John Cain, South Shore Arts/Orchestra Symphony Team, 2012 – 2013 Member
Trailblazing in nonprofit organizations, South Shore Arts collaborated with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra in a successful business model with a single management structure, said John Cain, Executive Director, South Shore Arts. The collaboration saved this Northwest Indiana treasure that held its first performance on Dec. 7, 1941, he said. It also helped re-invigorate the orchestra that has experienced a 22% increase in ticket sales since the structure was put in place five years ago on July 1, 2008. “This would not have happened without the farseeing vision of Chris Morrow and his passion to sustain this orchestra,” Cain stressed.
Honored this past June as the “Patron of the Year” at the Beaux Arts Ball, Morrow approached Cain with the idea to take over the management of the orchestra. Nearly $2 million was raised to support the management structure, thanks to the Morrow family, as well as the Howard; Anderson; and the Dean and Barbara White Foundations. Also key was keeping “artistic costs” in check, he added. A joint committee made up of two representatives from both South Shore Arts and the orchestra set the schedule. In crediting the management and volunteer team for the successful transition, Cain noted that this required a “big adjustment,” especially with reduced spending by the Indiana Arts Commission. “Everybody preaches collaboration,” he sa id. “This has to be collaboration on steroids.”
Deborah Owen, Mobile Website Team, NIPSCO, 2012 – 2013 Team Member
In response to a new mobile website from NIPSCO that offers outage, safety and account information, there have been over 679,000 “visits” to this site, said Deborah Owen, NIPSCO’s executive director for customer service. “We are gratified by the overwhelming response to this innovation by our customers since its launch on Dec. 17, 2011,” Owen said. Services include safety and electric outage information, payment options and more. Customers accessing NIPSCO.com on any recognized mobile device will automatically be redirected to the new mobile site. The site works with iPhones, iPads, Android phones and other tablets and smart phones. The site can also be accessed at m.NIPSCO.com. One of the most useful features is the power outage tracking and reporting feature, which allows users to quickly inform NIPSCO of an outage and view real-time restoration updates. Many customers also take advantage of a bill payment feature. Designed to give customers access to NIPSCO “whenever or wherever they are,” this mobile site was a NiSource
wide-initiative involving NIPSCO and the corporation’s six other utility providers. This team included experts from customer service, information technology, operations and communications. “Convenience is a key benefit of NIPSCO’s mobile site – bringing valuable information to customers’ fingertips,” she said. Another advantage is that mobile technology is constantly evolving to be more accessible and offer more features.
“Innovators of the Month” highlights the Members of the Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana for use by the media serving Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski and Starke Counties. The Society celebrates Fellows and Chanute Prize recipients, but also recognizes other Members of “The 2012 - 2013 Class.” The Society shares their inspiring stories of innovation in each monthly edition. The Society is part of the Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center of Ivy Tech Community College Northwest. For information, contact O’Merrial Butchee, Director, Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center at (219) 981-4942, or John Davies, Assistant Director, at (219) 981-1111, Ext. 2292.