24 October 2019
By Elaine Murphy
For the 14th year running, the it@cork Leaders Awards have shone a light on those people who are leading the charge for the region’s tech community and are paving the way for the continued success of tech in the South West region.
Winners of the nine categories were announced at a Gala dinner which took place at Rochestown Park Hotel on Friday October 18th. The theme of this year’s Leaders Awards was ‘Towards 2020’, which it@cork say is a celebration of all the previous winners, and a nod to the present and future leaders who will bring the Irish tech industry into the next decade.
With Cork set to become the fastest growing region under the Project 2040 plan, it@cork say the region is a place where opportunity meets talent, particularly in ICT.
Addressing attendees on the night, Anthony O’Callaghan, Chair of it@cork said,
“It is an privilege to be here tonight amongst peers and colleagues I admire and respect so much. These awards were designed to honour these leaders not just of industry, but of education, who are an inspiration to future generations.
Over the years, Cork has managed to establish itself as a centre of excellence and a hub for research and development in the tech industry. We now find ourselves at an important juncture, where opportunities to build upon this work and expand and cultivate the industry lay before us – but to do so, we continue to deliver the talent that can bring this to fruition. Education is the foundation on which we will build – and it is absolutely crucial.
We need to bring our students along with us – to develop STEM in Ireland and to communicate to students throughout the country the world of opportunity that exists for them. But education is not just the preserve of the young – we all need to adapt, to grow and to develop – and in no industry is that more fundamental than in tech. It@cork moulds itself on the belief that everyone in the industry has a role to play in facilitating and fostering this growth. We recognise the importance of upskilling and retraining for those who are re-entering the workforce and we appreciate that returnship initiatives will play a greater role in the modern Irish workforce in years to come. This is where we believe the it@cork Skillnet will play a vital role.
The people here tonight have a passion for our industry and their contribution goes above and beyond. The “give back” ethos is the thread that weaves these awards together – everyone involved from the nominees, to the winners, to the organisers deserve to be applauded for their endeavours.”
Winners of this years’ Awards were decided by a panel of expert judges over 6 weeks.
One of the most coveted tech awards in the country, the Tech Person of the Year Award, was presented on the night to two stalwarts of the tech industry, Mr. Shemas Eivers and Mr. Teddy McCarthy, founders and leaders of Client Solutions Ireland, the National Software Centre, Boole Investment Syndicate.
The award is the only category that is nominated by the 17 it@cork Board members and the winners selected by a panel of 4 judges led by the it@cork chair and vice-chair.
Presenting them with their award on the night Gillian Bergin, Vice Chair of it@cork said,
“The winners of this year’s Tech Person of the Year Award are true pioneers and have shown tenacity, intelligence and integrity in their approach to their work and tonight we acknowledge their exceptional achievements.”
A delighted Liam Begley, Teacher at Mayfield Community School accepted the Trend Micro Excellence in Education Award for their outstanding technology initiatives. He acknowledged the value and significant impact of the additional prize fund for the Schools category this year, noting that the it@cork €5,000 award will go towards new equipment and developing positive and inclusive STEM programs in the school.
Also in attendance at the ceremony on the night was Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney. Speaking at the gala dinner, the Tánaiste commented,
“Every year these awards provide us with an opportunity to recognise and reward the invaluable contribution both the businesses and individuals involved make to the South West region – and to the IT sector as a whole in Ireland. Each and every one of the candidates nominated here tonight are worthy of this recognition – without them, the region would not be the thriving IT hub it is today. The winners tonight have been exemplary in their approach to furthering the success and the proliferation of tech in both business and education, and I have no doubt that they will continue to do great things.”
Speaking of the tech sector engagement with the Awards this year, Eoghan O’Mahony, Senior Cluster Manger it@cork commented,
“The tech cluster in Cork and the south west region is a melting pot of exciting and disruptive technology starts ups, high growth SMEs and established and innovative MNCs. Furthermore, this cluster is supported by industry driven 3rd level institutions and engaged secondary and primary schools promoting STEM initiatives. The vibrancy of the sector has been truly represented this year by the calibre of applicants, finalists and winners of the 2019 Leaders Awards.”
Anthony O’Callaghan concluded,
“Diversity – Inclusion – Innovation – these are not just buzz words. They are practices that shine through the work of the companies celebrated here tonight – companies that are touch stones of best practice and innovation for the region, and that will no doubt continue to inspire future generations to come. Cork’s tech sector truly has its finger on the pulse and is buzzing in terms of investment, activity and promise. There’s no doubt that we have a lot to be proud of and to develop further into the future.”
it@cork Leaders Awards Winners 2019
- Tech Persons of the Year (Winners 2019: Client Solutions – Mr. Shemas Eivers and Mr. Teddy McCarthy)
- The One to Watch (Winner 2019: Rinocloud)
- MNC of the Year (Winner 2019: McAfee)
- Trend Micro Excellence in Education (Winner 2019: Mayfield Community School)
- Tech Start Up of the Year (Winner 2019: WorkVivo)
- Smart Technology Innovation Award (Winner 2019: Keelvar)
- Corporate Social Responsibility Award (Winner 2019: McAfee)
- Best Workplace Award (Winner 2019: VMware)
- Chairperson’s Community Award (Winner 2019: iWish)