Winners and Finalists for the 2020 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards Announced by Arizona Technology Council and Arizona Commerce Authority

Industry: Technology

Tickets are Available Now for Arizona’s Premier Technology Industry Event Hosted Live in a Virtual Format on Wednesday, November 4

Phoenix, AZ (PRUnderground) August 31st, 2020

Honoring the leaders and visionaries making critical contributions to technology, bioscience and education throughout the state of Arizona, the Arizona Technology Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority have announced winners of Future Innovators of the Year and Teacher of the Year awards, as well as individual and company award finalists for the 2020 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards (GCOI). The winners will be honored during GCOI, which will take place during a live virtual event on Wednesday, November 4 from 4 to 7:30 p.m.

“Despite challenging times, Arizona’s technology community continues to persevere and produce incredible innovations that are making a positive and lasting impact on the world,” said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “We were pleased to receive such a strong group of applicants and congratulate this year’s finalists and winners on their exceptional contributions to Arizona’s technology ecosystem.”

“The annual Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards honor some of the best and brightest in Arizona’s technology industry – and making the final selections gets tougher each year,” said Sandra Watson, Arizona Commerce Authority President & CEO. “The contributions of these visionaries are key to Arizona’s globally competitive position and continued economic success. Congratulations to all of the 2020 awardees and finalists!”

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 GCOI awards program and tech showcase will be streamed live during a virtual event. The tech showcase will have more than 50 companies previewing their innovations, culture and future in Arizona. The showcase will also include virtual networking rooms, which will allow each organization to host private discussions with attendees. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at

In addition to the finalists and winners listed below, the 2020 AccountabilIT Lifetime Achievement Award remains open for nominations until Friday, September 4. This award honors outstanding leaders whose work and contributions have consistently elevated Arizona’s science and technology landscape. To nominate an individual for the Lifetime Achievement Award, please visit:

The individual GCOI Award finalists are:

Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year

  • Greg Scoresby, founder and CEO, CampusLogic – Chandler
  • Alex Rodriguez, CEO, FreeFall 5G, Inc. – Tucson

MSS Transformational Leadership Award

  • Arizona Department of Administration – Phoenix
  • Joann MacMaster, CEO, Desert Angels – Tucson
  • Dr. Betsy Cantwell, senior vice president for Research and Innovation, The University of Arizona Office for Research, Innovation and Impact – Tucson

One company in each of the following categories will be announced as the winner at the GCOI event:

Innovator of the Year, Start-Up Company:

  • Additive Implants, Inc. – Phoenix
  • AdviNOW Medical Inc. – Scottsdale
  • Codelucida, Inc. – Tucson
  • GenetiRate, Inc. – Tucson

Innovator of the Year, Small Company:

  • Health Information Management Systems (HiMS) – Phoenix
  • Lunewave, Inc. – Tucson
  • OncoMyx Therapeutics – Phoenix

Innovator of the Year, Large Company:

  • Becton Dickinson Peripheral Intervention – Tempe
  • IBM – Tucson
  • Viasat, Inc. – Tempe

Innovator of the Year Award – Academia:

  • Arizona State University Biodesign Institute – Tempe
  • Betsy Cantwell, PH.D., senior vice president for Research and Innovation, The University of Arizona Office for Research, Innovation and Impact – Tucson
  • Hong Hua, professor of Optical Sciences, James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences, The University of Arizona – Tucson
  • Ruslan Rafikov, Ph.D., associate professor of Medicine, The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson

The individual company award winners and finalists were evaluated and chosen by the following selection committee of experts independent of the Arizona Technology Council:

  • Chuck Vermillion, CEO, AccountabilIT
  • Mark Dallmeier, chief sales/revenue officer, MSS Business Transformation Advisory
  • Doug Hockstad, assistant vice president, Tech Launch Arizona, The University of Arizona
  • James Goulka, chairman and managing director, Arizona Tech Investors
  • Eric Miller, principal and co-founder, PADT, Inc.
  • Mary O’Reilly, Ph.D., vice president, Bioscience Research Programs, Flinn Foundation

The Future Innovators of the Year award winners represent the best of the best of the Arizona Engineering and Science Fair (grades 9-12) for 2020. Each of the winning students will receive a $1,000 scholarship to further enhance their education, and the winning teacher will receive a $1,000 cash award.

Future Innovators of the Year Award Winners:

  • Saffeyya-Grace Ibrahim, Sonoran Science Academy – Tucson
  • Viraj Mehta, BASIS – Scottsdale
  • Dakota Finley, Willcox High School – Willcox
  • Abby Liu, Hamilton High School – Chandler

Future Innovators of the Year Honorable Mentions:

  • Sadie Smith, Tucson High Magnet School – Tucson
  • Viveka Chinnasamy, Amy Wang and Shreya Tripathi, Hamilton High School – Chandler

Teacher of the Year Award Winner:

  • Rachna Nath, Arizona College Prep – Erie – Chandler

Teacher Honorable Mention:

  • Alfred S. Santos, Harvest Preparatory Academy – Yuma

The Future Innovators and Teacher of the Year award winners were evaluated and chosen by a selection committee independent of the Council. The committee included members of the Arizona Council of Engineering and Scientific Associations, which supports, promotes and coordinates programs and activities of the engineering and science associations within the state of Arizona through facilitated communication and leadership.

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: attract, expand, create — attract out-of-state companies to establish operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to expand their business in Arizona and beyond; and help entrepreneurs create new Arizona businesses in targeted industries. For more information, please visit and follow the ACA on Twitter at @azcommerce.

About 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 Council offers numerous events, educational forums and business conferences that bring together leaders, visionaries and community members 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

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