Automation Alley, Michigan’s largest technology business association, announced the finalists for its 10th Annual Awards Gala, taking place Friday, Oct. 1 at the Royal Park Hotel in downtown Rochester.

Finalists for the Gala represent the leading technology professionals and organizations in the region, including:

CEO of the Year
* Daniel J. Loepp, president & CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (Detroit)
* Prabhakar Patil, CEO, Compact Power, Inc. (Troy)
* Mark Symonds, president & CEO, Plex Systems (Auburn Hills)

Emerging Leader of the Year
* Saylor X. Frase, president & CEO, Nuspire Networks (Commerce Township)
* Damian Gardley, director of sales, Compact Power, Inc. (Troy)
* Dale D. Royal, chairman & CEO, Unitask (Bloomfield Hills)
Automation Alley Member of the Year
* John Almstadt, manager, Oakland County’s Workforce Development Division (Waterford Township)
* Andree Dolan, marketing manager, The TM Group (Farmington Hills)
* Norman Soucy, business development executive, Genisys Credit Union (Auburn Hills)
* Dale Hetrick, vice president, Persis Consulting (Rochester Hills)

Technology Company of the Year
* Cbeyond (Farmington Hills)
* HOV Services (Troy)
* Rave Computer (Sterling Heights)

Emerging Technology Company of the Year
* Campfire Interactive (Ann Arbor)
* Critical Signal Technologies Inc. (Farmington Hills)
* (Detroit)

Educational Program of the Year
* Baker College Online (Flint)
* Cisco’s Networking Academy (Southfield)
* Walsh College (Troy)

New this year, Automation Alley will introduce the Regional Innovator of the Year Award. The award recognizes an individual or organization that has served as a catalyst for positive tech-related initiatives and has made significant contributions to Southeast Michigan’s technology community.

“Each finalist exemplifies the tremendous business talent in the region,” said Ken Rogers, executive director. “The finalists offer a remarkable amount of vision and influence to Southeast Michigan and we’re proud to honor their work in enhancing our local technology community.”

The winners will be announced Friday, Oct. 1 at the 10th Annual Awards Gala. Sponsorships are currently available; tickets for the black tie event are $150 for members and $200 for non-members.  Event sponsors include the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. For additional information, please contact the Resource Center at (800) 427-5100 or                                                        

Since its founding in 1999, Automation Alley has expanded to include more than 1,000 businesses, educational institutions and government entities from the City of Detroit and the surrounding eight county region. Automation Alley promotes regional prosperity through entrepreneurial and exporting assistance, workforce development and technology acceleration.

For additional information, visit

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