SOURCE: Arizona Technology Council

Arizona Technology Council

November 18, 2011 09:00 ET

Winners Announced for Arizona Technology Council's 2011 Governor's Celebration of Innovation

Annual Event Spotlights How Innovations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Are Applied by Arizona's Technology Sector and Help Build a Sustainable Economy for the Future

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - Nov 18, 2011) - During a prestigious gala at the Phoenix Convention Center that honors the state's best and brightest innovators, the Arizona Technology Council, in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority, announced winners for the 2011 Governor's Celebration of Innovation (GCOI) awards. This year's event, with the theme of "Arizona Rising," featured a Technology Showcase with over 50 booths, providing an extraordinary opportunity for award finalists and sponsors to discuss and demonstrate their exceptional products and services to the over one thousand attendees.

"This year's GCOI winners were recognized for their prestigious technology achievements and innovations that have the power to transform our state and build a sustainable economy with jobs that typically pay significantly higher than average wages," said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. "We are proud that these exceptional companies and the individuals they employ with creative minds are members of our community and congratulate them on these well-deserved awards."

The winners and finalists were selected by a committee independent of the Council. Committee members included: Dr. Carol Baskin, Science Foundation Arizona; Hunter Bennett, OneNeck IT Services; James Goulka, ATIF (Arizona Technology Investment Forum); Dr. Mani Janakiram, Intel Corporation.; Ravi Kichloo, Avnet Inc.; Gordon McConnell, ASU Knowledge Enterprise Development; and Bob Witwer, Honeywell Aerospace.

"This celebration highlights the innovators in science and technology making a critical impact on the economic future of Arizona," said Don Cardon, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. "I congratulate the winners and the deserving finalists -- each of whom help give Arizona a competitive edge as a global leader in science and technology."
The winners in their respective categories are:

Company Award Winners:

  • Pioneering Award: To someone just getting to know Phoenix Analysis Design Technologies (PADT), Inc., Tempe, AZ, the most obvious thing that sets this engineering company apart is the diversity of its products and services. The three business groups at PADT (Simulation, Product Development, and Rapid Prototyping) are rarely combined into one complete offering. PADT's diversity and flexibility help to deal with market fluctuations while presenting its customers with a single, "one-stop" solution for their engineering needs. PADT is proud to be the Southwestern U.S. distributor for ANSYS, Inc. simulation software -- not only selling the industry's most popular tool set, but also providing technical support, training, and mentoring. PADT can also provide anything from a high quality prototype to a complete solution, for customers who want to develop any type of physical product. PADT offers soft molding, injection molding, and manufacturing consulting to a wide variety of customers.

  • Green Innovator of the Year: Yulex Corporation, Chandler, AZ, is a renewable and sustainable enterprise that has developed a portfolio of biopolymers derived from the U.S.-grown guayule plant. These technological innovations are designed to replace traditional tropical or petroleum-based rubber for consumer, industrial and medical markets and residual agricultural materials are utilized as a feedstock for bioenergy. Yulex collaborates with customers to develop and market highly differentiated, premium performance products in an ecologically responsible, sustainable manner resulting in products with a negative carbon impact. The company's newest production facility is located within the Lone Butte Industrial Park in Chandler, Arizona, and is part of the Gila River Indian Community. As part of its expansion, Yulex has chosen to hire only local employees as part of its dedication to Arizona.

  • Innovator of the Year - Start-Up Company: VisionGate, Phoenix, AZ, was incorporated in 2001 to battle the world's number one cancer killer, lung cancer, for which no standardized test exists today. Dr. Alan Nelson, the company's founder, chairman and CEO, has created the first automated 3D cellular imaging platform, which is the basis for non-invasive lung cancer detection and screening, the Cell-CT™. Most attempts to visualize cells in 3D are approximations derived through cumbersome techniques. Consequently, the 3D anatomy of the cell has been elusive. VisionGate's Cell-CT platform allows rapid visualization of the cell's complex 3D anatomy, and this capability will lead to many important discoveries in the hands of leading scientists. VisionGate is the pioneer in this field, and the U.S. Patent Office has issued the first 11 patents covering the company's technology and its associated 3D cell image processing, automated classification capabilities and diverse applications in early cancer detection, therapy monitoring and drug discovery. Today, VisionGate holds 64 patents in 13 countries.

  • Innovator of the Year - Small Company: OneNeck IT Services, Scottsdale, AZ, received this award in recognition of its Hosted Desktop Solution, a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) which separates a desktop PC environment from a physical machine using a distributed application structure model of computing. VDI moves the desktop workload away from the desktop PC and places it in the cloud infrastructure creating a hosted virtual desktop. Virtual desktops run on the virtual server where the user data and profiles live. The computing load remains on the server where the light-weight data (screen deltas and cursor movements) is sent over the WAN/Internet via a connection broker to the end user device. OneNeck's VDI offering makes going virtual simpler, faster and secure. This offering also eases desktop management through centralized tools for desktop management; reduces the burden on helpdesks; makes it easier and faster to roll-out new applications; and makes operating systems or application errors and breaks caused by end users less possible.

  • Innovator of the Year - Large Company: This award recognizes one of Honeywell International's largest business groups, Honeywell Aerospace, headquartered in Phoenix with current sales of more than $11 billion. This group was responsible for the development and certification of a low-emissions turbofan jet engine. The engine is used to power a business/regional size aircraft, which enables a trans-Atlantic flight of more than 3000 nautical miles. The low-emission engine was certified in 2010, achieved a 27% reduction in NOx emissions with significant reductions in other pollutants. This has been a critical factor for Honeywell to secure three business jet aircraft applications with $35B in revenue opportunity.

  • Innovator of the Year - Academia: Building on an amazing history of achievement that makes Arizona second to none in solar system research, The University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) received this award for its hard earned approval from NASA for the OSIRIS-REx mission, an $800 M first-of-a-kind project designed to go to an asteroid, collect a substantial amount of materials from both bulk and fine-grained surface form, and return them to Earth. The total mission will span 14 years and is being directed by Dr. Michael J. Drake, director of the LPL. Dr. Drake and his team have created a blueprint for a mission that will provide high-paying jobs for Arizona while creating fantastic opportunities to understand the origins of our solar system and engage young minds with the excitement of scientific exploration.

Chairman Award Winner:

  • Justin Williams, Founder of, CEO at DLJ Group Inc., founder at Selectioneering, and former director, Tucson Regional Office at Arizona Technology Council. The Chairman's Award is given once each year to an individual who has demonstrated exemplary passion, vision, and action in support of the Council. Williams, not only opened the Council's first Tucson office, he achieved a 500% membership growth in Southern Arizona. He was also instrumental in the creation of several key events that have driven awareness and action in the region, including "StartupWeekend Tucson" that challenged more than 100 people to create a viable, sustainable business in just 54 hours.

Previously announced winners that were also honored at the event include:

Individual Award Winners:

  • OneNeck IT Services People's Choice Lifetime Achievement Award: Roy Vallee, executive chairman of the board of Avnet Inc., Phoenix, AZ
  • William F. McWhortor Community Service Leader of the Year: James C. Wyant, Dean, College of Optical Sciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  • Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year: Clate Mask, chief executive officer, Infusionsoft, Gilbert, AZ

Teacher of the Year Award Winner:

  • Birgit Musheno, Desert Vista High School, Phoenix, AZ

Teacher of the Year Award Honorable Mentions:

  • Paul J. McElligott, PhD, Fountain Hills High School, Fountain Hills, AZ
  • Sandra Trevino, Buena High School, Sierra Vista, AZ

Future Innovators of the Year Award Winners:

  • Aakash Jain, Brophy College Preparatory High School, Phoenix, AZ
  • Francisco Orozco, Tucson Magnet High School, Tucson, AZ
  • Cory Owan, Catalina Foothills High School, Tucson, AZ
  • Rajet Vatsa, Brophy College Preparatory High School, Phoenix, AZ

Future Innovators of the Year Award Honorable Mentions:

  • Colby Howell, Hamilton High School, Chandler, AZ
  • Soumya C. Kambhampati, McClintock High School, Tempe, AZ

Tech Ten Legislators:
The Tech Ten awards were given in recognition of Arizona legislative members who have demonstrated outstanding support for promoting and advancing Arizona as a top-tier technology state. Separate awards for "Senator of the Year" and "Representative of the Year" were also presented. The winning legislators are:

Outstanding Tech Senator of the Year Award Winner:

  • Arizona legislator Sylvia Allen (R-5)

Outstanding Tech Representative of the Year Award Winner:

  • Speaker of the House Andy Tobin (R-1)

Arizona State Senate: Senator Richard Crandall (R-19); Senator John McComish (R-20); Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-15)

Arizona House of Representatives: Representative Heather Carter (R-7); Representative Tom Forese (R-21); Representative Eric Meyer (D-11); Representative Amanda Reeve (R-6); Representative Debbie Lesko (R-9); Representative Ted Vogt (R-30); Representative Kimberly Yee (R-10)

About the Arizona Technology Council
The Arizona Technology Council is Arizona's premier trade association for science and technology companies. Recognized as having a diverse professional business community, Council members work towards furthering the advancement of technology in Arizona through leadership, education, legislation and social action. The Arizona Technology Council offers numerous events, educational forums and business conferences that bring together leaders, managers, employees and visionaries to make an impact on the technology industry. These interactions contribute to the Council's culture of growing member businesses and transforming technology in Arizona. To become a member or to learn more about the Arizona Technology Council, please visit

About the Arizona Commerce Authority
The Arizona Commerce Authority is dedicated to welcoming domestic and international businesses to Arizona and encouraging the expansion of existing businesses in the State. The agency maintains foreign trade offices in Canada, Asia, Europe and Mexico. The ACA will focus exclusively on business attraction, retention and expansion of Arizona's strongest economic sectors including science/technology, aerospace/defense, renewable energies and small business/entrepreneurial expansion efforts. For more information contact: Arizona Commerce Authority at 602-845-1200 or

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