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Ben Franklin unveils regional businesses, professionals to be honored at iXchange

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Kevin Rhodes, CEO and founder of FMI Inc., is being honored for 'Entrepreneurial Achievement.' (Contributed photo)
Kevin Rhodes, CEO and founder of FMI Inc., is being honored for 'Entrepreneurial Achievement.' (Contributed photo)

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeast Pennsylvania has announced the winners of its Innovation Awards, which will be given at its annual iXchange event May 22.

Six awards will be presented to businesses and innovators who demonstrate the success businesses have achieved through Ben Franklin’s funding and assistance. Ben Franklin is a public agency that funds and assists early stage and established technology and manufacturing companies.

Kevin Rhodes, CEO and founder of FMI Inc. of Hanover Township, Lehigh County, a contract manufacturer for the personal, home and pet care industries, is being honored for “Entrepreneurial Achievement.”

Ben Franklin said this award goes to a company leader that “best exemplifies the quintessential entrepreneurial spirit: a combination of ingenuity, hard work and innovation that has resulted in the creation of a successful and growing business venture.”

Rhodes, who said Ben Franklin has been helpful with many projects FMI has undertaken over the years, said a lot of people deserve credit for the recognition.

“My name may be on the award, but this is a reflection of a group of people we assembled here,” Rhodes said. “This shows what can happen when people are focused on working together and setting goals together.”

Orbweaver Sourcing LLC of Bethlehem, a provider of complete, real-time supply chain integration solutions for the electronics manufacturing industry, is being honored as an “Incubator Graduate.”

The company moved to a downtown Bethlehem space last April.

East Coast Erosion Control of Bernville, a manufacturer of erosion and sediment control products, is being honored for “Innovative Application of Technology” as a company that strongly demonstrates a “break-the-mold” approach to integrating new or existing technology into its business.

Gregory F. Krug, president of Lampire Biological Laboratories Inc. in Pipersville, is being honored for “Partnership” as an individual whose strong vision, dedication and commitment have helped Ben Franklin Technology Partners accomplish its goals.

Play Impossible of Lewisburg is being honored for “Product Innovation” as a company that best demonstrates the commercialization of a unique, innovative product that creatively and effectively meets a market need.

Pleasant Mount Welding of Carbondale, a specialty metals fabricator that primarily serves the water/wastewater treatment and environmental industries, is being honored for “Manufacturing Achievement” as a company that best exemplifies achievement in the manufacturing arena.

The winners will be honored at the Ben Franklin iXchange event, which is 5 p.m. May 22 at the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University, Bethlehem.

More than 450 business and community leaders attended iXchange last year.

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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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