PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Arizona Technology Council in conjunction with the Arizona Commerce Authority, today announced that Bob Parsons, American entrepreneur and philanthropist, will be presented with the AccountabilIT Lifetime Achievement Award during the fourteenth annual 2017 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards (GCOI).
“Bob Parsons is a business and philanthropic icon who has had an enormous influence on the outstanding rise of our state’s technology community,” said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “From GoDaddy to newer ventures at YAM Worldwide, he has an unbelievable drive to innovate. It is an honor to have Bob as a representative of Arizona and we are proud to present him with the AccountabilIT Lifetime Achievement Award.”
This year, the GCOI will be held on November 2, 2017 at the Rawhide Convention Center – 5700 West Loop Rd., Chandler, AZ 85226 – from 5 to 9 p.m. This event brings together more than 800 Arizona business leaders to celebrate the state’s technology innovation and leadership. The GCOI will include a “Tech Jam” with more than 40 companies showcasing their innovations, culture and future here in Arizona, a live band (All Strummed Out), desserts, interactive exhibits, activities and more.
Lifetime Achievement Award winners are chosen by public vote. Parsons joins an impressive list of former honorees including: Rick Smith, CEO and founder of Axon (formerly TASER), Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University, Pat Sullivan, co-founder and CEO of Ryver, Eric and Tim Crown, co-founders of Insight Enterprises, Gary Tooker, former CEO and chairman of Motorola, Roy Vallee, former chairman and CEO of Avnet, Steve Sanghi, president, CEO and chairman of Microchip Technology, Craig Barrett former CEO and chairman of Intel, and renowned architect Paolo Soleri.
“I believe Arizona is one of the last great states and the best place for business in the U.S.,” said Parsons. “Local leaders and organizations like the Arizona Tech Council and Arizona Commerce Authority are dedicated to protecting small business owners, developing a skilled workforce and fostering an environment of growth and innovation.”
Parsons, best known as the founder of GoDaddy, is the CEO and founder of YAM Worldwide Inc., which is home to his entrepreneurial ventures in the fields of motorcycles, golf, real estate, furniture, film, marketing, innovation and philanthropy. Parsons is a U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and was awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
He started his first company, Parsons Technology, in 1984 after teaching himself to write code. In 1994, he sold the business for $64 million, and in 1997 started Jomax Technologies which would become GoDaddy. Today, GoDaddy has a market cap of over $7 billion. Parsons founded YAM Worldwide Inc. in 2012 and that same year, along with his wife Renee, formed The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation which has awarded more than $130 million in critical funding to charitable organizations. The Foundation focuses its support on nonprofit organizations that are successfully addressing issues associated with at-risk youth, homelessness, education, veterans’ needs and medical care for underserved populations.
"My sincerest congratulations to Bob Parsons for his outstanding leadership and continued commitment to advancing innovation in our state," said Sandra Watson, President & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. "GoDaddy and YAM Worldwide -- including Sneaky Big Studios -- are true Arizona success stories, demonstrating the breadth, depth of talent and innovation taking place in Arizona. Forward-thinking business leaders like Bob continue to position our state as the best place for business, technology, film and more."
Individual and Corporate Innovator and Pioneer Award winners will also be honored at GCOI. This includes the Future Innovators awards given to Arizona students, the Arizona Teacher of the Year, the Tech Ten Awards given to Arizona legislators, and awards for the Arizona Senator of the Year and Arizona Representative of the Year. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at aztechcouncil.org.
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 www.aztechcouncil.org.
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 azcommerce.com for more.