Elite Panel of Judges Announced for Illinois Technology Association CityLIGHTS Awards

CHICAGO, IL, Mar 11, 2013 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — The judging panel for the 2013 Illinois Technology Association (ITA) CityLIGHTS awards includes a powerhouse lineup of leaders in business, technology, education, finance and media, including Michael Arndt, editor, Crain’s Chicago Business; Linda Dao, managing director, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce; Deepika Pandey, vice president, Online Strategy & Customer Experience, Walgreens; Carole McCluskey, CTO, Coinstar (Redbox); and Ira Weiss, professor, Chicago Booth, among others. Companies are encouraged to submit a nomination before March 15 at midnight.

“Submitting a nomination for a CityLIGHTS award is a great way for a company to tell its story to a broader audience, starting with the business leaders who make up our judging panel,” said ITA President and CEO Fred Hoch. “We’re grateful for this amazing lineup that brings an astounding amount of insight to judging.”

Judges will announce the finalists April 8. Public online voting for all awards except the top CityLIGHTS honor opens through April 22. The final winners will be determined by composite score (50% judges; 50% community voting) and announced at the Awards Gala on May 9.

“Chicago is one of few places in the world with such an incredibly deep bench for technology talent and such a rich pipeline of innovation,” said Dan Lyne, Director, Technology Development, World Business Chicago, 2012 ITA CityLIGHTS Award Winner, and a member of the 2013 ITA judging panel. “As judges, we have the unique opportunity to learn about this impressive community from the standpoint of the successes of each individual company.”

There are eight award categories, including two new awards for 2013:

— The Trailblazing award, presented to the company that has developed an ingenious, non-traditional way of doing business.
— The Outstanding Technology Development award, presented to the business that has used or developed a technology tool or service that had a substantial impact on business metrics.

For more information, to submit a CityLIGHTS nomination online, and to register for the CityLIGHTS Gala, please visit www.itacitylights.org.

The CityLIGHTS presenting sponsor is Grant Thornton. CityLIGHTS gold sponsors are kCura Corporation, Nokia, and Chicago Board of Trade Building. Event sponsors include Authentify, Lantern Partners, and SurePayroll.

The 2013 CityLIGHTS judges are:

— Mark Achler, Senior Vice President, New Business, Strategy & Innovation, Redbox
— Michael Arndt, Editor, Crain’s Chicago Business
— Jeremie Bacon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Backstop
— Denise Bindelglass, Vice President, Human Resources, Classified Ventures
— David Bonnette, Chief Executive Officer, BigMachines
— Rona Borre, President and Chief Executive Officer, Instant Technology
— Ellen Carnahan, Principal, Machrie Enterprises, Inc.
— Jamie Crouthamel, Principal, Old Town Capital
— Linda Dao, Managing Director, Technology & Digital Media, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
— Linda Darragh, Executive Director, Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice, Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management
— Hazem Dawani, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, OptionsCity Software
— Don DeLoach, President and Chief Executive Officer, Infobright
— Jim Dugan, Chief Executive Officer, OCA Ventures
— Scott Epskamp, President & Co-Founder, LeapFrog Online
— Mike Evans, Founder & Chief Operating Officer, GrubHub
— Laura Frerichs, Director, Research Park, Research Park @ University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
— Jim Gagnard, Chairman, Illinois Technology Association
— Mark Harris, President and Chief Executive Officer, Illinois Science and Tech Coalition
— Adam Hecktman, Director, Microsoft Technology Center Chicago, Microsoft Corporation
— Troy Henikoff, Managing Director, TechStars Chicago
— Joe Jablonski, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, WeGather.com
— Brandon Jung, Cloud Platforms Partner, Google
— Sandee Kastrul, President and Co-Founder, i.c.stars
— Benjamin Kern, Partner, McGuireWoods
— Ross Kimbarovsky, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, crowdSPRING
— Mike Kohnen, Director - Midwest Technology, Silicon Valley Bank
— Dwight Koop, Chief Operating Officer, CohesiveFT
— Jeffrey Liesendahl, President, Accertify
— Dan Lyne, Director, Technology Development, World Business Chicago
— Pat Maher, Managing Director, nAblement, a SPR Company
— Carole McCluskey, Chief Technology Officer, Coinstar (Redbox)
— Jon Morris, Chief Executive Officer, Rise Interactive
— Maura O’Hara, Executive Director, IVCA (Illinois Venture Capital Association)
— Deepika Pandey, Vice President, Online Strategy & Customer Experience, Walgreens
— Karen Purze, Senior Director, Traffic Product Development, Nokia
— Bill Ready, Chief Executive Officer, Braintree
— Mike Schamberger, Partner and Head, Technology Practice, Grant Thornton
— Leigh Segall, Vice President Marketing, LeapFrog Online
— Rishi Shah, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, ContextMedia
— Irv Shapiro, Chief Executive Officer, Ifbyphone
— Dave Shea, President, Corptax
— Jai Shekhawat, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Fieldglass
— Michael Small, Chief Executive Officer, Gogo
— Brian Spaly, Chief Executive Officer, Trunk Club
— Brad Spirrison, Managing Editor, Appolicious
— Andy Stanis, Executive Director, SPR Companies: Redpoint Technologies, MPS Partners, TAP Group
— Jed Taylor, Assistant Director, Technology Entrepreneur Center, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
— Abdel Tefridj, Vice President, Workforce Analytics, CareerBuilder
— Howard Tullman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy
— Doug Waggoner, Chief Executive Officer, Echo Global Logistics
— Eric Wasowicz, Investor and Advisor, Channel Clarity
— Ira Weiss, Professor, Chicago Booth School of Business


About the ITA

The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) is the driving force behind Illinois’ vibrant technology industry. ITA member companies are stronger and scale faster because they benefit from a curated network of experts who lead programs in development, talent and visibility. The ITA addresses the evolution of tech-enabled growth-stage companies ($2 million to $250 million) that have exited the start-up stage. The ITA is proud to recognize its more than 500 member companies, representing a workforce that is 50,000 strong and growing. For more information, visit www.illinoistech.org, follow the ITA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/itabuzz, and view the ITA’s Facebook profile at www.facebook.com/illinoistechnology.

Nominate your company for a CityLIGHTS award at www.itacitylights.org.

A Measurable Impact

Initial placement rate:
90%
Industry retention rate:
81%
College attendance rate:
55%
Alumni actively engaged in their communities:
72%
Average 12-month earnings before program:
$10,790
Average 12-month earnings after program:
$44,010