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Indiana innovators

RoundAbout among 68 finalists for
IU ‘Entrepreneurial Awards of Distinction’

Awards celebrate entrepreneurship across Indiana

Staff Report

INDIANAPOLIS (November 2006) – RoundAbout Entertain-ment Guide, an 8-year-old free, regional, monthly arts and entertainment newspaper based in Madison, Ind., was among 68 finalists out of 142 applicants to receive this year’s Entrepreneurial Awards of Distinction from the Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.
RoundAbout owner and publisher Donald L. Ward of Madison was among 30 companies named as finalists for the “Spirit Award,” one of four categories in which awards were presented. Madison’s Midwest Tube Mills Inc. was also a finalist in the Spirit category.

Don Ward

RoundAbout
owner-publisher Don
Ward receives his Spirit
Award on Oct. 19
at the Indianapolis
Rooftop Ballroom.

The Spirit Award honors companies for their high standards in risk-taking and perseverance through various mistakes and obstacles.
The second annual awards banquet was held Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Indianapolis Rooftop Ballroom. Dr. Donald F. Kuratko, executive director of the school’s Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, presented the awards at the event, which drew a crowd of 315 people. Neither RoundAbout nor Midwest Tube Mills were named among the five winners of that category but all finalists in all four categories were called to the stage to receive a large crystal trophy and to be recognized for their achievements.
Kuratko also presented the William L. Haeberle Legacy Award to Columbus, Ind.,’s Richard “Dick” Johnson. The Johnson Ventures, Inc. chairman is founder of the Bigfoot Industries convenience store chain, which he has since sold, and the primary benefactor for IU’s Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
The award commemorates the lasting mark of Johnson’s business creation in the state. The award is given in honor of Haeberle, IU professor emeritus of management and an advisor to scores of Indiana entrepreneurs for nearly 60 years.
“These entrepreneurial companies are the very fabric of the future for the state of Indiana. They are vital to the state’s effort to develop an entrepreneurial culture,” Kuratko said in announcing the awards.
“They also are important contributors to the communities where they are located. They’ve worked hard to make a success of their business ventures, and we feel that they deserve the special recognition that this program provides.”
After an initial press run of 8,000 copies of a 24-page paper in April 1999, RoundAbout Madison has grown to nearly 50,000 copies of two separate editions a month. The newspaper serves a 12-county region, all within 50 miles of Madison. It is distributed via free pickup on nearly 100 racks located in stores, restaurants, hotels, two state parks and two casinos throughout the area. In Kentucky, more than 26,000 copies are mailed to all homes and businesses in Oldham County and Prospect, located in eastern Jefferson County.
To be eligible for the awards, companies had to be founded by the 2003 fiscal year, be a public or private corporation with a proprietorship or partnership located in Indiana. Altogether, the companies being honored employ more than 6,000 people in Indiana and reported total revenue of $850,832,600.
The award commemorates the lasting mark of Johnson’s business creation in the state. The award is given in honor of Haeberle, IU professor emeritus of management and an advisor to scores of Indiana entrepreneurs for nearly 60 years.
The Growth Award recognizes companies with at least 35 percent growth over a two-year period. Eight of the finalist companies in the Growth Category this year have experienced 100 percent or more growth since 2003.
The Innovation Award goes to companies that pioneered new systems, products or best practices to adapt to the changing business climate.
The Social Enterprise Award recognizes non-profit companies with social missions which have adopted entrepreneurial attributes.
An outside blue ribbon panel of business consultants and successful entrepreneurs conducted the judging. The certified public accounting firm of Katz, Sapper & Miller audited and verified financial statements for the finalists in the growth category, requiring companies to demonstrate how they achieved their growth.

• For more information regarding the program and the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, visit the Center’s website at www.kelley.indiana.edu/jcei or call (812) 855-4248.

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