Audrey Russo
Audrey Russo presents at the CIO of the Year Awards

Chief information officers take on various responsibilities when it comes to managing and protecting a company’s computer and IT systems. Last night, the Pittsburgh Technology Council (PTC) and Greater Pittsburgh CIO Group honored top local executives in this field during the 12th annual Pittsburgh CIO of the Year Awards.

The event convened at Heinz Field, with around 600 guests attending to see which nominees would take home awards for achievements in a variety of areas.

“Finalists and winners range from manufacturing to healthcare to information technology,” said PTC VP of Communications and Media Jonathan Kersting. “It really goes to show how technology is the backbone of practically every company.”

Crowd at the PTC CIO of the Year awards
Crowd at the 2016 Pittsburgh CIO of the Year awards. Image courtesy of PTC.

The 24 finalists were judged for their innovative or creative approaches to serving their company or organization. The six awards included categories based on company size, along with an education category and a lifetime achievement award. New this year is the CISO category, which recognizes Pittsburgh chief information security officers for their role in keeping data safe.

“We created the CISO category this year to recognize the business-critical aspects of cybersecurity,” says Kersting. “With new and ever-evolving cyber threats to businesses and their data, the CISO category honors the efforts of these executives who work tirelessly to ensure that information assets and technologies are adequately protected.”

Here are the 2016 Pittsburgh CIO of the Year Awards winners:

Under 100 Employees: Jonathan Colby, CIO and COO, OpenArc, LLC

Under 1,000 Employees: David Thompson, CIO and Deputy Chief of Staff, Software Engineering Institute

Under 5,000 Employees: Manish Sinha, CIO, ANSYS, Inc.

Over 5,000 Employees: Markus Weber, Global CIO and Vice President, MSA – The Safety Company

Education: Bill Balint, CIO, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

CISO: Brian Cyphert, CISO and Executive Director, Global IT Infrastructure, MSA – The Safety Company

2016 CIO Choice Award Winner: Phil Lichtenfels

Amanda Waltz is a freelance journalist and film critic whose work has appeared locally in numerous publications. She writes for The Film Stage and is the founder and editor of Steel Cinema, a blog dedicated to covering Pittsburgh film culture. She currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and oversized house cat.