Spiros Toukakis, president of seafood procurement and marketing executive vice president, East Coast Seafood Inc. (Lynn, Mass.) pulled in a large catch at ProMat 2005 (Chicago) when he was named Material Handling Management's Innovator of 2004 for his collaboration in designing a lightweight returnable plastic container with IPL Products Ltd (Worcester, Mass.) that reduces lobster mortality and shipping costs. David Drickhamer, editor-in-chief, Material Handling Management, says, "His initiative and willingness to work with competitors and other industry players resulted in an industry-changing method for handling perishable cargo." MHM's Editorial Board members agree. Ted Augustine, Goodyear, says Toukakis' development and design of the container is a good example of perseverance in seeking a solution to an industry legacy problem. Laurie Nauman, Ace Hardware, notes the innovative solution took into account worker safety by reducing the container's weight, less handling of the lobsters resulting in improved freshness and mortality, and reduced transportation costs due to the lighterweight container.
John Hill, ESYNC principal, was the recipient of the Pioneer Innovator award for his work to apply nanotechnology and object-oriented programming to material handling systems. Tosanwunmi C. Maku, a doctoral student at Texas Tech University won the Future Innovator of the year for his development of a scorecard to track the performance of multiple projects. To read about their projects, visit www.MHMonline.com and search for "Innovator."