2016 innovation winner
Annalies Corbin, Ph.D.
President and CEO
What truly impressed the judging panel about Annalies Corbin is that not only did she spend 16 years exploring innovative educational practices and pushing the boundaries of how meaningful learning is delivered to all students, regardless of their background or location, she put that research into action by founding the PAST Foundation.
Corbin and her team work at local, national and international scales to create responsive solutions to the challenges facing educators trying to prepare students to thrive in a complex world.
In Central Ohio, Corbin and her team created the PAST Innovation Lab, which allows education partners to explore ideas that are difficult to implement within their own buildings or community. The Innovation Lab includes four workforce development, STEM-based Learning Labs — Bodies, Design, Growth and Energy — as well as fabrication labs and robotics arenas.
As the Innovation Lab gains momentum, the renovation of the facility continues. The next phase, planned for 2017, will add more Learning Labs and enhance existing programs.
The horizon is never static for innovative educators. Whether professional development delivered online to teachers across the nation, school redesign, bridge programs that focus on after and out of school immersive experiences, or applied research that facilitates and validates change, Corbin and her team constantly explore new ways to promote, amplify and accelerate innovative approaches that will change the conversation on the educational landscape.
2016 impact winner
President and Owner
Suburban Steel Supply Co.
Mark DeBellis of Suburban Steel Supply Co. cares about his employees, deeply. He truly wants engaged workers, while also working to improve the image of blue-collar workers. For example, he likes to help his employees develop softer skills, such as learning how to take care of their finances.
Suburban Steel also has an anti-smoking program, where employees bring in the amount of money they would have spent on cigarettes each day for 40 days. If they don’t start smoking again, they receive double that amount.
Now that DeBellis isn’t running as much of the day-to-day business, he’s focusing more on educating younger people about careers available in skilled trades that don’t mean starting out with college debt.
College isn’t for everyone, and that’s something that DeBellis promotes every chance he gets. When students find out what a typical day is like for a Suburban Steel employee, and about the salary, benefits and career development potential, this real-world data can be eye opening.
As a nation, we’ve lost focus on the value and need for skilled tradesmen. At Suburban Steel, the culture embraces the hard-working, skilled laborer — it’s the economic engine behind the business.
By exposing and attracting students to skilled-labor career opportunities, as a financially-viable alternative to the mainstream four-year college degree, DeBellis and his team make a lasting impact on their community and business for years — and perhaps generations — to come.
2016 sustainability winner
President and CEO
In just three years, Skip Prichard has had a profound impact on OCLC, an organization founded nearly 50 years ago, setting it up for another 50 years of success.
A nonprofit global technology company and research organization serving the needs of libraries, OCLC provides shared technology services, original research and community programs. Through OCLC, member libraries produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive network of data about library collections and services in the world.
Prichard reorganized products and services into four lines of business, bringing clarity and focus. He restructured the executive management team and cut operating expenses by millions while maintaining, and in some cases, increasing revenue.
After a review of technology platforms, architecture and data centers, he determined that the technology approach that supported OCLC’s growth and success for decades needed to improve to take the organization into the future. Today’s OCLC provides cloud-based services that change how libraries and information providers work together.
In just one year, OCLC completed a project to evolve its data center strategy, upgrade equipment and infrastructure, and further standardize processes globally to increase service responsiveness.
Knowing that space impacts workplace culture, Prichard spearheaded a major upgrade to OCLC facilities. The renovations were completed just in time to host the IFLA World Library and Information Congress, an international gathering of thousands of information and library professionals that Prichard helped to bring to Central Ohio.