Ralph Braun Honored with Spirit of Innovation Award

Ralph Braun enjoyed sharing the award ceremony with members of his family: son-in-law Nate, daughter Melissa, wife Melody and granddaughter Caitlyn.

Ralph Braun was recently honored as the Gerald I. Lamkin Fellow Award for Outstanding Achievement for Innovation and Service at an induction ceremony sponsored by The Society of Innovators. The award is the society’s highest honor, and the recipient must demonstrate innovation to the “community, region, and world.”

“As founder and CEO of The Braun Corporation, Ralph has provided greater access for the disabled through innovative technology and by overcoming huge obstacles in his personal life,” remarked John Davies, Managing Director for the Society. “His vision has grown into the world’s largest manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vehicles and wheelchair lifts.”

In addition to Braun’s award, a total of 20 individuals and nine teams were inducted as members into The Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana. Six new fellows and two Chanute Prize team recipients were also inducted.

“These individuals and teams are remarkable for their diversity of innovation, as well as for their impact across the region and the world,” said J. Guadalupe Valtierra, Chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana Northwest.

The Society is sponsored by Ivy Tech Northwest with regional partners aimed at encouraging a “culture of innovation.” A total of 99 nominations were received since mid-May, said O’Merrial Butchee, Interim Chair and Director, Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center. “This is a record for The Society,” she said. “But just as exciting is that we are inducting for the first time this year Members who represent all seven counties of Northwest Indiana.”