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Mass Technology Leadership Council Announces Commonwealth, Distinguished Leadership Award Winners for 18th Annual Gala

Top Trade Association Lauds Pioneers in Tech, Business and Education; Recognized for Contributions to Bay State's Innovation Economy

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- (Marketwired) -- 08/31/15 -- The Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) has named serial entrepreneur and 2014 A.M. Turing Award winner Professor Michael Stonebraker of MIT as recipient of the 2015 Commonwealth Award. A Big Data pioneer, Stonebraker is recognized around the world as a database and Big Data thought leader influential in scientific applications of transactional data processing. He is also founder of nine companies, including Mass-based Streambase (now Tibco), Vertica (sold to HP), VoltDB, Tamr, and Paradigm4.

MassTLC has also named 2015 Distinguished Leadership award winners, including MassChallenge Founder and CEO John Harthorne; Somerville's Hour of Code Mobilizers Charlie LaFauci and Shawn Szturma; and Vecna Cares Executive Director Debbie Theobald. Recipients of the Distinguished Leadership Award have played pivotal roles in advancing and supporting innovation in their industries and communities, using technology to create opportunities and open doors for others.

Formal presentation of the awards will be made during MassTLC's 18th Annual Technology Leadership Award Gala, taking place September 16 at the Seaport World Trade Center.

Commonwealth Award

  • Michael Stonebraker, Professor of Computer Science at MIT; Co-director, CSAIL's Intel Sciences and Technology Center for Big Data, serial entrepreneur.

    A pioneer of database research and technology for more than 40 years, Stonebraker is a 2014 recipient of the ACM A.M. Turing Award. He is the main architect of the INGRES relations database management system. A founder of nine companies, Stonebraker has worked tirelessly to create cutting edge database systems within the academic setting, and then further taking them into commercialization through startups to test and prove the systems' theories at scale.

Distinguished Leadership

  • John Harthorne, Founder and CEO, MassChallenge

    Harthorne launched MassChallenge in April 2010 as a competition for startups to vie for over $1 million in prize money as well as a centralized location where they can reside and receive resources and mentorship. Through his vision, MassChallenge has become the world's largest startup accelerator accepting 128 startups into the program each year, and just from Boston has more than 600 alumni who between them have generated more than $450 million of revenue and created over 5,000 jobs.

  • Charlie LaFauci & Shawn Szturma

    Szturma, a Somerville resident, parent, and employee at Cambridge-based Pegasystems, realized that Somerville's students were not exposed to CS education. So, with the help of Charlie LaFauci, Supervisor of Library Media Services at Somerville Public Schools, who was also working to bring Hour of Code to his students, they brought about needed change. Today, with the help of more than 150 volunteers, Somerville's 4,600+ student population now participates in the national program, Hour of Code. Additionally, the city hired Tech Boston Academy Founder Mary Skipper as superintendent; is preparing a training program for K-5 library and media teachers in Code.org's CS for elementary schools; and is signing up middle school teachers for Growing Up Thinking Scientifically (GUTS). LaFauci and Szturma did not just help to bring an Hour of Code to Somerville, but have created an entire STEM movement.

  • Debbie Theobald, Executive Director, Vecna Cares

    Established in 2009, Vecna Cares Charitable Trust is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides technology and training to support and strengthen health systems in underserved areas. The non-profit builds systems that close the information gaps between patients, caregivers and decision makers. The Special Olympics recently contracted with Vecna Cares to create a global digital health system with a goal to improve health outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities worldwide. Additionally, Theobald has been instrumental in testing pioneering medical technologies in West Africa that could help limit the transmission of Ebola from patients to doctors.

"Mike, Debbie, John, Charlie and Shawn epitomize the kind of innovative thinking and take-charge leadership that has characterized the Massachusetts innovation economy for more than three centuries," said Tom Hopcroft, CEO, MassTLC. "Not content to merely excel in their particular fields, each has recognized needs within their communities and taken the initiative to solve them. In so doing, they serve as tremendous inspiration for others."

The Commonwealth and Distinguished Leadership Awards will be presented during the MassTLC 18th Annual Leadership Award Gala, at which time the 16 Technology Award winners will also be announced. For more information or to attend, visit the Gala's registration page.

Click here to view the full list of finalists online, or go to: http://masstlcawards.org/finalists/.

Awards Program Platinum Sponsors: Aericon, Heidrick & Struggles, Invest Northern Ireland, Invest Hong Kong, Marsh & McLennan Agency, Microsoft, PwC, Skyscope

Gold Sponsors: CenturyLink, CHEN PR, Cisco, K Square Law, Raytheon

About The Mass Technology Leadership Council, Inc.
With more than 550 member companies, the Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) is the region's leading technology association and the premier network for tech executives, entrepreneurs, investors and policy leaders. MassTLC's purpose is to accelerate innovation by connecting people from across the technology landscape, providing access to industry-leading content and ideas and offering a platform for visibility for member companies and their interests. More at www.masstlc.org

For more information, contact:
Shannon Todesca
Email Contact

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