Each year when we put out the call for nominees for our Insight Innovation Awards, we’re excited to find out about so many interesting companies that seem to be flying under the radar. This year, a record 30 nominees submitted applications.
Of these, our independent panel of judges chose five winners, in the categories: People, Product, Process, Planet — plus a special award for a unique innovation.
Our 2017 winners were announced at our annual THINC! event in May. Recaps of their innovation stories appear in this special section.
Among the winners was a fairly young company that has hit upon an ingenious idea for helping the intermodal marine container shipping industry be more efficient, making a positive contribution to the environment. MatchBack Systems, based in Green Bay, took the award in the category “Planet.”
In the category “Process,” the award went to Great Northern Corp., a developer and manufacturer of solutions for the packaging, shipping and merchandising industry. Based in Appleton since 1962, the company launched a plan for growth that requires every business unit to develop innovative products and processes.
Then there’s Reynolds Presto Products, Specialty Division, which won the “Product” award for designing a child-resistant package closure system for laundry detergent pods. This clever device now shows up in packaging for major brands all over the world — and it’s manufactured mostly in Northeast Wisconsin.
When it comes to developing leaders, enVision Performance Solutions has made a positive impact for scores of business owners and professionals in the region, and many more are now in the pipeline for training.
The company won in the category, “People” for its innovative approach to customized assessments that become the foundation for individual leadership development.
Among our nominees each year, our judges have discovered an organization that somehow doesn’t fit neatly into one of our categories.
This year, Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley received a special award, for Excellence in Community Response. The organization rallied to develop a means for reaching teens at risk of suicide by partnering with school districts to bring their services into the schools, where students spend a good part of their day.
So many other companies are embracing innovation to gain an edge in our competitive, global economy. We plan to feature the best of them in upcoming issues of Insight.
Do you know an innovative company — or is your own company deploying innovation? Let us know! Nominations are being accepted now for the 2018 awards.