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Publisher’s Note
Spotlight on Innovators

Visionaries are leading the way and challenging the status quo.

Visionaries are leading the way and challenging the status quo.

Where would we be without the idea people, risk-takers and self-made entrepreneurs? They boost our quality of life and drive the location economy.

For the past 11 years, the Northwest Indiana Society of Innovators has put the spotlight on these kinds of people who have shared their remarkable innovations with the world. In our cover story, you’ll meet this year’s Society of Innovators inductees, including new fellows Joe Coar, who created a statewide carpenter apprenticeship in high schools and Marilyn Brunk, who inspired students to create video games using 3-D programing.

Julie Rizzo, founder of Recycled Granite, is the co-recipient of The Chanute Prize for Team Innovation. She realized the need to recycle granite remnants from landfills and Recycled Granite’s Green Abilities Team opened ARC Northwest Indiana to help special-needs individuals learn how to repurpose granite. Her innovation has helped to create jobs and also benefited the environment. Sharing that award is IU Health LaPorte Hospital, which launched Rapid Improvement Events, a program to encourage employees to suggest improvements rather than blame.

Co-recipients of the Accelerating Greatness Award for Team Innovation are Methodist Hospital’s Northlake Campus Trauma Center in Gary and Edgewater Behavioral Health Services’ Rapid Access Center for those experiencing a severe psychiatric crisis. Congratulations to everyone!

Cancer continues to be a major health concern and Indiana is one of the leading states for cancer diagnoses. In this issue, Laurie Wink talks with area health care providers about the latest treatments, such as TrueBeam guided radiotherapy and magnetic resonance imaging technology.

The Affordable Care Act has kept the insurance industry very busy. Employers are seeking help in complying with the new laws as they strive to attract and retain top talent. Top regional insurance experts share insight and helpful information–a must read if you are an employer!

In this issue we also profile a half dozen Northern Indiana businesses that made the annual Indiana’s Companies to Watch list of success stories. Many of these companies started out not that long ago in a garage or at a kitchen table. Now they’re growing and adding jobs.

Our commercial real estate update reveals healthy growth and expansion among midsize businesses. Urban development continues to be strong, with many downtown revitalization projects ongoing. Get a great overview of commercial real estate activity in the region, written by Jacqueline von Ogden.

Bankers today are paying extra attention to customer interests in technology, but they’re sensitive to customer desires for human interaction and financial problem-solving. Read more about that balancing act inside this issue.

Also, our annual Executive Gift Guide offers gift giving advice for both the boss and employees.

And one more important thing… please drop by our website, to cast your ballot in our annual “Best of Northwest Indiana Business and Greater South Bend/Michiana” recognition. It’s quite an honor to be listed among the best of the region’s best, so be sure to make your voice heard!

Enjoy our current issue!

—Glee Renick-May, Publisher

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