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IMC Consultant Receives ‘Innovator of the Year’ Honors


The IMC’s innovation and market development consultant received an “Innovator of the Year” award, highlighting her outstanding work on behalf of regional industries, during the recent Manufacturing Innovation 2012 event in Orlando, Fla.

Katie Bell was honored at the conference for her development of modern practices to help reinvent America’s industrial base and/or to further the Manufacturing Extension Partnership system. Specifically, she contributed to three original service offerings – Greenovation, SaleSurge and the first Manufacturers’ Video Directory – that promote innovation, market development and sustainability.

From left, Eric J. Esoda, executive director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center and chair of this year’s awards committee; Katie Bell, IMC innovation and market development consultant; W. Alan Gehringer, IMC executive director/chief executive officer; and Roger D. Kilmer, director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Manufacturing Extension Partnership program.
From left, Eric J. Esoda, executive director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center and chair of this year’s awards committee; Katie Bell, IMC innovation and market development consultant; W. Alan Gehringer, IMC executive director/chief executive officer; and Roger D. Kilmer, director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Manufacturing Extension Partnership program.

IMC, one of Pennsylvania’s seven Industrial Resource Centers and one of the nation’s 70 MEP organizations, is based at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Center for Business & Workforce Development in Williamsport.

“Greenovation has been used as an annual competition to promote entrepreneurship and to support the development of green products in the IMC region,” noted nominator W. Alan Gehringer, IMC executive director/chief executive officer. “Katie has presented this model at the MEP Conference the past two years and has put in place partner agreements to roll it out to several other MEP centers nationwide.”

Greenovation, which has been adopted well beyond Pennsylvania, includes competitions offering prizes of services and cash to encourage companies and entrepreneurs to develop environmentally friendly products.

SaleSurge was developed to help showcase manufacturing companies and launch new products by combining the power of video with Web marketing, a service that led to creation of the first Manufacturers’ Video Directory online.

“The IMC has had great success rolling out these services to the marketplace, as it helped companies bring their operations and products to life to enhance their marketing and product-launch capability,” Gehringer wrote. “Everyone we speak to about these services within the MEP system and within our manufacturing community are extremely excited about these offerings. We believe this has created one of the most exciting new products to be offered in some time.”

A former small-business owner in downtown Williamsport, Bell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business-marketing/finance from Lycoming College.

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