Finalists and Select Winners Announced for The Arizona Technology Council's 2013 Governor's Celebration of Innovation

Tickets on sale now for Arizona's premier technology industry event being held at the Phoenix Convention Center on Thursday, November 14, 2013

Aug 27, 2013, 11:15 ET from Arizona Technology Council

PHOENIX, Aug. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --  Honoring the state's technology industry visionaries whose passion and dedication are propelling Arizona to a position of economic strength, the Arizona Technology Council in conjunction with the Arizona Commerce Authority, today announced Student and Teacher Awards as well as Individual Award winners and Company Award finalists for the 2013 Governor's Celebration of Innovation (GCOI) awards presented by Avnet, Inc.


"The GCOI awards honor companies at all stages of growth as well as academic centers of excellence, lawmakers and individuals that are impacting people's lives through inspiration and innovation," said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. "This year's finalists and winners are all deserving recipients and we congratulate them on their achievements."

"These companies and individuals are a testament to the exceptional quality of innovation and top talent that exists in Arizona," said Sandra Watson, President & CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority.  "We congratulate those recognized for their significant contributions to the technology sector and for strengthening Arizona's position as a global leader in innovation."

The winners and finalists were evaluated and chosen by a selection committee of experts independent of the Council. Committee members included:

  • Hunter Bennett, OneNeck IT Services
  • James Goulka, Arizona Technology Investor Forum (ATIF)
  • Dr. Mani Janakiram, Intel Corporation
  • Bill Loux, Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE)
  • Mary O'Reilly, PhD, CEM, Science Foundation Arizona
  • Bob Rasmussen, Honeywell Aerospace

The Individual/Company Award winners are:

  • William F. McWhortor Community Service Leader of the Year: The Thomas R. Brown Foundations
  • Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year: Clark Peterson, CEO, Telesphere

One company within each of the following award categories will be announced as the winner at the GCOI event:

The Company Award Finalists are:

  • Innovator of the Year - Start-Up Company: Inovy Technology, Chandler, Arizona; Nasseo Inc., Peoria, Arizona; Traklight, Phoenix, Arizona; Yolia Health, Peoria, Arizona
  • Innovator of the Year - Small Company: Cummings Engineering, Chandler, Arizona; Parchment, Scottsdale, Arizona; ServerLIFT Corporation, Phoenix, Arizona; Strongwatch, Tucson, Arizona
  • Innovator of the Year - Large Company: CyrusOne, Phoenix, Arizona; Lumension Security, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Innovator of the Year – Academia: Controlled Environment Agriculture Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona; iPlant Collaborative,  Tucson, Arizona; Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO), University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona; McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

The "Future Innovators" and "Teacher of the Year" award winners were  evaluated and chosen by a selection committee independent of the Council including members of the Arizona Council of Engineering and Scientific Associations (ACESA). ACESA supports, promotes and coordinates programs and activities of the engineering and science associations within the state of Arizona through facilitated communication and leadership.

Teacher of the Year Award Winner:

  • Michael J. McKelvy, Basha High School, Chandler, Arizona. Science is fun, exciting and fascinating in its ability to explain why the world behaves as it does. Having co-founded, directed, and taught the nationally-recognized ASU Science is Fun Program while working at ASU, this is also the approach McKelvy uses while teaching science subjects to his students. Throughout his six year teaching career he has taught between 110 -140 students annually and served as a science/science and engineering fair judge at numerous school/district, state and international competitions, including the International Science and Engineering Fair.

Teacher of the Year Award Honorable Mentions:

  • Christopher C. Brandt, Saguaro High School, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Andrew Lettes, Ph. D., Pueblo Magnet High School, Tucson, Arizona

Future Innovators of the Year Award Winners:

  • Manav Sevak and Tejas Dharmaraj, Chandler High School, Chandler, Arizona for team  project: "Indicting Alzheimer's: Novel Methods of Preventing Glial Scarring"
  • Anvita Gupta and Sejal Aggarwal, BASIS High School, Scottsdale, Arizona for team project: "Pancreatic Adenocaarcinoma"
  • Eric Epstein, Tucson High Magnet School, Tucson, Arizona for project: "Olfactory discrimination between regular and deuterated compounds in European honeybees"
  • Shelby Yuan, University High School, Tucson, Arizona for project: "Preparation of Magnetic Nanovesicles for Biomedical Applications"

Future Innovators of the Year Award Honorable Mentions:

  • Kelsey Barter, University High School, Tucson, Arizona for project: "Targeting Survivin as a Potential Cancer Therapeutic"
  • Soumya Kambhampati and Thomas Liu, McClintock High School, Tempe, Arizona for team project: "Social Network Analysis of SAT Phase Transition"

This year marks the tenth anniversary of this prestigious event that attracts more than 1,000 technology industry leaders for an "academy awards" theater-style presentation complete with a technology showcase of over 50 booths, a strolling dinner and an after party with deserts and live music. The 2013 GCOI will take place November 14, 2013 from 4:00 p.m.8:00 p.m. at the Phoenix Convention Center, 100 North Third Street, in the West Building, third floor.  Tickets are on sale now and can be at

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 (ACA) is the state's leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona's economy.  The ACA uses a three-pronged approach to advance the overall economy: recruit, grow, create – recruit out-of-state companies to expand their operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to grow their business in Arizona and beyond; and partner with entrepreneurs and companies large and small to create new jobs and businesses in targeted industries. Visit for more.

For more information please contact:

Media contact:

Organization contact:

Linda Capcara

Steven G. Zylstra


Arizona Technology Council

(480) 229 -7090

(602) 343-8324 x 104

SOURCE Arizona Technology Council