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Local Tech Wire

CARY, N.C. – A symbolic passing of the leadership torch took place at the “21 Awards” on Thursday night.

Darleen Johns, one of the state’s female technology pioneers, received the NCTA Outstanding Achievement award. Johns recently sold the company she founded, Alphanumeric, an information technology services provider with operations across the Carolinas. Johns launched Alphanumeric in 1979.

Mike Capps, president of the fast-growing Epic Games, meanwhile, was voted by as the “People’s Choice” for Technology Executive of the Year. The video game and technology firm that is based in Cary has developed and sold multiple million copies of the games “Unreal Tournament,” “Gears of War” and “Gears of War 2.” Epic also has developed the Unreal game engine which is used by many of the world’s top game developers across multiple game platforms.

James Woodward, chancellor at North Carolina State University, received the Public Leadership award.

A sellout crowd of more than 650 people attended the event.

“Despite a tough economy, 2009 has been an outstanding year for NCTA with a record number of new member companies joining the organization, and a record turnout for the 21 Awards,” said Brooks Raiford, NCTA’s president and CEO. “We are proud to bring together such a strong group of businesses and individuals in North Carolina, and we believe that this year’s winners are truly technology’s best leaders.”

Other awards included:

Technology Industry Awards;

  • Software Company of the Year: iContact Corporation 
  • Life Sciences Company: Cornerstone Therapeutics
  • Best Product or Service Technology Company: CC Intelligent Solutions
  • Most Innovative Technology Company: TransEnterix
  • Green Technology Company: Unifi Manufacturing
  • Industry Driven Technology Company.: Railinc.

Excellence Awards:

• Private Company: Connexion Technologies
• Public Company: Tekelec
• Customer Service Company: Peak 10
• Fastest Growing Company: USfalcon
• Leading Environmental Steward Company: IBM
• Corporate Citizenship Company: Microsoft Corporation

Stage of Development Awards:

• Small Technology Company: K3 Enterprises
• Mid-Size Technology Company: Hosted Solutions
• Large Technology Company: Red Hat
• NCTA Volunteer of the Year: David H. Jones and Marlon Headen
• Outstanding NCTA Member: EMC Corporation
• Public Education Leadership: AT&T

NCTA and financial services firm Grant Thornton coordinated the nomination and