Yesterday was a good day... I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed, and set out to assemble a shed with Lifetime’s Prototype Shop Specialists (who I call Product Assembly Wizards) in the Little America Hotel grand ballroom. After a few hours of drilling, tightening bolts, and hauling through the kitchen—oddly enough, the best path to the loading dock — we had our own little corner with a Lifetime shed, composter, wheelbarrow, and Personal Table for a drawing to win the products. You may wonder why a person would be so excited to do all this work. Well, besides the fact that I’m generally overly excited about most things I get to do, I was thrilled to see six of our engineers and Lifetime Products as a company honored at the 2011 Utah Genius awards program!
Including its engineers, Lifetime took home eight awards total. Our own engineer “Lifetime geniuses” won largely in part for their work with products including the shed, composter, and wheelbarrow. The winners included: Kent Ashby, Dave Winter, Rob Astle, Brent Steed, Barry Mower, Jay Calkin, and Curtis Strong. (Curtis is actually a former Lifetime engineer we still keep in touch with, so we’re mailing his award to him :). Congratulations, employees! See the full list of honorees here.
Lifetime Products won 5th in the state for number of patents, and 18th for number of trademarks.
The Utah Genius awards serve to honor and recognize the people, companies and cities that contribute to the state's growth with patents and trademarks. The program is sponsored by KSL and the Bateman IP Law Group, and this year's program was conducted by KSL's Nadine Wimmer (of whom I'm a huge fan!), Bruce Lindsay, Bateman, and the keynote address was given by Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert.
Thanks to great speakers and honorees, the program was FANTASTIC! It really opened my eyes. I had no idea the scope of the amazing innovation taking place in Utah-- medical, software, engineering, you name it, and it was there somehow. I truly felt I was surrounded by geniuses of all kinds. I met a few small geniuses too… KSL did a promotion to send some scientifically-minded children to this event, and they looked just as wide-eyed as me. I got the chance to meet Seth, as he and his mom entered our drawing. I told him a little about how Lifetime Sheds are made. Good thing everything at the program was patented... I could see his wheels turning :o!
The event also included the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to James Lee Sorenson of Sorensen Communications, for spearheading the development of video compression technologies and telecommunications for the deaf that have helped millions of people. Details about his impressive story can be found on KSL's coverage of this event.
After the event the drawing winners took home their prizes, and we set out to haul the shed back to our Lifetime Store for pickup by a lucky winner. The funniest part of the night for me, was reuniting with our Prototype Shop Specialists, and watching them work with the Little America kitchen staff to figure out a way to move the fully-assembled shed through the kitchen… it helped to have rolling pallets, but was a tight squeeze nonetheless.
In the end, very deserving engineers and inventors were recognized, companies were applauded for their contributions to Utah’s economic development, and I think the Little America kitchen staff got a good laugh after a busy day!