SOURCE: Illinois Technology Association (ITA)

Illinois Technology Association (ITA)

April 27, 2009 09:00 ET

ITA Announces 10th Annual CityLIGHTS Award Winners

Nearly 1,000 in Illinois Technology Community Register to Vote for Nominees and Participate in Inaugural Selection Process

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - April 27, 2009) - The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2009 CityLIGHTS Awards. The awards, which honor outstanding information technology companies, executives and advocates in Illinois, were presented to the winners at the Association's tenth annual CityLIGHTS Gala on April 23 at Union Station.

The 2009 CityLIGHTS winners are:

-- CityLIGHTS Award: Given to an individual that has made a significant impact on the Illinois technology community.

- Linda Darragh, director of entrepreneurship programs, Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

-- CEO of the Year Award: Given to the CEO who has driven his company to new heights in the past year.

- Bill Conroy, president and CEO, Initiate Systems

-- Spotlight Award: Given to the CIO/CTO for leadership and outstanding contributions in the application of information technology.

- Rich Holada, vice president, technology, SPSS, Inc.

-- Lighthouse Award: Given to the company that best represents the region's growing stature as home to world-class information technology companies.

- SmartSignal

-- Rising Star Award: Given to the company that has emerged from its start-up phase to distinguish itself in the technology marketplace.

- Aleri, Inc.

-- Newcomer Award: Given to the company that has the strongest potential to emerge from its start-up phase and distinguish itself in the technology marketplace.

- crowdSPRING

For the first time in the ten-year history of CityLIGHTS, members of Illinois' technology community helped determine winners in five of the six award categories, with nearly 1,000 registering to participate and vote. The flagship CityLIGHTS award was selected by ITA's board of directors.

"We received an overwhelming number of high-quality CityLIGHTS award nominations this year and were floored by the support we received in deciding the winners," said Fred Hoch, president, ITA. "The crop of 2009 honorees is an excellent representation of the outstanding contributions Illinois' technology executives are making to the advancement of technology around the globe and reinforces our state's position as a substantial technology hotbed."

CityLIGHTS is the Midwest's premier technology-related award event and Illinois' largest gathering of technology executives in the state. This year's event drew more than 600 attendees.

Sponsors of the 2009 CityLIGHTS Awards include Platinum Sponsor Grant Thornton; Gold Sponsors Aladdin Knowledge Systems and McGuireWoods; and Event Sponsor SPSS.

About the ITA

The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) represents the interests of a diverse membership of more than 550 companies in Illinois that create, deploy and utilize information technology as a core part of their organization. By connecting members with industry peers and participants, providing the latest strategic information, market research and critical market insight and by promoting key thought leaders to raise visibility and gain a greater market awareness and presence, ITA is focused on building and developing the Illinois technology community through collaboration. Additional information is available at

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