Local Innovators Honored at Induction Ceremony

society of innovators logoA day before his funeral, the late Jim Shilling received one final honor.

Jim and his wife Melba’s invention Agri-Therm earned them an induction into the team category of The Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana. Agri-Therm is a system for detecting temperature in grain bins. It was one of several teams and individuals to be inducted into the society at a ceremony last night in Hammond.

Other inductees in the team category include The Brady Stick, a pelvic alignment device developed by Larry and Garry Brady, and Porter-Starke Services for its efforts in using the “This I Believe” essay writing initiative as part of its outreach.

In the individual category, Don Galbreath from Winamac was inducted for his innovations to the waste-handling industry over the past 60 years, specifically his work in developing roll-off hoists. In addition to being inducted as a member of the society, he was also inducted as a fellow, the top award for individuals. When accepting the award, he said his work on roll-off hoists began after his father’s blacksmith business started running out of work, and they were looking for different things to make. Rather than being the first to make the product, he said he simply followed a need that existed at the time and developed a version that required less maintenance.

Additionally, IU Health LaPorte Hospital was one of two teams to win this year’s Chanute Prize, after having been inducted into the society in 2013. It was recognized for its efforts to improve its processes and create a better work environment through the use of Rapid Improvement Events. So far, they’ve allowed the hospital to put more than 40 initiatives into place.