Lewis Latimer Fellowship Program Launches Platform for Innovative Black Thought Leaders With 6 Inaugural Fellows

NEW YORK, April 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The 2022 Edison Awards will showcase some of the world’s top innovation leaders and new products from around the globe. The event will be hosted at the beautiful Luminary Hotel and the Caloosa Sound Convention Center located in the Fort Myers River District. Hundreds of the world’s top innovators will descend on Fort Myers to participate in the event and experience the Southwest Florida culture and local attractions.

“The Edison Awards were founded to highlight true innovation in business,” says Frank Bonafilia, of The Edison Awards.

The Edison Awards™ is an annual honor designed to recognize excellence in new product and service development, marketing, human-centered design and innovation. Started in 1987 and named after Thomas Edison, the vision of the Edison Awards is guided by his legacy and vision and  his Menlo Park team who successfully brought an unprecedented number of innovations to the market.  Edison Award recipients represent “game changing” products, services, excellence and leadership in innovation around four criteria: Concept, Value, Delivery and Impact. “The Edison Awards were founded to highlight true innovation in business.  As an organization, we continue to find and promote the most innovative people and inventions in business,” commented Frank Bonafilia, Executive Director of The Edison Awards.  “We are excited about our recipients this year as they represent some of the most transformative applications in the workplace and community. We will continue to highlight current visionaries and usher in the next generation of innovators.”

Former Edison Achievement Honorees include Ted Turner, Steve Jobs, Martha Stewart, Elon Musk and more. 

2022 Edison Achievement Honorees Award recipients this year are

  • Bracken Darrell, President and CEO of Logitech
  • Carmichael Roberts, the Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Material Impact and Co-Lead, Investment Committee of Bill Gates, established Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

The other award winners can be found on the website at

In addition to the Edison Awards, this year the Awards Committee created the inaugural program, Lewis Latimer Fellowship.  Channeling the spirit of Thomas Edison’s principal collaborator Lewis Latimer. Lewis Howard Latimer (1848–1928) was an African-American patent draftsman and inventor who worked with Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison in the post-Civil War era. His name will be forever associated with two of the most revolutionary inventions of all time: the telephone and the incandescent electric light bulb.  The Latimer Fellowship Program is a new platform designed to Celebrate, Connect and Commune a community of innovative Black thought leaders.  “It has become urgent that we create a new collective of modern day Black superheroes / role models that inject optimism into our culture,” says Jon Cropper, Co-founder of the Lewis Latimer Foundation.  “We reviewed over 100 applicants over the past year, and found this “Friendship 6” group that we felt best reflected Latimer’s vision and persona.  Our dream is to “manufacture” a community of future Latimers that embrace a core philosophy of “driving innovation with profit with purpose.”

The Lewis Latimer Fellows include:

  • Dario Calmese, photographer known for being the first African American to photograph the cover of Vanity Fair
  • Ayanna Holloway Arce, Associate Professor of Physics at Duke University
  • Rayvon Fouche, Division Director, Social and Economic Sciences – National Science Foundation and Professor of American Studies, School of Interdisciplinary Studies – Purdue University
  • Audrey Bowden, Associate Professor of Biomedical and Electrical Engineering-Vanderbilt University
  • Asegun Henry, Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT
  • Byron Jones, Cornerback for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL)

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SOURCE The Edison Awards


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