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GARY | The Society of Innovators at Ivy Tech Community College Northwest inducted 23 individuals and 16 team members into the 2011-12 Class of Innovators. They were inducted during the seventh annual induction ceremony in October.

"These individuals and teams are among the most creative thinkers and doers in Northwest Indiana," said Ivy Tech Chancellor J. Guadalupe Valtierra. "In a global marketplace, Northwest Indiana needs to be recognized as a region of innovation, and these innovators are helping us move toward that goal."

As part of its initiatives to encourage "thinking differently" in a highly competitive economy, Ivy Tech's Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center invites society members to share their stories of risk and reward with students, staff and faculty, said O'Merrial Butchee, director.

The following individuals were inducted as members into The Society:

  • Stephen Bartholomew, Dominator Athletics, Valparaiso;
  • Larry Brewer, South Shore Dance, Gary;
  • Janet Brown, Valparaiso University College of Nursing;
  • Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas;
  • Ben Clement, Gary Office of Film & Television
  •  Latrice Edwards, Triumphant Transitions Inc., Gary;
  • Linda Eyermann, South Shore Arts, Munster;
  • Thomas Ference, HR Mining & Distribution Co., Crown Point;
  • William Halliar, Alternative Power Initiative, Whiting;
  • Angela Hambling, Rolling Prairie Elementary School;
  • Henry Hansen, retired engineer, U.S. Steel Gary Works;
  • Cynthia Hedge, Center for Creative Solutions, Michigan City;
  • Robert Johnson, Cimcor Inc., Merrillville;
  • Sarah Oudman, Treasure Homes, Wheatfield;
  • Andrea Pearman, Diversified Marketing Strategies, Crown Point;
  • Ann Peters, Pink Ribbon Society, Crown Point;
  • Julie Rizzo, U.S. Greenworks and My Choice Recycling, St. John;
  • Ahmad El Samad, St. Catherine's Hospital, East Chicago;
  • Alexandre da Silva, Calumet College of St. Joseph, Hammond;
  • Sandra Soczyk Rodriguez, Gary;
  • Carolyn Saxton, Lubeznik Center, Michigan City;
  • Whiting Mayor Joseph Stahura; and
  • Michele Murphy Wise, Phoenix Center, Valparaiso.

U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, also recognized, was inducted as a member in 2006.

The following teams also were inducted as members:

  • IVDiagnostics at Entech, Valparaiso;
  • SolaRover Manufacturing, Winn Machine Inc. and MCTD, Inc., Michigan City;
  • STAND (Socially Together and Naturally Diverse), Merrillville Community School Corp.;
  • Hobart Latex Paint Recycling Center; Red Mill County Park, LaPorte County;
  • Dark Fiber Optic Cable Project, NICTD;
  • Valparaiso Kiwanis, Keys to the City Project;
  • Shared Ethics Advisory Commission involving Crown Point, Highland, Munster, Schererville and Whiting;
  • ArcelorMittal S-in Motion Project, East Chicago;
  • Newton County Renewable Energy Park; Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation, PUC;
  • NIPSCO Electric Outage Map Reporting Project;
  • Time Engineers, Valparaiso University College of Engineering;
  • NIPSCO Streetlight Outage Reporting Project;
  • Starke County Lead Track and Cross Dock Facility; and
  • Working Well Team, Franciscan Alliance.

Nominations came from Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski and Starke counties.

The principal sponsors of The Society of Innovators are ArcelorMittal, Bukva Imaging, Horseshoe Casino, Krieg DeVault, NIPSCO, Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly and The Times Media Co.

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