News & Content: Press Release

Judges for ITA CityLIGHTS Awards Ready to Roll

Monday, June 27, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gary Hotze
Share |

60-plus Chicago tech leaders and innovators to judge 17th annual awards program

CHICAGO, IL – June 27, 2016 – The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) has revealed today the elite group of innovators and technology leaders from the Greater Chicago area who will serve as the judges for its 17th annual CityLIGHTS Awards program.

“With award-winners having amassed $51 billion in exits, $1 billion in IPO, and $2.5 billion in venture capital, the CityLIGHTS awards have become a strong predictor of future success,” said ITA CEO Fred Hoch. “The quantity and quality of the judges we select ensures that every nomination receives a fair and balanced review. The reason CityLIGHTS has been so successful for so long in recognizing companies of the highest caliber is because of the caliber of our judges.”

Each judge will review multiple nominations, and those scores will determine the finalists for each of the eight categories. Finalists will be announced on Monday, August 8, when public voting will open. The judges’ scores will be used in addition to the public vote to determine the category winners.

The premier award of the program, the CityLIGHTS Industry Champion, is judged solely by members of the ITA Board of Directors.

The judges for 2016 are:

  • Mark Achler, Managing Director, MATH Venture Partners
  • Michael Arndt, Editor, Crain’s Chicago Business
  • Brenna Berman, Commissioner & CIO, City of Chicago
  • Tom Bianculli, VP of the Emerging Technology Office, Zebra Technologies
  • Heidi Brown, Founder and COO, Options Away
  • Alicia Cannon Mullen, Principal, Washing Pond Ventures
  • Charlie Catlett, Director, Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago
  • Clint Coghill, Chairman and CEO, Backstop Solutions Group
  • Jayna Cooke, CEO, EVENTUp
  • Chad Curry, Managing Director, Center for REALTOR Technology, National Association of REALTORS
  • Linda Darragh, The Larry Levy Executive Director and Clinical Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
  • Laura Dihel, CMO, EZLinks Golf LLC
  • James Dugan, CEO & Managing Partner, OCA Venture Partners
  • Glenn Eden, Senior Vice President, Weber Shandwick
  • Stuart Frankel, CEO, Narrative Science
  • Steve Gapp, President, LANSA
  • Ian Greenblatt, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, ARRIS
  • Brian Hand, Co-Founder, FireStarter Fund
  • Trista Hannan, SVP, Client Solutions, Eved
  • Tari Haro, CMO, SIM Partners
  • Mark Harris, President and CEO, Illinois Science & Technology Coalition
  • Adam Hecktman, Director of Technology & Civic Innovation Chicago, Microsoft Corporation
  • Troy Henikoff, Managing Director, TechStars and MATH Venture Partners
  • John Higginson, CTO, Enova
  • Justyn Howard, Co-Founder and CEO, Sprout Social
  • Chee-Young Kim, Co-Founder and Business Operations, NowSecure
  • Sebastiaan Koeling, CEO - Optiver US, Optiver
  • Amanda Lannert, CEO, Jellyvision
  • Brent Laufenberg, Vice President of Innovation, Rise Interactive, Inc.
  • Jeff Lee, Partner, Maven Wave
  • Brian Littleton, President & CEO,, Inc.
  • Todd Louderback, Partner - Audit, Deloitte & Touche LLP
  • Pat Maher, Director of Civic Engagement, SPR Consulting
  • Joey Mak, Director of Innovation & Economic Development, University of Illinois
  • James Malackowski, Chairman & CEO, Ocean Tomo, LLC
  • Jeff Malehorn, President & CEO, World Business Chicago
  • Jeff McRae, Senior VP, Allstate Strategic Ventures
  • Chuck Medhurst, General Manager & CEO, BMW Technology Corporation
  • Jon Morris, CEO, Rise Interactive, Inc.
  • Jace Mouse, CEO, PerkSpot
  • Deborah Murphy, CMO, Huron Consulting Group
  • Kristi Ross, Co-CEO & President, tastytrade | dough
  • Molly Rudberg, Chief Alchemist & Leadership Innovator, Molly Rudberg, LLC
  • Mike Sands, President & CEO, Signal
  • Rishi Shah, Founder and CEO, ContextMedia
  • Irv Shapiro, CEO, DialogTech
  • Dave Shea, President, Corptax, Inc.
  • Brooke Skinner Ricketts, Vice President, Brand + Design, Avant
  • Michael Small, President & CEO, Gogo
  • Emerson Spartz, CEO, DOSE
  • Nancy Sullivan, CEO and Managing Director, IllinoisVENTURES, LLC
  • Jed Taylor, Director of Operations, Tech Entrepreneur Center, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Mark Tebbe, Adj. Professor of Entrepreneurship, Booth School of Business
  • Mark Treschl, President & CTO, OpinionLab
  • Glenn Trout, CEO, VelocityEHS
  • Craig Vodnik, Co-Founder and COO, cleverbridge
  • Douglas Waggoner, Chairman and CEO, Echo Global Logistics
  • Ira Weiss, Partner, Hyde Park Venture Partners
  • Peter Wilkins, Managing Director, Hyde Park Angels
  • Alya Woods, Director of ChicagoNEXT, World Business Chicago
  • Amanda Wynne, Senior Director of Marketing, SAVO
  • Sam Yagan, Co-Founder, OkCupid
  • Nicole Yeary, Founder and CEO, Ms. Tech
  • Karl Zimmerman, Founder & CEO, Steadfast

For more information about this year’s CityLIGHTS Awards, visit, or to become a sponsor, contact Kelly Faso at

Thank you to this year’s Silver Sponsors, Armanino, Hyde Park Angels, Silicon Valley Bank and Event Partners, Clique Studios and Jewell Events Catering.

Get in touch

20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1200
Chicago, IL 60606

PH: 1.312.435.2805