When the Georgia CIO Leadership Association (GeorgiaCIO) launched its awards program in 1998, the intention was to give CIOs some well-deserved recognition. At that time, CIOs weren’t broadly seen as a critical player within their organizations in the way they are in today’s all-things-digital world.
“CIOs were often the unsung heroes of an organization. When everything is going exceptionally well and operating as it should, everyone’s happy. But as soon as something goes wrong, CIOs are often first in line to catch the heat,” said GeorgiaCIO executive director Lisa LaRoque.
“CIOs support and equip every part of the business. They enable their organizations to achieve their growth objectives. They help serve their customers and operate more efficiently and profitably. Their contributions are mission-critical to the success of their organizations. The CIO of the Year Awards were established to celebrate and honor the outstanding accomplishments and excellence in leadership of CIOs in the community,” LaRoque said.
Not your typical award
Each year, the Georgia CIO of the Year Awards program honors Georgia-based CIOs who have demonstrated excellence in leading their technology organizations. It’s a highly-competitive and rigorous judging process conducted by an independent panel of industry experts and past winners. This is not your garden-variety “vendor choice” award. CIOs are evaluated against a very specific criteria including innovation, leadership and management effectiveness, business value creation, and community involvement, both inside and outside of their organization. To win is a significant professional distinction.
To be considered for an award, CIOs are nominated by their peers, colleagues and industry partners. In 2015, GeorgiaCIO received a record-breaking 165 nominations, which were ultimately grouped into four judging categories: Global, Enterprise, Corporate and Nonprofit/Public Sector. The winners were announced in November at the organization’s awards event in Atlanta, where nearly 1,000 IT professionals representing more than 300 companies gathered to honor the winners.
Meet the winners
The Enterprisers Project recently had the opportunity to interview the 2015 winners. We learned more about what achievements led to their award, what challenges they had to overcome, and what advice they have for other CIOs who find themselves in similar positions.
During the next two weeks, we will be showcasing the 2015 winners in a series of interviews. You’ll hear from:
- Global CIO of the Year: Brian Sondergaard, Fiserv
- Enterprise CIO of the Year: Anil Cheriyan, SunTrust
- Corporate CIO of the Year: Nancy D’Amico, LeasePlan USA
- Nonprofit CIO of the Year: Jay Ferro, American Cancer Society
Nominations for the 2016 Georgia CIO Awards open Feb. 18. Anyone can nominate a Georgia-based technology executive. Learn more about the requirements on GeorgiaCIO.org, and mark your calendars so you can nominate a CIO peer, colleague, or top customer while supporting Georgia’s growing technology community.
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