|2010 Catalyst Award Winners Announced|
(Spokane, Wash.) - The 13th Annual Catalyst Awards were announced at the Annual University District Month Kick-off Event held at Gonzaga University on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010. The Catalyst Awards recognize contributions by individuals, organizations, and businesses demonstrating innovation that catalyzes economic development in the region.
Ken Grunzweig Innovator of the Year
Kim currently serves the region as Executive Director of Sirti, a state economic development agency focused on accelerating the development and growth of innovative tech companies. She has repositioned the organization, hired top talent and established significant start up funding tools. Prior to Sirti, Kim was CEO of Spokane Transit, Founding President and COO of Avista Labs (now ReliOn) and Manager of Gas and Electric Technical Services for Avista. A repeat innovator with an Engineering degree from the University of Idaho and a Masters of Engineering Management from Washington State University, Kim uses her experiences and connections to help entrepreneurs successfully bring new products to market and create high paying Inland Northwest jobs.
Company of the Year
HOTSTART, Inc. is a world leader in the development and implementation of engine heating solutions. The company designs and manufactures engine pre-heaters that improve the reliability of generators, locomotives, large trucks, ships, heavy equipment and industrial engines. Founded in 1942, this third generation family-owned and managed business employs 151 people. Corporate and manufacturing headquarters are in Spokane Valley with a sales office in Siegburg, Germany. HOTSTART, Inc. has partnered with its customers to provide engine heating solutions that achieve their exact specifications and unique requirements. Global companies like Caterpillar, MTU, Komatsu and others trust HOTSTART with their critical engine heating needs.
Clean/Green Company of the Year
Since 1960, McKinstry has committed itself to improving energy and building efficiency, creating conservation standards, developing resource-efficient designs, experimenting with a wide variety of design approaches, and sharing its specialized knowledge and experience within its industry. Part of the Spokane community since 2002, McKinstry has worked alongside an impressive list of clients - Avista, City of Spokane, Eastern Washington University, Washington State University and the University of Idaho - among others - to achieve substantial energy savings while improving the health, comfort and productivity of building occupants. The company is currently renovating a 1907 railcar building on the Spokane River into a state-of-the-art showcase headquarters for its Inland NW operations.
Organization of the Year
Goodwill Industries Empowerment Zone
Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest is one of 170 members of Goodwill Industries International, founded in 1902 to give people "a hand up, not a hand out." From its humble beginnings, Spokane's Goodwill has evolved into a multi-faceted enterprise serving more than 5,400 individuals in 2009 through job placement and individual and family services, including innovative mentoring programs for at-risk youth. Goodwill directs 85 percent of its revenues from its 12 retail stores to various programs and leverages resources through partnerships with community organizations, including the Spokane Workforce Consortium and TEConnections.
Clean/Green Organization of the Year
Spokane Indians Baseball Club/Avista Stadium
The Spokane Indians Baseball Club played its first game in 1903. Since that time, the team has become an institution in this city. The Indians, a minor league affiliate of the Texas Rangers, provide affordable family entertainment each summer at friendly Avista Stadium. In 2009, the Spokane Indians and Avista Stadium underwent a comprehensive sustainability review and made a number of changes as a result. The team switched to environmentally-friendly cleaning chemicals, upgraded its recycling program including the introduction of Recycle Man, and became the first sports stadium in the country to be powered entirely by renewable energy through the Avista Buy-A-Block program.
Mentor of the Year
Norm is the Entrepreneur in Residence and the Assistant Director of the Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program at Gonzaga University, a four-year inter-major concentration for developing entrepreneurial leadership skills. He's worked with hundreds of students, mentoring them in critical business and life skills. Many program graduates attribute their success in moving from the classroom into business ventures to Norm. His commitment to mentoring students for all of the local universities should be recognized. He has used his experience and knowledge as an entrepreneur to garner mentoring opportunities and internships for numerous students. He also co-founded the Delta Angel Group in 2002 and served as its president from inception until last year.
Emerging Innovators of the Year
Brian Boler and Reid Schilperoort
Founded in 2009 by a team of award-winning Washington State University students including Brian Boler and Reid Schilperoort along with some West Coast entrepreneurs, Ecowell Inc. is setting out to reduce waste while providing healthy hydration options through its state-of-the-art vending kiosk. This is the first of its kind to offer a combination of healthy, highly personalized, waste-free refreshments for on the go people without using plastic or aluminum packaging. What's more, Ecowell gives its customers limitless options, with complete control of the ingredients. Ecowell is promoting a shift in consumer behavior and proves that modern convenience, environmental responsibility and healthy choices can co-exist.
Sponsors of this year's Catalyst Awards include, premier sponsor McKinstry and supporting sponsors the Journal of Business and Dean Davis Photography. The host of the Annual University District Month Kickoff event is Gonzaga University. See last year's Catalyst Award winners here.
About Greater Spokane Incorporated
Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) is committed to accelerating regional economic prosperity throughout the Spokane region - the business and cultural hub of the Inland Northwest, serving a population of 1.4 million. For companies considering relocation or expansion projects, we provide cost comparisons and business operating costs, corporate tax incentives and financing options, employee relocation assistance, workforce hiring and training options, and site selection location and market information.
As the area's only Regional Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council, GSI is funded by more than 1,400 private-sector member investors; U.S. Department of Commerce; Washington State; Spokane County; and the cities of Spokane; Spokane Valley; Liberty Lake; Cheney; Airway Heights; Medical Lake; Newport and Millwood. For more information, visit www.greaterspokane.org or contact us at 509-624-1393 or 1-800-SPOKANE.
Founded in 1991 to enhance the local technology networking of Inland NW businesses and organizations, Technet served as the primary coordinator of technology events for the region. As founders of the Catalyst Award, Technet serves the community by supporting the annual Catalyst Awards to recognize innovation and technology. The Technet Board of Directors focuses on supporting scholarships for students interested in technology fields. The Catalyst Ken Grunzweig Innovator of the Year award honors Mr. Ken Grunzweig, a local entrepreneur, volunteer and mentor who exemplified the essence of innovation and provided many hours of support to organizations like Technet, Gonzaga University and numerous start-up companies. Mr. Grunzweig passed away in 2004 after a brief illness.
About the University District
The University District is a live/work/play confluence of innovation, discovery, entrepreneurship, scholarship and neighborhood development that provides an ongoing stream of economic growth and business opportunity for the region. The District offers opportunities to address economic development issues, urban growth, environmental restoration, transportation and affordable housing needs. Connecting the core strengths of the educational institutions with regional economic drivers forms an urban laboratory for the creation of new knowledge and opportunities for applied, community-engaged research, resulting in economic value and quality of life. For more information on the University District, visit www.spokaneuniversitydistrict.com.