Winners announced at annual Awards Gala

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August 26, 2017
links to stories provided by the Dallas Business Journal


Tech Titans, the largest technology trade organization in Texas, recognized outstanding technology companies and individuals in North Texas at its annual awards gala at the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West on Friday.

“Each year, we continue to see amazing innovation from nominees, and this year is no different,” said Bill Sproull, president and CEO, Tech Titans. “There’s a reason why we’re one of the best places in the country to do business. North Texas continues to produce impressive companies, individuals and organizations that lay the foundation for future growth and progress. We’re proud to honor this year’s award recipients and are already looking forward to the 2018 submissions!”

Here are this year's 2017 Tech Titans Awards winners, along with links to profiles written on all of this year's finalists:

HALL OF FAME: Charlie Feld

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.

Charlie is considered a mentor and leader to CIOs not only in DFW, but around the world. After being head of IT at Frito-Lay in the 1990s, he founded the Feld Group in 1992, which was acquired by EDS in 2008 in an $89 million deal. He has been a top advisor to Delta Air Lines, Burlington Northern Railroad, First Data Resources, WellPoint and FedEx. He continues to serve and advise the tech community through the Feld Group Institute.

Read more about Charlie in this profile from Shawn Shinneman.

CORPORATE COMPANY CEO: Brian Peccarelli, president of Tax and Accounting at Thomson Reuters

This award recognizes CEO leadership within the technology industry with revenues of more than $200 million.

Under his leadership, the Tax & Accounting business has experienced dramatic revenue growth – from $485 million in 2005 to nearly $1.5 billion in 2016 – and executed 43 acquisitions worldwide. He is the executive sponsor of Thomson Reuters’ Innovation Initiative, drawing thought leaders and subject-matter experts across the enterprise to cultivate and execute innovative projects for customers. Thomson Reuters has funded more than 80 of these employee projects, bringing a $5.2 million return.

Read more about Brian in this profile from Shawn Shinneman.

EMERGING COMPANY CEO: Dave Copps, Brainspace

This award recognizes CEO leadership for an emerging company within the technology industry with revenues between $2 million and $200 million.

Brainspace creates machine learning software used worldwide. Under the leadership and commitment of CEO Dave Copps, the company that started with three guys in a garage is now a 70-person team, delivering breakthrough technology in the E-discovery/Investigations space.

Finalists: Christopher Godfrey, Bloodbuy; Vanessa OgleEnseo Inc.; John Olajide, Axxess



The Corporate Innovation award recognizes a technology company for outstanding innovation and unique accomplishments through recent or potential breakthrough technology or approach within the technology or approach within the technology industry in the DFW Metroplex. The company must have a corporate headquarters or a division office in the DFW Metroplex. The company must have 2017 operating revenues of more than $200 million.

CapitalOne simplifies the car buying process with their online Auto Navigator financing product.

Finalists: AT&T, Citi, Fujitsu Network Communications


CORPORATE CTO: Michael Boren, Beck Technology

This award recognizes a CTO with exceptional technical leadership that fostered the development of new technology resulting in significant value for the company.

Boren leads development of advanced estimating software for the commercial construction industry, including 5-D Building Information Modeling. His innovative approach to product development combines in-house expertise with a crowd-sourcing development model, incorporating input from industry practitioners.

Finalists: Arun BhikshesvaranEricsson; Matthew Glover, Le-vel; Pradeep Govindasamy; Cigniti Technologies Ltd.

CORPORATE CIO: Suja Chandrasekaran, Kimberly-Clark Corporation

This award recognizes the Chief Information Officer for exceptional technical leadership that fosters the deployment of IT resulting in significant value for the company.

Chief Information and Digital Officer Suja Chandrasekaran transformed Kimberly-Clark’s technology organization into a true thought partner by instilling a consumer-centered mindset focused on digital metrics. IT’s strong partnerships with company business units and functions enable a data-driven culture.

Finalists: Ellen BarkerTexas Instruments Inc.; Janet DeBerardinisCaliber Collision Centers; Robert Walden, Epsilon


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.

Bloodbuy’s innovative web application connects U.S. hospitals and blood centers nationwide. It enables price transparency by publishing real-time cost averages and other key market indicators. The result? System-wide cost savings, increased access and reduced waste.

Bottle Rocket; Axxess

TECHNOLOGY INVENTOR: Richard Margolin, RoboKind LLC

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.

Richard Margolin’s work in social robotics at RoboKind is disrupting traditional therapeutic treatment for children with autism. He designed and invented Milo, a humanoid robot that teaches social and behavioral skills. Kids want to work with Milo again and again.

Finalists: Ram Dantu, The University of North Texas; Robert Gregg, The University of the Texas at Dallas; Samarendra Mohanty, Nanoscope Technologies, LLC

TECHNOLOGY ADVOCATE: Trey Bowles, Dallas Entrepreneur Center

This award recognizes a DFW 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.

Bowles drew on long experience as an entrepreneur to found the Dallas Entrepreneur Center. For the past five years, he’s been a dedicated builder of the startup community, creating the programs, tools and resources essential to its sustainability and success.

Finalists: Jennifer BartkowskiGirl Scouts of Northeast Texas; Jerry BeersFive Pack Creative; Valmiki Mukherjee, Cyber Future Foundation


This award recognizes an organization for completing a significant technology-related investment transaction that will impact and deliver significant long-term economic prosperity for DFW.

Since December 2013, Bios Partners has committed $40 million to investments in healthcare therapeutics and devices. The firm’s recent exit in its portfolio company, Encore Vision, provides capital for continued investing in pre-clinical, early stage bio, pharma and device companies in DFW.

Finalists: Dallas Entrepreneur CenterDeep Space VenturesTeakwood Capital


TECHNOLOGY ADOPTER: Caliber Collision Centers

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.

Caliber Collision Centers fundamentally changed their industry by embracing technology as a mission-critical business enabler. Implementation of cloud-based technology solutions drove rapid expansion, continuous cycle-time reductions and improved customer and client satisfaction.

Janet DeBerardinis, CIO of Caliber Collision Centers, was up for two awards Friday night (one individually and one as a part of her team). She missed out on Corporate CIO of the Year but secured Technology Adopter.

When she accepted, she credited the 28 members of Caliber's IT operation. "This is the one I wanted," she said shortly after receiving the award. "It's about my team. This is their award."

Finalists: Zack Hicks, Toyota Connected; David MichelCatapult Health; Josh Schliessman, Bell Helicopter


TECH TITAN OF THE FUTURE, UNIVERSITY: Magaly Spector, The University of Texas at Dallas– Young Women in Science and Engineering Investigators Program

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.

This program provides low-income students with training in scientific inquiry, exposure to STEM career paths and intensive mentoring by UTD graduate students. Girls leave the program excited about attending college and majoring in a STEM field.

Finalists: Bryan Chambers, The University of Texas at Dallas; Robynne LockTexas A&M University-Commerce; Lea Worth, SMU Continuing & Professional Education



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.

Henry Vo has taught math classes for 10 years in Richardson High School’s computer science program and sponsored the after-school club. Every senior participating in the “RHS-Comp-Sci” program has gone on to pursue a STEM-related degree at a major university.

"I couldn't have done this without some of the most important people in my life, and that's my students," said Vo on Friday night.

He said the $5,000 will go toward equipment for the classroom. The other three finalists take to their schools $1,000 each. "I never I'd win an award for this," he said.

Finalists: Kenric Davies, Frisco ISD; Edward DownesAlcuin School; Candice Lawrence, Wylie ISD



This award recognizes the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in DFW.

This year’s Fast Tech list is comprised of 20 North Texas technology companies, with BroadJump winning the coveted prize of fastest-growing company in North Texas, with a revenue growth of 7,070 percent during the last three years. For a full list of the 2017 Fast Tech companies and where each one ranked in terms of growth, click here.


Amy Alexander, Director, Marketing and Communications
(972) 792-2862