Tricia D’Cruz Wins Innovative Leader of the Year

January 16, 2023

D Magazine – January 2023

D CEO and Dallas Innovates revealed the winners of The Innovation Awards 2023 at a private event last night at On the Levee in the Dallas Design District. The program honors leaders, entrepreneurs, and trailblazers who are paving the way forward for innovation in North Texas.

The program’s 68 finalists are recognized in the January/February issue of D CEO. Be watching for a photo recap and additional reports in the coming weeks.

The Innovation Awards 2023 Honorees

Corporate Innovator of the Year

Winner: David C. Williams, AT&T

David C. Williams solved a huge problem for his company in 2020, enabling 40,000 employees to process payment and verify identifying information while working from home, without exposing sensitive consumer details. He is the leader of the largest robotics process automation program in the world and is currently working on a new project that could revolutionize customer service. It’s set to debut this year.

Finalists: Matt Heydon, Toyota Financial Services; Alok Maskara, Lennox International; Heidi Soltis-Berner, Deloitte

Innovative Leader of the Year

Winner: Tricia D’Cruz, Catalyze Dallas

Tricia D’Cruz has built a career out of founding and scaling startups. She currently leads a holding company that acquires intellectual property from large corporations to bring new technologies to market faster and with lower risk. Her holding company has already spun out four new enterprises using this strategy, most recently closing a deal with consulting giant IBM.

Finalists: George Baker Sr, ParkHub; Dave Copps, Worlds; Ben Lamm, Colossal; Prasanna Singaraju, Qentelli; Evelyn Torres-Gomez, Solaris Technologies Services

CIO/CTO of the Year

Winner: Andrew Bender, DZS

Andrew Bender has spent his career helping integrate new technologies into society. Most recently, he led his team through skyrocketing demand for reliable broadband internet, adapting the R&D process to be collaborative in the remote environment during the pandemic. He helped DZS create the infrastructure to operate globally, as well as move its headquarters from the Oakland area to Plano—all while in his first C-Suite role, in the middle of the pandemic.

Finalist: Chris Akeroyd, Children’s Health

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