On September 15th, regional stakeholders, partners, and friends of the Wabash Heartland Innovation Network gathered on a virtual call, due to COVID-19, to engage in the 2020 Annual Meeting. They came to hear about all that happened this past year at WHIN, and the morning's presentation contained just that.
To begin, CEO Johnny Park gave his State of the Region Address about the region as it stands today and an overview of what to expect during the virtual meeting. Gary Henriott, chairman of the board of directors, gave a forecast from his perspective; he brought energy and excitement to the call around what the future holds for the WHIN region.
The attendees then took a virtual trip around the region to hear updates from all of our key partners and team members on their projects and areas of work. Purdue University and Ivy Tech both gave on location updates on their various projects. The audience also heard updates on a few WHIN initiatives including Ag and Manufacturing alliances, the Regional Cultivation Fund, WHIN weather station data, and the work being done around rural broadband.
The project that brought the most excitement was the announcement of our Broadband Alliance, which will act similarly to our Ag and Manufacturing Alliances and provide broadband internet to the WHIN region! WHIN will achieve this by launching an aerostat. An Aerostat is a large tethered balloon that operates at 1500-2500 feet in air and because of its height, it provides line of sight that’s much better than terrestrial towers. Aerostats have been used to maintain communications after natural disasters and in the military but this will be the first commercial broadband service provided by an aerostat in the country. Right here in the WHIN region.
Although an in-person meeting was preferred, the virtual meeting was very well-received and garnered many praises from attendees. Around 115 attendees from various industries tuned in for the presentation and engaged with the team throughout the morning. The last engagement question was asked at both the beginning and the end of the presentation; it was incredible to see the progression of what everyone believed WHIN to be.
It was a special day of celebration and we can't wait to present on the progress from our next year!
"I thoroughly enjoyed the WHIN virtual annual meeting. It was well executed and provided great information."
"... the WHIN meeting was one of the very best I’ve seen. Kudos to you and your team."
Welcome with Pat Corey
State of the Region Address with Johnny Park
Chairman’s Report with Gary Henriott
Alliance Updates with Greg Ottinger
Weather Station/IoT Data Update with Jack Stucky
Smart Button Intro
Ivy Tech Update with Andrea Schwartz
RCF Update with Pat Corey
Broadband Update with Johnny Park and Jack Stucky
Wrap Up with Pat Corey