Ralph Awad with VISI Named as Tekne Awards Winner

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Director of Data Center Operations at VISI recognized as Next Generation Technology Leader at Nov. 3 awards ceremony

said Mike Sowada, CEO, VISI.

The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) has named Ralph Awad, Director of Data Center Operations at VISI as the recipient of the 2010 Tekne Award in the Next Generation Technology Leader category. The Tekne Awards recognize Minnesota companies and individuals who have shown superior technology innovation and leadership.

The Next Generation Technology Leader honors a high-potential individual who is 40 years old or younger and responsible for, or assists in, the advancement of technology and technology strategy within a company or organization.

We are very proud of the recognition of Ralph's accomplishments," said Mike Sowada, CEO, VISI. "Ralph is a dedicated technology leader driven to providing superior operational excellence. He constantly pushes his organization to improve and reach higher levels of performance. It is an honor to have Ralph a part of our team."

Ralph Awad has been a leader in Minnesota technology for more than 15 years. As director of data center operations for VISI, Minnesota's premier data center services and managed hosting provider, Awad drives strategic growth and leads operational excellence. Awad monitors the evolution of technology and how it can be leveraged to solve issues and problems for VISI's customers. Awad is a results-oriented director who boasts technical skills, business management expertise and authentic leadership. Awad has held multiple positions at VISI and previously served as director of hosting at Digital North, a business-class hosting solutions provider that merged with VISI in 2005.

"This year's recipients, once again, raised the bar with the quality and originality of their entries and should all be very proud of their accomplishments," said MaryFrances Schurb, interim president of MHTA. "We are thrilled to recognize Mr. Awad and VISI for its proven leadership and commitment to technology development in Minnesota.

This year's Tekne Awards ceremony was emceed by Paul Douglas, author, entrepreneur and meteorologist. Senator Amy Klobuchar addressed attendees at the evening's ceremony. As the chair of the Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion, Klobuchar has been a leading voice in calling for an innovation agenda that will grow our economy and create jobs in America. A list of 2010 Tekne Award recipients and finalists is available online at http://www.tekneawards.org.

About VISI
Founded in 1994 and recently acquired by Fortune 500® telecom leader Telephone and Data Systems Inc., VISI Incorporated (VISI) is one of the upper Midwest's fastest growing data center services and managed hosting providers. The company offers cloud computing, colocation, and managed hosting services. VISI serves more than 10,000 customers with products and services provided through its world-class SAS 70 Type II data centers, in St. Paul and Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The company provides a full range of Web and application hosting services, first-rate Internet services and support, and personal, expert advice. To learn more about VISI, follow us on Twitter or Facebook, call us at 612-395-9000, or visit http://www.visi.com.

About Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA)
The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) promotes the growth, sustainability and global competitiveness of Minnesota's technology-based economy through public policy advocacy, member collaboration and education, and community outreach. MHTA is the only membership organization that represents Minnesota's entire technology-based economy. MHTA members include organizations of every size − involved in virtually every aspect of technology creation, production, application and education in Minnesota. MHTA works in partnership with TechAmerica, which represents Minnesota's technology organizations nationally. Find out more online at http://www.mhta.org or follow MHTA on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MHTA.

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