Spotlight on Success: CEOs Win Prestigious CATA Innovation Awards
June 19, 2007

Ontario Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship participates with Sir Terrence Matthews in 22nd Annual CATA Innovation Awards Gala.

Ottawa, June 20, 2007 -- The nation’s most promising entrepreneurs and innovators received Canada’s “innovation all-stars” awards in a Gala ceremony on the evening of June 19th. The awards, presented by Canada’s oldest and largest high tech association, are the 22nd annual award event. The sold-out dinner at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa featured Sir Terrence Matthews and four of Canada’s most successful young CEO’s, who gave their views on whether Canada is capable of taking advantage of the coming boom in the high tech sector.

Ontario’s Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Harinder Takhar, made the presentation of the Sara Kirke Award, given each year to two of Canada’s leading women entrepreneurs.

Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs

The Sara Kirke Award is part of CATA’s Women In Technology (WIT) Forum, designed to help women in technology and high growth companies advance in their careers and succeed as entrepreneurs:

The Sara Kirke award is presented to the woman who has shown the most outstanding technological innovation and corporate leadership -- leadership that has significantly expanded the frontiers of Canada's advanced technology industry. This year there were two winners:

Julia Elvidge, President, Chipworks -- Chipworks provides technical analysis of microelectronic systems, giving clients a deeper understanding of market trends and evolving technologies. Its engineers look inside the semiconductors, often at the nanometre scale -- an involvement with the “tiny things that do so much” that fascinates Julia. From her electrical engineering degree at the University of Waterloo through apprenticeship at Mosaid to heading her own engineering group at LSI Logic, Julia has been moved by the “stirring changes that are happening today in this fast-paced, maturing industry.” Julia, who has several patents to her name, became President of Chipworks in 2003. Chipworks is internationally recognized for its expertise and is flying the Canadian flag in offices in half-a-dozen countries around the world.

Suhayya (Sue) Abu-Hakima, President & CEO, Amika Mobile -- After a career start in Nortel Labs, Sue launched her first start-up, AmikaNow!, which was purchased by Entrust. After arranging financing, forming the Board of Directors, organizing the business strategy and establishing the customer relationships, Sue started Amika Mobile in March 2007. She holds degrees from McGill and Carleton universities, and is adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa, where she mentors graduate students in Artificial Intelligence. As an industry leader, employer and a technology pioneer in the field of practical applications of AI. Sue holds 19 International patents in messaging and content analysis (and has a 20th pending). She has published and presented over 100 papers, and has been responsible for the creation of more than 130 jobs.

Gala Awards

Winners were recognized for their innovation, expertise, and leadership in Canada's advanced technology community:

  • Pratt and Whitney Canada Outstanding Product Achievement (ICT) Winner: TELUS Emergency Management Operating System, accepted by Terry Tarle, Director; presented by John Kelly, Chair, NexInnovation.
  • Xerox Outstanding Product Achievement (Nanotechnology) Winner: Raymor Industries, presented by Martin Brachant, Xerox
  • 3M Canada Excellence in Emerging Technology Winner: neuroLanguage Corporation Think English, accepted by Rene Faucher, President and CEO, presented by Jednnifer Durak, Laboratory Manager, 3M Canada.
  • High Road Communications Excellence in Science and Technology Reporting Winner: Mathew Ingram, Globe & Mail, presented by Hugh Scholey, High Road Communications.
  • Telfer School of Management Private Sector Innovation and/or Leadership in Advanced Technology Winner: Rod Bryden, President and CEO, presented by Dean Michael Kelly, Telfer School of Management.
  • TELUS Communications Public Sector Leadership in Advanced Technology Winner: Jacques Duchesneau, President and CEO, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, presented by Ann Mainville-Neeson, Director, Broadcast Regulation, TELUS
  • ITCT IT Strategic HR Management Winner: Hire Ground Software, accepted by Marilynn Kalman, presented by Norm McDevitt, ICTC

For details on the Award Winners and finalists in each category, please go to the CATA Awards Voting Form and click vote now.

John Reid, CATAAlliance President said, "These award winners have shown that they are innovators and skilled business people. They are role models for the development of commercially successful enterprises in Canada. CATA's role as their advocate is to ensure that we create a rich foundation of programs and initiatives that enable leading entrepreneurs to launch their products and exploit their new business opportunities.

Barry Gander
or email