Meet the Finalists: The Innovation Awards 2021, Presented by Dallas Innovates and D CEO

Now in its second year, the program from Dallas Innovates and D CEO honors disruptors and trailblazers driving a new vision for North Texas.

Dallas Innovates and D CEO 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 (along with links for extra information):

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
W. 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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