Pulaski County’s most famous entrepreneur, Braun Corporation founder Ralph Braun, was honored by the Society in 2010 as the recipient of their Spirit of Innovation award. Braun was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at a young age and lost his ability to walk. Braun built a motorized scooter in his parents’ garage and designed the world’s first mobility lift, which he installed on a postal jeep so he could drive. Those inventions are the foundation of the world-renowned Braun Corporation. It is Pulaski County’s largest employer and makes wheelchair vans and lifts for consumers around the world. Last year the company fulfilled an order for more than 1,400 lifts for the king of Saudi Arabia.
BraunAbility Brand Manager Megan Wegner says even though Braun received many, many awards over the years, his recognition by the Society of Innovators was among his proudest accomplishments. The Society of Innovators defines innovation as “thinking clearly and developing ideas that provide solutions, add value and are implemented as new or different products, services and social initiatives. Nominations can be submitted online at http://ivytech.edu/northwest. Find more information about the Society of Innovators and its members online at www.nwisoi.org.