iXchange celebrates honorees, differences between generations

Seth Mattison speaks at the iXchange hosted by Ben Franklin Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (Photo submitted) –

Different generations working together was the theme of the keynote speech at Tuesday night’s annual iXchange event at the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University in Bethlehem.

The talk was given by author, and trend-spotter, Seth Mattison, co-founder and chief movement officer of Luminate Labs, a media platform for business influencers.

The technology-themed event, hosted by the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Bethlehem, gave area tech, business and community leaders an opportunity to hear Mattison speak on how leaders need to develop and maintain a work environment that encourages experimentation, freedom and trust while different age groups, each raised in a different organizational culture, learn to work together.

To go with the keynote speaker’s theme, iXchange guests were offered small pins to wear that identified their generation.

“You may wonder why there were bowls of small pins at the registration area of tonight’s event,” said R. Chadwick Paul Jr., president and CEO of BFTP/NEP. “We have the most age-diverse workforce in American history, with five generations at work, represented by the five pins here tonight. While workers of different ages are pretty much looking for the same things, they can have very different ideas of what those rewards should be.”

Also at the event, six honorees were presented with this year’s Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania Innovation Awards:

The Incubator Graduate Award was given to Forge3 Ltd. of Bethlehem and its founder Jeff Teschke as a graduate of the incubator program at Ben Franklin.

Graduating from Ben Franklin TechVentures in late 2016, Teschke transitioned Forge3, a website and marketing platform for independent insurance, into the scalable company. Teschke is now a TechVentures affiliate client and is coaching new incubator clients.

This year’s Entrepreneurial Achievement Award went to Dynalene Inc. of Whitehall and its leadership, president and CEO Satish Mohapatra, and David Arcury, COO.

A developer of heat transfer fluids for industries including fuel cells, solar and geothermal energy, Dynalene has experienced recent growth, increasing revenue 38 percent over the last three years. The company employs 21 and occupies three buildings in Whitehall and one in Schnecksville.

The Product Innovation Award went to Gilson Snow Inc. of Winfield and its CEO, Nicholas Gilson. Gilson Snow is a snowboard, ski, and apparel manufacturer that designs bases to provide an enhanced and unique “feel” on the mountain.

The Innovative Application of Technology Award went to Galaxy Mfg. Co. of Moosic and Lee Batzel, president and CEO.

Galaxy produces innovative, durable brushes for oil and gas pipeline operators and pipeline cleaning service providers. It employs 27 and increased revenues 100 percent over the last three years.

The Frederick J. Beste III Partnership Award went to Penn State Berks and its chancellor Keith Hillkirk. The Partners said Penn State Berks models the productive relationship between higher education institutions and innovative companies that Ben Franklin was created to foster.