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Awards Winners

2023 Tech Titan Award Winners

The Tech Titans Awards were launched in 2001 by Tech Titans, North Texas’ most comprehensive organization supporting technology. The prestigious annual contest recognizes outstanding technology companies and individuals in the North Texas area who have made contributions during the past year locally, as well as to the technology industry overall. The Tech Titans Gala committee is a group of dedicated volunteers who organize the awards ceremony each year, and judges for the contest are drawn from a variety of disciplines in technology, leaders in the DFW area and past winners.

Hall of Fame inductee: Gertrude Van Horn  

This award honors a North Texas technology visionary for outstanding leadership in assisting, advancing and accelerating the performance of the technology industry and/or adoption of technology in North Texas; spanning more than one decade and reaching far beyond the individual’s company/organization.

At NCH Corporation, Gertrude invested ten exciting years to drive strategy to modernize critical Core Services across 40 countries, streamline and digitize sales and marketing tools for NCH's global, 4000-person salesforce, and to dramatically improve NCH’s enterprise technology network and security. She focuses on building and delivering IT strategies and solutions aligned to elevate businesses and achieve their business goals.

Pictured with award sponsor Valerie Freeman, Chief Executive Officer, BravoTECH

Corporate CEO winner: Andrew Schaap, Aligned Data Center

This award recognizes the CEO or Division President of a technology company within North Texas with revenues of more than $200 million.

Andrew's leadership philosophy is humility, "best idea wins", radical integrity and radical transparency. Everybody has a voice.  At Aligned Data Centers, they really don't care where the idea comes from, just that they are all proud of what that idea is and they are not afraid to fail, as failing is part of growing.  Andrew believes in empowering his people to make the decisions and make those decisions quickly and thoughtfully.

Sponsored by Comcast Business-Masergy (not pictured)

Community Hero: Swathi Nelabhatla, She-Jobs

This award recognizes an individual employed by a North Texas technology company for outstanding achievements in community service to the North Texas area. 

Swathi's work through her company, She-Jobs, a company founded for woman-focused workforce job portal with the goal of helping women and underrepresented minorities in joining the tech workforce, fulfills her passion for being an entrepreneur.  Not only that, but it allows her to solve her life's purpose by helping women and other underrepresented members of her community!

Pictured with award sponsor Shanthi Rajaram, CEO, Amazech

Corporate Innovation: Aligned Data Centers

This award recognizes a company for outstanding innovation and unique accomplishments through recent or potential breakthrough technology or approach within the North Texas technology industry with revenues of more than $200 million.

Aligned Data Centers is a leading technology infrastructure company offering innovative, sustainable, and adaptive Scale Data Centers and Build-to-Scale solutions for global hyperscale and enterprise customers across the Americas. Our intelligent infrastructure allows densification and vertical growth within the same footprint, enabling customers to scale up without disruption, all while maintaining industry-leading Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). By reducing the energy, water and space needed to operate, our data center solutions, combined with our patented cooling technology, offer businesses a competitive advantage by improving sustainability, reliability, and their bottom line.

Pictured with award sponsor Annie Bogue, Chief Operating Officer, Fujitsu

Corporate CIO/CTO: Carissa De Santis, Brix Holdings

This award recognizes a Chief Information Officer or Corporate Technology or Science Officer of a company with revenues of more than $200 million for exceptional technical leadership that fostered the development or deployment of a new technology resulting in significant value for the company.

Carissa has a background in both restaurant operations and IT and draws on her diversified experience to align technology strategy with business priorities.  As CTO for Brix Holdings, the multi-brand franchiser behind Red Mango, Souper Salad, RedBrick Pizza and others, De Santis exemplifies a new cadre of restaurant business leaders that embrace emerging technologies in an industry which has often lagged in that respect. She's particularly enthusiastic about the potential that the data analytics and AI hold for restaurants and is optimistic that the industry will learn to embrace innovative technologies in years to come.

Pictured with award sponsor Dr. Richard Benson, President, University of Texas at Dallas

Emerging Company Innovation: Connect 5G

This award recognizes a company for outstanding innovation and unique accomplishments through recent or potential breakthrough technology or approach within the North Texas technology industry with revenues of at least $2 million but not more than $200 million.

Connect 5G, Inc. is a Dallas-based telecommunications company offering configuration and integration services for telecom networks, accelerating 5G deployment for U.S. telecom Players.  Connect 5G specializes in remote delivery throughout the U.S., providing quality, capacity, and flexibility through offshore resources, as well as optional on-site management. Today, Connect 5G employs 55 senior and experienced personnel in the United States and Brazil and can staff up swiftly to 100-plus to suit their clients' needs.

Pictured with award sponsor Sampath Saagi of Tech Mahindra

Emerging Company CEO: Steve Miff, Parkland Center for Clinical Information 

This award recognizes the CEO of a technology company headquartered in North Texas with revenues of at least $2 million but not more than $200 million.

A seasoned executive with 20-plus years of experience launching innovative products and channel partnerships in the healthcare space, Steve Miff currently serves as President and CEO of Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation - a leading nonprofit artificial intelligence and cognitive computing organization affiliated with Parkland Health and Hospital System, one of the country's largest and most progressive safety-net hospitals. With Miff at the helm, PCCI uses next-generation analytics and technology to help serve vulnerable and underserved residents by uncovering social determinants of health and incorporating  those insights into point-of-care interventions.

Emerging Company CIO/CTO: Thomas Sweet, Industrial Refrigeration Pros 

This award recognizes a Chief Information Officer or Corporate Technology or Science Officer of a company with revenues of at least $2 million but not more than $200 million for exceptional technical leadership that fostered the development or deployment of a new technology resulting in significant value for the company.

Industrial Refrigeration Pros designs, builds and services large-scale industrial refrigeration systems using ammonia or CO2 instead of freon. As CIO, Thomas Sweet manages all things IT and cybersecurity. Sweet is both a business and technical leader in this role and holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and a Citation in Geostatistics from the University of Alberta. Sweet takes pride in Industrial Refrigeration Pros' integrity and their safety measures when working with harsh chemicals or construction.

Sponsored by SBase (not pictured)

Start Up CEO: Rahul Saini, Teliatry

This award recognizes the CEO of a technology company headquartered in North Texas with revenues of no more than $2 million.

Teliatry is the only company in the world that exclusively uses nanotechnology and microtechnology to design, fabricate and manufacture implantable medical devices used to treat neurological disorders such as Spinal Cord Injury, stroke, PTSD, chronic pain, Parkinson's Disease, dementia, and more. CEO Rahul Saini takes pride in Teliatry's "electro-ceuticals," small devices that use electrical signals to treat these neural disorders and similar to how pharmaceuticals interact with physiology to treat medical issues. With over 25 peer-reviewed journal articles, Saini has worked with industry leaders, government agencies, and academia throughout his career.  Saini is also the winner of the North Texas Tech Titan "Technology Inventor" award for 2018.

Pictured with award sponsor Zach Barnes, Deloitte

Technology Advocate: Barbara Baffer, Ericsson North America

This award recognizes an individual or company for outstanding leadership in championing, assisting, advancing or accelerating the performance of the technology industry in North Texas.

Barbara Baffer is the VP of Government & Industry Relations for Ericsson North America where she has worked for more than 33 years and leads the company's legislative advocacy efforts in the U.S. and Canada. Barbara campaigns with leaders and non-profit organizations on critical wireless advocacy issues, such as streamlining the deployment of 5G infrastructure, creating a spectrum pipeline for future generations advancing tech neutrality, and promoting subsidies and broader access to wireless networks for consumers. She represents Ericsson on the Executive Committee of the Information Technology Industry Council and serves on the Board of Directors to CTIA's Wireless Association Foundation, the Board of the Telecommunications Industry Association, the Collin County Business Alliance and is a past board chair of Tech Titans.

Pictured with award sponsor Mona Chariff (right), NTT Data

Technology Inventor: Walter Voit & Benjamin Lund, Adaptive 3D, Desktop Metal

This award recognizes the pioneering accomplishments of a North Texas person, team or group responsible for the creation of technical breakthrough ideas, processes or products which have advanced the discipline. 

Adaptive 3D, a Desktop Metal company founded by inventor Walter Voit, is an additive manufacturing polymer resin supplier developing solutions for the production of flexible elastopolymer end parts in a wide range of industries, from automotive to medical. Under the leadership of Benjamin Lund, the director of Desktop Metal's applied polymer research department, the company is developing polymers to advance the 3D printing industry from prototyping to mass-manufacturing. Adaptive 3D's proprietary chemistries are the industry's leading 3D printing versions of rubber, polyurethane, and silicone, and the company's groundbreaking technology enables a sustainable and modern additive manufacturing future.

Tech Titan of the Future - High School: Casey McCluskey, Marcus High School, LISD

This award recognizes a North Texas high school (grades 9-12) math or science teacher for development and implementation of an innovative teaching technique or program that inspires student interest regarding further educational and/or career pursuits in STEM.

Until 2021, Lewisville Independent School District had no robotics curriculum.  Thanks to Marcus Senior High School teacher Casey McCluskey and his colleagues, all five high schools in the district now have robust robotics programs that foster student engagement in STEM education and prepare them for degrees in engineering.  McCluskey established the Marcus Robotics Institute, which offers programming workshops for students and training workshops for coaches and teachers.  The institute has the only dedicated robotics arena in the northern Texas region and partners with the FIRST Tech Challenge to host regional high-school robotics competitions.

Pictured with award sponsor Abby Taylor, VP of Sales, Qentelli

Tech Titan of the Future - University: Diversity and Excellence in Engineering Network (DEEN) University of North Texas, College of Engineering

This award recognizes an accredited educational institution in the North Texas area that encourages and supports students to choose engineering and technology related disciplines as a preferred career path. 

As one of the nation's most diverse universities, UNT is a majority-minority institution with over 25% Hispanic students. Of the Hispanic student population, 37% are Pell Grant eligible, qualifying UNT for the federal designation "Hispanic-Serving Institution" (HSI). Of the 500 plus HSI-eligible institutions, UNT is one of just 12 Tier One Research schools. While only a small percentage of all institutions of higher education, HSIs enroll about 2/3 of all Hispanic undergraduates in the country. UNT is proud to be part of the 50K Coalition, a collaborative of over 40 organizations dedicated to producing 50,000 diverse engineering graduates annually by 2025.

Dr. Nandika D'Souza pictured with sponsor Doug Bostrom from Qorvo

Fast Tech: TAP Innovations

This award recognizes the fastest growing technology, telecommunications and/or life sciences company in North Texas. Fast Tech Award finalists are determined based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2020 - 2022.

TAP understands the crazy frustrations and inefficiencies with multiple software systems in your industryIn fact, most attempt to solve these issues with Manual Efforts and Spread Sheets or MESSs adding more complications. But look no further, because TAP eliminates MESSs and puts you on the ‘Road to Efficiency’ with the BEST Software Integrations, Analytics, & Custom Apps on the Planet, Period.
TAP Innovations came in first overall with a growth performance of 2410%!

Pictured (from left to right) Charlie Fell, Comerica Bank Tech & Life Sciences, John Ragsdale, TAP Innovations, Vance McCollough, Moss Adams, Ollie Chandhok, Dallas Business Journal

Past winners

2022:  Doug Moore, Fujitsu
2021 - David Matthews, RevTech Ventures
2020 - Valerie Freeman, BravoTECH

2022 - Charlie Vogt
2021 - Randy Pitchford, Gearbox Entertainment
2020 - Niklas Heuveldop, Ericsson North America

2022 - Danyel Surrency Jones - POWERHANDZ
2021 - Anurag Jai
t, Get Shift Done
2019 - Bob Sawler, The Realtime Group


2022 - Brinker International
2021 - Gearbox Entertainment
2020 - +1 Labs at Match Group


2022 - Gordon Mansfield, AT&T
2021 - Neelu Sethi, CIO, Reddy Ice
2021 - Maria Lensing, CTO, McKesson Corporation


2022 - Aligned Data Centers
2021 - Esposure
2020 - BALANCED Media | Technology


2022 - Srii Srinivasan, Chargeback Gurus
2021 - Mance Harmon, Hedera Hashgraph
2020 - Teresa Mackintosh, Trintech


2022 - Dr. Corey Clark, BALANCED Media | Technology
2021 - Andrew Wildrix, Intrusion


2022 - Daniel Powell, Spark Biomedical, Inc
2021 - JD Enright, TMGcore


2022 - Robyn Brown, Bold Idea
2021 - Michael Hill, Cumulus Technologies
2020 - Stephanie Valdez, Per Scholas


2022 - Mark Harrison, Ericsson
2021 - Leemon Baird, Hedera Hashgraph
2020 - Ed Chao, Polte


2022 - Wenzen Chuang, Highland Park High School 
2021 - Morris Goldade, Wylie ISD
2019 - Leigh Ann Mitchell, Lewisville High School


2022 - The Sustainability + Development Program, SMU
2021 - Jeffrey McGee, UT Arlington
2019 - Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, UT Dallas

2022 - TimelyMD
2021 - Cysiv
2020 - Leo Cyber Security

2019 - Rebel Athletic
2018 - Callbox Storage, LLC
2017 - Caliber Collision Centers

2019 - Perot Jain
2018 - Bryan Chambers, The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, UT Dallas
2017 - Bios Partners


2006 - Cisco Systems
2005 - Skywire Software
2004 - Electronic Data Systems, EDS

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