AKRON, Ohio, May 31 /PRNewswire/ -- In a move that promises increased
national prominence for Inventure Place, the National Inventors Hall of Fame
and secures its future in Akron, the institution's two sponsoring
organizations today signed an agreement to create a single, nationally focused
board of trustees.
"The significance of this agreement cannot be overstated," said Akron
attorney Robert Briggs, chairman of the Inventure Place board of trustees. "A
consistent national focus will pave the way for establishing a broader funding
base to support exciting national programs while at the same time paying off
our debt and enhancing the stature of our world-class museum in Akron."
The agreement between Inventure Place, Inc. and the National Inventors
Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. (NIHFF) provides Inventure Place with an
exclusive license to use the National Inventors Hall of Fame name and other
intellectual property as long as the institution pays off its debt within five
years. Previously, Inventure Place had a non-exclusive license from NIHFF.
In addition, the agreement calls for the annual National Inventors Hall of
Fame induction ceremonies to be held in Summit County. Approval by a
supermajority of the board is required to move either the hall of fame or the
"We are very pleased to have created a single board that will be able to
focus on creating an environment for the National Inventors Hall of Fame that
truly celebrates the creativity and inventiveness that have shaped our world,"
said Chicago attorney Thomas E. Smith, president of NIHFF. "We look forward
to being in a stronger position to draw upon the insights and financial
support of this nation's corporate community."
The new board will have 30 members serving staggered three-year terms.
Its members, who will be announced next month, will be determined as follows:
* Ten members from the current 32-member Inventure Place board. Akron's
mayor and city council president will be among the 10 members until
Inventure Place's debt to the city is repaid.
* Ten members from the current 32-member National Inventors Hall of Fame
board, which will continue to make the annual selection of hall of fame
* Ten members to be selected by the 20 members indicated above. This
group will include broad national representation and will also include
the Summit County executive and the County Council president until the
debt to the city is repaid or for five years, whichever comes first.
The board will also include three ex-officio members with no voting rights
-- the chief executive officer and two representatives from the U.S. Patent
and Trademark Office, a partner with the institution since its inception.
Future members will be selected by the new board, with no more than one-third
each being from Summit County or affiliated with NIHFF.
Briggs said the efforts of Executive Director David Fink and his staff to
obtain national funding for Inventure Place have been successful in
accumulating more than $3 million in additional cash reserves during the past
"Clearly, this institution is on the right track under Dave Fink's
leadership," Briggs said. "Although we are well on our way to fulfilling our
obligations to the city and banks, we would not be able to eliminate the debt
without the national funding sources that the restructuring will open up. We
will now be in a position not only to pay off the debt in a manageable way,
but also to make the kinds of investments in the museum that will keep
visitors coming back."
Inventure Place, which houses the National Inventors Hall of Fame, is
dedicated to inspiring creativity and invention throughout the nation.
Invention takes many forms, from research and development and artistic
expression to entrepreneurship, and it is the mission of Inventure Place to
promote these and other activities to keep the nation at the forefront of
Inventure Place has welcomed more than 600,000 guests -- primarily
families and more than 215,000 children on field trips -- since opening to the
public in July 1995.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame was founded to celebrate the creative
and entrepreneurial spirit of great inventors. The hall is dedicated to the
individuals who have brought about technological advances, fostered by the
U.S. Patent System, that have greatly increased the general welfare of
SOURCE National Inventors Hall of Fame