In a time when our community has needed them the most, the valley’s technology leaders have kept the community connected, companies functioning and businesses growing. Vegas Inc and Cox Business have partnered for 10 years to honor these tech titans, whose creative and innovative technology practices have advanced the industry and economy in Southern Nevada.
The 2020 Top Tech Awards represent a diverse group of honorees making a difference in nearly every industry – education, government, health care, hotel/gaming, nonprofit and more – through the power of technology. It is their future-focused vision that brings their work to the forefront of the valley’s tech scene and improves the lives of all those that live, work and play here.
The 2020 Top Tech Awards originally appeared in a special issue of Vegas Inc found inside of Las Vegas Weekly. Sign up to get each of Vegas Inc’s special publications delivered to your inbox on the day of their release.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Cae L. Swanger: Eco: MBA-HM
Chief Information Officer, HCA Healthcare | Far West Division & Mountain Division
Under Cae Swanger’s strategic direction, HCA Healthcare’s Pacific Region technology team supports large hospitals, behavioral health services and emergency, surgery and urgent care centers throughout Las Vegas, California, Utah, Alaska and Idaho—all known for outstanding patient care, innovative technology and pioneering new medical procedures. From a substantial increase in sepsis survival rates through groundbreaking software development, to the deployment of computerized mobile solutions empowering and connecting entire patient care teams, Swanger’s tenacity, knowledge and passion drives preeminent support for more than 12,000 physicians, 17,000 nurses and caregivers, and almost 500 graduate residents that serve the patients that trust HCA Healthcare for their care.
Community Exemplary Award: Ronald Hillock: MD
Orthopedic Surgeon, Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center
Imagine being one of only eight surgeons in the world using an advanced technology to change people’s lives. For Ronald Hillock, MD, this is a reality.
Hillock is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip and knee replacement, orthopedic oncology and osseointegration. His work is focused on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disease and adult joint reconstruction surgery.
Cox Innovation Award: Matthew Pasco
Vice President, Information Technology, Las Vegas Raiders
Matthew Pasco was presented with a challenge when the Oakland Raiders filed with the NFL to move to Las Vegas in early 2017. From that filing forward, Pasco was involved with every piece of technology necessary during the move and the construction of Allegiant Stadium, team headquarters and practice facility. In three short years, Pasco assembled his team, implemented the most innovative technologies available, facilitated new partnerships and more.
Hotel/Gaming: Andrew Pascal
Founder & CEO, PLAYSTUDIOS
A veteran entrepreneur and celebrated hospitality executive, Andrew Pascal has taken a unique approach to loyalty marketing by emphasizing engagement with consumers on the one item they can’t live without: their smartphones.
Pascal founded PLAYSTUDIOS in 2011 with a group of fellow entrepreneurs with a goal to develop casual, free-to-play games for social platforms.
Health Care: Alan Woratschek
Director of Information Technology, Valley Health System
Since 2011, Alan Woratschek has been leading technology needs for Valley Health System—an integrated health care system serving more than 2 million people living in Southern Nevada and its surrounding communities. In this role, he has been responsible for the opening of several hospitals, freestanding emergency departments and physician clinics throughout the Valley and ensuring the network, internet and voice services are fully operational at each location.
Startup Tech of the Year: Kris Cuaresma-Primm
General Manager, Homie
Kris Cuaresma-Primm has made a name for himself at tech startups. Formerly at Uber, then Lyft and now as the general manager at Homie, Cuaresma-Primm knows what it takes to get a project off the ground and create staying power in the market.
Public Business: Michael Rainey
Corporate Regional IT Manager/Corporate Messaging Team, Beasley Media Group
Beasley Media Group, a subsidiary of Beasley Broadcast Group, owns and operates 69 AM and FM stations in markets across the country—including five stations located in Las Vegas. With such a high output, including millions of on-air listeners and online brand engagement, having exceptional technology is important—which is where Michael Rainey comes in. Rainey helps to support a 24/7 broadcast as well as the production and sales side of the business.
Education: Robbie Pearce
Computer Science & Cybersecurity Teacher, Clark County School District — Cheyenne High School
For more than 15 years, Robbie Pearce has been dedicated to teaching Clark County students about computer science and cybersecurity. She is particularly passionate about introducing these technology-driven and typically male-dominated fields to women and minorities.
Private Business: Noah Allison
CEO, Three Lock Box
Three Lock Box was created in response to the administrative difficulties Noah Allison observed as an attorney handling some of the largest construction disputes in Nevada history. With an unparalleled level of experience and expertise, Allison sought to streamline the construction control process and offer a digital solution for construction professionals.
Nonprofit: Jaime Weller-Lafavor
Chief Administrative Officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada
When you meet Jaime Weller-Lafavor, you will want to help her achieve her goals. Her compassion for others and her dedication to making a difference is palpable.
As the chief administrative officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada, she has been the major driving force in helping achieve their current technology space for the children that use their services.
Government: Jason Frame
Chief Information Officer, Southern Nevada Health District
Technology leaders across the country faced unique challenges as a result of COVID-19, and Jason Frame, CIO of the Southern Nevada Health District, is intimately familiar with those challenges. At the onset of the pandemic, Frame quickly transitioned his staff to work remotely, rolled out applications to keep the public informed and provided SNHD’s disease surveillance team with contact tracing and monitoring assistance.