Innovators in Science and Technology Celebrated at Arizona Technology Council’s 2015 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation

Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow receives OneNeck IT Solutions’ Lifetime Achievement award alongside individual, company, education and legislative award winners

PHOENIX--()--At a prestigious gala attended by the top technology companies in Arizona to honor the state’s science and technology innovators, the Arizona Technology Council, in conjunction with the Arizona Commerce Authority, today announced the winners of the 2015 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation (GCOI) Awards presented by Avnet, Inc.

“It is incredibly rewarding to see so many winners from Southern Arizona recognized at this year’s awards," said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “The continually growing breadth and depth of Arizona’s technology sector is a tremendous boon to the state, spurring economic development and bringing jobs with higher than average wages.”

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

  • Susan Engle, Avnet, Inc.
  • James Goulka, ATIF
  • Doug Hockstad, Tech Launch Arizona
  • Dr. Mani Janakiram, Intel Corporation
  • William Loux, Arizona Technology Enterprises
  • Eric Miller, Phoenix Analysis and Design (PADT)
  • Mary O'Reilly, PhD, CEM, Science Foundation Arizona
  • Charles Vermillion, Consultant

The winners in their respective categories are:

Company Award Winners:

  • Innovator of the Year - Start-Up Company: SinfoníaRx, Tucson, Arizona
    SinfoníaRx was recognized for its customizable algorithms that turn medical data into timely interventions to reduce healthcare costs and build healthier communities. By employing medical data to contact patients, caregivers and providers, notifying them of medication gaps, safety concerns, and opportunities for improved care via dose optimization and adherence to national consensus guidelines, SinfoníaRx delivers better health outcomes with tremendous ease.
  • Innovator of the Year - Small Company: GuardVant, Inc., Tucson, Arizona
    GuardVant was recognized for its mining technology that improves the safety and productivity of mining plant, port, and transportation operations worldwide. Via 3D head and facial movement recognition, GuardVant’s OpGuard algorithm lets mining operations identify and intervene in cases of fatigue and driver distraction, improving worker safety and preventing equipment damage. Its ProxGaurd system combines GPS, radar and video to eliminate blind spots in mining equipment.
  • Innovator of the Year - Large Company: Medtronic Tempe Campus, Tempe, Arizona
    The Medtronic Tempe Campus was recognized for its world-class microelectronics manufacturing that produces components for implantable medical devices from cardiac pacemakers to deep brain stimulators that address movement disorders. Since Medtronic began Arizona operations in 1973, the work done in the Valley of the Sun has been part of a proud tradition of saving lives and alleviating pain.
  • Innovator of the Year - Academia: Tech Launch Arizona – University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
    When scientific breakthroughs meet entrepreneurial expertise, life-changing ideas leave the laboratory and enter the marketplace, where they improve society as a whole. The University of Arizona was recognized for Tech Launch Arizona, which is designed to facilitate connection between entrepreneurs and investors and the faculty, inventors, and researchers at the university. Tech Launch Arizona is founded on the belief that reducing the barriers to collaboration today paves the way for life-changing, job-building businesses tomorrow.

Chairman’s Award: Selected at the discretion of the Arizona Technology Council’s leadership, the Chairman’s Award was presented to Jerry Proctor, SES-COL, US Army (Ret.), JVP Strategic Consulting, LLC. Proctor recently retired from the U.S. Army with 40 years of military and civilian senior executive service and was recently elected to the Arizona Technology Council Board of Directors. His broad and diverse experience spans leadership positions from platoon leader to Brigade level to Deputy Commanding General.

“Arizona boasts an impressive talent pool of visionary thinkers whose contributions have made our state a center for bold ideas,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “Innovation in Arizona is driving life-changing technological advances and diversifying our economy, leading to a more prosperous future.”

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

The Individual/Company Award winners:

  • OneNeck IT Services People’s Choice Lifetime Achievement Award: Michael Crow, Arizona State University President
  • William F. McWhortor Community Service Leader of the Year: Thomas Curzon, Phoenix
  • Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year: Alexi Venneri, Scottsdale
  • Pioneering Award: Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson
  • Judge’s Award: Arizona State University Biodesign Institute, Zmapp, Tempe

Previously announced “Future Innovators” and “Teacher of the Year” award winners can be found at:

Previously announced Tech Champions Legislators can be found 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 information.


Media contact:
Linda Capcara, 480-229-7090
Organization contact:
Arizona Technology Council
Steven G. Zylstra, 602-422-9447


Media contact:
Linda Capcara, 480-229-7090
Organization contact:
Arizona Technology Council
Steven G. Zylstra, 602-422-9447