The North Central Washington Tech Alliance has announced its nominees for the 20th annual Innovator Awards.

Executive Director Jenny Rojanasthien said the event, which was already pushed back a year in 2020 due to the pandemic, has now been moved online due to rising case counts.

"We made this decision a full five weeks in advance of the event so that the NCW Tech Alliance team would have the opportunity to really create the most impactful online experience for our attendees," Rojanasthien stated.

While officials were hoping for about 450 in-person spectators originally, Rojanasthien added that they are now aiming for 1,000 online attendees.

The luncheon will be live-streamed free September 29th. To register in advance of the event, go to

Over 30 nominees will compete for five separate awards. They are:

Entrepreneur of the Year: This award is given to an entrepreneur with vision and the ability to see a need and fill it. They have courage to make change and the stamina to await results. This recipient will have displayed exceptional vision, leadership and innovation in building a new company, developing a new product or service, or have creatively developed a way to deliver an existing product or service to the marketplace.

The 2021 Entrepreneur of the Year nominees include:

• Lorien Clemens & Tom Arnold, PetHub
• Top Rojanasthien, Atlas Fare
• Dr. Virginia Emery, Beta Hatch
• Thomas Walters, Rezn
• Jesse Rose, Basin Street Design
• Rick Wray, Mercantile / Pinnacles Prep
• Mike Reynolds & Mike “Chief” Buschman, ReyComm
• Jonathan Baker, eqpd
• Korey Korfiatis & Jeff Weber, Legwork
• Jordan Lindstrom, Scott Ptolemy, Matt Hopkins, Elite SRS
• Blair McHaney, MXMetrics
• Larry LaMotte, ReCapturit

Newcomer in Technology: Successful companies are those that aren’t afraid of change and face technology innovation head on. This award will be given to an organization, company, or department that has embraced technology to transform the work environment. This recipient will be using or creating technology in ways that advance production, improve efficiency, or differentiate their product or service for a competitive advantage.

The 2021 Newcomer in Technology nominees include:

• Loving Paws Daycare & Boarding
• STOKE Space Technologies
• Foray Coffee
• Confluence Health Cardiology Virtual Care Team

STEM Champion of the Year: This award recognizes educators who are pursuing innovative approaches to learning through STEM experiences. The recipient will demonstrate a passion for STEM education, and will be seen by their peers and community as an advocate for promoting STEM pathways for students.

The 2021 STEM Champion of the Year nominees include:

• Ross Mark Kondo, Quincy High School
• Mario A. Godoy-Gonzalez, Red Rock Elementary School
• Anna Holman, Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center
• Joshua Porter, Western Washington University
• Trevor C. Lane, Ed.D., WSU Ferry County Extension
• Molly Ravits, Cascade High School
• Gerardo Sanchez, Quincy WA Boeing Data Center
• Lisa Monahan, North Central ESD
• Tom Willingham, Big Bend Community College
• Tom Robinson, Pateros High School

STEM College Student Innovator of the Year: This award recognizes post-secondary (college, university, or training institution) students who have done innovative projects that address real-world problems. The recipient has demonstrated critical thinking, creativity, innovation, and problem solving, as well as demonstrated potential for success through leadership and learning.

The 2021 STEM College Student Innovator of the Year nominees include:

• Addison Hoffman, Wenatchee Valley College
• Nicole Warren, Danielle Johnson, Dean Barker, Sasha Cooper, Mia Lopez, Ashley Thoroughman, & Katlyn Watt, Wenatchee Valley College

Future Technology Leader of the Year: This award recognizes K-12 students for innovative projects in technology. The recipient has led the project or participated in a hands-on, experiential manner in an innovative, unique technology project. The recipient will demonstrate potential success through leadership, learning, and technology skills.

The 2021 Future Technology Leader of the Year nominees include:

• Xitali Cruz, Chelan High School
• Peter Kyle, Cascade Christian Academy
• Rebecca Carlson, Royal Middle School
• Victoria Conners, Eastmont High School

Former winners Doug Merril, Andrew Metcalf and Stemilt Growers will also be recognized as Legacy Innovators.

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