“INVITATION TO INNOVATE: Leading Through Inclusion and Engagement” will feature Tom Kuczmarski, keynote speaker and nationally recognized innovation expert, on Thurs., Sept. 15, 2016, at Hotel Arista in CityGate Centre.


DuPage Children’s Museum (DCM), in partnership with Chicago Innovation Awards, invites business professionals and community leaders to learn about the importance of preparing and inspiring future leaders in a competitive and innovative workforce.

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Tom Kuczmarski (www.kuczmarski.com)

The event, “INVITATION TO INNOVATE: Leading Through Inclusion and Engagement,” begins at 5:45PM Thurs., Sept. 15, will include light refreshments, a keynote speaker with panel discussion, and network reception, at Hotel Arista, 2139 City Gate Lane, Naperville, IL.

Join keynote speaker Tom Kuczmarski, a nationally recognized expert in the innovation of new products and services, along with a panel of experts for a lively discussion on how to systematically unlock the value of innovation.

Event attendees will take away three things: a framework for creating a culture of innovation within their organization, five principles for activating this culture, and perspectives from senior level professionals who have done it.

“Organizations require innovation more than ever before,” Kuczmarski said. “Disruptions in markets and industries are now commonplace, which mandates that companies create innovation cultures. In order to achieve this, inclusivity and engagement must become core strategic imperatives within innovative organizations – not just a ‘nice to have.’

“Moreover, I have chosen to do an event targeting the business community because it is essential that today’s leaders recognize the role and importance of bringing innovation to children and teens – the future leaders of our companies. We need to create an innovation mindset and new way of thinking in young minds.”

Co-founder of Chicago Innovation Awards as well as President and Founder of Kuczmarski Innovation, Kuczmarski has helped hundreds of clients, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 corporations.

Kuczmarski teaches product and service innovation at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management as Senior Lecturer and Visiting Scholar in the Center for Innovation and Technology. He is the author of six books and many publications on innovation and leadership, including Values-Based Leadership and Apples Are Square: Thinking Differently About Leadership. In 2002, he co-founded the Chicago Innovation Awards, which annually celebrates, educates, and connects innovators in the Chicago region. Kuczmarski currently is teaching students in Bangkok, which he said is “always an enlightening experience.”

DCMJoe Nelligan, COO, Molex and 2016 Innovation Event Chair will introduce Tom Kuczmarski at the event.

“Molex competes in a constantly changing global electronics market that is driven by innovation,” said Nelligan in the news release. “For us to be successful, we must continually re-invent ourselves and use “creative destruction” to stay ahead of the market. To enable this level of innovation, we must develop and nurture an engaged, inclusive, and diverse workforce.  Hiring, developing, and retaining the technical talent we need to compete in the global marketplace is a key priority. That’s why Molex has been a longstanding sponsor and supporter of the DuPage Children’s Museum and its mission to develop leaders of tomorrow through hands-on learning in math, science, and technology.”

Nelligan serves on the Board of Directors for DCM.

Five-member panel will lead discussion

Leaders participating in the event’s panel discussion include:

  • Charles Allen, Vice Chairman, Crowe Horwath LLP; Co-Chairman, Crowe Horwath International
  • Cynthia Mark-Hummel, Board Director and Member of Early Learning Research in Action Council, DuPage Children’s Museum
  • Connie Lindsey, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Responsibility & Global Diversity, Northern Trust
  • Leslie Vickrey, Co-founder, ClearEdge Marketing
  • Lily Yeung, Director of Corporate Development, Molex, LLC

DuPage Children’s Museum created the annual innovation event five years ago to address an adult audience about the importance of investing in children in their earliest and most formative years through early learning S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) experiences, so that the future work force and citizenship are nurtured and inspired.

Save September 15, 2016!

Mark your calendars for Thurs., Sept. 15, 2016 to learn the importance of preparing and inspiring future leaders in a competitive and innovative workforce. The fee to attend is $25 per person. Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. To register, visit dupagechildrens.org/innovation.

The event is generously sponsored by Molex, Chicago Innovation Awards, Northern Trust, Rev3. The event is supported by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois; Gerald Kia of Naperville; GCM Grosvenor;  Intren; KS Energy Services, LLC; Macy’s;  Pepper Construction; Rooney Rippie & Ratnaswamy LLP; and SAP Fieldglass.

DuPage Children’s Museum

DCMThe Museum helps develop curiosity, creativity, thinking, and problem solving in young children through its mission: “DuPage Children’s Museum ignites the potential of all children to learn through hands-on exploration by integrating art, math, and science.” Interactive exhibits and programs make learning fun for children and adults playing together. DCM serves over 300,000 visitors annually representing all 50 states and 575 zip codes in Illinois. DCM’s reach and support represents well beyond the Chicagoland area. The Museum’s impact extends across cultural, financial, and educational boundaries. It touches the lives of children from all regions, providing the building blocks for success in school and life.

The Museum is located at 301 N. Washington Street in Naperville, www.dupagechildrens.org or call (630) 637-8000.

News submitted by Dee McDevitt, Director of Marketing and Sales, DuPage Children’s Museum.