Mass Technology Leadership Council to Name Sir Tim Berners-Lee as 2017 Commonwealth Award Winner

Organization to Honor Melissa James with Mosaic Award for inclusion and MIT App Inventor team with a Distinguished Leadership Award

BURLINGTON, Mass., Aug. 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) announced the recipients of three special awards that will be presented during the organization’s 20th Annual Mass Technology Leadership Award Gala on September 14 at the Seaport World Trade Center Boston.

The organization’s highest honor, the Commonwealth Award, will be presented to Professor Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, for a lifetime of commitment to technology innovation. Berners-Lee created the naming scheme (URLs), communications protocol (HTTP), language for webpages (HTML), and first web server and browser. He founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for standards and the World Wide Web Foundation for digital equality. He is the 3Com Founders Professor of Engineering at the Laboratory for Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Berners-Lee was honored by the Queen with a knighthood in 2004, and he received the 2016 A.M. Turing Award, considered the Nobel Prize for computing. MassTLC is proud to recognize his achievements as an inspiration to technology leaders who follow in his footsteps.

“It’s hard to imagine the world today without the Web,” said Tom Hopcroft, president and CEO of MassTLC. “The tech industry, and the world, owe a debt of gratitude to Sir Tim Berners-Lee for his vision of a more open and accessible World Wide Web. Like so many before him, his fundamental contributions build upon and continue an evolution of innovation that has redefined the world. And, his commitment to openness and equality is ensuring that the benefits are shared widely.”

In its second year, the organization’s Mosaic Award, for supporting inclusion and diversity in the Massachusetts tech ecosystem, will be presented to an individual who is a force for positive change and inclusion in the state. This year’s award will go to Melissa James, founder of the Tech Connection, the Black Tech Boston MeetUp Group, Hack.Diversity, and the Inclusive Innovation Summit. A former Google talent executive, James is a tireless advocate for constructively confronting unconscious bias, supporting race- and gender-blind recruiting, and building a diverse, high-impact tech workforce.

“Melissa’s energetic leadership as a voice for diversity in high tech is having a profound impact in our state,” Hopcroft commented. “She is an advocate and a role model for inclusive innovation and a defender against unconscious bias in our community. Through sheer will and a friendly outlook, she is a force for positive change, building platforms and programs, and making us stronger one candidate, one company, and one community at a time.”

The organization’s 2017 Distinguished Leadership Award will be presented to the MIT App Inventor team. Led by Professor Hal Abelson, the App Inventor team created an intuitive, visual programming environment that allows millions of people around the world to build fully functional apps for smartphones and tablets. Through programs like Technovation that work to help middle and high school aged girls address community challenges, App Inventor is enabling real empowerment to achieve social impact of immeasurable value for communities in Massachusetts and across the globe.

“The MassTLC Education Foundation has worked closely with the MIT App Inventor team for years, making coding more accessible for kids through Technovation and other programs,” Hopcroft said. “App Inventor is having an impact well beyond Massachusetts, making coding accessible to everyone from U.S. Marines to refugees. They’ve lowered the technical barriers, enabling people to innovate, solve problems and capture new opportunities.”

In addition to these three special awards, MassTLC will name winners in 14 additional award categories including: CEO of the Year, CTO of the Year, Emerging Executive of the Year, Company of the Year, Emerging Company of the Year, Building a Better Workforce, Cutting Edge Technology of the Year, Technology for a Better Tomorrow, and Innovative Technology of the Year awards for Consumer Tech, Financial Tech, IoT, Robotics, Security, and Sales & Marketing. See all our Award Finalists.

For more information or to attend, visit the Gala’s registration page.

MassTLC awards program platinum sponsors are Cisco, Forgerock, Marsh & McLennan Agency, Microsoft and PwC. Gold Sponsors include The Boston Foundation and Raytheon. StartHub Boston is marketing sponsor.

About the Mass Technology Leadership Council, Inc.
The Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) is the region’s leading technology association and the premier network for tech executives, entrepreneurs, investors and policy leaders. As the voice of the Massachusetts tech sector, representing nearly 300,000 employees and more than $37B in total payroll, MassTLC drive progress by connecting people from across the innovation ecosystem, providing access to industry-leading content and ideas, and offering a platform for visibility for member companies and their interests. More at



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