Pittsburgh Smart 50 Awards Recognizes Four Leaders

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Top executives recognized for leading in innovation, impact, sustainability

Smart Business magazine has recognized the Pittsburgh region’s four top executives for innovation, impact and sustainability with its fourth annual Smart 50 Awards, presented by Arthur J. Gallagher. This year, for the first time, two of the area’s business leaders tied for the sustainability award.

“The top honorees have served their community, while energizing their respective organizations and uniting them around a unique vision,” said Dustin S. Klein, publisher of Smart Business, a publisher of regional business publications including Smart Business Pittsburgh. “But their work goes far beyond any one organization and has a profound impact on the lives of everyday people in our region.”

Tara Rudnicki, president of Tobii Dynavox, North American market, earned the Innovation award. The Innovation category honors an organization for developing and commercializing new products, services and solutions. Under Tara’s leadership, the technology of Tobii Dynavox, a leading provider of touch and eye-tracking technology designed to assist those with disabilities, has helped thousands of individuals with conditions such as aphasia, Lou Gehrig’s disease and muscular dystrophy lead richer lives.

Mark Perlin, Ph.D., chief scientific and executive officer of Cybergenetics, earned the Impact award. The Impact award honors an organization whose products, services and solutions benefit the organization, its employees, investors and others in categories ranging from sales and expansion to giving back to the community. In his work with Cybergenetics, Mark has commercialized his TrueAllele technology, which uses advanced algorithms to interpret DNA mixtures from two or more people. Mark has done great work publicizing this technology, marketing it as a better way to approach forensic science. He now works with authorities in 38 states, who benefit from his new approach to forensics.

Matt Myers, president of Myers Well Service, was honored for Sustainability. The Sustainability award honors an organization whose combination of innovation and impact lead to a sustainable, scalable business that develops and fosters community. Matt has grown Myers Well Service, a company started by his grandfather, into an industry-leading oilfield firm that provides trucking, water transfer and environmental services to clients throughout western Pennsylvania and Ohio. He has instilled a small business mentality in his company of nearly 250 employees, promoting the values of honesty, safety and hard work.

Susanne Cole, president and CEO of Pressley Ridge, was also honored for Sustainability. After spending 11 years at Pressley Ridge as a teacher and counselor for children with developmental challenges, she took over as leader of the organization in 2001. During her tenure, operating revenue has increased by 240 percent, while debt has been reduced by 72 percent. Susanne currently oversees 1,100 employees in six states, who serve 6,800 children and their families each year.

The ceremony was held Nov. 9 at the Fairmont Pittsburgh Hotel. Shawn Crosby of All Covered IT, Rob Schwartz of Highmark and Jarrod Duffy of Clark Hill presented the awards to the special category winners. Dustin Klein with Marshall Wunderlich of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Jim Altman of Huntington Bank and Hollie Geitner of WordWrite Communications presented awards to the Smart 50 Honorees.

Arthur J. Gallagher, Huntington Bank and Clark Hill sponsored the awards, along with All Covered IT, WordWrite Communications, Highmark, Convero, and the Fairmont Pittsburgh. To receive a nomination form for the 2018 awards, or to learn more about the Smart 50, please contact: Meredith Rankin at mrankin(at)sbnonline(dot)com, or 440-250-7023.

About the Smart 50 Awards
The Smart 50 Awards recognize the 50 top executives in select regions for their ability to effectively build and lead successful organizations. Eligible “Smart 50” nominees must lead organizations that have a physical presence in the region where the awards are being presented.

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