Partners in Indiana Celebrate GEW with Award Ceremony
Gary Ott of TLC Management was given the SOE award during the Grant County Economic Growth Council event, which took place at the Meshingomesia Country Club in Indiana. Erin Wheeler, director of marketing and communication for the growth council, said to win the award a recipient must have been in business for at least five years. "We're looking for a local, Grant County business owner who displays innovation in their product or service and who has made a significant community impact," she said. Growth Council Executive Director Tim Eckerle said the award winner is selected by board members. This year there were five or six nominees. "It's a difficult decision," he said. "There were numerous, wonderful nominations for this year." The ceremony also recognizes the top three finishers for the Young Entrepreneurs Program. The program was created to offer high school juniors and seniors a chance to explore business fundamentals and entrepreneurship in an interactive, hands-on way. During the 10-week program, the students are placed into teams and challenged to create a business plan in a competition for prizes and scholarships. First place went to Marion High School's team comprised of Brittany Olson, Jaleecia Bell and Garrett Treadwell. Second place also went to a Marion team, consisting of Amram Marks, Frances Sebastian, Caleb Herring and Erin Bailey. A Mississinewa High School team comprised of Savannah Acord, Caleb Swanner and Carolina Cassidy received third place. Wheeler said eight teams competed this year. "They all did a great job, and the judges had a difficult time deciding," she said. During his address to the audience on Wednesday, keynote speaker Nick Carter said entrepreneurship is based off dissatisfaction. "It's about identifying problems and creating solutions," he said. Carter, the CEO and founder of Address Two, said his father was one of the best entrepreneurs he knew because he created other business leaders. "The greatest entrepreneurs are the ones who create new entrepreneurs," he said. He encouraged the business people in the room to not focus on where their business will take them, but rather where they will lead their business. "Who will you inspire?" he asked. In addition to the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards, the Growth Council of Marion, Indiana held a number of other events to celebrate GEW. See a full list on their partner profile.