Legacies & Leadership: Nashville Technology Council Awards unveiled
NASHVILLE Technology Council (NTC) last night unveiled winners of the 2014 NTC Awards during its 6th Annual event, again set in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The beautiful Hall, with its banquet room overlooking a cityscape surreal on a clear night, is a fitting venue for looking back and honoring greatness. The Hall could also be described as Ground Zero for a Music industry deeply disrupted by technology.
Presiding over the evening with both pride and sometimes comic exhuberance was Bryan Huddleston, CEO of NTC, a nonprofit trade association that is also led by Chairman David Klements, CEO of Qualifacts; and, Chairwoman-Elect Nicole Tremblett.
Tremblett is HCA's VP IT&S, and on July 1 she is to become chairwoman of NTC's 41-member board of directors (all of whom are also listed below). Her predecessor in her HCA role is last night's CIO of the Year Winner, Marty Paslick, who is a former NTC chairman and is now HCA's SVP/CIO. HCA IT&S won the Team Award.
The evening brought authentic, sometimes moving commentary from awardees and presenters alike, a sample of which is here.
► With 592 registered attendees, plus 30 on-site volunteers, this year's awards seem to reflect increased energy, maturity and diversity within Greater Nashville's technology sector. Yes, all CIO of the Year nominees were from Nashville's powerful Healthcare sector; and, true, two key awards (all awards are below in this article) went to outsourcing firms, but those services firms make interesting claims to special IT sauces.
Founded in 1999, nonprofit NTC operates much like an industry-specific chamber of commerce, focusing on the digital-technologies sector of Middle Tennessee. Its office is in the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.
Huddleston, now 44, became CEO of NTC in September 2013, after nearly eight years with Microsoft in a variety of product, product management and sales roles.
Like NTC CEOs before him, he's had his hands full.
Huddleston took the six-figure helm of NTC at a time when it seemed, as small nonprofits periodically do, to have lost some momentum, amid an increasingly crowded field of events and advocates in booming Music City. He immediately set about basic blocking and tackling, visiting dozens of stakeholders to assess the region's Tech-related needs and aspirations.
Today, NTC says it has 351 member companies -- higher than the roughly 325 members it reported in mid-2014 -- including Tech and tech-enabled companies, service providers, educational institutions and non-profits, representing a wide spectrum of industry.
In preparing NTC's January 2014 IRS Form 990 filing, it fell to new-on-the-job Huddleston to report NTC deficits. However, he also clearly asserted in that filing that NTC's mission is to help the region's Technology community succeed by "providing significant return on our members' time and resources [and by] increasing the pool of skilled technology professionals to meet the current and future needs of Middle Tennessee's businesses."
Months later, in December 2014, NTC learned that a grant proposal submitted with partner Nashville State Community College had been awarded to the partners. It brings an $850,000 grant via Gov. Bill Haslam's Labor Education Alignment Program (LEAP), paid for with $10MM allocated by the Tennessee General Assembly.
Though NTC boasts only a four-person staff (with three additional grant- and operations-related hires under consideration and open), it has traditionally maintained a robust schedule of conferences and other events, and often partners with other groups in the multi-county region. Other tech-centric nonprofits in the region include LifeScience Tennessee, a reviving Digital Nashville, numerous Tech user groups and such unconferences as Barcamp, as well as a Tech workforce-centered interest group recently convened in Murfreesboro.
Since its inception in 1999, NTC has been led successively by these chiefs: Attorney Warren Ratliff (now general counsel for Microsoft-GE's Caradigm); David Condra (first to bear the CEOtitle, and longest-serving thus far; Amplion, Dalcon), Ray Capp (ConduIT Corp.), Jeff Costantine (previously HCA, now Liberty Street Partners); Tod Fetherling (Perception Health); Liza Massey (project management consultant), and now Huddleston. All those chiefs remain in Middle Tennessee, except Ratliff, who now lives in Seattle.
The Presenting Sponsor for last night's event was VACO and Digital Reasoning was the Platinum Sponsor. The latest 2014 NTC Awards winners, other nominees and (Award presenters) are listed immediately below (click here for 2013 winners):
TEAM OF THE YEAR (Nissan)
CIO OF THE YEAR (Peak10)
CISO OF THE YEAR (Cisco)
MARKETING INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR (Microsoft)
STUDENT OF THE YEAR (HP)
Executive Committee of the board