The U.S. Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) has named Don Pital “Innovator of the Year,” one of only three chosen nationwide. Pital, the growth services manager with Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, accepted the award at MEP’s recent conference in Orlando, Fla.
MEP – part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – is a national network of not-for-profit centers in nearly 400 locations that helps U.S. manufacturers compete globally by strengthening supply chains and increasing productivity. The innovator award recognizes individuals who have developed innovative techniques and services, made outstanding contributions to helping American manufacturers adopt improved quality practices and demonstrated economic and technical benefits from their work with small- and medium-sized enterprises.
“Don Pital has a long history of helping the Georgia MEP innovate its services and has often gone beyond the call of duty to get new programs off the ground,” said Chris Downing, director of the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which is part of the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute. “He has always demonstrated a keen interest in trying new things, a fearless attitude for risk taking, an impatience for status quo and an ability to accomplish more than his defined role.”
In January 2008, Pital was chosen to start the growth services group to identify growth opportunities for manufacturing-related clients. As a business growth coach certified by the Eureka Ranch in Cincinnati, Ohio, he routinely coaches companies on organizational growth through ideation process management. Prior to joining Georgia Tech in 1998, he served in the telecommunications manufacturing industry in a variety of key areas including quality, operations and engineering management positions for more than 12 years. He has a master’s and bachelor’s degrees in ceramic engineering from Georgia Tech and is a member of the American Society for Quality.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to work in an organization that allows me time and flexibility to work on projects that impact the organization’s internal processes in a positive way. The freedom given to question, organize and continually improve functions within the Enterprise Innovation Institute allowed my creativity to flourish and was enhanced by ongoing management support and coworker teamwork,” Pital said. “I am truly honored and thankful for the recognition from fellow Georgia Tech staffers and the larger MEP system.”
The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.
Enterprise Innovation Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
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Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA
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Writer: Nancy Fullbright