The Second Annual Disrupt Erie Awards was, again, a hit! The room upstairs at the casino had a certain buzz about it that was contagious! The high energy was primarily created from all of the inspiring entrepreneurs and the uncertainty and anticipation of who was going to win. Tom Laird, winner of Startup Entrepreneur of the year and CEO of Expivia Marketing, mentioned that “if you closed your eyes you would have thought you were in NYC or at some event in Chicago.”
Although the night was filled with exciting moments and full of suspense, Fred Williams, of Climate Changers, acceptance speech seemed to stand out. He received the honor of Social Impact Entrepreneur of the Year. The social impact that Fred is having on our community has everything to do with helping formerly incarcerated return to society with much less risk of being incarcerated ever again.
Most inspiring however, was the recipient of the Erie’s hero award. Beth Zimmer was in the middle of accepting the award on behalf of Mr. Joe Prischak of Plastek when someone yelled out that he was actually there and working his way toward the stage. The crowd erupted! He, still recovering from a significant health challenge, was so graceful and classy in his acceptance speech. You had to be there to really understand how beautiful he and his son, Daniel were at that moment. And his story was SPOT ON with regard to what we need more of in Erie. What a fine example that man is setting and has set for all of us.