TechPoint celebrates Indiana’s tech builders at fourth annual Tech 25 Awards
TechPoint, the growth accelerator for Indiana’s tech ecosystem, celebrated Indiana’s extraordinary tech builders last week during a special luncheon ceremony at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway honoring the Tech 25 Class of 2018. The event was held at the pavilion next to the iconic IMS Pagoda in conjunction with the second annual Indy Women in Tech LPGA Championship.
Now in its fourth year, the Tech 25 Awards honor a prestigious selection of twenty-five individuals who are critical and exceptional performers helping to grow our community’s tech and tech-enabled companies, but who — not being the CEO or other top executives — don’t get celebrated publicly as often.
Among this year’s class are:
- Sales and marketing pros who have closed the largest deal in company history and increased lead generation by triple digits.
- Professional services pros who helped tech companies raise millions in venture capital and who were the driving force behind diversifying their workforces.
- And product development/IT pros who are recognized national thought leaders, instrumental players in transformative initiatives, go-to individuals who advanced new technologies, rare all-in-one engineers, and passionate practitioners who have left an indelible mark on their companies and this community.
A panel of independent judges, including past winners, selected this year’s class from three main role categories: tech product/R&D, tech sales & marketing, and tech professional services. Winners were chosen from a very competitive class of nominees based on criteria including professional contributions, energy and attitude, and community commitment.
In addition to being star performers at their companies, winners are committed team players who build others up through mentoring, volunteering and positive example and are committed to contributing to the broader community.
Different than many awards, individuals cannot apply or nominate themselves. Tech 25 candidates must be nominated by the executives at their companies, and a company can only put forth one nominee, making for a remarkable and competitive class of candidates. A total of 62 Indiana technology and tech-enabled companies nominated a team member this year.
In a program letter from the event, TechPoint President and CEO Mike Langellier said: “The purpose of the Tech 25 Awards is to spotlight these high-achieving individuals as a reward for their redoubtable contributions as well as to serve as an aspirational benchmark for the up-and-coming tech workforce that will be making its mark on our community, our state and the tech industry in the very near future.”
The Tech 25 Awards were made possible by underwriting sponsors Next Gear Capital and BitLoft and dessert sponsor Kronos Incorporated. TechPoint is grateful for the support of these three sponsors as well as the 25 employer sponsors who purchased tickets and tables for the Tech 25 luncheon and ceremony.
The Tech 25 Class of 2018 is as follows:
TECH PRODUCT/R&D (11)
Lori Boyer, Software Application Developer, Barnes & Thornburg
“Lori Boyer is a remarkable Information Technology professional with a solid track record in the design, development and implementation of cloud-based applications that meet the demands of business and have long-term impact on the vitality of the organization. She possesses both strong, hands-on development skills as well as excellent project management capabilities. She has repeatedly proven her ability to exceed expectations, but to do so amidst multiple projects in high-pressure environments. During Lori’s tenure with the firm, she has been our software developer for several firm wide applications that are essential to the operational and financial functions of the company.”
by Tim Shaw CIO, Barnes & Thornburg
Brian Brinegar, Director of Engineering, Salesforce
“Brian is a team player, who enjoys solving problems with creative solutions to define technical approaches and drive results to completion. He works across engineering and product teams to ensure the best solution for our customers. Brian’s work ethic and ability to perform under pressure are an asset to Salesforce and our customers. He is an expert in many areas and pulled into technical discussions outside of his team responsibility as he is known for his solid understanding and technical knowledge. You can count on Brian to pose one of the first and best questions.”
by Bob Stutz, CEO, Marketing Cloud & Chief Analytics Officer
Shawn Hall, Director, Director, Next Generation Data Center Engineering, Kinney Group
“Shawn is one of our most influential leaders with natural intelligence, work ethic, and expertise that have earned him tremendous respect amongst colleagues, partners, and customers alike. Shawn has been a critical driver of KGI’s technical capabilities and was key in the solutions that prompted our ‘Tech Innovation of the Year’ nomination. Managing long-term, strategic projects that tie together a number of technology solutions for our biggest clients is what Shawn is known for. He gets his hands dirty crafting custom technology solutions with his team while managing the client interaction and project details, making him a rare, all-in-one engineer.
by Sarah Nelms, Chief Administration Officer, Kinney Group
Kevin Marshall, User Experience Manager, PERQ
“Kevin is a phenomenal UX designer who has made a lasting impact at PERQ and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis building extraordinary consumer facing experiences. Kevin’s unique ability to understand consumer pains and create an experience that’s intuitive, solves problems, and delivers great results, but is also fun and something the consumer wants to use. He brings a contagious energy that creates a fun, enjoyable work environment. Even in high pressure situations, Kevin brings a calm, confident demeanor that always delivers. When face with an aggressive timeline that needs an innovative approach, we always put the project in Kevin’s hands.”
by Stephanie Ragozzino, EVP Product, PERQ
Thomas Marshall, Game Development Project Manager, BitLoft
“Thomas is invaluable to BitLoft as a true servant leader who seeks the potential within individuals and pushes them to grow and accept new challenges. His passionate dedication to developing our forthcoming educational game The Crystal Core has fueled his efforts to build and guide a large, remotely dispersed team of 30+ artists, developers, designers, and other experts. Under his leadership, this team has taken the rough outline for a complex 3D game and turned it into a Beta version in less than 8 months. Thomas’ accomplishments and contributions to the company and culture have been nothing short of Herculean.”
by Jeffrey Todd Howenstine, Director Of Operations, BitLoft
Jon Nolen, Developer, DeveloperTown
“Jon has played a central role in multiple areas at DeveloperTown, Including being a core contributor to the creation of our mobile development practice. He has a heart for philanthropy and giving back to our community, which he has embodied through his involvement with Coder Dojo and the Techpoint Foundation for Youth, among others. Jon is respected for his outspoken, honest nature. He is always willing to step up to the plate and help others — from clients, coworkers, neighbors, to the youth of Indianapolis. Jon brings laughter, support, and encouragement to every activity he is involved in.”
by Jason Vasquez, CTO, DeveloperTown
Jason Ortiz, Senior Integration Software Engineer, Pondurance
“Jason plays an integral part in being an ambassador for and growing Pondurance’s brand. He is consistently attending conferences or speaking at public events to educate others on technology and cyber security. He takes it upon himself to solve internal problems he comes across, even if he has not been asked to do so. He will also jump right in to show our SOC analysts how he did something. His passion for education and technology is contagious, making it evident that he wants everyone around him to share this same level of passion.”
by Landon Lewis, Co-founder Partner
Melanie Sandlin, Executive Director, IT, Cummins, Inc.
“Melanie displays an unwavering commitment to driving IT transformation and innovation within the IT Function. She has been described by many as a ‘force of nature,’ which speaks to her strong-willed approach and can-do attitude. Melanie is a positive agent for change, and will never ask why something cannot be done; rather, she will ask how the problem can be solved and think of countless ways to solve it, all while motivating her team and acting as a true collaborator. Melanie is a true team player with a sincere interest in those around her. Her success is measured by the success of her team, and she is a constant supporter of IT at Cummins.”
by Sherry A. Aaholm, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Cummins, Inc.
Joan Schrenkel, Director of Automation Engineering, MOBI
“Simply put, Joan Schrenkel has been instrumental in the success of MOBI’s two most transformative initiatives in the last few years: taking MOBI’s domestic offering global and the automation of traditionally manual services. She also led the charge in evolving our legacy practice into something scalable, allowing us to deliver our services to customers around the world. While most people would have settled with extending the reach of MOBI’s services across the globe, Joan continues to identify areas of opportunity for automation and improvement, essentially transforming the team she managed into a brand-new tech hub within MOBI.”
by Eric Sendelbach, CTO, MOBI
Le’gretta Smith, Database Administrator, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
“Le’gretta is the one and only NCAA database administrator responsible for the foundation that supports the 1,117 colleges and universities, 100 athletics conferences, and 40 affiliated sports organizations Being a former Division I All-American athlete herself, she embraces the tremendous responsibility of this role with poise and confidence. She keeps the databases running 24/7 and assists the Solution Delivery team on all their projects. Recently, I gathered feedback from her peers and they consistently used phrases such as knowledgeable, pleasant, attentive listener, strong collaborator, great at communicating issues, puts other work aside to help on urgent matters.
by Kevin Barnett, Director of Solution Delivery, NCAA
TECH SALES & MARKETING (8)
Aaron Berkey, Senior Director of Sales, Torchlite
“Aaron has been a key player in the cultivation of our business, our culture, and our connection with the tech community and the Indianapolis community as a whole. Aaron is Senior Director of Sales, but he extends his responsibilities far beyond that. Even after 10+ years of selling, he still cold calls, cold knocks, and remains committed to his promise that the biggest companies will know Torchlite’s name due to his efforts. In the past year, he has established relationships with enterprise organizations, doubled our sales from the previous year, and closed the largest single deal in Torchlite history.”
by Susan Marshall, Founding Partner & CEO
Corey Bischoff, Vice President, Global Sales Operations, Genesys
“Corey Bischoff is an inspirational leader focused on supporting and encouraging Genesys professionals locally and around the globe. What truly sets Corey apart and makes him such an asset, is the trust and respect he inspires from the Genesys community in Indianapolis and the broader company. One of Corey’s greatest gifts is his emotional intelligence. He not only understands his own strengths and weakness but has an innate ability to view people and systems across multiple lenses simultaneously. I believe that’s why he’s been successful in building high performing technical teams for one of the largest software companies in Indianapolis.”
by Tom Eggemeier, President, Genesys
Nicole MacLean, Partner and Experience Strategies Manager, Emplify
“Top of her class at Ball State, Orr Fellow Alum Nicole MacLean has been with Emplify since the beginning and pressed an indelible stamp into our company culture by championing peers, being a positive voice for those less vocal, and frankly, winning. When we take on next generation, challenging pursuits, our CEO cites Nicole as a go-to individual capable of ensuring that we execute against those goals. Nicole has operationalized countless strategies in advancing our corporate objectives, but still finds time to launch and drive in-house communities, such as Women of Emplify, an internal, equality advocacy platform.”
by Ed Illig, VP Marketing, Emplify
Clare Maher, IoT Market Development Manager, ClearObject
“ClearObject cannot say enough about the work ethic, drive, and strategic mind of Clare Maher. It’s impossible to articulate the impact she has had on ClearObject through her focused marketing strategies and creation of new programs. The time she puts in to make all teams successful in driving the business objectives leaves us in awe. We don’t know how she is able to juggle all of the projects she has to manage, but the level of polish she applies around the ClearObject brand is nothing short of remarkable. She is the epitome of our culture and will continue to soar.”
John McDonald, CEO ClearObject
Thom McCorkle, Customer Success Director, Zylo
“Thom’s experience and collaborative customer approach was critical in upleveling the Zylo CS organization at an important inflection point for the company. Within a short window of time, Thom organically took ownership of the customer experience across the company. His CS and technical experience and direction allowed him to build out several critical areas of the business, including the Zylo Implementation Process, a full implementation of Salesforce across the CS org and the philosophy/tracking of Account Health across all Zylo deployments. Above all, Thom has a curious and infectious personality, which is ideal for building an enterprise SaaS company.
by Cory Wheeler, VP of Services, Zylo
Egan Montgomery, Director of Marketing, DemandJump
“Egan is a complete RockStar and has already demonstrated, in less than two years out of college, that he is on the path to be a major CMO someday. Egan is very quick on his feet and I am constantly impressed by his calm demeanor and ability to raise calculated thoughtful questions. His understanding for the direction of the business as a whole and the long-term strategic objectives, are well beyond his years of experience. In his first quarter as a marketing manager, he scaled our qualified lead generation by 442% and doubled traffic to our website.”
by Christopher Day, Co-founder and CEO
Lee Morgan, Sr. Customer Solutions Engineer, Mimir
“When Lee joined our team he brought with him a wealth of experience. He has acquired a plethora of knowledge ranging from his time in the armed forces, wholesale banking, and later to his experience in TechPoint’s Sales Boot Camp. Throughout all of his endeavors, Lee has maintained a humility that continues to fuel his hunger for knowledge. I am convinced that he has been over-qualified for nearly every opportunity he has take on, yet Lee approaches each task with a humility and hunger that allows him to adapt at the speed of the technology that surrounds him.”
by Alex Curtis, Vice President of Sales Mimir
Kelly Wilson, Director of Marketing & PR, SEP
“Kelly touches every aspect of SEP’s business — including marketing, social media, public relations, branding, and events — but her contributions go far beyond that. I surveyed our team about who we should nominate and Kelly was the unanimous choice. She’s deeply involved in training, mentoring our budding UX team, our community involvement program, onboarding, and recruiting. She personally gathers all customer feedback about our work and she’s part of virtually every new initiative SEP begins. As if that wasn’t enough, she’s involved in the community too – serving on advisory boards, volunteering, planning and running national and community events, and more.”
by Raman Ohri, President, SEP
Tech Professional Services (6)
Justin Bates, Director of Finance & Accounting, SmarterHQ
“As a highly successful entrepreneur in his own right, Justin actually helped SmarterHQ raise our initial seed round as a volunteer giving up many evenings and weekends preparing financial models and documentation. With his guidance over the last four years and in his current role as director of finance & accounting, SmarterHQ has raised over $23M in venture capital and completed two venture debt financings each over $7M. Justin’s dedication to helping Indy continue to be a place where tech and talent thrive shines throughout his career, community commitments, and everyday humility and passion for this city.”
by Michael Osborne, CEO SmarterHQ
Ryan Culver, Director of Logistics, Fulfillment and Partner Success, SupplyKick
“Ryan was key to SupplyKick’s growth and pivot toward a solution on the Amazon platform that was both profitable and scalable. He created a core competency of logistics for SupplyKick that didn’t previously exist. Ryan delivered, and continues to deliver, by expertly leading this small team around high-level tracking, partner communications, and cost-mitigation. Ryan tackles hard problems with joy and ultimately is the type of team member every start-up leader hopes to recruit early on in building the company. He is the type of person who builds teams and makes others around him better and achieves more.”
by Josh Owens, CEO, SupplyKick
Doug Ding, Practice Director, Kronos Incorporated
Since joining Kronos Incorporated, Doug has helped recruit and retain more than 75 of the best young minds from Indiana colleges and universities to work at the Kronos Indianapolis Technology Center. Doug was instrumental in launching the company’s SURGE technical onboarding program and diversifying the company’s talent pipeline by focusing on recruiting women, minorities, and veterans, while simultaneously driving professional development. He’s also been the driving force behind entrenching Kronos even deeper within the Indy tech ecosystem. Doug’s professional achievements speak for themselves, and his infectious love for Indy, its community, and the tech ecosystem makes him a worthy Tech 25 honoree.”
Kristina Lengyel, Vice President, Global Professional Services
Kristin Hess, Sr. Product Marketing Partner, Innovatemap
“Kristin Hess’ insatiable drive and ingenuity extend far beyond her job description. In the 15 short months since she joined Innovatemap, Kristin has traversed a decade’s worth of progress and growth. Kristin has an exceptional ability to articulate, market, and position the right product to the right audience. Her leadership and guidance is quite inspiring for those around her. Kristin’s genuine interest in Indiana’s prosperity has made her a household name in the community and all who know her are grateful for the impact of her presence.”
by Mike Reynolds, CEO Innovatemap
Stephanie Sponsel, Operations Director, netlogx
Stephanie’s well-rounded knowledge base makes her an incredible asset to the netlogx team. She is most frequently described as the ‘I Can Do It’ woman, stepping up even when tasks need to be completed that aren’t in her job description. Early on, Stephanie recognized inefficiencies in payroll and other crucial functions of the business, and came up with easy-to-implement solutions that saved netlogx time and money. One of her best qualities is her resounding dedication to netlogx, and the humility she exudes about how she gets things done. She truly ‘bleeds green’ for the netlogx brand and culture.
by Audrey Taylor, CEO and Founder, netlogx
Alexander Meadows, Principal Systems Engineer, Raytheon Intelligence, Information, and Services
“Alex consistently performs at a high level and is one of the most innovative leaders we have observed. He is well-connected, well-respected, and a thought leader within the defense & intelligence community. Alex is a gifted systems engineer and a recognized expert in augmented reality/virtual reality solutions, for which he is routinely called upon internal and external for his keen expertise. Alex is a natural leader, a gifted mentor, and a joy to work with. His enthusiasm and commitment to excellence are contagious and he gives freely of his time and gifts to develop and advance those around him.”
by Tom Stephens, Indianapolis Site Executive, Raytheon, Intelligence and Information Systems
Adam Young, Director of Customer Success, Bolstra
“Adam was employee #2 at Bolstra and he has played important formal and informal roles for the company throughout its three-year history, a history which included a major pivot! He has shown incredible flexibility, undying commitment, and a superior work ethic throughout his tenure. As a founding member and Customer Success leader, Adam eats, sleeps and breathes Bolstra (when he’s not husbanding, fathering, mentoring, serving, or puppy-wrangling). His loyalty to Bolstra is evidenced by his round-the-clock strategic creativity in working with customers and helping to market Bolstra. Like many talented tech folks, Adam has plenty of options. Instead of exercising them, he continues to re-up with a vengeance by finding ways to make himself irreplaceable.”
by Haresh Gangwani, CEO and Co-founder, Bolstra