"This is almost as bad as the Golden Globes. No, wait, what am I saying?"
Some of our more observant readers have noted that my blog posts are trending a bit polemical and sarcastic. Fair point, but not applicable today because... It's time once again for the SpeakerBox Best Tech Awards (the Katzys) -- a musical celebration of technologies I miraculously don't hate.
Thanks to everyone who wrote in with their suggestions, but I deleted all your emails because this is not at all a democratic operation. Instead, I've selected the winners based almost entirely on their write-ups in Skymall.
Now, to present the first award, here are real-life colleagues Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway.
Jackman: Video composite editors take a messy pile of fractured images and somehow turn it into cinematic magic!
Hathaway: I'm sorry, what is... Is this a blog post?
Award #1: Best tech inspired by the movie Village of the Damned:
This one goes to g.tec, the company behind "brainpainting" brain amplifiers -- which aim to deliver a thought-controlled computing interface for tech users disabled by paralysis.
"Hold on a sec, someone's spamming my left-front temporal lobe."
The downside is that you have to wear a skull cap made of electrodes (which Quartz magazine points out makes Google Glass glasses look like Ray Bans).
But the core benefit here is exciting, and has potentially much more applicability than just help for the physically disabled.
Thought-controlled computing would be fast and (you know, sorta by definition) intuitive.
Imagine being able to get an "I'm sorry, I didn't understand that" response from SIRI just through mere pondering alone!
Award #2: Best tech inspired by the movie Minority Report
Okay, so if we can't control computers with our minds, can we at least control them by flicking?
That's the question Myo's creators set-out to answer, and boy did they! For a mere $149, you, yourself, today, can purchase vague promises of some sort of wristband in 2014.
Also available in "attractive."
Availability aside, an app-control interface guided by the electrical signals in your wrist muscles sounds pretty cool -- and great for keeping your retina displays smudge-free. (I'm told a Kickstarter-funded project called Leap Motion is working on a similar device at half the cost.) The question, of course, is how accurate and precise the motion capture can become. I was skeptical about touch-screen technology, but Apple certainly delivered there. So, color me intrigued, and ready to strap on my Myo and start fighting pre-crime.
Award #3: Best tech inspired by a John Belushi traffic stop
Maybe you've been moving around computers with your mind and wrist all day, and suddenly you're not feeling too hot.
You could go to the doctor, who will almost certainly perform unnecessary surgery on you in order to meet his ObamaCare quota (as is my understanding from reading the National Review), or you could test your own urine on your iPhone.
Now I know what you're thinking. First, do not pee on your iPhone until you read the end of this sentence where I will tell you unequivocally to never under any circumstance pee on your iPhone and... you already did, didn't you?
Anyway, uChek, the mobile urine analysis lab, works with the iPhone's camera to photograph and analyze the colors of a urine test strip. Evidently, the technology can check for urinary tract infections, liver and kidney problems, and in a pinch, midichlorean levels if you suspect you may be traveling to Coruscant with a Jedi.
"The graphs on the right in conjunction with the data sets on the left seem to indicate that I worry too much about things."
So there you have it, folks. Three new technologies that I'm actually excited about.
I'm also excited because I'm writing this at the Santa Fe airport, and Amanda Seyfried is (no joke) two feet in front of us saying goodbye to a friend. Too bad she's terrible in pretty much every movie she's ever been in. I wanted to be like, "Hey I loved you in..." But then I couldn't think of how to finish that sentence. #santafeproblems
Deloitte announced the winners of the Fast 500 at events around the country on Tuesday. Lisa Throckmorton and I were invited to the DC event, which was well attended by many of the regional companies that made the North American list. At the dinner, the winning companies learned just how high they ranked, including one incredible local success story that made it into the top ten.
The Technology Fast 500 is an annual program that recognizes the fastest growing companies in North America based on percentage revenue growth over a five-year period. Eligible companies must have operating revenues of at least $50,000 USD or CD in FY 2007 and at least $5M in FY 2011. Qualifying categories include technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology industries.
(Lisa Throckmorton, SpeakerBox and Hossein Noshirvani, Motionsoft)
This year, 32 companies in the DC region earned a spot on the list of 500. Of the local winners, more than 50 percent are in the software industry and nearly 20 percent are in communications and networking. The vast majority of this year’s DC winners, about 72 percent, are privately held companies.
And the winners are … drumroll please:
Parature, #454, customer service software and web support
comScore, #436. digital analytics *
ScienceLogic, #414, data center and cloud management
Welocalize, #406, translation services *
WealthEngine, #405, prospect research, modeling and analytics *
RKG | Rimm-Kaufman Group, #403, data-driven online marketing *
AEEC, #400, IT and engineering services *
Contact Solutions, #396, customer service solutions
TEOCO, #391, telecom assurance and analytics *
TeleCommunication Systems, #380, communication systems *
Notable Solutions (NSI), #377, content capture and business automation
Sourcefire, #376, network security solutions *
Cvent, #350, event management software *
Snagajob.com, #337, hourly employment network *
Concept Solutions, #332, management and technology consulting *
Jorge, #331, government contracting
LDiscovery, #323, legal and technology consulting
Eloqua, #312, marketing automation
United Therapeutics Corporation, #285, biotechnology *
K12, #280, online education *
Apprio, #214, government technology solutions
Primatics, #207, enterprise software for financial services *
Motionsoft, #178, member relationship and club management software *
Tenable Network Security, #171, unified security monitoring *
VidSys, #159, physical security information management *
Novavax, #129, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical
Osiris Therapeutics, #72, stem cell therapeutics *
CFN Services, #56, network and application delivery solutions *
Zenoss, #55, IT operations management *
MicroTech, #53, government contracting *
Millennial Media, #25, mobile ad and data platform
Avail-TVN, #6, multi-platform video services
* These companies also made the list in 2011.
Congratulations to all this year’s winners and to Deloitte for a great event. Looking forward to next year.
- Katie Hanusik
The PR News
awardrecognizes companies that provide a unique and supportive culture, and offersits employees career growth opportunities, as well as exceptional benefits,vacation time and perks. (One month paid sabbaticals, telecommuting privileges,paid healthcare
need I say more?)
The Stevies is a program that highlights female-owned/runcompanies that demonstrate dedication to its employee and HR tactics. Ouremployee retention and promotion rate is through the roof, so we couldnt beany prouder! We hiresmart, happy people. And it shows.
I think I speak for everyone when I say that were sincerelyhonored to be recognized by both award opportunities. We often joke around theoffice that SpeakerBox is one of a kind an establishment with the bells andwhistles that even our friends find hard to believe. Finding such a dedicated,supportive and fun work atmosphere is one in a million. From the clients we interactwith, the office lounges we work inside of and the staff were surrounded by,were richer than well ever know.
No more Susan Lucci syndrome for SBX. After being named a finalist for the past two years, SpeakerBox won a 2011 Apollo Award! Helios HR honors businesses that truly believe their employees are their core and have built corporate cultures of intention that keep employees engaged and happy. As a SBX employee, I have to say, we deserved it. Not only does our management team work hard to implement benefits and development programs that surpass what others are doing, but they also listen to our feedback and take it to heart. A prime example of this is the One Team initiative our new corporate philanthropy program. In addition to the recognition, great benefits, investments in development and parties, we feel appreciated, needed and valued through everyday actions. Thank you to Helios for recognizing the hard work of our leadership team and thank you to SBX for doing the work it takes to be recognized. Also, a big congratulations to the other winners: Rose Financial Services, HPTI, Edelman and Pariveda.
This month, Lead4ll announced the winners of the annual Technology 500 List. This list recognizes the fastest-growing tech companies based on the percentage of revenue growth from 2007-2009.
Many local companies were recognized in the top half of this years list including:
27 Zantech IT Services
60 Nova Datacom
70 Three Pillar Global
109 WFN Strategies
113 Global Wireless Solutions
115 VitalSpring Technologies
148 Capstone Corporation
172 Astyra Corporation
178 High Street Partners
186 Portal Solutions
194 Orbit Logic
200 American Cadastre
250 Catapult Technology
Top local winners primarily fall into one of two categories: IT services and software. Local services winners include several government contractors, and commercial companies specializing in software development, telecom, IT staffing and Web hosting. Local software winners offer solutions focusing on healthcare, customer service, e-learning and financial services.
The Washington metro area offers a vibrant and growing technology community not just for government contractors, but inclusive of them and this is exciting news. Congratulations to all the winners. - Katie Hanusik
I was proud to serve as a judge in this year's WWPR Woman of the Year event
, where three honorees were recognized for outstanding leadership and contribution to the PR profession.The event was held yesterday at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, with Dee Dee Myers
delivering a powerful keynote address
. Debra Silimeo
, Senior Vice President for Hager Sharp, was awarded the prestigious 2010 Woman of the Year award and delivered a passionate speech about the team at Hager Sharp and how its culture has shaped who she has become.
Two other very impressive women were also recognized as honorees: Donna Vincent Roa,
PhD, ABC, CSR-P, Managing Partner & Chief Strategist, Vincent Roa Group LLC; and Johanna Schneider
, Executive Director-External Relations, Business Roundtable. They both presented their own unique remarks about their journey, their life lessons and inspirations.
WWPR consistently raises the bar with its Woman of the Year award program, and it's the one event I haven't missed in nearly ten years! A raffle was held to benefit WWPRs pro bono client, the Childrenʹs Law Center,
the largest legal services organization in the District and the only organization that provides comprehensive free legal representation specifically for children who have been abused and neglected, have special education or health care needs.
One of my personal highlights was to meet and spend 20 minutes talking to Dee Dee Myers. She served as White House Press Secretary for two years under the Clinton administration and holds the title as the first woman and second youngest to hold that position.
She graduated from my alma mater, Santa Clara University
, a quiet liberal arts school in the heart of Silicon Valley, so I've followed her career for years. Her first book, Why Women Should Rule the World
went on to become a New York Times
bestseller and her remarks mirrored her perspectives shared in the book. Her mantra isn't really about why women should take over the world, but rather, how women should assert themselves alongside men to make the world a better place. Her delivery is sharp, funny, and interjected with dry humor.
She was the inspiration for the character C.J. Cregg
, press secretary on West Wing
played by Allison Janney. She consulted for much of the show as a contributing writer. She joked in her remarks that she enjoyed incorporating true examples of her experiences, but in the show she could take liberties to change the ending. Hilarious.
Afterward, a couple of board members and I spent time talking to Myers, so I had to snap a photo!
|Dee Dee Myers and Elizabeth Shea|
If you think you have a PR professional in mind who is a candidate for the 2011 Woman of the Year, mark your calendars! Look for nomination opportunities next summer.- Elizabeth Shea (@eliz2shea)
Last night NVTC
held its annual Hot Ticket Awards,
which in my opinion, is one of the hottest events to attend, literally and figuratively! This year the weather cooled off so it wasn't a sweat shop, and the event was hotter than ever. I say this from the sidelines, since I couldn't attend, but I heard from friends and clients alike.
Our friend David Stegon
was there and immortalized our VP Katie Hanusik
and [friend and client] Craig Chambers
from Cernium in his tech newsletter. Check it out
|Photo Taken By David Stegon and published in TechBisnow, June 30, 2010: Craig Chambers and Katie Hanusik|
Congratulations go to the winners this year--denoted in bold--a few of them are good friends of SpeakerBox. NVTC's press release
has a bit more information.
Hottest Bootstrap (sponsored by PNC Bank)
* CFN Services, Inc.* CustomInk.com
* ODIN Technologies
Hottest Emerging Government Contractor (sponsored by Verizon Wireless)* Agilex Technologies, Inc
* Attain, LLC
* Berico Technologies
* Invertix Corporation
* Platinum Solutions
Hottest Exit (sponsored by Clifton Gunderson LLP)
* Agent Logic, Inc.
* Cyveillance, Inc.* NISC
Hottest International Company (sponsored by GlobalLogic)
* Blackboard Inc.* BroadSoft
* High Street Partners
* NII Holdings, Inc.
Hottest Management Team (AH&T Insurance)
* Liquidity Services, Inc.* Zenoss
Hottest Social Buzz (sponsored by Deltek)
* NetWitness Corporation
* PointAbout* ZoomSafer
Hottest Venture Capital Deal (sponsored by Axiom)* LivingSocial
* Millennial Media
* ScienceLogic, Inc.
* Virtustream-Elizabeth Shea / @eliz2shea
In preparation for tomorrow's countdown of the Washington Business Journal's Best Places to Work
, we had a chance to sit down with Dave Ramos
of The Dashboard Group
, a consulting firm that helps leaders build high-performance organizations. The Dashboard Group is a partner of Quantum Workplace
; Quantum's TeamPulse
assessment tool is used by the Washington Business Journal to select the Best Places to Work award winners.
Dave is a big believer in measuring employee engagement and spent much of last year interviewing winners of the WBJ's Best Places to Work Award. He was kind enough to share his insights and tips
-- Katie HanusikQ. What makes the WBJ Best Places to Work award different from other award programs?
There are many other BPTW awards, including Fortune Magazine, Washingtonian Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Accounting Today Magazine,
The Washington Business Journal's
BPTW award is unique because it is focused on local companies and is based solely on statistical metrics, unlike other awards which include subjective criteria and are therefore open to manipulation.Q. What is the evaluation process?
The Washington Business Journal
awards are based the results of a 37 question survey, which is summarized to one number the overall employee engagement score.Q. Can you share any insight into the judging? What criteria are used?
The surveys 37 questions have been grouped into the 10 factors which are statistically validated measures of employee engagement. The ten factors are: Team Effectiveness, Retention Risk, Alignment with Goals, Trust with Coworkers, Individual Contribution, Manager Effectiveness, Trust in Senior Leaders, Feeling Valued, Satisfaction with Current Role, and People Practices.Q. What advice would you give to future applicants? How can they best position themselves for success?
It is like the lottery
you have to play to win. Every organization should measure employee engagement at least once per year. The Washington Business Journal
award process is a way for them to do this
and it is free!Q. Are there any common denominators of the honorees?
High-performance organizations do hundreds of things really well, but one common theme is the trustworthiness of the senior leaders. In BPTW organizations, the senior leaders really care about making their organization a great place to work. Many leaders give this lip service. Winners actually mean it.
Q. How many people applied, and how easy is it to win?
Hundreds of companies completed the survey. It is really hard to win, and even harder to be a repeat winner. The competition is stiff.
Q. Of last years honorees, which companies impressed you the most and why?
I spent several weeks interviewing some of last years winners. I especially enjoyed my visit to Miriams Kitchen
the only non-profit organization to win and a repeat winner in 2010. It is an amazing place doing amazing work for people with nowhere else to turn.
Last weeks Smart CEO
Matrix event featured three CEOs that were recent winners of the Circle of Excellence Award. All the award winners are featured on the cover of this month's issue. Speakers included Mary Lynne Carraway, Dominos Pizza Washington; John Murray, Counter Intelligence
; and Dave Ehrhardt, Apptix
(a SpeakerBox client).
All three speakers shared turnaround stories. Carraway took over the company after her husband, the companys founder, passed away. Murray cut costs and launched into a new market to emerge from the economic downturn stronger than ever and Ehrhardt turned a hodge-podge of acquired companies into one efficient, profitable company with a unified vision.
As Dave pointed out, Success is not determined by Plan A but the ability to carry out Plan B and C effectively. Certainly each of these CEOs has lived by that tenet. Mary Lynne Carraway summed it up best when she said, You can do hard things, that you never thought you could do.Photos provided by Smart CEO.
Photo 1: Dave Ehrhardt, Mary Lynne Carraway, John Murray. Photo 2: The May issue of Smart CEO magazine announcing all the Circle of Excellence winners.
-- Katie Hanusik
Last Thursday night was the Second Annual SECAF
what an event! Of course, I am biased since Im on the board, but Im not just paying lip service to this group. The spirit and the energy I personally experience with SECAF reflects that this is not your run-of-the-mill networking program.
There is something special about the SECAF community, which most likely starts with the leadership of Shiv Krishnan
, chairman for SECAF and CEO of Indus, Inc. You can always count on him to crack a joke at the podium, poke fun at other board members, and generally make others feel comfortable, even when hes on a stage speaking to 300+ guests. The ribbing, the kudos, and the familial exchange between SECAF members and the board are what makes these events a treat, rather than an obligation.
So, onto the results and the fun stuff: close to 100 nominations were submitted (enviable, if youve ever been involved in an awards program) and 22 finalists were selected in several categories.
Each finalist company received personalized recognition in the form of a custom video, thanks to the creative work of TalkingTree Creative
who pulled the production for this program together. The videos depicted whats in the heart of each company: their mission, growth trajectory and corporate values.
Then came the moment of anticipation, where a winner in each category was announced, and short speeches followed. More ribbing, more joking, and a stepped up level of roasting by other board members while on stage. Soon, coffee was served.
Please join me in recognizing the 2nd Annual SECAF Awards finalists and winners.
SECAF Contractor of the Year (under $6 million): Integrity Management Consulting, Inc. (winner)
Berico Tailored Systems
Credence Management Solutions
Link Solutions, Inc.
SECAF Contractor of the Year ($6 to $12 million): Culmen International (winner)
Dozier Technologies, Inc.
SECAF Contractor of the Year ($12 to $25 million): SENTECH, Inc. (winner)
Advanced Technology & Research Corp
Digital Management, Inc.
Morgan Borszcz Consulting
Technical & Project Engineering, LLC
Small Business Partner (Privately-owned greater than $25 million): LMI (winner)
Development Alternatives, Inc.
Small Business Partner (Publicly-owned greater than $25M) CACI International (winner)
The evening then ended with a special award: the SECAF board and the Galas judging panel selected a government representative believed to be a great example of serving as an advocate for the small business community. Kevin Boshears
, Director of the Department of Homeland Securitys Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, was recognized with a standing ovation as the Government Advocate of the Year. He received accolades for all the times he has talked to SECAF members, volunteered his time to speak to sold out crowds, and offered his advice to up-and-coming companies on how to work better with government.
Our friend at Tech Bisnow (@techbisnow), David Stegon
, captured some great photos
of the program, which ran in his column the next day. GovConWire
captured several folks on camera talking about the strength of the program and the opportunities available to companies today in the government market.
Of course, there will be a Third Annual Gala, so I hope youll join us there next year!
-- Elizabeth Shea