Congratulations to our 2014 Tech10 Award Recipients!

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2014 Tech10 Videos

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2014 Tech Collective Tech10 Award Winners - Group
(L-R) Front: Tammy Fuller, Ramarao Koppaka, Kimberly Kowal Arcand, Alan Silverman
Back: Jeff Wilhelm, Eric Shorr, Dave Mulanaphy, Allan Peters, Bryce Lukens, Rich Siedzik


Kimberly Kowal Arcand
Visualization Lead

Award Category: IT Practitioner
Outstanding Recognition for Overall Achievement

Throughout her career, Kim has demonstrated a unique ability to translate complex concepts and present them to the public in a visual, relatable manner. This is what led her to NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory before its 1999 launch. Kim’s work behind Chandra’s online and digital presence has effectively become its “public face.” Among numerous accomplishments, Kim’s combined understanding of STEM and the use of technology has led her to some amazing accomplishments, two of which include the creation of the first 3D exploded star model; and bringing to life the international, award-winning “From the Earth to the Universe” project and its spin-off public science programs. Kim is currently working on a new project, “Light: Beyond the Bulb” for exhibition at the 2015 International Year of Light observance hosted by the United Nations.

Sharing her knowledge with the incoming STEM talent pipeline, Kim has also served as a mentor, educator, speaker, board member, volunteer, published author and is an advocate of engaging students, especially girls, in the STEM fields.

From Kim: “Part of why the acronym ‘STEM’ makes so much sense to me is that the four fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are inextricably linked.”

Tammy Fuller
Chief Software Architect and Co-Founder
Echo Messaging Systems
Award Category: Entrepreneur
Outstanding Recognition for Entrepreneurship

The ingenuity behind the suite of “Find Me Safety” apps was born from tragedy and need. After the 2013 Moore, OK tornadoes, Tammy and her team were approached with a need
for a technology platform that could help families and first responders locate disaster victims. Tammy recalls that her company did have a solution that could be redirected to serve this purpose. And so the “Find Me Tornado Safety” app was born, followed by “Find Me Hurricane Safety” and “Find Me Safety” –  the latter of which can be used for hiking, dating, children walking home from school, and real estate, delivery, and other business house calls. A distinguishing feature of the apps – each will work even if cell phone towers go down.

Computer science and software development have been central around Tammy’s life since she became interested in them as a child. Today, Tammy is able to pass that passion onto students through a Mobile Apps series she leads at the RiverzEdge Arts Project; as well as running a “Youthops” Tumblr blog and mentoring students at Echo.

From Tammy: “[At Echo], we’ve had many young adults contribute to our projects and we’ve assisted in guiding them into technology careers. It means a lot to me to transfer what I’ve learned to young adults interested in tech.”

Ramarao Koppaka
Principal Enterprise Architect

Award Category: IT Practitioner

FM Global is well-known for its innovation as an insurance company, however it is the company’s Information Services department which might be most innovative of all – and it is the
largest department within the company. In his role, Ramarao has leveraged FM Global’s embrace of technology as a “value differentiator” to enhance operations across departments and the company as a whole.

Ramarao is a self-proclaimed “Geek,” enjoying his work applying new technical solutions to demanding and diverse business needs. In addition to his accomplishments at FM Global – some of which include designing flexible, scalable applications; helping to establish the company’s technology governance framework; introducing new technologies to the company; and developing new techniques to minimize system/user downtime – Ramarao is an advisor to his IT co-workers and a contributor to the IT community at large. During a year-long trip to India, Ramarao related his experience from a Fortune 1000 company to apply to some of the much smaller startup companies he was working with.

From Ramarao: “I consider myself fortunate that my vocation is my avocation as well, and I am glad to be a significant contributor to our company’s technology investment.”

Bryce Lukens
Technical Director, Collaboration Services
Atrion Networking Corporation
Award Category: IT Practitioner

During a career that has evolved alongside of collaboration technologies, Bryce has been not only a witness, but contributor to the advancement and adaption of these technologies in the business environment. From click-to-chat and conferencing solutions to web-based business operations, Bryce’s success has come from his emphasis on meeting the client’s business need equally as well as their technical need. A true techie and coming from an engineering background, Bryce notes it was at first difficult for him to put aside the “cool features” of technology when they were not necessarily called for. Bryce credits this shift in focus with his demonstrated ability to design and complete a project to achieve the goals it was created to address.

In contributing to IT education, Bryce and his wife founded the MFHS Technology Group to raise funds for technology opportunities throughout the East Greenwich elementary school system. Over the past three years, they have raised more than $20,000.

From Bryce: “Technology is an integral part of every organization. I work with Rhode Island companies from a variety of industries… My part in all of their success is ensuring that they have reliable, dynamic, and easy-to-use systems. I enjoy being able to witness the transformation of a business through the application of technology solutions.”

David Mulanaphy
Principal Development Database Administrator
FM Global
Award Category: IT Practitioner

Database and business intelligence are not new areas of technology, but they certainly are rapidly evolving ones. Dave has been at the forefront of these on both the micro and macro
levels. From building data structures and interfaces to data analyzation, Dave has been a key part of streamlining FM Global’s business operations and enabling the company to better realize its overall goals.

After seeing the movie “Terminator” and becoming fascinated with robotics and computers, Dave found a natural fit in the world of tech and data. Applying these concepts to problem-solving and business environments has enabled Dave to use data to “make better business decisions.” However, Dave also embraces the need for cross-company collaboration, driving the engagement and support that is critical for continuous advancement of technologies and operations.

From Dave: “With the explosion on data being captured, we need to sort through and gain information from this data. New concepts like Big Data and Machine Learning are creating a new world of opportunities. These new concepts are creating a new industry, and I want to make sure FM Global is right there leveraging them.”

Allan Peters
Director, Collaboration Services
Award Category: IT Practitioner

It is Allan’s job to help ensure the GTECH’s worldwide teams and operations can remain connected and work collaboratively across boarders both physical and virtual. Working towards this goal, Allan has recently led the construction and relocation of GTECH’s new corporate data center and headquarters to Providence and the reorganization of business procedures to offer converged solutions. Allan is currently involved in the company’s multifaceted project to update and standardize company-wide collaboration tools and processes. An initial phase of the project – implementing integrated whiteboard and conferencing solutions – has already begun to improve daily communications as well as reduce travel time and expenses.

Since its establishment in Providence, Allan has been a supporter of the Year Up program. Allan and GTECH have hosted student interns from each Year Up class to date, with the company hiring approximately 50% of them. Allan notes the hired interns “have become valued team members. It’s a win-win relationship.”

From Allan: “I believe IT is crucial to the business because we enable the business to achieve its day-to-day objectives… As my career at GTECH grew, I realized I liked leading teams where the impact was much broader than a single project, where it could reach a broader objective through a portfolio of projects.”

Eric Shorr
Founder and President

Award Category: Entrepreneur
Outstanding Recognition for Tech Citizenship

Eric started his IT career as a college junior with $100 and an entrepreneurial spirt. More than 20 years later, Secure Future Tech Solutions has grown to 15 employees and offers leading
technology security, monitoring, and maintenance services. Despite his success, Eric has not slowed down, continuing to pursue continuing education for his own knowledge as well as offering that experience to his team, his clients, and the business community at large.

Eric has a passion for and is a valued contributor to Rhode Island’s IT and business communities. Eric regularly mentors students and interns hosted by the company; is involved in several professional and industry groups, and donates his time and services to nonprofit organizations in the state. Even as his company has grown, giving back to the community remains at the top of Eric’s core values and activities.

From Eric: “Technology innovation levels the playing field between nimble small businesses and much larger competitors. My role is to help small businesses embrace technology and become productive so they can focus on other needs.”

Rich Siedzik
Director of Computer and Telecommunications Services

Award Category: IT Practitioner

Throughout his career, Rich has been both an IT “learner” and a “contributor.” This is a fitting role for Rich in relation to the higher education population he serves. Because of his approach and dual understanding of technology from the technical as well as big-picture prospective, Rich has been able to integrate enabling technologies throughout the “teaching, learning, and administrative fabric” of Bryant University.

Rich regularly participates in collaborative opportunities to share knowledge and advance technology goals. Some of these achievements include: developing a model for continuous IT service availability and disaster recovery; leading Bryant’s information security program; and collaborating with local and regional fire districts to develop a prototype virtual public safety network. In all of these instances, Rich has shared his experience and models with his peers within the University and across the tech-education community at large.

From Rich: “I am keenly aware of the pivotal role technology plays in the future success of institutions of higher education and the students we serve. I have a commitment to think creatively and collaborate with peers as we anticipate and plan for the introduction of digital technologies wherever they provide an opportunity to improve teaching, learning, and business process.”

Alan Silverman
Senior Technical Director, Data Center

Award Category: IT Practitioner

Almost 20 years ago, Alan began his own company essentially out of necessity while in college. He grew it to 10 employees before merging with Atrion in 2004. However, stepping out of a  CEO position has not led Alan to step out of a leadership one. In his role, Alan works to achieve success for himself as well as pass it along to his teams and his clients. Daily activities for Alan include leading a team of 24/7 call center engineers and a team of field engineers; weighing in on Atrion’s technological and strategic direction; and exercising his own skill set on a variety of client projects with the company.

Alongside his truly impressive technical knowledge and achievements, Alan is a mentor and educator. There are numerous people who Alan recalls working with as they began their IT career. Some came directly from college while others he gave a chance to – people with a passion for IT looking to transition into the field from other occupations. Many have now moved on into senior IT roles within the industry. Alan says his “goal for each day is to teach.” It is a goal he is fully recognized for by his clients and peers alike.

From Alan: “My greatest accomplishments all revolve around helping people to achieve a better life through technology.”

Jeff Wilhelm
Chief Technology Officer
Envision Technology Advisors
Award Category: IT Practitioner

As CTO, Jeff wears many hats – from client services to strategic planning to employee mentor. Jeff’s success in these roles stem from his diverse knowledge across many technologies as well as his understanding of IT as a dynamic contributor to the business.

Since he was a child, Jeff has loved technology and incorporated it into activities wherever he could. Jeff was the only student in his school to create a fully tech-interactive exhibit for his National History Day project. Now he is able to watch his young daughter so seamlessly interacting with technology in her everyday life. Jeff sees the merger of consumer and business technologies as one part of IT’s future and that of the next IT workforce generation.  Jeff recalls the impact others have had on him throughout his education and career path, and he contributes back to the incoming workforce through mentorship, blogging, and participating in Leadership Rhode Island, Year Up, and Tech Collective’s IT On Demand program.

From Jeff: “The more I used technology… the more I loved the ability to shape the way people interacted with technology. I am fully cognizant that the work we do in IT can literally change the way people spend their workdays, the ways they interact with their friends and family, and the way they live their lives.”

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