Creative Minds

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Here in the Stateline we have plenty of people who have had their thinking cap on for quite some time and finally managed to put their ideas into motion.

Inventor Mark Fiorello says, “It's something I hate doing."

That's when the light bulb went off in Mark Fiorello's head. The Loves Park native is behind an invention known as a meat fat separator.

Fiorello states, “It’s a strainer that squeezes the grease from the meat. You can put spinach or pineapple in and it squeezes the juice. The plastic is heat resistant."

From start to finish it took about four years before mark could shop on-line for his product.

He recalls, “It took one year to get a patent, oneyear for the prototype, and then a few years before someone was interested."

His big break came when the President of Miles Kimball, marketer of gifts, cards and household products, took interest in his product. Mark was discovered at the International Housewares Trade Show in Chicago. He has these tips for other area creators.

Mark tells 23 News, "Here in Rockford we have the Eigerlab. It's a great place to go they can help you get ideas to the marketplace. They have prototype they can help you with how to progress your product."

Rockford native Josh Pfluger gave similar advice by saying, “Go right to the company, talk to ‘em in person. Do what you gotta do to get your idea out there."

Back in 2003 this teen was nationally known for his Eagle Scout Project. Josh invented a shoe-scanning device.

Pfluger states, “You put your foot on it there's a metal detector wand underneath the Plexiglas and it detects if you have metal at all."

It was perfect timing with all the extra Homeland Security requirements. Federal officials used the device to cut down on long lines. The shoe-box like scanner is still used to this day at the Rockford airport.

O'Hare wanted 15 of them but no word on how many are still used. In the last few years the 18-year-old was diagnosed with a brain tumor. While recovering from that is a big enough accomplishment this young man also graduated high school. But don't worry inside this young mind are still plenty of great ideas.

The product can be found at Miles Kimball and in the "Makes Life Easier" catalog. Who knows someday you may be able to find the product on a local shelf.