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Boys Town Hosts Inaugural Intellectual Property Summit


Boys Town

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

​​On Tuesday, April 25, a group of employees from across Boys Town gathered at the corporate headquarters to participate in a collaborative brainstorming event. The first event of its kind at Boys Town, the 2023 Intellectual Property Summit resulted in shared ideas and expertise, connections across the many functions of our broad-reaching organization and a lot of laughs!

“Boys Town has an extensive history of taking concepts built from research and interaction with the people we serve and turning them into something that can change the way America cares for children and families," said Rod Kempkes, Boys Town CEO. “Over the years, we've used these ideas to create scalable solutions that impact children and families across the country, to improve service offerings in mental and physical health and to drive further research to advance care for future generations. The summit came to fruition to intentionally build on this history of change – and to bring together people from across the organization who might not typically interact with one another."

Upon arrival, representatives from departments ranging from research to IT to healthcare to education were split into groups of five to seven people. After spending some time participating in ice breakers to get their creative juices flowing, the groups were tasked with working as a team to come up with an innovative solution for a challenge faced by employees working to fulfill the Boys Town mission. Their creative, analytical, service-focused minds did not disappoint!

Following an afternoon of brainstorming, discussion and analysis, the groups presented ideas that addressed:

  • Improving digital citizenship skills for Boys Town youth,
  • Eliminating transportation barriers for service users,
  • Modernizing fundraising options,
  • And more!

Alas, only one team could claim the Square Mile Innovation Legacy (SMILe) Award. Chosen by popular vote of the summit participants, the SMILe Award recognizes the team that made the greatest impression. Voters were encouraged to consider connection to mission, resource efficiency, creativity and more.

Attendees chose the team of Gary Breit (external research consultant), John Etzell (youth care), Monty Horine (governance and strategy), Tony Jones (Successful Futures), Susie Kaup (marketing and development), Gabrielle Merchant (research) and Ryan Metcalf (IT) and their solution that addressed the youth mental health crisis.

Congratulations to our SMILe Award honorees, and to the entire cohort of 2023 Intellectual Property Summit participants! Boys Town extends a sincere thank you for your willingness to share your time, energy and creativity. ​