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MCCF President and CEO Brian Spicker Named MSS Transformational Leadership Award Finalist at the 2023 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards

News October 24, 2023

In celebration of the outstanding innovators in the Arizona technology community, the Arizona Technology Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority have announced individual winners and company award finalists for the 2023 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation (GCOI). The individual winners will be celebrated on stage while company award winners will be announced live during the event which takes place from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at the Chateau Luxe, 1175 E. Lone Cactus Drive, Phoenix.

“Arizona’s technology industry continues to get stronger, grow more robust and drive global innovation across a wide variety of critical sectors,” said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Council and SciTech Institute. “Due to this overwhelming success, our individual and company award winners get much more difficult to judge every year. Every individual and company we consider is more than deserving of these awards and it is such an honor to have the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments annually at GCOI.”

“The winners and company finalists for this year’s Governor’s Celebration of Innovation awards showcase Arizona’s premier technology talent and industry,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “We are fortunate to have these innovators advancing next-generation technologies right here in Arizona. Congratulations to the 2023 winners and finalists!”

Technology and business leaders will celebrate the accomplishments of individuals and organizations across the state during GCOI, which will include an elegant gala-style evening of networking, dining and entertainment, and be capped off with the awards ceremony hosted by Emmy Award-winning news personality Carey Peña. Tickets are on sale now at

The individual GCOI Awards and Large Company Award winners are:

People’s Choice AccountabilIT Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: 

  • Wes Kremer, president, Raytheon

Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year Winner:

  • Lawrence Hecker, managing partner, Hecker Pew, PLLC – Tucson

Innovator of the Year Large Company:           

  • Viasat Inc. – Tempe

One company/individual in each of the following categories will be announced as the winner at GCOI:

Innovator of the Year Academia:

  • Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya, The University of Arizona Cancer Center – Tucson
  • Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton, The University of Arizona, Center for Innovation in Brain Science – Tucson
  • EdPlus at Arizona State University – Scottsdale
  • The Luminosity Lab at Arizona State University – Tempe

Innovator of the Year Small Company:

  • Anuncia Medical – Scottsdale
  • Applied Energetics, Inc. – Tucson
  • Reglagene – Tucson
  • Science of Sport – Tucson

Innovator of the Year Start-Up:

  • AlgoFace – Carefree
  • Imanyco, Inc. – Tempe
  • Spatial, Inc. – Scottsdale
  • TG Recycling, LLC. – Tucson

Transformational Leadership Award: 

  • Bradley Likes, director, IT Digital Operations, and Rick Dockall, director, Program Management, Republic Services – Phoenix
  • Brian Spicker, president and CEO, Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation – Tempe
  • Kimberly Tobey, instructional services manager, Rio Salado College – Tempe
  • Scott Zufelt, deputy director of the Office of Data Analytics, Pima County – Tucson

The individual/company award winners and finalists were evaluated and chosen by the following selection committee of experts independent of the Arizona Technology Council:

  • Keith Latchaw, president and CEO, MSS Business Transformation Advisory
  • Doug Hockstad, assistant vice president, Tech Launch Arizona, The University of Arizona
  • Eric Miller, principal and co-founder, PADT, Inc.
  • Bob DeLean, chairman, Arizona Tech Investors
  • Joann MacMaster, CEO, Desert Angels

The Council’s 2023 Outstanding Tech Senator, Outstanding Tech Representative and Tech 10 Legislator Award recipients were announced in a separate press release on October 12. The announcement can be found here.

The Future Innovators of the Year award winners, honoring students who represent the future innovators of Arizona’s technology industry, as well as the teachers who inspire them, were announced in a separate press release on October 11. The announcement can be found here.

About the Arizona Technology Council

The Arizona Technology Council (AZTC) is Arizona’s premier trade association for science and technology companies. Recognized as comprising a diverse professional business community, Council members work towards furthering the advancement of technology in Arizona through leadership, education, legislation and social action. The Council offers numerous events, educational forums and business conferences that bring together leaders, visionaries, and community members to make an impact on the technology industry. These interactions contribute to the Council’s culture of growing member businesses and transforming technology in Arizona. To become a member or to learn more about the Arizona Technology Council, please visit and follow AZTC on Twitter at @aztechcouncil.

About the Arizona Commerce Authority

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is the state’s leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona’s economy. The ACA uses a three-pronged approach to advance the overall economy: attract, expand, create — attract out-of-state companies to establish operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to expand their business in Arizona and beyond; and help entrepreneurs create new Arizona businesses in targeted industries. For more information, please visit and follow the ACA on Twitter at @azcommerce.


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