Winners and Finalists for the 2018 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards Announced by Arizona Technology Council and Arizona Commerce Authority

October 3, 2018

PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct 3, 2018--The Arizona Technology Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority have announced individual award winners, company award finalists, Future Innovators of the Year and Teacher of the Year winners for the 2018 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards (GCOI). The awards honor the leaders and visionaries whose body of work contribute to the growth and prosperity of Arizona’s technology sector.

“The 2018 honorees demonstrate the incredible talent in Arizona’s technology ecosystem,” said Sandra Watson, President & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “As a result of their success, Arizona is recognized as a leading hub for innovation. We thank each of them for their investments in our state and congratulate them on their accomplishments!”

“Determining the winners and finalists for the 2018 GCOI celebration was no simple task,” said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “As we continue to expand our portfolio of world-class technology companies and promising startups, the competition for these awards gets tougher. The innovators on this list are truly the best and brightest in Arizona, and we look forward to honoring them.”

The individual/company award winners are:

Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year: Heidi Jannenga, WebPT, Phoenix Judges Award: Al Maag, MaagComplus, Tempe

One company within each of the following categories will be announced as the winner at the GCOI event:

Innovator of the Year, Start-Up Company: BlackBar Engineering, Tucson; Paradox Inc., Scottsdale; and Regulonix, Tucson Innovator of the Year, Small Company: CampusLogic, Chandler; Dynamic Water Technologies, Scottsdale; and Solera Health Inc., Phoenix Innovator of the Year, Large Company: Benchmark, Phoenix; IBM, Tucson; and Opendoor, Scottsdale Innovator of the Year Award – Academia: Dr. Yasin Silva and Dr. Deborah Hall – Bully Blocker, ASU, West Campus, Glendale; Dr. Ferran Garcia-Pichel, School of Life Sciences and The Biodesign Institute, ASU, Tempe; and Dr. Laurence Hurley, The University of Arizona, Tucson

The individual company award winners and finalists were evaluated and chosen by the following selection committee of experts independent of the Council:

Islamshah Amlani, Honeywell Aerospace James Goulka, Arizona Tech Investors Dave Higgins, Benchmark Doug Hockstad, Tech Launch Arizona Eric Miller, PADT Mary O’Reilly, PhD, CEM, Flinn Foundation Chuck Vermillion, AccountabilIT

The Future Innovators of the Year award winners represent the “Best of the Best” of the Arizona Engineering and Science Fairs (grades 9-12) for 2018. The winning teacher will receive a $1,000 cash award and each of the winning students will receive a $1,000 scholarship to further enhance his or her education.

Future Innovators of the Year Award Winners:

Damian Galasso, Galasso Homeschool, Tucson Bryan Gopal, Brophy College Preparatory, Phoenix Trevor Hale, Liberty High School, Peoria Rohit Nandakumar, Basha High School, Chandler

Future Innovators of the Year Honorable Mentions:

Nikita Bharati, Basha High School, Chandler Sukesh Ram, BASIS, Peoria

Teacher of the Year Award Winner:

Pradip Misra, Bagdad High School, Bagdad

Teacher Honorable Mentions:

Katy Gazda, Red Mountain High School, Mesa Hilary Stacey, Empire High School, Tucson

The Future Innovators and Teacher of the Year award winners were evaluated and chosen by a selection committee independent of the Council, including members of the Arizona Council of Engineering and Scientific Associations (ACESA). ACESA supports, promotes and coordinates programs and activities of the engineering and science associations within the state of Arizona through facilitated communication and leadership.

In its 15 th year, GCOI will be held 4:00 - 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 8, 2018, at Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N. 3 rd St., West Building, 3 rd Floor. The event attracts more than 850 attendees each year for a night of networking, food, and entertainment.

The event will consist of a strolling dinner and Tech Showcase followed by a theatre-style awards program. The Tech Showcase includes over 50 companies showcasing their innovations, culture and future here in Arizona. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at aztechcouncil.org.

About the Arizona Technology Council

The Arizona Technology Council (AZTC) is Arizona’s premier trade association for science and technology companies. Recognized as having a diverse professional business community, Council members work towards furthering the advancement of technology in Arizona through leadership, education, legislation and social action. The Council offers numerous events, educational forums and business conferences that bring together leaders, visionaries, and community members to make an impact on the technology industry. These interactions contribute to the Council’s culture of growing member businesses and transforming technology in Arizona. To become a member or to learn more about the Arizona Technology Council, please visit www.aztechcouncil.org and follow AZTC on Twitter at @aztechcouncil.

About the Arizona Commerce Authority

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is the state’s leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona’s economy. The ACA uses a three-pronged approach to advance the overall economy: attract, expand, create - attract out-of-state companies to establish operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to expand their business in Arizona and beyond; and help entrepreneurs create new Arizona businesses in targeted industries. For more information, please visit azcommerce.com and follow the ACA on Twitter at @azcommerce.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181003005875/en/

CONTACT: Media contact:


Alec Robertson


(585) 281-6399


Organization contact:

Arizona Technology Council

Steven G. Zylstra


(602) 422-9447



SOURCE: Arizona Technology Council

Copyright Business Wire 2018.

PUB: 10/03/2018 04:12 PM/DISC: 10/03/2018 04:12 PM


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