Meet Sheila Brillson Matias and Jason Williams. Together, they bring the vision and operations of the Society of Innovators to life.
Sheila Brillson Matias
6100 Southport Road, Portage, IN 46368
About the Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest
The Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest aims to contribute to economic and community development throughout the region as the champion of innovation in Northwest Indiana.
The Northwest Indiana Society of Innovators was founded in 2004 from the vision of John Davies, founding Executive Director, as a program of Ivy Tech Community College. The major activity of the Society was to identify, recognize and celebrate innovation and innovators in Northwest Indiana. As a result of the Society’s efforts, the community became more aware of and proud of the innovation that occurred throughout the region. A unique feature of the Society was recognition of innovation wherever it occurred: in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, in large and small organizations, in public and private settings, by individuals and teams, and within established and early stage enterprises. The Society of Innovators (SOI) transitioned in 2018 to become an affiliated organization with Purdue Northwest. Since then, the Society has been incorporated as a not-for-profit with IRS 501(c)(3) status, adopted bylaws, formed a board and completed a collaboration agreement with Purdue University Northwest.
“PNW recognizes the significant opportunity to build upon the connecting legacies of leadership and innovation represented by these two long-standing, successful regional organizations,” said Thomas L. Keon, Chancellor of Purdue Northwest.
Sheila Brillson Matias, who serves as Executive Director of both the Leadership Institute at Purdue Northwest (formerly the South Shore Leadership Center) and the Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest, is excited to develop opportunities for intellectual and business partnerships, new leadership development programs, and ways to support and augment PNW’s research and economic development efforts.
The Society’s board of directors implemented a new strategic plan in 2019 to create a robust pathway forward. Using the Northwest Indiana Forum’s Ignite the Region plan as one of the benchmarks for implementation, the Society aims to be positioned for success by supporting robust regional economic development and ensuring that it enhances, champions and drives a culture of innovation in Northwest Indiana.
Meet our Board of Directors
- Gary Johnson, President, Mortar Net Solutions (Board Chair & 2014 Member)
- Donald L. Babcock, Director, Economic Development, NIPSCO (Board Vice-Chair)
- Maggi Spartz, President, Unity Foundation of LaPorte County (Board Secretary)
- Larry Galler, Larry Galler & Associates (2010 Member)
- Kris Falzone, Associate Vice Chancellor, Marketing & Communications, Purdue University Northwest
- Mont Handley, Associate Director, Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center, Purdue University Northwest
- Brandon Griffin, Chief Operating Officer, SMDG, LLC (2006 Fellow)
- Jared Riddle, Regional Chair, English & Communications, Ivy Tech Community College
- Michelle Golden, Founder & President, The Golden Studio (2008 Member)
- Richard Barnes, Ph.D., Co-owner, Hokey Spokes International
- Dwayne Walker, Founder & President, Chicagoland Popcorn
- David A. White, Director, Process Research, ArcelorMittal Global R&D
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