Next Tech Awards: Recognizing exceptional performers and rising stars

Business North Carolina collaborated with NC TECH to create the Next Tech Award to recognize North Carolina’s rising stars in our state’s tech and tech-enabled companies. The award is meant to spotlight those individuals who often work in the trenches of an organization, and who keep pushing projects and objectives forward.

Supervisors and colleagues submitted nominations for the inaugural awards and a selection committee picked 10 winners in one of three categories: tech and innovation, tech professional and sales and marketing. The winners solve problems at work, make teams better and contribute in ways that are not a formal part of the job description.

These 30 profiles of the winners share typically what these individuals do at their jobs, their motivations, those who inspire them, advice on how to succeed in tech as well as their passions outside the office. In many cases, those efforts outside work help others or advance a worthy cause, such as encouraging more women to seek job opportunities in technology.


Here are the winners:

Tech and Innovation

  • Greg Bronzert, director of engineering, Jackrabbit Technologies
  • Kevin Kulp, senior manager, technology management software engineering, Fidelity Investments
  • Ruthy Mabe, director of security services, MCNC
  • Manda Miller, senior manager, strategy and business development, Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions
  • Smita Patil, vice president, Deutsche Bank

  • Bobby Radford, software engineer, Rownd
  • Justin Sherwood, assistant IT director, town of Cary
  • Jenell Stewart, assistant director, health analytics and external services, NC Health Information Exchange Authority
  • Robin Thomas, director of digital foundations, NC Department of Health and Human Services
  • Chris Wolford, managing director, media and event technology, NASCAR

Tech Professional Category

  • Taylor Boone, business development director – IT Solutions, Experis
  • Samantha Burks, learning and development lead, WorkSmart
  • Ashley Everett, vice president of operations and advancement, RevTech Labs Foundation
  • Bill Goodwin, audio visual engineer, Wake County Government
  • Rahim Islam, director of operations, MAXX Potential
  • Kari Kalgren, executive director, strategy and innovation, Premier Inc.
  • Courtney Keiper, controller, Netsertive
  • Lopamudra Mahapatra, senior director, global alliances, Infosys Limited
  • Yasemin Rodriguez, senior talent acquisition specialist, Project Kitty Hawk
  • Susie Silver, director of client success, The Diversity Movement

Sales and Marketing

  • Matthew Alberts, vice president, global solution consulting, Commercetools
  • Brittany Barnwell, multimedia designer, Research Triangle Foundation of NC
  • Carlos Bautista, marketing specialist, TARGAN
  • Sarah Clark, marketing strategist, Ablr
  • Jordan Crowther, managing partner, Axiom Path
  • Meghan Doligalski, director, revenue operations, Relias
  • Jennifer Jernigan, senior manager, client education, Abrigo
  • Mallorie Moore, director of market development, Michael Best & Friedrich
  • Mark Parisi, executive vice president, corporate strategy and strategic programs, Genesis10
  • Shannon Parker, director of industry engagement and impact strategy, Circ

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