SOURCE: Illinois Technology Association (ITA)

Illinois Technology Association (ITA)

July 08, 2014 11:04 ET

Elite Panel of Judges to Pick Tech Winners in 15th Annual ITA CityLIGHTS Awards

Finalists in Illinois Technology Association Competition Will Be Announced in August

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Jul 8, 2014) - The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) has lined up 57 local luminaries to judge the 2014 ITA CityLIGHTS awards program, celebrating the best and the brightest in the Illinois technology community. The ITA CityLIGHTS judges include Brandon Jung, Head Google Cloud Partners, Americas, Google; Melinda Kramer, CEO, KloudVentures; Roger Liew, CTO, Orbitz Worldwide; Jeff Malehorn, President & CEO, World Business Chicago; Nancy Sullivan, CEO & Senior Managing Director, IllinoisVentures; and other leading lights in the Chicago-area business, technology, education, finance and media sectors.

Finalists in all eight categories will be announced on August 19. The winners -- determined by a combination of judges' scores and public voting -- will be announced at the ITA CityLIGHTS Awards Dinner on September 18 at the new Morgan Manufacturing event space in the West Loop.

"CityLIGHTS judging gets more competitive every year as the companies and individuals involved in technology in Illinois become more diverse. We rely on our judges' knowledge, instincts and critical skills to help select the cream of the crop," said ITA Vice President Sarah Habansky. "The caliber of our judges this year showcases the value that people place on this competition and its role as a bellwether of next-generation Chicago technology stars."

"Being a member of the 2014 CityLIGHTS judging panel gives us a ringside seat to the achievements of Chicago's tech community," said Gogo President and CEO Michael Small. "Participating in judging gives us an opportunity not only to evaluate the nominees but also to see where Chicago tech is headed."

The 2014 ITA CityLIGHTS judges are:

  • Mark Achler, Managing Director, MATH Venture Partners
  • Michael Arndt, Editor, Crain's Chicago Business
  • Jeremie Bacon, President America's, Orc Goup
  • George Bousis, Founder & CEO, Raise
  • Kevin Carlson, CEO, Brill Street
  • Linda Darragh, Executive Director, Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice, Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management
  • Justin Dearborn, CEO, Merge Healthcare
  • Scott Epskamp, President & Co-Founder, Leapfrog Online
  • Russell Evans, Vice President, Global Marketing, ShopperTrak
  • Elise Fleischaker, Vice President, Marketing, Trading Technologies
  • Leo Flynn, Director-Strategy, CDW
  • Ian Greenblatt, VP, Strategy & Business Development, ARRIS
  • Devin Gross, CEO, Emmi Solutions
  • Frank Gruber, CEO & CO-Founder, Tech Cocktail
  • Mark Harris, President & CEO, Illinois Science & Technology Coalition
  • Troy Henikoff, Managing Director, TechStars Chicago
  • Justyn Howard, Founder & CEO, Sprout Social
  • Brandon Jung, Head Google Cloud Partners, Americas, Google
  • Sam Kennedy, Executive Director, Techweek, Inc
  • Ross Kimbarovsky, Co-Founder & Co-Executive, Crowdspring
  • Mike Kohnen, Managing Director, Midwest Technology, Silicon Valley Bank
  • Melinda Kramer, CEO, KloudVentures
  • Amanda Lannert, CEO, Jellyvision
  • Roger Liew, CTO, Orbitz
  • Brian Littleton, President & CEO, ShareASale
  • Pat Maher, Managing Director, nAblement
  • James Malackowski, Chairman & CEO, Ocean Tomo, LLC
  • Jeff Malehorn, President & CEO, World Business Chicago
  • Christopher Morgan, Founding Partner, Lantern Partners
  • John Morris, President & CEO, Cleversafe
  • Jon Morris, CEO, Rise Interactive, Inc.
  • Alicia Mullen, Principal, Washing Pond Ventures
  • Maura O'Hara, Executive Director, IVCA
  • Eric Olson, Associate, Origin Ventures
  • Chris Pautsch, Co-Founder & CEO, KeyLimeTie
  • Jack Philbin, Co-Founder & CEO, Vibes
  • Karen Purze, Former Senior Director, Product Development, HERE
  • Shawn Riegsecker, CEO, Centro
  • Dennis Roberson, Vice Provost for Research, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)
  • Molly Rudberg, Chief Alchemist & Leadership Innovator, Molly Rudberg, LLC
  • Greg Rudin, VP/GM, GrouponLive, Groupon
  • Mike Sands, President & CEO, Signal
  • Mike Schamberger, Partner and Head, Technology Practice, Grant Thornton
  • Bret Schneider, Mid-West Regional Manager, Oracle Corporation
  • Dave Shea, CEO, Corptax
  • Jai Shekhawat, CEO & Co-Founder, Fieldglass, Inc.
  • Michael Small, President & CEO, Gogo
  • Emerson Spartz, CEO, Spartz
  • Brad Spirrison, Managing Editor, Appolicious
  • Andy Stanis, Executive Director, SPR Companies
  • Nancy Sullivan, CEO & Senior Managing Director, IllinoisVentures
  • Peter Tapling, CEO, Authentify, Inc.
  • Jed Taylor, Director of Operations, Tech Entrepreneur Center, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Howard Tullman, CEO, 1871
  • Doug Waggoner, CEO, Echo Global Logistics
  • Ira Weiss, Professor, University of Chicago
  • Karl Zimmerman, Founder & CEO, Steadfast

For more information and to register for the awards dinner, visit Sponsorship inquiries can be sent to Meghan Bradley at

The 2014 ITA CityLIGHTS presenting sponsor is Grant Thornton and platinum sponsor is CDW. Event sponsors include Authentify,, Crain's Chicago Business, HERE, KPMG, kCura, Lantern Partners, Southpoint Insurance and SurePayroll.

About the Illinois Technology Association
The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) powers tech growth in Illinois. Through vibrant programs, services and strategic consulting, the ITA drives our dynamic industry by working to grow, build and elevate our members. Visit ITA at or @ITAbuzz or contact ITA at to find out more about how ITA supports the growth of Illinois technology.

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