CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Jan 23, 2012) - The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) today announced the appointment of Jim Gagnard as Chairman. Gagnard, former President and CEO of Chicago-based SmartSignal, recently oversaw the sale of SmartSignal to GE Intelligent Platforms. Gagnard accepted the reins from Terry Howerton, ITA's founding Chairman, who will remain on the Board of Directors and active within ITA.

Gagnard assumes the Chairmanship of ITA at a time of unprecedented and sustained growth. With 700 corporate members benefitting from collaboration and exposure driven by dozens of programs and more than 150 events per year, ITA is the epicenter of the Chicago technology community.

The transition to Gagnard as Chairman comes at a time when ITA faces many strategic decisions familiar to its member companies. "This organization is not just benefitting from a resurgent tech economy in Chicago," said Gagnard. "ITA helped catalyze it. Now is the time for our leadership team to take very intentional actions to translate the deep roots built into a new phase of growth and maturity. We have a chance to help chart the course for the Illinois technology industry for decades to come."

"I am thrilled to be working with Jim. You can't imagine the next 50 years of the Chicago and Illinois economy without technology playing a core role and Jim brings a wealth of insight and experience to ITA as we move to the next phase of the organization and the community," said Fred Hoch, president of ITA. "Of course, long before technology was vogue in Chicago, Terry recognized an opportunity and deserves tremendous credit for helping transform a good idea into a resource thousands of executives regularly call upon to move our industry forward. We thank Terry for his leadership and service as Chairman and are grateful for his continuing role on the Board of Directors."

ITA has developed a number of new initiatives in support of the growth of members which will be announced in conjunction with the change in the coming months.

About the ITA
The Illinois Technology Association, a next-generation business organization is a driving force behind the growth of Illinois' vibrant technology industry. ITA's mission is to accelerate the growth of our 700 member companies, drive their visibility and bridge the technology talent gap from startups to industry leaders in software, services and information technology. Through collaboration and collective action, ITA brings the industry together to drive member success and advocate for the Illinois technology community locally and nationally. Illinois is a national leader in technology and ITA is committed to its continued growth. For more information about ITA, please visit or on Twitter at @itabuzz.

Contact Information:

Fred Hoch
President and CEO, ITA