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Innovation Awards

Finalists Announced: The Innovation Awards 2021

Now in its second year, the program from Dallas Innovates and D CEO honors disruptors and trailblazers driving a new vision for North Texas.
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D CEO and Dallas Innovates are proud to announce the finalists for its second annual Innovation Awards. The program honors companies, CEOs, CIOS, CTOs, entrepreneurs, and other leaders who are helping to make Dallas-Fort Worth a hub for innovation.

All finalists will be recognized in the January/February issue of D CEO magazine and online at; winners will be revealed at an exclusive awards event in January.

Here is the complete list of finalists for the 2021 program:

2021 Innovation Awards Finalists


 CIO/CTO of the Year

Chris Akeroyd, Children’s Health

Bill Lowrey, Istation

Prasanna Singaraju, Qentelli

Matt Winn, Dallas Baptist University


Corporate Innovator of the Year

Elyse Dickerson, Eosera

Will McClay, Dallas Cowboys

John Olajide, Axxess

Sanjiv Yajnik, Capital One


Innovation Advocate of the Year

Danny Chavez, McKinney Economic Development Corp.

Duane Dankesreiter, Dallas Regional Chamber

Dr. Hubert Zajicek, Health Wildcatters


Startup Innovator of the Year

Robert Atkins, BALANCED Media|Technology

Tony Goodman, PeopleFun

Rex Kurzius, Asset Panda

Kumar Narala, aBIa

Tom White, Phynd Technologies


Innovation in Cybersecurity

Milind Borkar, Illuma Labs

Rob Davis, Critical Start

Tiffany Ricks, HacWare

Bhavani Thuraisingham, The University of Texas at Dallas


Innovation in Finance

Boruch Greenberg, Payrix

  1. Alexander Holmes, MoneyGram

Javier Martinez, Zirtue

Frank Santoni, ImpactX Partners

Craig Scheef, Texas Security Bank


Innovation in Food and Beverage

Chad Houser, Momentum Advisory Collective

Merrilee Kick, BuzzBallz/Southern Champion

Tyler Shin, Revolving Kitchen

Jim Stevens, Golden Chick


Innovation in Healthcare

David D. Halbert, Caris Life Sciences

Scott Kirksey, BenefitMall

Dr. Steve Miff, Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI)

Stephen White, Center for BrainHealth


Innovation in Manufacturing and Consumer Goods

Bravis Brown, BPS Technology

Michael Hsu, Kimberly-Clark Corp.

Jason McCann, Vari

Phil O’Neill, Swiss American CDMO


Innovation in Real Estate

Stephen Lewis, Homematchx

Farrukh Malik, Roomored

Ryan Turner, RefineRE

Kyle Waldrep, Dottid


Innovation in Talent and Diversity

Russ Medina, NPower and AT&T

Jared Pope, Work Shield

Mandy Price, Kanarys


Innovation in Technology

Shar Dubey, Match Group

John Harlan, CrateBind

Aaron Fullen, K2View

Evelyn Torres-Gomez, Solaris Technologies Services


Innovation in Transportation

Will Coleman, Alto

Roger Raley, Alpine Advanced Materials

Rock Robinson, eCarra

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