The Arizona Technology Council, in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), today announced nominations for the annual Governor’s Celebration of Innovation (GCOI) awards are open now and due Friday, August 7 at 5 p.m. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 GCOI program will be held virtually on Wednesday, November 4. 

Award categories include MSS Business Transformation Leader of the Year; Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year; Innovators of the Year – Academia, Small Company, Large Company and Startup; and AccountabilIT Lifetime Achievement Award. 

“Arizona’s technology ecosystem has grown into one of the largest in the country and is a major contributor to the state’s economic development,” said Steven G. Zylstra, the Council’s president and CEO. “GCOI is the state’s premier technology industry awards ceremony, and it allows us to celebrate the individual leaders and companies that have made this growth possible. It’s rewarding to review a new collection of applications highlighting the exciting innovations occurring throughout our state.” 

“The Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards provide an excellent opportunity for our technology ecosystem to come together and recognize the incredible talent we have in Arizona,” said Sandra Watson, Arizona Commerce Authority President & CEO. “Innovators across our state are doing cutting-edge work and as a result, Arizona is globally recognized as hub for next-gen technologies. We look forward to evaluating the 2020 GCOI nominees!” 

2020 GCOI award categories are:

MSS Business Transformation Leader of the Year – Presented to an executive or an organization (profit or nonprofit) that has achieved significant business success driving positive, transformational change in their organization with measurable outcomes in 2019. This is the second year in which the MSS Business Transformation Leader of the Year Award will be presented.

Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year – Presented to an individual or organization (including not-for-profit) that contributes to Arizona’s technology industry through relentless community involvement, leadership, visibility and excellence in economic development activity. Any individual or organization representing industry, government or academia may be nominated. The award is limited to individuals or organizations residing in Arizona for five years or more.

Innovators of the Year – Academia, Small Company, Large Company and Startup Presented to a company or business unit in a technology industry that has achieved significant business success, technical innovation or scientific achievement in the past calendar year.

AccountabilIT Lifetime Achievement Award Presented to a business leader who has demonstrated a lifetime of success in growing and advocating for the state’s technology ecosystem. 

“Arizona has become one of the top states for companies on the cutting edge of technology and innovation,” said Mark Dallmeier, chief sales/revenue officer at MSS Business Transformation Advisory. “Much of Arizona’s progress can be directly attributed to forward-thinking, responsive leaders who drive innovation within businesses and markets. It’s important to recognize and honor outstanding leaders who are a positive force for change.” 

To learn more about the GCOI awards, nominate a company or technology leader, register to attend, or become a sponsor, please visit the Council’s website at