CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - June 16, 2015) - The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) has revealed today the elite group of innovators and technology leaders who will serve as the judges for the 16th Annual ITA CityLIGHTS Awards.

"We are excited and honored to work with this year's judging panel. We have curated a diverse group of experienced leaders and new innovators to help select this year's ITA CityLIGHTS winners," said ITA CEO, Fred Hoch. "We rely on our judges' in-depth knowledge and breadth of experience to help ensure our winners showcase the very best that Chicago technology has to offer."

Nominations for the ITA CityLIGHTS Awards close on Friday, June 26 at The finalists for the eight awards will be announced on August 10 when public voting will open. The winners are determined by a combination of the judges scores and public voting, which will be revealed at the ITA CityLIGHTS Awards event on September 17 at Morgan Manufacturing in Chicago.

The judges will begin review of this year's nominations in mid-July. All of the submissions are divided among the judges so that each nomination is reviewed by at least three people. If a judge or judge's company is nominated, they will not be allowed to review their own nomination. The judges will provide their scores in August and the average for each submission will determine the finalists. That score is later used to determine the winners, in addition to the public vote count.

The 2015 ITA CityLIGHTS Awards Judges are:

  • Mark Achler, Managing Director, MATH Venture Partners
  • Michael Arndt, Editor, Crain's Chicago Business
  • Brenna Berman, Chief Information Officer, City of Chicago
  • Dick Burke, CEO, VISANOW
  • Linda Darragh, Executive Director, Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice, Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management
  • Justin Dearborn, Chief Executive Officer, Merge Healthcare
  • Scott Epskamp, President & Co-Founder, LeapFrog
  • Tim Fagan, COO, G/O Digital
  • Elise Fleischaker, Vice President, Marketing, Trading Technologies
  • Stuart Frankel, Chief Executive Officer, Narrative Science
  • Jim Gagnard, Chairman, Illinois Technology Association (ITA)
  • Andrew Goldstein, Partner, Freeborn & Peters, LLP
  • Tim Grace, VP, Ecommerce, TieBar
  • Brian Grady, CEO, Gorilla Group
  • Kayne Grau, CEO/Co-Founder, CarCo Technologies
  • Ian Greenblatt, VP, Strategy & Business Development, ARRIS
  • Devin Gross, Chief Executive Officer, Emmi Solutions
  • Brian Hand, Co-Founder, FireStarter Fund
  • Mark Harris, President and CEO, Illinois Science & Technology Coalition
  • Adam Hecktman, Director, Technology & Civic Innovation for Chicago, Microsoft Corporation
  • Troy Henikoff, Managing Director, TechStars Chicago
  • Justyn Howard, Co-founder, CEO, Sprout Social
  • Joe Jablonski, Chief Executive Officer, Endstor
  • Brandon Jung, Head Google Cloud Partners, Americas, Google
  • Sebastiaan Koeling, Managing Director - Optiver US, Optiver
  • Melinda Kramer, Chief Executive Officer, KloudVentures
  • Amanda Lannert, CEO, Jellyvision
  • Brian Littleton, President & CEO, ShareASale
  • Robert Lowe, CEO, Wellspring
  • Pat Maher, Managing Director, nAblement
  • Joey Mak, Director of Innovation & Economic Development, University of Illinois
  • James Malackowski, Chairman & CEO, Ocean Tomo, LLC
  • Jeff Malehorn, President & CEO, World Business Chicago
  • Matt Maloney, CEO, Grubhub
  • Christopher Morgan, Founding Partner, Lantern Partners
  • John Morris, President & CEO, Cleversafe
  • Jon Morris, Chief Executive Officer, Rise Interactive, Inc.
  • Thomas Parkinson, SVP & CTO, Peapod
  • Chris Pautsch, Co-Founder & CEO, KeyLimeTie
  • Molly Rudberg, Chief Alchemist & Leadership Innovator, Molly Rudberg, LLC
  • Greg Rudin, VP/General Manager, GrouponLive, Groupon
  • Mike Sands, President & CEO, Signal
  • Irv Shapiro, CEO, DialogTech
  • Jai Shekhawat, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Fieldglass, Inc.
  • Michael Small, President & CEO, Gogo
  • Emerson Spartz, Chief Executive Officer, Spartz
  • Brad Spirrison, Managing Editor, Appolicious
  • Kevin Steel, VP, Technology,
  • Nancy Sullivan, CEO & Senior Managing Director, IllinoisVentures
  • Marc Talluto, Chief Executive Officer, Fruition Partners
  • Jed Taylor, Director of Operations, Tech Entrepreneur Center, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Mark Treschl, President & CTO, OpinionLab
  • Glenn Trout, Chief Executive Officer, MSDSonline
  • Howard A. Tullman, CEO, 1871
  • Doug Waggoner, Chief Executive Officer, Echo Global Logistics
  • Eric Wasowicz, Investor & Advisor, Channel Clarity
  • Ira Weiss, Professor, University of Chicago
  • Karl Zimmerman, Founder & CEO, Steadfast

For more information about the ITA CityLIGHTS Awards, visit Sponsorship inquiries should be sent to Kelly Faso at

Thank you to our 2015 ITA CityLIGHTS Awards Platinum Sponsors, Gogo and Trustwave, as well as Event Sponsors, Authentify, Coresite, Lantern Partners, Southpoint and SurePayroll.

About the Illinois Technology Association
The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) is a business services organization dedicated to growing technology companies. ITA provides strategic programming, consulting and resources, enabling its members to grow, build and elevate their business. For more information, visit, follow @ITAbuzz on Twitter or find us on LinkedIn.

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Contact Information:

Michelle Cox
Illinois Technology Association (ITA)