Tech industry leader Gertrude ‘Trude’ Van Horn is poised to be inducted into the distinguished Tech Titans Hall of Fame.
The outgoing CIO of Irving-based NCH Corp.—a veteran CIO with decades of IT leadership experience—will be the 12th person inaugurated into the organization’s Hall of Fame during ceremonies on Sept. 29 at the annual Tech Titans Awards presented by Dallas College.
Van Horn “embodies the very spirit of this award,” said Deborah Sawyer, chair of the Tech Titans Gala. “Her exceptional leadership skills and technological foresight are well acknowledged.”
In addition to her technological prowess, Van Horn has gained a reputation as a changemaker within the corporate and tech world.
In a salute to Van Horn’s tireless contributions, Sawyer says the tech leader has earned “earned recognition for her efforts in transforming corporate culture, advancing women’s roles in professional environments, and cultivating more diverse and transformative leadership pathways.”
Van Horn has served as the SVP and CIO of NCH Corp. since 2011 and has led the privately held, global, century-old manufacturer of commercial and institutional maintenance products through extensive IT transformation, reshaping the operational, digital, and cultural landscape of IT to grow the global NCH brand.
Tech Titans said that Van Horn’s time at NCH has been marked by dramatic IT operational improvements, cost improvements, digital transformation and technology modernization.
The organization said that Van Horn’s “cost-conscious approach” to global project deployment, alternative support structures and IT contract negotiations have resulted in significant cost savings for NCH.
Tech Titans said she has supported NCH’s profitable business units through the deployment of global proprietary sales tools and ERP capabilities, moved NCH to the Cloud, upgraded global network capabilities, and introduced emerging technologies for automation and efficiency.
Van Horn also led its move to remote working during COVID, and the rapid recovery from a cybersecurity incident.
Tech Titans said the CIO’s most recent efforts have allowed NCH to use labor arbitrage, generating millions in IT Operational savings now and in the future.
Before NCH, Van Horn held senior technology leadership positions at American Express, JPMorgan, and retail and apparel manufacturers including Haggar Clothing, Jo-Ann Stores, Office Depot, and Victoria’s Secret.
She is known for boosting corporate culture, developing high-performing teams that achieve challenging goals, empowering women in the workplace, and for her passion in developing the next generation of IT leaders, according to Tech Titans.
Boards and awards
Van Horn has served in leadership and advisory board positions for the Dallas Fort Worth Alliance for Technology and Women, Evanta, Vation Ventures, Technology Ball, and Executive Women’s Forum International.
And, Van Horn is on the board of Tech Genies and an invitation-only member for the International Women’s Forum.
She also has served as chair and vice chair of Dallas CIO, providing peer CIOs access to knowledge sharing, advice, and guidance, Richardson-based Tech Titans said.
Van Horn is a former executive board member and chair of the Technology Leadership Council for the Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce.
She is a noted speaker and panelist having presented at several past Tech Titans Tech Industry Luncheons, Evanta, Innotech, North Texas Tech Connect and various other organizations.
Van Horn is the 2021 Dallas/North Texas CIO of the Year and Global ORBIE winner presented by Inspire CIO. She also was presented the Dallas/North Texas IT Luminary Award in 2020 and the DFW Innotech IT Executive of the Year Award in 2014.
Tech Titans said that Van Horn is working with Tech CxO Launch Pad, building curriculum for a new, university level Certificate Program in IT Leadership.
Champions of North Texas tech community
The Tech Titans Hall of Fame award honors a North Texas technology visionary for outstanding leadership in assisting, advancing and accelerating the performance of the technology industry and/or adoption of technology in North Texas. The Hall of Fame was founded in 2011.
Hall of Fame members are Doug Moore, Fujitsu North America; David Matthews, RevTech Ventures; Valerie Freeman, BravoTech; Romelia Flores, IBM; Charlie Feld, The Feld Group, David E. Daniel, Ph.D., the University of Texas System; Jim Donald, DSC, retired; Dr. Rolf Haberecht, VLSIP Technologies Inc.; Krish Prabhu, AT&T; Jon Bayless, Sevin Rosen Funds; and Bill Sproull, MTBC.
Tech Titans: The Technology Association for North Texas is a regional trade association of some 200 technology and tech-enabled companies that “champion the North Texas tech community.”
It includes a diverse group of technology leaders from startups to Fortune 500 companies who collaborate to help innovation thrive in the region.
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