Inventure Place Board Goes National, Increases Funding Opportunities Restructuring Agreement Elevates Hall of Fame to Greater Prominence,

Secures Future of Akron Museum.



    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
 ceremonies.
     "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
       inductees.
 
     * 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
 year.
     "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
 technological leadership.
     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
 society.
 
 

SOURCE National Inventors Hall of Fame

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