Posted Apr. 20, 2017 at 7:40 a.m.

'Life is more than self'- The driver for 2017 WRAL TechWire awards

Published: 2017-04-20 07:40:02
Updated: 2017-04-20 07:40:02

In picking the first five members of WRAL TechWire's virtual Hall of Fame and the recipients of this year's Editor's Choice Awards, one theme dominated the selections: "Life is more than self."

In deciding to launch the HoF and in picking the Editor's Choice awards, the "life is more than self" theme emerged on Jan. 1 as I read the introduction to my daily journal for this year. Authored by Pastor David Jeremiah, the journal cites a quote from the 1967 book "God's Smuggler:"

"I have come to see clearly that life is more than self.

"It's more than doing what I want, striving for what will benefit me, dreaming of all I can be."

The author is talking about doing good and seeking a relationship with God. But at the same time, don't these words also apply to people who seek to serve a bigger mission even if they are of another faith - or no faith at all?

The awards thought process didn't stop there. What about hope for a better future?

Spring is coming

Having become a devoted "Game of Thrones" viewer/reader, I noted in my journal that day:

"Winter is here ... but Spring is coming."

Optimists are few in George R.R. Martin's fantasy world, but optimists are many in the world of entrepreneurship. After all, without hope why launch a business?

One has to look no farther than Wall Street or our nation's capital or state capital to find evidence of those only out to enrich themselves. And not all entrepreneurs seek to do good beyond their own wallets. So let's not be naive about business and life vs. self.

But, there are many striving to grow businesses - and create a world better for others through their products, services, creating jobs, volunteerism and philanthropy.

So, it is with optimism for a better future built in part on the efforts of entrepreneurs who have sought to make the world better that WRAL TechWire prepares to disclose its first virtual Hall of Fame winners.

The five will be announced Friday morning and be honored for their lifetimes of service on Tuesday in Raleigh at WTW's fifth TechWire Awards program.

These pillars of the Triangle and North Carolina represent:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Community service
  • Excellence in technology
  • Corporate leadership
  • Devotion to duty
  • Diversity
  • Taking risks

The same theme applies to this year's Editor's Choice Awards. But who they are won't be disclosed until that night.

Suffice it to say these individuals (three as a group, one as a leader of a student team, the other a pioneer in outreach to underserved communities) are well deserving.

Keynote, 12 awards

There's much more to the evening, of course.

TechWire entrepreneurial and enterprise winners (six individuals, three in each category; six companies, three in each group as well, selected from 36 finalists previously announced) will be unveiled.

Plus, Cindy Whitehead, who sold Sprout Pharmaceuticals for $1 billion, is delivering a keynote - the first time we've had a featured presenter at our awards.

The tickets for the event are long gone, but you can still sign up for a waiting list.

NOTE: The intent had been to announce the five HoF winners earlier this month but due to a variety of issues the news had to be delayed. Sorry about that.

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The Skinny

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