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News & Press: Colorado Technology Industry

APEX Awards Recognize 10 Outstanding Technology Leaders

Friday, November 6, 2015   (0 Comments)
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Colorado Technology Association highlights technology industry accomplishments


Denver, Colo. (November 6, 2015) – Colorado Technology Association’s hosted its 15th annual APEX Awards, presented by Comcast, at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, on November 5, 2015. This red carpet event recognizes the individuals, companies and accomplishments that have contributed to the success of the state’s technology sector.

Ten prestigious awards were presented to companies and individuals who have made an impact Colorado’s rapidly growing technology sector. It’s an opportunity to celebrate Colorado’s technology excellence, remarkable leaders and inspiring innovation. After individual and company nominations from across the state were submitted in July 2015, an independent panel of judges narrowed the field down to three finalists.

“The APEX Awards are the highest honor for companies and individuals leading our Colorado technology community.  This year we had an amazing group of finalists – all who should be honored for their work to grow Colorado,” says Erik Mitisek, CEO of Colorado Technology Association.

In order of the awards ceremony, 2015 APEX Awards recipients are as follows:

CEO of the Year: Dave Wright, CEO & Founder of SolidFire
Sponsored by EY

This creative, innovative and determined Founder or CEO leads a Colorado-based technology company to success. In addition to the daily role of leading their company, they work to drive the vibrancy of the tech economy beyond their business.

Startup of the Year: BluFlux
Sponsored by EKS&H

This is Colorado’s most promising technology company in operation for two years or less. The company is selected based on the initiative it took in creating, promoting or advancing the product or service offered, the technical innovation of the product or service offered, the need in the marketplace for the product or service, and the acceptance by customers of the company’s product or service.

Advocate of the Year: Senator Michael Bennett and Senator Rollie Heath
Sponsored by AT&T

This legislator’s efforts make a real and measurable impact on the advancement of Colorado’s technology industry.

Educator of the Year: Denise Gardiner, Computer Science Teacher and Department Chair at Pine Creek High School, Colorado Springs
Sponsored by DigitalGlobe

This educator’s efforts make a real and measurable impact on students and their understanding, passion for and use of technology. They are employed as a teacher, instructor or professor, and either currently teach a technology-based curriculum to Colorado students or leverage technology to teach students in new and innovative ways.

Talent Champion of the Year: Mike Hess, Founder and Director at Blind Institute of Technology
Sponsored by CommVault

This individual’s efforts are making a real and measurable impact on building and strengthening the technology talent pipeline in Colorado. They actively lead and support initiatives that are helping build and ensure a strong local pipeline of qualified workers for technology companies and IT departments across the state. Local pipeline development requires a keen focus on inclusion and diversity, so the work of this champion promotes inclusive excellence through positive communication between persons of diverse backgrounds, demonstrates efforts to promote an environment free from bias and discrimination, and creates opportunities to promote diversity, respect and inclusivity.

Project of the Year: DigitalGlobe
Sponsored by Comcast

This project implemented by an innovative IT department achieved successful, measurable results. Nominees will be judged on the following criteria: solving a business problem, strategic objectives, innovation, value/impact for the company or industry, risk-reward benefits, overcoming obstacles, meeting goals and team or internal collaboration.

CIO of the Year: John Swieringa, CIO at DISH Network
Sponsored by Hitachi

This outstanding chief information officer (or anyone holding technology leadership role at a Colorado-based company or department) has demonstrated considerable ingenuity in leading an IT team and implementing technology projects that demonstrably improve the effectiveness of their organization.

Company of the Year: SpotX
Sponsored by Holland & Hart

This Colorado-based company’s overall performance sets it apart as a leader in its market. It shows profitability from sales of its products and/or services, strong financial growth or return on investment for its investors and/or shareholders, technical innovation and concrete examples of how it is meeting a need in the marketplace. The company is a strong leader in the community and shows corporate responsibility.

Bob Newman Lifetime Achievement Award: Steve Halstedt
Sponsored by Colorado Technology Association

Steve Halstedt, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Centennial Ventures, was named as recipient of the Bob Newman Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is presented to an individual who has made outstanding achievements and commitments to furthering innovative technology in our community and the state, and has also contributed to the initiatives of Colorado Technology Association.


About Colorado Technology Association
The Colorado Technology Association (CTA) leads the network of companies and professionals fueling Colorado's economy, through technology. Since 1994, the association has represented Colorado’s technology industry, one of the fastest growing industries in the state. The CTA leads an inclusive network that benefits our member community, advocates for a pro-business and technology-friendly climate, influences the development of a robust talent pipeline and leads initiatives to help companies grow. For more information on Colorado Technology Association, please call 303.592.4070 or visit

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