Society selects July Innovators of the Month

2013-07-28T06:30:00Z Society selects July Innovators of the MonthTimes Staff
July 28, 2013 6:30 am  • 

As part of its effort to highlight its 2012-13 class, the Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana has selected its July Innovators of the Month.

The honorees are John Cain, of the South Shore Arts/Orchestra Symphony Team, and Deborah Owen, of the NIPSCO Mobile Website Team.

South Shore Arts collaborated with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra in a successful business model with a single management structure, said John Cain, executive director of South Shore Arts. The collaboration saved this Northwest Indiana treasure that held its first performance on Dec. 7, 1941, he said.

It also helped re-invigorate the orchestra that has experienced a 22 percent increase in ticket sales since the structure was put in place five years ago in 2008.

In crediting the management and volunteer team for the successful transition, Cain noted that this required a “big adjustment,” especially with reduced spending by the Indiana Arts Commission. “Everybody preaches collaboration,” he said. “This has to be collaboration on steroids.”

In response to a new mobile website from NIPSCO that offers outage, safety and account information, there have been over 679,000 visits to this site, said Owen, NIPSCO’s executive director for customer service.

“We are gratified by the overwhelming response to this innovation by our customers since its launch on Dec. 17, 2011,” Owen said.

Services include safety and electric outage information, payment options and more. The site works with iPhones, iPads, Android phones and other tablets and smart phones.

One of the most useful features is the power outage tracking and reporting feature, which allows users to quickly inform NIPSCO of an outage and view real-time restoration updates.

The society is part of the Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center of Ivy Tech Community College Northwest.

For more information, call O'Merrial Butchee, director of the Lamkin Center at (219) 981-4942, or John Davies, assistant director, at (219) 981-1111, ext. 2292.

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