For the past twenty-two years, the MassTLC Leadership Awards have celebrated the best and the brightest of the Massachusetts technology ecosystem. The sixteen award categories, including a newly added category for the Massachusetts Growth Company of the Year, highlight the vitality, innovation and importance of the region’s internationally respected technology industry. In addition, for the first time, MassTLC will honor the visionary organizations that are pioneering digital transformations to innovate and re-imagine the future of the Commonwealth’s leading industries in the form of the newly created Digital Transformation awards category.
The finalists in all sixteen categories were revealed during a reception at PTC’s Boston headquarters on September 10.
Winners will be announced at the All Stars of Tech Winners’ Celebration on November 6 at Fenway Park.
In the meantime, let us introduce you to the finalists and the incredible work that they are doing here in Massachusetts – and how they are changing the world.
In the words of their nominators, meet the 2019 “Emerging Executive of the Year” finalists.
Hillary Ashton, PTC
Hillary Ashton is Executive Vice President and General Manager of PTC’s Augmented Reality (AR) business unit. She is responsible for all operational aspects of the Vuforia business and its product lines, including executive leadership and vision, strategy, sales, and marketing. Hilary is highly skilled in building high performing teams, developing go to market strategies and mapping technology to business needs for profitable revenue growth. Under Hilary’s leadership, PTC’s augmented reality business has expanded around the world, showcasing her strategic thinking, results orientation, and ability to assemble and lead a high-performing team.
Hilary is a passionate supporter of diversity and inclusion. In April of 2019, she was named to the National Diversity Council’s (NDC) annual list of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology. The list recognizes female executives, influencers, and achievers who are shaping the future of technology with their impactful insight and leadership.
Hilary is also a member of the Women of PTC employee resource group and is involved with FIRST Robotics Association, the leading, not-for-profit STEM engagement program for kids worldwide.
Michael Bell, Agero
Mike is a data scientist extraordinaire, with a background as an astrophysicist and extensive experience in machine learning, statistical inference, and image processing. On a daily basis, he provides strategic technical direction for Agero, applies data science to the company’s most complex problems, and manages a team of seven (and growing), while maintaining a public blogging and speaking schedule that has made him one of the public faces of Agero.
Mike has been a key player in developing algorithms for detecting crashes and risky driving behaviors using a smartphone and studying crash risk factors using billions of collected miles of driving data. He has modeled demand for suppliers in the field and when they might arrive late, and is now leading several data initiatives meant to lower operational costs while increasing customer satisfaction. The successful results of his efforts include Agero’s award-winning Proactive ETA (estimated time of arrival) Risk Model, a real-time predictive model powered by machine learning that enables Agero to predict and address at-risk dispatches in real time.
In January of 2019, Mike was granted a patent for inventing an innovative method for insurance carriers to identify a specific vehicle using a mobile phone or other personal electronic device. Also in January, Mike successfully pitched a project proposal to the internal capital allocation committee to overhaul the company’s data warehousing infrastructure and provide a scalable, centralized repository and computing platform that supports a wide range of self-service, analytical, and Data Science use cases.
Greg Joondeph-Breidbart, CarGurus
Over the past 12 months, Greg created a data pipeline that democratized data across CarGurus, introduced a new analytics database, educated company employees on becoming data analysts, and introduced a framework for faster, more detailed traffic analysis.
Over the past 12 months, Greg led a team of data scientists in democratizing data across CarGurus. Under his leadership, the team created a highly reliable and usable data pipeline for the entire company to access and brought to the company a new, scalable analytics database that allowed for much quicker analysis, specifically for A/B testing across different domains from product, to finance, to human resources. In addition, Greg and his team created an Analytics 101 course that is available to all employees so every Guru can become a data analyst.
Greg’s contributions to CarGurus go beyond the business, and he has certainly impacted the corporate culture as well. He is a founding member of the CarGurus LGBTQ group, marching in the Boston Pride Parade two years in a row, and has led several panels and discussions for CarGurus’ LGBTQ employees. He also serves on CarGurus’ Community Council, a key Diversity & Inclusion group.
Greg joined CarGurus in July 2017 as Director of Data Analytics and was promoted to VP of Process Innovation and Analytics in February 2019. As part of this promotion, Greg’s role expanded beyond data analytics and is now responsible for the Process Innovation team, which is made up of CRM Systems Engineering, Financial Systems Engineering and Marketing Systems Engineering.
Emmanuelle Skala, Toast
Emmanuelle manages more than 400 professionals on Toast’s Field Services, Technical Support, Customer Education, Restaurant Success and Customer Success (CS) Operations teams. She has been instrumental in increasing Toast’s customer satisfaction through developing Delivering Delight, an internal weekly email to encourage better communication between the CS team; revamping the customer support ticket process; and creating a mission statement to rally and connect both Toast employees and Toast customers.
During her time at Toast Emmanuelle has shown incredible dedication to not only the CS team but all departments within the company. She leads her team with confidence and instills a culture unlike any other, and she has built an open, caring, and competitive and collaborative environment. Emmanuelle puts in an insurmountable amount of time, energy, focus and drive into making sure we are customer obsessed but also not forgetting about Toast teamwork.
Emmanuelle’s team was selected as the winner of the 2019 Excellence In Customer Service Award from the Business Intelligence Group and also received a 2018 Silver Stevie Award for customer service.
Dorit Zilbershot, Attivio
Dorit has been instrumental in maintaining Attivio’s position as the leading provider of AI-powered answers and insights. In her five years at Attivio, she has exceptionally led the product team, R&D team, and spearheaded the introduction of new technologies and products.
In addition to delivering consistent product updates and enhancements to the core platform, Dorit spearheaded the development and launch of an entirely new product named Elevate. To bring Elevate to life, Dorit worked closely with ServiceNow, an external development team, as well as Attivio’s engineering team. Currently, Elevate is being piloted by a number of Fortune 500 companies. In addition, two ServiceNow partners (INRY and GlideFast Consulting) have agreed to resell the product and Elevate won a Stevie Award for Sales and Customer Support.
Outside of direct influence on the product, Dorit has doubled the size of the Engineering team in the last 12 months. Along with new faces, Dorit has introduced new processes to improve her team’s productivity and performance. These new processes are focused on measuring performance against pre-agreed upon goals, and then debriefing and focusing on how the process can be improved.
As an executive, Dorit is an avid champion for elevating other women into leadership positions at technology companies. Having spent years in the technology industry, she recognizes the unique challenges women encounter during their path up the corporate ladder. To help encourage advancement, Dorit has pushed for increased female presence and participation at all levels in the company. During Dorit’s tenure with Attivio, the number of women in the engineering group has increased by 25%.