ind.)
  • Matt Hanson: Clinical Assistant Professor of Marketing, Purdue University Northwest (Hammond and Westville, Ind.)
  • Jake Miller: Owner, JEM Custom Shoes (La Porte, Ind.)
  • Jared Riddle: Professor of English, Department Chair, Ivy Tech Community College (East Chicago, Ind.)
  • Daniel Schultz: Teacher, Hobart High School (Hobart, Ind.)

Team Inductees

  • ArcelorMittal, team led by Richard Clausius (East Chicago, Ind.)
  • Centier Bank, team led by Chris Carpenter (Merrillville, Ind.)
  • Economic Development Corporation Michigan City w/ Michigan City Area Schools, team led by Clarence Hulse (Michigan City, Ind.)
  • Tonn and Blank Construction, team led by Jon Gilmore (Michigan City, Ind.)
  • Top Flight Hockey, team lead by Quinton Olster and Dan Mikrut (St. John, Ind.)


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