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Develop a new approach Featured

9:37am EDT July 22, 2002

When A. Malachi Mixon III assembled a group of Cleveland area investors in 1979 to purchase Invacare Corp. from Johnson & Johnson in a leveraged buyout, the idea for such a financial transaction was nearly unheard of.

Twenty-one years later, Mixon, chairman and CEO, has transformed Invacare into a public company with more than $875 million in annual sales and locations around the world.

Such is the power of innovation.

Along with Thomas Sullivan of RPM, Jacqueline Woods of Ameritech Ohio/SBC and Dr. Luis Proenza of the University of Akron, Mixon will discuss how smart ideas can impact business on Sept. 7, 2000 at the Innovation in Business Conference.

SBN magazine, with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Ohio, will honor nearly a dozen business owners in the categories of Master Innovator, Visionary and Rising Star for smart ideas at the conference, which will explore the impact innovation has in the business world.

The highlight of the evening will be an interactive panel discussion featuring Mixon, Sullivan, Woods and Proenza. Robert Conrad, general manager and president of WCLV-95.5, will moderate the program.

Sponsors for the Innovation in Business Conference include Arthur Anderson LLP, Brouse McDowell, SARCOM/Frontway, ICG Communications, Pfizer and Product Imagineers, companies that pride themselves on their organizations' abilities to innovate.

So who will be honored as Visionaries -- business owners or companies which have demonstrated years of smart idea integration -- and Rising Stars -- those you may not have heard of yet but which are shaping the very way we do business? Our judging panel is poring over the entries to determine the honorees. Check out the September issue of SBN to find out who they are. For more information on the conference, contact SBN at (216) 228-6397. Dustin Klein (dsklein@sbnnet.com) is editor of SBN.