Soin Award Recipients

The Soin Award for Innovation is designed to identify, honor and financially assist a company in the Dayton region which demonstrates the historical innovative spirit in our community. The award recipient best demonstrates this entrepreneurial spirit through a recently introduced or pending introduction of a unique product or service that will have the ability to sustain long-term growth for the company, increase local employment and assist in the creation of economic prosperity within the region.

With generous support of our members and especially Soin International and the Rajesh K. Soin family, the Chamber's Education and Public Improvement (EPI) Foundation presents the Soin Award for Innovation at the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting.

A selection committee, made up of representatives of the region’s business and academic leaders along with the EPI Foundation Board members, selects one recipient annually from the applications to receive a $25,000 cash award and its accompanying public and community recognition.

2017 Soin Award Winner - DESiN LLC produces a revolutionary dining companion known as Obi, which helps restore dignity for those who, due to various reasons, are not able to enjoyably feed themselves.

“We believe dining is one of life’s greatest pleasures that everyone should enjoy,” said Jon Dekar, co-founder, DESiN LLC. “What our device stands for is equally as important as what it does. It represents our belief that living with physical challenges can be fulfilling and inspiring. Technology, and specifically robots, combined with modern design, should facilitate that.”

Obi is the first product from DESiN, made up of a small team of visionaries. The first Obi prototype was developed in 2006 by Dekar, who at the time was a University of Dayton engineering student. Dekar saw the challenges faced by people with disabilities and was exposed to stories as varied as that of his aging grandfather or a 6-year-old girl with Arthrogryposis. Dekar graduated from UD and, with his father Tom, founded DESiN in 2010.

“This has been an incredible 10-year journey to go from my dorm room prototype to having Obi units manufactured and ready to sell,” said Dekar. “Today is a milestone for our team, but it’s far more important in terms of what Obi brings to people living with physical limitations. During this journey, I’ve met so many amazing people who face incredible challenges with grace and strength. It’s an honor and privilege to be able to help them reclaim something as fundamental as eating a meal together with friends and family.”

Obi’s innovative use of advanced technology and clear plan to bring the product to market, while involving several Dayton area manufacturers, suppliers and partners, most impressed the Soin Award panel of judges made up of area business leaders and representatives from small business supporters. The judges poured through business plans, financial information and other submissions before choosing a top three, which then presented their ideas to the panel.

Learn more about the Obi product at

2016 Soin Award Winner - Redwall Technologies, a cyber security group, was started by ethical hacker Eric Üner of the Chicago area. Üner had the original idea for a defense that could stop even one of the best hackers in the world – himself – and in 2013, a group of software developers from Dayton bought in to the concept, forming Redwall, and the path needed to bring the product to market.

Redwall’s system allows users to create several different modes within devices like a phone, each with their own level of security.  “The most innovative pieces of our solutions are really not observable. They were designed by a very successful hacker who walked right through the defenses of every existing solution he could get his hands on,” said John Rosenstengel, President, Redwall Technologies.








The $25,000 prize was presented April 5, 2016 to the Dayton leadership team, consisting of John Rosenstengel, President; Kevin Woods, Vice President, Business Development and Mike Collins, Vice President of Research & Development, at the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting .

2015 Soin Award Winner - NONA Composites was selected as the 2015 Soin Award recipient. NONA is an innovative value-engineering company that provides composite fabrication solutions. Their products and processes enable new design options, save time, and lower capital costs as a replacement or addition to a customer’s current production operation.







Pictured left: The NONA team accepts the Award from Raj Soin.
            Pictured right: Ben Dietsch, President, NONA Composites, addresses the Dayton Chamber Annual Meeting

2014 Soin Award Winner - AAA Wastewater was selected as the 2014 Soin Award recipient for its inventive and eco-friendly methods of turning wastewater and brown grease into valuable and natural recovered resources. AAA currently collects and processes approximately 2.7 million gallons of septage and 360,000 gallons of grease trap waste annually.

The award was presented May 13, 2014 at the Annual Meeting. Pictured below left photo (L to R) Gene DeHart, Founder AAA Wastewater, Tim DeHart, President & CEO, AAA Wastewater, Raj Soin, Chairman, Soin International. Right photo (L to R) Gene DeHart, Tim DeHart, Phil Parker, President & CEO Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.








2013 Soin Award Winner - UDECX, LLC. (Pictured below, left, L to R)  Phil Parker, President & CEO, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Raj Soin, Chairman of Soin International, Roy Chew, Chairman of the Board, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Jim Sunderland, CFO, UDECX, Mike Weaver, CMO, UDECX, John Van Leeuwen, COO, UDECX, Patrick Bertke, CCO, UDECX, Tony Desjardins, President & CEO, UDECX,  The award was presented at the Annual Meeting held May 7, 2013.








UDECX is the only modular, portable, and completely do-it-yourself patio decking product on the market today, providing a more affordable and accessible way to enjoy simple outdoor living.

2012 Soin Award Winner - Nanosperse, LLC. (Pictured below)  Vishal Soin, President of Soin International and Arthur Fritts, President & CEO of Nanosperse, LLC.  The award was presented at the Annual Meeting held April 30, 2012.









Kettering-based nano-materials producer NanoSperse LLC was named the 2012 Soin Award for Innovation winner. NanoSperse is a design and manufacturing company dedicated to improving durability, reliability and functionality of composites using nanotechnology.

2011 Soin Award Winner - Commuter Advertising, Inc.


Commuter Advertising is the premier provider of active and entertaining audio advertising onboard public transit vehicles.  The award was presented at the Annual Meeting held April 26, 2011.

(Pictured left to right)
Phil Parker, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce
Katie Hill, Commuter Advertising
Rajesh Soin, Soin International
Russell Gottesman, Commuter Advertising




Presenting Sponsor

Thank you to the following for additional support in establishing the Award