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Innovation lessons from IT Leadership Award winners

My favorite stories from the first IT Leadership Awards:

Nicole Bradberry, CIO of Rise Health Inc., for making something out of nothing by leading her team to create a custom Web application to manage electronic health records.

“The service we wanted to create focused on preventive patient health care that would result in savings for our customers. To do this we needed to give our employees access to actionable data from multiple sources, and that type of solution didn’t exist,” Bradberry said.

Kevin Soohoo, director of IT at Air Systems Inc., for thinking globally and acting locally by saving energy and making the business more profitable to boot.

“And when it came down it — IT and energy use — we really wanted to think outside the box. Things like servers or virtualization, obviously many people are doing it and are getting great results in terms of energy savings and footprints. What we really wanted to do was take it another step further, which was going down to the end-user level and saying, ‘End users, in their cubicles, they’re using energy. They’re using energy on the computer. They’re using energy on their printers. They’re using energy on other things in their cube, like their radios and heaters.’ We really wanted to try to see if we could impact that and manage that, at the same time trying to balance the users’ comfort and not inconvenience them,” Soohoo said.

Paul Stamas, vice president of IT at Mohawk Fine Papers Inc., for reinvigorating a business in danger of being overrun by technology, by taking advantage of cloud technology to make the business run better.

“Even though the world is against us, in terms of paper, we’re going to have the best year we’ve had in 80 years, going to twice the EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization] that we had the previous year,” Stamas said.

Steve Mallard, IT manager and teacher at the Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville, for taking the time to make IT matter to the lives of students and his school.

“My father told me to stop and listen to people. To hear them as they speak and to listen to what comes from their heart and soul. He was correct in every way. You can truly tell who people are if you stop and listen to them beyond the audible sounds. Being a teacher and consultant for so many years, this has become an asset and skill handed down to me.”


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