Press Releases

The Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest Invites Nominations for 2022 Awards

HAMMOND and WESTVILLE, Ind. — The Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest has opened nominations for the 2022 Innovators Awards. In addition to inducting Individual and Team Honorees into the Society, three unique awards will be considered: Richard C. Sussman Prize for Team Innovation, Society of Innovators Fellows, and the John H. Davies Lifetime Achievement Award.
Now in its 18th year, the Society of Innovators celebrates the spirit of creativity and ingenuity by discovering, honoring and celebrating innovators from across the seven-county region of Northwest Indiana. Dedicated to the idea that anyone can be an innovator; the Society recognizes that innovation is the key to 21st Century competitiveness.
“Celebrating individuals and teams driving innovation in Northwest Indiana shines a bright light on the incredible spirit of innovation that has made our Region home to so many great innovative leaders over the years,” said Sheila Matias, executive director of the Society of Innovators. “Throughout history, periods of uncertainty and disruption have also proven to be the fertile times for nurturing new ideas and real progress. We know there are many innovative leaders in our communities who have been pushing ideas forward these past couple of years, and we know that the Region is rich with innovative thinkers working under-the-radar who are thinking of better ways to do business, creating new products and processes in order to chart a better path for us all. We salute them and hope to honor more incredibly innovative leaders again this year.”
Individuals and teams are nominated via an online application. Inductees are selected through a rigorous process by regional leaders that form a selection committee chosen by the board of directors of the Society based upon criteria established by the board.
Applications for the 2022 Innovators Awards will be accepted through Sept. 9 and are open to all innovators, regardless of discipline, industry or background. Third-party nominations and self-applications are both welcomed. More information can be found online at or by reaching out to Jason Williams at
“The awards highlight the innovations that are occurring every day in Northwest Indiana and the wide range of contributions made by inductees to drive economic and community development across our region,” said Gary Johnson, retired president of Mortar Net Solutions and chairman of the board for the Society of Innovators. “The breadth of the awards across sectors, for-profit to not-for-profit organizations, large to small, and urban to rural also demonstrates an important tenet of the Society – innovation can come from anywhere and anyone can be an innovator.”
The annual Society of Innovators Awards Luncheon will be held on Nov. 17 at the Avalon Manor Banquet Center, 3550 E. Lincoln Highway, Merrillville, IN. Sponsorships are available. Please contact for more details.
Individual Honorees
The Society of Innovators recognizes exemplary individuals who have made it through the selection process as Inductees into the Society of Innovators. Anyone who lives or works in Northwest Indiana is eligible for consideration.
Team Honorees
The Society of Innovators recognizes exemplary teams and individual team members who have made it through the selection process as Inductees into the Society of Innovators. Teams from an individual company, government unit, not-for-profit agency, or a group of organizations from a specific project are eligible for consideration.
Society of Innovators Fellows
The Society of Innovators may select up to five innovators each year as Fellows from among previously inducted Individual and Team Lead honorees. Fellows must live or work in Northwest Indiana and demonstrate significant achievement in innovation and contribution to our community.
Richard C. Sussman Prize for Team Innovation
One team may be selected annually from among Team Inductees to receive the Richard C. Sussman Prize for Team Innovation. The Sussman Prize is dedicated to promoting 21st century innovation in the private, public, not-for-profit and government sectors.
John H. Davies Lifetime Achievement Award
A Lifetime Achievement Award winner may be selected upon recommendation of the selection committee and at the discretion of the board of directors. Not only must the Lifetime Achievement Award winner demonstrate significant innovation, but that the work was sustained over a significant amount of time and their success was not limited to just one role, company or sector. This award is the Society’s highest honor for an individual leader whose work took place in or significantly impacted the Northwest Indiana region.

The Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest

The Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest (PNW) aims to contribute to economic and community development throughout the region as the champion of innovation in Northwest Indiana. For more information about the Society of Innovators, visit

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