2018 Tech Titans Award Winners

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August 23, 2018
15 Companies, Organizations and Individuals Honored for Significant Contributions to Their Industries
DALLAS – Aug. 24, 2018Tech Titans, the largest technology trade organization in Texas, recognized outstanding technology companies and individuals in the North Texas area who have made significant contributions to their industries at its annual awards gala at the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West on Friday, Aug. 24. 
“North Texas continues to strengthen its ability to attract global companies to locate key operations in the region. As a result, the level of innovation and the interest level in STEM amongst school and college students is on the rise. MediaKind is excited to be amongst this growing pool of creativity and is looking forward to shaping the future of media by leveraging all available talent,” said Angel Ruiz, CEO MediaKind.
“For 18 years, we have seen amazing innovation from nominees,” said Bill Sproull, president and CEO, Tech Titans. “We are honored to highlight such impressive companies, individuals and organizations that lay the foundation for future growth and progress. The Gala both showcases new talent and demonstrates our partnership with the top technology firms in North Texas. Key sponsors such as MediaKind make this possible.”
2018 Tech Titans Awards Winners
Hall of Fame – Romelia Flores, IBM
This award recognizes a visionary from the metroplex known for outstanding leadership in assisting, advancing and accelerating the performance of the technology industry and/or adoption of technology in North Texas.
One of IBM’s top technologists worldwide, Romelia Flores earned the titles of IBM Distinguished Engineer in 2008 – one of just 700 worldwide – and IBM Master Inventor in 2009, a title afforded to IBM inventors when significant patent grants are awarded by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She holds 40 patents with an additional 30 patents pending.
Corporate Company CEO – Steve Winn, RealPage
This award recognizes CEO leadership within the technology industry with revenues of more than $200 million.
Stephen T. Winn has served as RealPage CEO, chairman of the board, and a member of board of directors since November 1998. Prior to RealPage, Winn served in various executive positions, including president of Research Institute of America, a provider of information services to the accounting industry and a wholly owned subsidiary of Thomson Reuters Corporation, and president and CEO of Computer Language Research Inc., a publicly traded company focused on tax compliance, tax research and accounting software, which was acquired by Thomson Reuters Corporation.
Emerging Company CEO – Vanessa Ogle, Enseo, Inc.
This award recognizes CEO leadership for an emerging company within the technology industry with revenues between $2 million and $200 million.
Ogle, founder and CEO, redirected her business focus from the airline industry to hospitality after 9/11. Enseo powers and manages the world’s largest fully-monitored out-of-home media network, reaching more than 50 million people annually. With 18 years in hospitality, Enseo is the fastest growing technology-based services provider delivering sustainable innovation for the largest hotel groups worldwide.
Corporate CTO – Kim Keating, AT&T
This award recognizes a CTO with exceptional technical leadership that fostered the development of new technology resulting in significant value for the company.
Keating, vice president of data science, is a critical leader in AT&T’s Chief Data Office. Through her leadership and vision, Kim’s teams transform and data-power AT&T with advanced analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Her teams leverage vast amounts of data to provide insights and answers to critical business questions.
CIO Award – Barry Shurkey, NTT DATA Services
This award recognizes the Chief Information Officer for exceptional technical leadership that fosters the deployment of IT resulting in significant value for the company.
CIO Barry Shurkey led the $3B acquisition of Dell Services to improve NTT DATA’s ability to serve clients through its global presence and gain a greater market share, while also expanding the number of solutions the company could offer.
Corporate Innovation – FirstNet by AT&T
This award recognizes a technology company for outstanding innovation and unique accomplishments through recent or potential breakthrough technology or approach within the technology industry with revenues greater than $200M.
FirstNet powered by AT&T is the country’s first nationwide public safety communications platform dedicated to first responders in times of need. Built with AT&T, in public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority, FirstNet is bringing public safety a much-needed technology upgrade.
Emerging Company InnovationBottle Rocket
This award recognizes a technology company for outstanding innovation and unique accomplishments through recent or potential breakthrough technology or approach within the technology industry with revenues between $2 million and $200 million.
Bottle Rocket builds the highest quality connected lifestyle experiences for the world’s most
discriminating brands.
Technology Inventor – Rahul Saini, Zyvex Labs
This award recognizes the pioneering accomplishments of a person, team or group responsible for the creation of breakthrough ideas, processes or products which have advanced the discipline(s) of the arts, education, electronics, energy, engineering, environment, medicine and/or science.
Rahul Saini is the system architect of the most complicated and advanced implant ever made to restore vision for blind patients with retinitis pigmentosa and advanced macular degeneration. He has multiple patents awarded/pending for this wireless, batteryless implant that is the size of a grain of rice.
Technology Advocate – David Sym-Smith, Mobility Ventures
This award recognizes a DFW Metroplex individual or company whose core business is not a technology product for outstanding leadership in championing, assisting, advancing or accelerating the performance of the technology industry in North Texas.
Sym-Smith is a CEO, founder, investor, mentor, and advisor to multiple corporations and startups. He provides personal mentorship at multiple incubators, in-person training and financial assistance. David gives entrepreneurs/start-ups access to leaders who have the resources to support their business goals and the personal knowledge and experiences to educate entrepreneurs on what it takes to launch, manage and grow a successful business.
Investment Catalyst – Bryan Chambers, The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - UT Dallas
This award recognizes an organization for completing a significant technology-related investment transaction that will impact and deliver significant long-term economic prosperity for the DFW Metroplex.
The UT Dallas Seed Fund invests in startups founded by UTD students, faculty, staff and alumni. Created in 2017, the fund raised $350,000 in its first year. To-date, Seed Fund has invested $125,000 in four UT Dallas-affiliated early-stage startups.
Technology Adopter Callbox Storage, LLC
This award recognizes a company whose core business is not technology products/services for outstanding adoption and application of innovative technologies to successfully change and impact its business results.
Callbox Storage, LLC has created and implemented a web platform that allows it to more efficiently store customers’ belongings and allows them more visibility into the items they’ve stored. Through the web application, customers’ items are tracked from pick up to facility and back again. Customers are also provided real-time visibility of items stored and the total volume stored.
Tech Titan of the Future, University University of North Texas
This award recognizes educational institutions that encourage and support students in choosing engineering and technology-related disciplines as a preferred path. This award category spotlights DFW area higher educational institutions' tech-related curricula and incentives to perpetuate tech-related knowledge transfer.
Dr. Renee Bryce is the founder of the Bug Catcher and Bug Wars software testing competitions that have engaged about 2,000 middle-school and high-school students, along with UNT freshmen to encourage them to pursue computer science as a major.
Tech Titan of the Future, High School – Douglas Lee, Dallas International School
This award recognizes a high school math or science teacher for the development and implementation of an innovative teaching technique or program that inspires student interest in math and/or science.
Douglas Lee, Dallas International School, helped build participation in computer science and engineering through the CES project, which immersed students in cutting edge technology. Students traveled to the Consumer Electronics Show, interviewed designers and engineers, and wrote product reviews.
Community Hero – Bill Warren, Reflect Systems
This award recognizes an individual within the technology industry for their outstanding achievements in community involvement.
Bill Warren, executive chairman of the board, Reflect Systems, is a lifetime advocate for children with special needs. He led the capital campaign to build The Warren Center headquarters in Richardson where 900 children are served each month. He was also pivotal in launching the Fantasy Football Draft Night event which has raised millions of dollars during 25 years for The Warren Center.
Fast Tech – Fastest Growing Company – Zimperium
This award recognizes the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. This ranking is compiled from nominations submitted directly to Tech Titans and independent research using public information conducted by Crowe and Comerica Bank.
Fast Tech award winners for 2018 are determined based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2015 to 2017. This year’s Fast Tech list is comprised of 20 North Texas technology companies, with Zimperium winning the coveted prize of fastest-growing company in North Texas, with a revenue growth of 1,066 percent. For a full list of 2018 Fast Tech companies, visit https://www.techtitans.org/pages/fast-tech.  
In addition to title sponsor MediaKind, other supporters of the Tech Titans Awards Gala include Ericsson, Nokia, Fujitsu Network Communications, Huawei, VLSIP Technologies, Masergy, Deloitte, ZRG Partners, Dassault Systemes, State Farm, Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel, M/C/C, Thomson Reuters, CyrusOne, Axxess, PwC and the Dallas Business Journal. Crowe and Comerica Bank are sponsors for Fast Tech. Other sponsors include AT&T, Cigniti Technologies, Qorvo, Texas Instruments, BravoTECH, Mitel, Pioneer Natural Resources, RealPage, Jones Day, NTT DATA Services, Property Damage Appraisers, University of North Texas and The University of Texas at Dallas.

About Tech Titans
Tech Titans is the largest technology trade association in Texas, representing a quarter million employees through its 300 member companies. Tech Titans includes a diverse group of technology leaders from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies who collaborate to help innovation thrive in the region. As part of its goals, Tech Titans is active in:
  • Cultivating a technology community of companies, entrepreneurs, investors and studentsGrowing future tech leaders with its talent and workforce development initiative
  • Advocating technology's advancement in governmental arenas
  • Connecting people and inspiring innovative ideas through its programs and special interest forums
For more information, please visit www.techtitans.org.
Media Contacts:
Amy Alexander
Tech Titans
Rebecca Renfroe
MCC for Tech Titans
972-480-8383 ext. 217
Amy Alexander, Director, Marketing and Communications
(972) 792-2862