Local and regional leaders of Equity Bank visited Fab Lab ICC on Thursday, September 13, to demonstrate the company’s support for innovative thinking and entrepreneurial development in southeast Kansas.
During a brief ceremony conducted under construction work lights in the nearly finished Fab Lab expansion building, the Equity team presented a “giant” check representing the institution’s $25,000 pledge to support the project. Those on hand to represent Equity included Tim Kerr, Vice President and Community Markets Manager; Lori Kelley, Vice President/Business Services Officer; Jeri Hammerschmidt, Independence Bank Manager and Assistant Vice President; Jim Clubine, Vice President/Loan Officer; and Kim Goodman, Assistant Vice President/Loan Officer.
“We’ve been very impressed by the exciting work that happens at the Fab Lab to support entrepreneurs and bring businesses along with resources and tools they couldn’t afford on their own, and we recognize how important the Fab Lab is to our community,” Kelley said.
Fab Lab Director Jim Correll and Manager Tim Haynes were joined by ICC President Dan Barwick to receive the donation.
“We’re here to celebrate something truly remarkable – a leadership gift from our friends at Equity Bank that will help to move the Fab Lab expansion project forward,” Barwick said. “We acknowledge how vitally important community support is to the success of the college and the Fab Lab, and we are truly grateful for this contribution.”
Correll acknowledged Equity’s gift as an investment in the future economic health of the community.
“This gift signifies Equity’s investment in entrepreneurial thinking and their understanding, like we believe, that entrepreneurship is going to be the real driver for economic development in our area,” he said. “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with Equity to help make it happen.”
The 6,400-square-foot Fab Lab expansion building will officially open October 1, four years to the day after the original facility opened in 2014. The new building will expand the Fab Lab’s “maker” resources for students, entrepreneurs, small businesses and hobbyists. The new space will accommodate a state-of-the-art paint booth and welding stations, collaborative workspace for entrepreneurs and a fully equipped digital design studio,
which will be named in honor of the Equity Bank gift. The studio will house vinyl cutting and multiple printing modalities, including 3D printing, wide media/banner printing and advanced laser printing.
The public is invited to a Grand Opening Celebration from 12 noon to 7 p.m. October 1, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 12:15 p.m. Refreshments and tours will be offered, as well as more information on Fab Lab membership.