Several of the best and the brightest in the Triangle and Wilmington tech industry took home engineer caps after hearing a lot of cheers from the crowd gathered at the Motorco for the third Full Steam Ahead Awards from WRAL TechWire on Tuesday night. The theme: “Rise of the Best – not the Rest.”

First, I ask your forgiveness. The Skinny is very under the weather today and therefore this initial report on the awards is, well, a bit skinny. We’ll have more details later today.

But for the moment …

WTW chose to salute the winners, which were determined in large part by record voting from WTW readers, as the “Rise of the Best – not the Rest.”

The theme is a play off Steve Case’s “Rise of the Rest” tour which visits the Triangle on Tuesday.

The Triangle, along with Wilmington’s own growing “Silicon Beach,” may not be the Valley or Boston or New York, but that hardly means we’re backwards or short on talent.

Let’s recap the winners, awards being based on a railroad theme.


  • Engineer

Daniel Jebaraj, vice president, Syncfusion

  • Express

WedPics, CEO Justin Miller

  • Tycoon

HQ Raleigh’s founding team

  • Freight

American Underground, led by Adam Klein

  • Subway

nCino, Wilmington

  • Conductor

Dr. Joseph DeSimone, Carbon 3D


  • Engineer

Jim Davis, SAS

  • Express


  • Tycoon

Susan Casey, Square 1 Bank

  • Freight

Live Oak Bank, Wilmington

  • Subway

Bronto Software

Reverb Nation (runner-up)

  • Conductor

Venessa Harrison, AT&T North Carolina

Tom Pike, Quintiles (runner-up)

Editor’s Choice Awards for public service

  • Technology columnist and author Paul Gilster
  • Entrepreneur Jim Roberts
  • Venture capitalists Jason Caplain and David Jones, Bull City Venture Partners
  • The North Carolina Next Generation Network committee.

The NC NGN members, who received individual awards (and caps):

  • Tracy Futhey – Vice President for Information Technology / CIO, Duke University (will not be able to attend) (NCNGN Steering Committee Chair)
  • Gail Roper – Chief Information Officer, City of Raleigh (NCNGN Steering Committee Vice – Chair)
  • Johannes Boehme – Associate Vice-President, Academic and Administrative Systems, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
  • John Bjurman – Chief Information Officer, Town of Chapel Hill
  • Scott Clark – Senior Manager, Technology Services, Town of Cary**
  • Marc Hoit – Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and CIO, NCSU
  • Dennis Newman – Chief Information Officer, City of Winston-Salem (will not be able to attend)
  • Chris Kielt – Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and CIO, UNC – Chapel Hill
  • Wanda Page – Deputy City Manager, City of Durham
  • Andy Vogel – Information and Technology Manager, Town of Carrboro
  • Bill Stice, the original representative from the Town of Cary, who recently retired
  • Elise Kohn, Senior Advisor & NCNGN Program Director

Congrats to all. (More later.)