---------------------------------------------------------- By: Diana Tullio, Principal North America, CC&C Solutions
We Americans love competition. After all, it is what breeds innovation, excellence, and a healthy economy. Most of us know that the SW Ohio region has been a hot bed of successful entrepreneurship for the last two hundred years. The Dayton area is truly an admirable place to live and work as IT professionals.
Each year, Technology First recognizes the best of the best in their technology categories. 2018 marks the 5th anniversary for the Tech First Awards. We have expanded the categories over the years, but it is always exciting to see our peers become nominated as role models in each area.
Having presented awards and having been nominated in the past, I remember the excitement of seeing each nominee presented tell their story. We are all happy for the winner of each category, but there are no losers. Being nominated is the ultimate compliment from our community. We are all better for knowing and working with those in the running.
This year, we recognized the following winners in six categories:
Outstanding Technology Team
An IT department that has impacted the efficiency, productivity, and performance of their company.
Team Insight – Speedway
Best IT Services Company
An IT company that has increased its investment in the Dayton region through revenue, jobs, or capacity.
Expedient Technology Solutions
IT Executive of the Year
A senior level professional responsible for influencing progress and developing teams through leadership excellence.
Tina Bustillo, CEO/President, PI-Tech, Inc.
Emerging Technology Leader
An IT professional that has exhibited excellence and technical leadership within their organization.
Jon Scruggs, Manager, IT Infrastructure and Support, Hobart Service
Most Promising Startup Company
A technology startup that has shown great innovation and promise in the Dayton and SW Ohio region.
GlobalFlyte, LLC – Tim Shaw, COO
Award of Excellence – Student Project
An IT college student or team that exhibited excellence while delivering a capstone project.
Whirlpool Corporation/Continuous Improvement Management System – University of Dayton
It would not be a 5th anniversary for this awards ceremony without something special happening. In addition to the above awards, the review committee felt that there should be a seventh award. This recognition was for the IT Executive of the Year – Community Leader and was awarded to James Alford, Director of Data Processing, Montgomery County Data Processing. James was nominated by a record number of community members for his dedication and contributions to the SW Ohio technology region. He has tirelessly supported the community, and we could not be more thrilled for him in receiving this honor.
We wondered what thoughts might be going through the minds of the nominees as they waited to hear the results of each award under consideration. Surrounded by their guests, family, and peers cheering them on, it must have been exciting and a little nerve-racking to say the least. We asked this deserving group for their reactions to the awards and their recognition.
What does being nominated for your award mean to you?
Overwhelmingly the reaction was one of humility and gratefulness. The responses highlighted what an honor it was to be included in their category. Tina Bustillo from PI-Tech, Inc. stated, “To know that my employees and colleagues recognize and respect the position I hold and the long hours and dedication it takes to ensure that PI-Tech is successful, is very gratifying. That nomination and recognition also ensures their career is secure and they will always have a place in our PI-Tech family.”
In his most humble fashion, James Alford from Montgomery County Data Processing, said, “I have been nominated before and had absolutely no expectations of being recognized or awarded.” He was so surprised that he didn’t hear his name called. He said, “I was looking around the room for someone else to get up.”
The GlobalFlyte team said, “This nomination means the world to GlobalFlyte.” They were nominated by The Entrepreneur Center for their efforts to license technology from the Air Force Research Laboratory. Ronda Mosely stated, “It also proves that our methodology works. GlobalFlyte follows a proven and patented Transformative Corporate Formation (TCF) model honed by our parent company, SP Global, Inc.” All of this success and now recognition has transpired for the team in just 20 months.
How were you feeling as you waited for the decision to be announced for your award?
Being in the company of the talent nominated for these awards is a great feeling. Each nominee was feeling pretty wonderful to be in the running for their category. As the GlobalFlyte team put it, “Our overwhelming feeling was that we were in excellent company.” Ronda Mosely said how proud the team was for the description Chris Wallace from The Entrepreneurs Center gave them in the nomination video.
Clearly, there was excitement and anticipation leading up to the award announcement. Tina Bustillo stated, “I did a lot of research on the other nominees in the IT Executive category and felt blessed to be pictured beside the other successful and well recognized men in the Dayton area. I have so much respect for all executives in the IT field and know the dedication it takes to lead projects and people to open up opportunities.”
What does it mean to you to win this award?
Words like “breathtaking”, “exhilarating”, “proud”, and “humbled” were frequently mentioned in responding to this question. James Alford said, “I feel honored and happy when one of my proteges or colleagues win. It actually feels darn good to have your peers say “James does a good job as a leader.” We would say, “James does a GREAT job as a leader”, but we don’t want to make him blush!
Tina Bustillo looks at this as a way to give back to the community. By being successful in the region, she is able to continue to support the local economy by providing jobs and career growth to local talent. She summarized by saying, “I know that this award will bring more opportunity to PI-Tech which means I can bring opportunity to other IT professionals right here in Dayton, Ohio. Also, as a woman-owned business, a woman executive, and a woman nominee; In receiving this award, I hope this inspires other women to excel in their field, to influence other women to find their passion, and to be the best no matter where your career leads you.” You go girl!
What advice would you give to others that might be nominated for an award in the future?
In addition to saying be honored and thankful, the recipients see being nominated and the possibility of winning as a terrific opportunity and catalyst for greater good. GlobalFlyte team member Ronda Mosely said, “…use the nomination as a stepping stone to continue to build on your successes. Stay true to your mission and success will follow. Also, know that there is a network of companies and organizations that you can call upon for support.”
James Alford advises, “Be thankful that we have organizations like Technology First to network, brainstorm, and help pull resources together. Tina Bustillo says, “…it is a rare opportunity to tell your story. Take this occasion and moment in time, so your colleagues, employees, friends, and family can recognize your accomplishments. Hear everyone’s story and find the similarities and grow from it.”
It is great to hear from those recognized fresh after the event. There is so much wisdom and genuine caring in our IT community. Being a part of Technology First is a wonderful way to give back and create continuous success for our hardworking IT professionals.
Thanks to each and every Technology First member, staff member, board member, event attendee, IT or MIS student, and IT professional that makes our community the innovative and opportunity filled region that we are all proud to represent. Congratulations to this year’s nominees and winners!