Quaero Corp., founded by Naras Eechambadi, is the “Diamond-in-the-Rough Award” winner in the annual Blue Diamond Awards handed out by the Charlotte Chamber’s Information Technology Charlotte initiative.

Quaero is a customer relations management firm. Eechambadi, formerly a senior vice president at First Union, is a nationally recognized leader in CRM. While at First Union he launched its Knowledge Based Marketing Group. He also directed First Union’s targeted direct marketing and cross-selling initiatives.

Eechambadi founded Quaero in 1999. The firm develops and implements CRM solutions.

The “Diamond-in-the-Rough Award” is given to startups that already have demonstrated significant impact and show promise for continued success.

Other winners at the Chamber’s 15th annual competition were:

“Corporation Edition” (with more than 250 employees and $250 million or more in annual revenues:

  • Joanna R. Baker Award for corporate community leadership — IBM; recognized project: Reinventing Education
  • Best corporate use of information technology for customer service: Presbyterian Healthcare/Novant Health, Toni Kourey; project: MercuryMD
  • Best corporate use of information technology: Mecklenburg EMS Agency; project: Medic mobile data
  • Best corporate information technology project: Bank of America-Perfworks; project: Perfworks
  • “Traditional Cut” (employs less than 250 in Charlotte area and with less than $250 million in revenues):

  • Best community contributor: TechConnect
  • Best use of information technology in customer service: Lash Group; project: Patient assistance and support services
  • Best use of information technology: Little Diversified Architectural Consulting; project: compiler technology
  • Best information technology product: Handshaw — Chris Adams and Chris Prigmore; project: Luminex product
  • Top growth company: goodmortgage.com