Winners Announced for Arizona Technology Council’s 2012 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation

Gary Tooker, former Chairman and CEO of Motorola Inc. honored with Lifetime Achievement Award alongside innovative individual, company, education and legislative award winners

PHOENIX, AZ (November 8, 2012)  At a prestigious annual gala awards ceremony held at the Phoenix Convention Center, the Arizona Technology Council in conjunction with the Arizona Commerce Authority, today announced the winners of the 2012 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation (GCOI) Awards presented by Avnet, Inc. The annual event spotlights how innovations in science and technology are applied to build a sustainable economy for Arizona’s future.

"From the smartphones in our pockets to the data centers and clouds that are delivering the applications that businesses depend on, the technology landscape is changing faster than ever," said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. "Our annual awards ceremony celebrates the exceptional companies and individuals leading the way in accelerating Arizona's innovation and global competitiveness. Congratulation to the winners that represent the best and the brightest the state has to offer."

The winners were selected by a committee independent of the Council. Committee members included:

  • Hunter Bennett, OneNeck IT Services 
  • Susan Engle, Avnet, Inc. 
  • James Goulka, Arizona Technology Investor Forum (ATIF) 
  • Dr. Mani Janakiram, Intel Corporation 
  • Charlie Lewis, ASU AzTE 
  • Mary O'Reilly, PhD, CEM, Science Foundation Arizona 
  • Bob Rasmussen, Honeywell Aerospace 

"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 in their respective categories are:

Company Award Winners:

  • Pioneering Award: IO, Phoenix, Arizona
    At a time when enterprises depend on their data center infrastructure more than ever, IO has truly brought innovation and reinvention to the data center market. With its Data Center 2.0, IO is providing enterprise-class infrastructure that can be delivered as Data Center as a Service (DCaaS) and/or rapidly deployed as a product to customer sites anywhere in the world. To manage and monitor IO's modular IO Anywhere products, IO developed the world's first secure data center infrastructure operating system, IO.OS. 
  • Green Innovator of the Year: Solar Zone at the UA Tech Park, Tucson, Arizona
    The concept of this 250 acre parcel at the University of Arizona Tech Park was to create an integrated, multi-dimensional research center that could foster all elements of solar energy development: generation and distribution, research and development, assembly and manufacturing, workforce training, and public education and demonstration. It is a work in progress, however the Solar Zone is already evolving as one of the leading centers for the testing, evaluation, demonstration and deployment of new solar technology in the United States. 
  • Innovator of the Year - Start-Up Company: HealthTell LLC, Chandler, Arizona
    HealthTell’s mission statement is to create a world without patients. HT combines the invention of immunosignaturing diagnostics with its development of a new chip technology to create a whole new approach to diagnostics and health monitoring. These are technologies that could transform medicine and allow for early detection of any disease. 
  • Innovator of the Year - Small Company: CellTrust Corp., Scottsdale, Arizona
    In 2012, CellTrust introduced a significant and impactful secure mobile communications solution – CellTrust SecureVoice. CellTrust SecureVoice builds upon SecureSMS as a Voice over IP service, providing the same end-to-end encryption to mobile-to-mobile voice, allowing users to place calls with complete confidence and security, knowing that private conversations will not be compromised.
  • Innovator of the Year - Large Company: Enghouse Interactive, Phoenix, Arizona
    Enghouse Interactive's [Syntellect] CIM (Customer Interaction Management) contact center suite, is a fully-featured enterprise contact center solution with an advanced management engine that enables organizations to fully control a universal queue of customer interactions of all types, including telephone and Interactive Voice Response, voicemail, email, web chat, web transactions, fax and agent tasks. The solution integrates seamlessly into the business environment and connects existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions and other back-office applications, with the contact center for a complete view of customer interactions. 
  • Innovator of the Year – Academia: ASU School of Life Sciences, Tempe, Arizona
    Dr. Wayne Frasch, a faculty member in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, has pioneered the development of a novel technology capable of rapidly detecting protein biomarkers with unprecedented sensitivity: a nanodevice, the first powered by a molecular motor. This device stretches the limits of early detection of an infection, a bioterrorist agent, or the ability to diagnose cancer. 

Chairman Award Winner:

  • Steve Philips, Sr. Vice President, CIO, Avnet Inc.
    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. Steve Phillips, senior vice president and chief information officer for Avnet, Inc., is also chairman emeritus of the board of the Arizona Technology Council. Steve’s exceptional performance, leadership and over 30 years of experience in advancing the technology sector has been instrumental in building the Council’s level of engagement with its members. 

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

Individual Award Winners:

  • OneNeck IT Services People’s Choice Lifetime Achievement Award: Gary Tooker, former chairman of the board and CEO of Motorola Inc. 
  • William F. McWhortor Community Service Leader of the Year: Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology 
  • Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year: Bob La Loggia, CEO of Appointment-Plus

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:

  • Sandra Trevino, Buena High School, Sierra Vista, Arizona 

Teacher of the Year Award Honorable Mentions:

  • Christopher C. Brandt, Saguaro High School, Scottsdale, Arizona 
  • Margaret Wilch, Tucson High Magnet School, Tucson, Arizona 

Future Innovators of the Year Award Winners:

  • Sirtaj Bir Singh and Sumedha Ravishankar, Empire High School, Tucson, Arizona 
  • Kapil Kanagal, Brophy College Prep High School, Phoenix, Arizona 
  • Sarah Sakha, Xavier College Prep HS, Phoenix, Arizona 
  • Ostin Zarse, Tucson High Magnet School, Tucson, Arizona 

Future Innovators of the Year Award Honorable Mentions:

  • Soumya Kambhampati and Thomas Liu, McClintock High School, Tempe, Arizona 
  • Nicolle Mathews, Paragon Science Academy High School, Chandler, Arizona 

Tech Ten Legislators:
The Tech Ten awards were given in recognition of Arizona state legislators 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:

Outstanding Tech Senator of the Year Award Winner:

Outstanding Tech Representative of the Year Award Winner:

The winning Tech Ten legislators are:
Arizona State Senate: Senator Al Melvin ; Senator John McComish; Senator Michele Reagan; Senator Don Shooter

Arizona House of Representatives: Representative Heather Carter; Representative Kate Brophy McGee; Representative Javan "J.D." Mesnard; Representative Amanda Reeve; Representative David Stevens; Representative Andy Tobin


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: attract, expand, create – attract out-of-state companies to establish operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to expand their business in Arizona and beyond; and help entrepreneurs create new Arizona businesses in targeted industries. For more information, please visit and follow the ACA on Twitter at @azcommerce.