Northern Virginia Technology Council Announces Greater Washington Technology CFO Award Winners
Steve Case, Don Rainey of Grotech Ventures and CFOs of Millennial Media, Neustar and Contact Solutions Honored for Excellence in Promoting the Region’s Technology Community
The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) today announced the winners of the 16th Annual Greater Washington Technology CFO Awards, held last night at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner in McLean, Va. The CFO Awards recognize local chief financial officers and financiers for outstanding achievement and excellence in promoting the area's technology community. In addition, Steve Case, chairman and CEO of Revolution, co-founder of America Online and chairman of The Case Foundation, was honored as the winner of the Michael G. Devine Hall of Fame award for his contributions to the National Capital region’s technology business community during the course of his career.
The winners are as follows:
Private Company CFO of the Year: Michael Avon, Millennial Media – As executive vice president and chief financial officer at Millennial Media, Michael Avon is responsible for the company’s overall financial, legal and corporate development activities. He has spent the past decade building early-stage and growth companies as a venture capitalist, operator, entrepreneur and attorney. Most recently, Avon was a principal at Columbia Capital, a leading communications and media-focused venture capital fund, where he focused on digital media, wireless and consumer Internet investments, such as Avail-TVN, Social Gaming Network, Webs.com, Gizmoz, GoAhead Software and Millennial Media. Avon was also a venture capitalist with Toucan Capital, and led business development at FOLIOfn.
Public Company CFO of the Year: Paul Lalljie, Neustar – Paul Lalljie is senior vice president and chief financial officer of Neustar Inc., where he oversees the company's worldwide finance organization, which includes treasury, accounting, tax, financial planning and analysis, real estate management and investor relations. Lalljie has been with Neustar for more than 12 years. During this time, he has served in a variety of increasingly expansive roles within Neustar’s corporate finance department, including vice president, financial planning and treasurer and other positions within accounting, financial planning and analysis, treasury and investor relations.
Emerging Growth CFO of the Year: Aaron Thompson, Contact Solutions – As vice president and chief financial officer for Contact Solutions, Aaron Thompson has proven expertise in building and managing finance organizations to support fast-growth technology companies. Previously, Thompson was vice president, finance and administration for iBasis Speech Solutions, and served Deloitte & Touche LLP, American Psych Systems and other leading companies in director and senior-level management positions. Thompson’s skills are particularly suited to the Contact Solutions business approach, including expertise in mergers and acquisitions, negotiating complex business arrangements and profitably managing business development activities.
Financier of the Year: Don Rainey, Grotech Ventures – Don Rainey joined Grotech Ventures as a general partner in September 2007 and currently serves on the boards of Grotech portfolio companies Clarabridge, GramercyOne, HelloWallet, LivingSocial, Personal, SnappCloud and Zenoss. He is a strong proponent of technology transfer and education and devotes much time to both areas. Currently, he is an emerging technology consultant to the chief information officer of the U.S. Department of Defense through the DeVenCI Program, which is tasked with researching and nominating companies to solve the DoD’s unmet technology needs. In 2011, Rainey was appointed to the James Madison University (JMU) Board of Visitors by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and he also serves on the board of directors of James Madison Innovations Inc., a nonprofit corporation that helps commercialize intellectual property produced at JMU. As an organizing board member of the prestigious MindShare forum, Rainey helps CEOs from the D.C. region’s most promising startups build long-term sustainable companies.
Michael G. Devine Hall of Fame Award: Steve Case – Steve Case is one of America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and a pioneer in making the Internet part of everyday life. He co-founded America Online (AOL) in 1985 and, under his leadership as chairman and CEO, AOL became the world’s largest and most valuable Internet company. Case negotiated what remains the largest merger in business history, bringing together AOL and Time Warner in a transaction that gave AOL shareholders a majority stake in the combined company. After stepping down as CEO, he served as chairman of the board of the combined company AOL Time Warner until 2003.
In recent years, Case has partnered with more than a dozen entrepreneurs as an investor and mentor. Case created Revolution in 2005 to oversee his rapidly expanding investments. Revolution now has four divisions: Revolution Growth, which invests in high-growth consumer companies (including Zipcar, LivingSocial and Exclusive Resorts); Revolution Ventures, which backs early-stage technology companies (including Vinfolio, Snagfilms and UberMedia); Revolution Health, which invests in health and wellness businesses (including SparkPeople, Extend Health and Brainscope); and Revolution Places, which develops real estate and hospitality businesses (including Grove Farm and Maui Land & Pineapple in Hawaii, Cacique in Costa Rica and Miraval in Arizona).
Case is also chairman of the Case Foundation, a private family foundation he established in 1997 with his wife Jean. The Case Foundation has invested in hundreds of organizations, initiatives and partnerships in the U.S. and around the globe.
Currently, Case is a member of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness; chairman of the Startup America Partnership, and co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Both efforts are aimed at celebrating and accelerating entrepreneurship.