Top Three Finalists Announced for 13th Annual NTC Awards
Written by: Alex Curtis | Posted Dec 16, 2021

The Greater Nashville Technology Council announced tonight the top three finalists in each category for the NTC Awards at the annual holiday party. Nominees in 15 categories were submitted by the Middle Tennessee technology community and finalists were selected by a panel of peers and tech industry leaders. This year, two new NTC Awards include Product Manager of the Year and Tech Influencer of the Year to recognize the leaders in those roles in our region.

Winners will be announced at the 13th annual NTC Awards ceremony, presented by C-Spire Business, held February 17, 2022 at the Wildhorse Saloon in Downtown Nashville.

The finalists organized by award include:




CIO of the Year

Randy K. Blue, DentaQuest

Chris Montini, M3 Technology Group

Lance N Rea, Baker Donelson


Community Leader of the Year

Suzi Earhart, McorpCX

Michael Erskine, MTSU

Rod McDaniel, S3 Recycling Solutions


CTO of the Year

Bill Simpson, Ncontracts

Trevor Hinesley, Soundstripe

Dean Paquette, Quorum Health


Cyber Security Leader of the Year

Jason Barnett, HCA Healthcare

Dianne Rose, Asurion

Jon Bowker, Ncontracts


Data Scientist of the Year

Christi French, Digital Reasoning

Jason King, XSOLIS

Sundar Kuppuswamy, Asurion


Diversity & Inclusion Advocate of the Year

Sheila Gibson, HCA

Sam Zaza, MTSU

Stephen Castaneda, FortyAU/Culturally Tech


Emerging Leader of the Year

Mikil Taylor, Healthcare Bluebook

Rod McDaniel, S3 Recycling Solutions

Ali Bakhta, HPA – A Cognizant Company


Innovator of the Year

Aaron Montlary, HCA Healthcare

Samantha Burgess, New Orchard

Sean Mooney, BluWave


Product Manager of the Year

Colleen Hoy, ENA

Jenny Zhao, Asurion

Michelle Egly, GoNoodle


Software Engineer of the Year

Kevin Huber, Smarsh (formerly Digital Reasoning)

Daniel Cottone, Asurion

Nathan Watkins, HCA Healthcare


Tech Influencer of the Year

Zach Gemignani, Juice Analytics

Haley Zapolski, Nashville Software School

Taylor Desseyn, Vaco


Technology Educator of the Year

Emily Hines, Central Magnet School

Kelly Carey, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Lauren Holtslander, Hillsboro High School




Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year

Culturally Tech

Comcast Business

Nashville Digital Inclusion & Access Taskforce


Technology Company of the Year

Juice Analytics


Realtracs, Inc.


Technology Start-Up Company of the Year

Mployer Advisor

Pivot Technology School



More details about each award, its sponsor, and finalists can be found on the NTC Awards website, Tickets for the February 17, 2022 event are on sale now, early bird discounts end January 1, 2022, and sponsorships are still available.


For more information, please contact: Alex Curtis, NTC, 202-713-5422,

About the Greater Nashville Technology Council

The Greater Nashville Technology Council is the catalyst for creating America’s premiere collaborative and inclusive tech community. We are the leading voice and advocate for Middle Tennessee’s $8 billion information technology ecosystem; and the 60,000 technology professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers our region’s economy.