MRO Magazine

The Arizona Technology Council Announces Select Winners and Finalists for the 2015 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation

September 2, 2015
By Business Wire News


The Arizona Technology Council, in conjunction with the Arizona Commerce Authority, today announced Individual Award winners, Company Award finalists, and Student and Teacher Awards for the 2015 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation (GCOI) awards presented by Avnet, Inc. The awards honor the visionaries of Arizona’s technology ecosystem whose passion and dedication energize Arizona’s rapidly growing technology community.

“Each year we set aside a day to gather and recognize the tremendous contributions innovators make to strengthen Arizona’s position as a leader in technology,” said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “We’re proud to congratulate this year’s finalists and winners on their exceptional achievements.”

“Vision, innovation and dedication drive growth in the technology industry, and form a solid foundation critical to Arizona’s economy,” said Sandra Watson, President & CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “We applaud the honorees for their significant contributions to strengthening the vibrant innovation ecosystem in Arizona.”

Winners and finalists were evaluated and chosen by a selection committee of experts independent of the Council.

The Individual/Company Award winners are:

  • William F. McWhortor Community Service Leader of the Year: Thomas Curzon, Phoenix
  • Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year: Alexi Venneri, Scottsdale
  • Pioneering: Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson
  • Judges Award: Arizona State University Biodesign Institute, Zmapp, Tempe
  • Large Company Award: Medtronic Tempe Campus, Tempe

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

  • Innovator of the Year – Start-Up Company: Eco 3D, LLC, Phoenix; EndoVantage, LLC, Scottsdale; SinfoníaRx, Tucson
  • Innovator of the Year – Small Company: CellTrust Corporation, Scottsdale; Digital Air Strike, Scottsdale; Guardvant, Inc., Tucson
  • Innovator of the Year – Academia: Arizona State University, Sanford Inspire Program, Phoenix; Tech Launch Arizona, Tucson; University of Arizona, Virtual e-Hospital (IVeH) Foundation, Tucson

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:

  • Dr. Paul McElligott, Fountain Hills High School, Fountain Hills, AZ

Teacher Honorable Mentions:

  • Christine Sapio, Coconino High School, Flagstaff, AZ
  • Pradip C Misra, Bagdad High School, Bagdad, AZ

Future Innovators of the Year Award Winners:

  • Alex Rossi, Paradise Valley High School, Phoenix, AZ
  • Claire Thai, Thai Homeschool, Tucson, AZ
  • Jeremiah Pate, BASIS Oro Valley, Oro Valley, AZ
  • Rebecca Jernigan, Hamilton High School, Chandler, AZ

Future Innovators of the Year Honorable Mentions:

  • Akshata Rudrapatna, Hamilton High School Chandler, AZ
  • Ritika Bharati, Hamilton High School Chandler, AZ

In its twelfth year, GCOI will be held on November 12, 2015, at the Phoenix Convention Center, 100 North Third Street, in the West Building, third floor from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. The theme of this year’s event is “Future Forward.” Bringing over 1,000 of Arizona’s finest technologists and business leaders under one roof to celebrate the state’s technology innovation, the GCOI will consist of a theatre-style awards program followed by specialty desserts and live music after. The event will also feature the Technology Showcase of over 50 Arizona companies exhibiting. These companies consist of award finalists, sponsors and AZTC partners. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online 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 toward 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.

Media contact:
Linda Capcara, 480-229-7090
Organization contact:
Arizona Technology Council
Steven G. Zylstra, 602-343-8324 ext. 104