The Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest announces 2021 Innovators Awards Luncheon featuring special guest speaker Blair Milo

August 30, 2021

The Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest has announced the 2021 Innovators Awards Luncheon will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (CST) on Wednesday, November 17 at the Avalon Manor Banquet Center in Merrillville, Ind. 

The annual celebration of innovators brings together business and community leaders from across the seven-county region of Northwest Indiana to celebrate the spirit of creativity and ingenuity of innovative individuals and teams across all industries and backgrounds. The 2021 Class of Inductees into the Society of Innovators will be presented during the event. 

This year’s luncheon will feature special guest speaker, Blair Milo, Founding Director, Center for Talent and Opportunity at Sagamore Institute. Milo previously served as Secretary of Career Connections and Talent for the State of Indiana and was the mayor of the City of La Porte, Ind., from 2012 to 2017. In her new role with the Sagamore Institute, Milo is focused on closing the wealth gap for women and minorities through entrepreneurship.

“Innovators ask questions and develop solutions that lead to better lives, communities and society. Intentionally growing a diverse range of innovators who bring unique experiences and talents offers the Region and Indiana access to solutions across a spectrum of opportunity,” Milo said. “There’s such power in celebration, and I look forward to gathering with leaders from across Northwest Indiana to celebrate our rich history in innovation, the array of visionaries paving paths toward a brighter tomorrow, and the joy in exploring the art of the possible.”

“Blair Milo, an exceptional leader and community advocate, has inspired many of us across Northwest Indiana before broadening her scope statewide,” said Sheila Matias, executive director of the Society. “Her leadership voice reflects her values and her principles, so it will be a real treat to be inspired once again by her passion and her approach to building an ecosystem of innovation for the next generation.”

Registration is open for the 2021 Innovators Awards Luncheon. Individual tickets are $40 and tables of eight may be purchased for $280. For more information and to register, please visit SOI events page or contact Jason Williams at

2021 Innovators Awards

Now in its 17th 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.

Individuals and teams are nominated via an online application. There is no limit to how many nominations one organization can submit, and self-nominations are also encouraged.

Applications for the 2021 Innovators Awards will be accepted through Friday, September 10 and are open to all innovators, regardless of discipline, industry or background. More information can be found online at or by reaching out to Jason Williams at

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