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Austin IT Executives of the Year 2005

Speaker Mike Maples, former President of Microsoft, makes his keynote presentation
Mike Maples

On November 16, 2005, the Austin chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) presented the eighth annual Austin IT Executive of the Year Awards in conjunction with the Austin InnoTech - the region's largest gathering of IT executives, educators & vendors - and the Austin Technology Council - Austin's catalyst for technology innovation. The InnoTech/AITP awards ceremony was held at the Austin Convention Center, and it was attended by about two hundred area IT professionals, executives, and suppliers.

Austin AITP honors IT professionals in the Austin, Texas area who have demonstrated leadership skills in the areas of product or service development and benefits, team management and guidance, and overall community service.

The keynote speaker for this year's event was Mike Maples, former President of Microsoft, who is now a central Texas rancher and board member of various technology start-ups. Mike talked about the current state of the technology industry as well as his experiences in working directly with Bill Gates for eight years.

"We are pleased to have continued AITP's tradition of highlighting the important IT executives in Austin," said AITP president, Keith Stone. "We are glad to honor this year's IT leaders such as Samy Aboel-Nil, Andres Carvallo, Umesh Manathkar who are recognized for their contributions by their employers, their peers, and the community as a whole."

"The Austin IT Executive of the Year ceremony continues to be the only awards recognizing Austin CIOs, CTOs, VPs of Engineering and their peers," said Russ Finney, 2005 Innotech chairperson. "These individuals are being recognized because of their dedication to great innovations and unique achievements which in turn contribute to Austin's reputation as a city of technology excellence."

The primary sponsors of the event were Vignette, St. Edward's University Professional Education Center, Microsoft, Time Warner Cable, IBM Texas FCU, Gartner Group, and Oracle Corporation. Three major awards were presented: the Austin IT Executive of the Year - Private Sector, the Austin IT Executive of the Year - Public Sector, and the Austin Information Technologist of the Year.

On the left, Umesh Manathkar, CIO of Silicon Labs, receives his IT Executive of the Year award from Vignette's David Graham
Umesh Manathkar

Umesh Manathkar, CIO Silicon Labs, named Austin IT Executive of the Year (Private Sector)

Silicon Laboratories has grown very rapidly, increasing revenues by 80 percent in one year, more than doubling total customers and headcount. Umesh Manathkar’s ability to create a scalable infrastructure and to anticipate the changing needs of the fast growing organization have ensured that IT has been an asset to the company rather than a stumbling block. His focus on building a strong organization supported by disciplined processes and measured by quantitative metrics also ensures that each project is supported by an ROI and continuous improvement is achieved. Since joining Silicon Laboratories, Umesh has established a world class IS and IT team of more than 30 employees that use technology to support the mission of the company.

Umesh also implemented a sophisticated advanced planning and scheduling program (APS). This new program has transformed the process for product forecasting and scheduling allowing Silicon Laboratories to quickly adapt to changing customer demands. APS brings Silicon Labs closer to its customers and enables tracking of day-to-day fluctuations, improving the company’s responsiveness to the market and significantly decreasing manufacturing, supply chain and other related costs. 

On the left, Andres Carvallo, CIO of Austin Energy is honored as Austin's IT Executive of the Year (Public Sector) by event sponsor Juniper Networks
Andres Carvallo

Andres Carvallo, CIO of Austin Energy, named Austin IT Executive of the Year (Public Sector)

Andres has introduced the concept of “running an organization like a business” to several levels of Austin Energy. At the executive level, he now has taken the lead on facilitating all key discussions on how to decide the value of new large initiatives. He has introduced by both process and supporting tools the concept of project and resource portfolio management. Project prioritization across the organization has now taken on a more fiscally accurate return on investment part of decision making.

Andres’ strong background in both business and technology has allowed him to develop a uniquely multi-dimensional style of leadership. His passion for business, technology and people energizes him and he makes sure that anybody he comes in contact with on a daily basis shares in that energy. At Austin Energy Andres is responsible for all technology vision, planning, development and operations needs across the enterprise. Austin Energy is the tenth largest public power utility in the nation providing low cost reliable power to the capitol city of Texas, with annual sales over $900 million and about 400,000 serviced premises representing around one million consumers. 

On the left, Samy Aboel-Nil, Co-founder and the Vice President of Product Technology for MessageOne is honored as Austin's Information Technologist of the Year by AITP President Keith Stone
Samy Aboel-Nil

Samy Aboel-Nil, Co-founder and the Vice President of Product Technology for MessageOne, named Austin Information Technologist of the Year

As a technology co-founder along with Adam Dell of Austin, Texas-based MessageOne, Samy Aboel-Nil was and is responsible for leading the company’s efforts around conceiving, building and delivering the company’s suite of flagship and award-winning products including the MessageOne EMS Emergency Messaging System as well as AlertFind which is focused on providing emergency and crisis notification and escalation.

MessageOne’s EMS Emergency Messaging System - a highly-scalable standby messaging and AlertFind employee notification system that is hosted at world-class disaster recovery facilities - including SunGard, IBM and Iron Mountain, equipped with redundant power, servers and internet backbones, and manned 24x7 by expert support staff. The products have a simple, straightforward value proposition that tends to resonate with all organizations and their IT staff.

Within a very short timeframe, Samy’s development efforts behind MessageOne’s EMS and AlertFind have catapulted the company into an enviable market leadership position. Today, the company has more than 1,000 global clients – calling many of the world’s largest and most prestigious brands as its customers.

Top Panel of Judges selects this Year's Winner

This year's recipients were chosen by Ray Schwitters, President, Triangle Technology, Marcos Sivitanides, Professor, Texas State University, Alisha Ring, President, Austin Technology Council, Steve Guengerich, Founding Chair, Knowbility, Mike Sigman, CIO, Sematech, and Scott Campbell, President, Momentum Software.

2005 Innotech a Huge Success

Nearly two thousand IT professionals stopped by the Austin Convention Center to participate in the city's biggest technology event. "We are very happy with this year's turnout for Innotech," said Russ Finney, 2005 Innotech Chairperson. "The right people seemed to be in attendance including fifty area CIOs, many technology company executives and CEOs, and about seventy key area vendors on the show floor. It looked like everyone in town who mattered showed up this year. The eMarketing track was packed all day, and the security and Microsoft partnering pavilions were buzzing. Several live music acts performed which sent the energy level rising - Austin is after all the live music capital of the world. This is a great testimony to the hard work of the event organizers, the advisory board, and the support of both the ATC and AITP organizations."

Innotech Chair Russ Finney and Executive Director Sean Lowery
Russ Finney and Sean Lowery

Top Panel of Judges selects this Year's Winners

This year's recipients were chosen by Ray Schwitters, President, Triangle Technology, Russ Finney, CIO, Tokyo Electron, Scott Campbell, President, Momentum Software, and Gary Cowsert, CIO, Activant.