Awards / Biotechnology / Events / Life sciences

Meet the tech and life science luminaries named 2023 ICON Award Winners

From emerging life sciences company of the year to Investor of the year, the Maryland Tech Council recently revealed the winners of this year's ICON awards.

2023 Icon Award statuettes lined up. (Courtesy photo)
Emerging with slightly different branding than last year’s celebration of life sciences and technology, the Maryland Tech Council (MTC) remained focused on celebrating health discoveries, game-changing tech innovations and more during Thursday night’s 2023 ICON Awards ceremony in Rockville.  

According to Twitter posts, special guests for the evening included Maryland Comptroller Brooke Lierman and Brad Stewart, the chair of the MTC’s Maryland Life Sciences division and Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation’s SVP of Business Development. Another equally notable guest was MTC CEO Kelly Schulz, a former leader of Maryland’s Commerce and Labor Departments who highlighted the awardees’ commitment to Maryland’s economic growth. 

In addition to growing their companies and raising the bar of excellence in Maryland, we are proud that these winners are passionate about giving back to their employees, students, and communities,” she said in a statement sent to

According to its website, the Maryland Tech Council aims to make Maryland the top innovation economy for life sciences and technology in the US. Here are the 2023 winners that the MTC believed uplift this mission:

Venture Mentoring Services Mentor of the Year
Barry Lipsy

Venture Mentoring Services Venture of the Year

Volunteer of the Year
Mike Buher, Maryland Tech Council Treasurer and Director, Assurance and Advisory Services, ClearView Group
Linda Segal, The McCormick Group (retired)

Advocate of the Year
State Senator Guy Guzzone

ICON Award
MaxCyte, a cell engineering company that filed for a $100 million IPO in 2021.

Alexandria Scholars Award Winners

  • Alphonse Alamo — Chemistry and Pre-Pharmacy, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Ashlynn Kidwell, who was notably mentioned in local media as both a rising junior and senior in high school — Agriculture Science, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Daniel Chin — Biological Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Mia Meredith — Biocomputational Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Rina Dirickson — Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University
  • Shudan Jew — Biology and Forensic Studies, Loyola University
  • Tam-Anh Tran — Cell Biology and Genetics, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Benjamin Williamson — Computer Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park

STEM Educators of the Year
Michelle Hymowitz — North County High School
Victoria Lee — Herbert Flowers High School

Rodney C. Williams Sr. in grey suit flanked by colleagues in multicolored clothes in front of purple and pink screen.

JASINT Consulting and Technologies Founder Rodney C. Williams (center) flanked by colleagues. (Courtesy photo)

Chief Executive Officer of the Year, Government Contracting
According to a press release, Rodney C. Williams Sr. established Columbia-HQed JASINT Consulting and Technologies in 2007 following a career in the United States Air Force. Since then, the company has expanded to its current 80 employees and acquired prime contracts with various federal entities. In addition to their professional accomplishments, Williams and the JASINT team support charitable organizations like the Agape House Ministries Christmas Angel Program in Baltimore and the Lighthouse Shelter in Annapolis.

Chief Executive Officer of the Year, Technology
Mia Millette was promoted to the role of CEO of Skyline Technology Solutions in 2021, having previously held the position of COO. The company was recognized as one of Baltimore’s “Best Places to Work” by The Baltimore Sun in 2022. She currently serves on the board of ITS America.

Chief Executive Officer of the Year, Life Sciences
Frank Amato, who a press release described as a “thought leader” in the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) community, emphasizes the significance of early detection and lifestyle approaches for preventing cognitive decline. He leads SYNAPS Dx, a privately held company in Rockville that researches, develops and sells diagnostic tests for AD.

Kelly SChulz, Frank Amato and Steve Meltzer in white, brown and blue clothes in front of purple and blue screen.

(L to R) MTC CEO Kelly Schulz, SYNAPS Dx CEO Frank Amato and MTC board member Steve Meltzer.

Emerging Life Sciences Company of the Year
Theradaptive, a Frederick-based pharmaceutical company listed on the 2020 Maryland Future 20 by ex-Gov. Larry Hogan, specializes in developing a therapeutic delivery platform aimed at treating multiple clinical indications, such as immuno-oncology, orthopedics and soft tissue repair. In recognition of its innovative approach, the therapeutic delivery platform earned three FDA Breakthrough Designations in 2022.

Emerging Technology Company of the Year
The Channel Program is a collaborative platform that connects leading IT channel experts with technology vendors to create a network of top-performing channel partners, including MSPs, MSSPs, VARs, IT service providers and consultants. 

Government Contracting Company of the Year (Up to $50M)
Annapolis-based cybersecurity company SIXGEN offers cyber services and products to both government agencies and commercial clients. The company experienced significant growth in 2022, with a focus on providing cybersecurity opportunities to students at Maryland universities. Additionally, SIXGEN developed a cyber Ph.D. program for those interested in advancing their cyber careers.

Government Contracting Company of the Year ($50M and above)
22nd Century Technologies, Inc. is a management and technology consulting firm that specializes in IT-managed services for federal, state and local governments. In 2022, the company experienced significant growth and completed two strategic acquisitions, expanding its service offerings from just services to a suite of products as well. 

Life Science Company of the Year
Kite, a Gilead Company, is a leading global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and delivering cutting-edge cell therapy treatments to fight and potentially cure cancer. In a recent announcement, Kite revealed plans to expand its cell therapy supply chain operations globally, with a particular focus on Frederick. The company created an immunotherapy regime for those suffering from glioblastoma, a brain cancer. 

Technology Company of the Year
Alertus Technologies, a 2022 recipient of the ExportMD grant, also made headlines that year with the opening of its state-of-the-art Center for Intelligent Buildings in Baltimore. The facility serves as a hub for technology in the safety and security industry, as well as the home of Alertus’ headquarters. With over 100 local and remote employees, the center encourages existing employees to invest in and live in the Downtown Baltimore area.

Investor of the Year
JMI Equity is a Baltimore- and San Diego-based, B2B-focused investment firm that prioritizes investing in leading software companies. Since its inception in 1992, JMI has invested in over 175 businesses within its target markets, completed over 110 successful exits and raised more than $7.5 billion in committed capital. The firm’s portfolio includes companies in the Maryland-DC-Northern Virginia region that employ over 3,000 people.

C-Suite of the Year
Maurice A. Tyler, the CIO of Bowie State University, boasts over two decades of experience managing large-scale data centers and diverse teams of IT specialists. Mr. Tyler has a specific focus on higher education and contributed to the university’s growth by leading its conversion of standard classrooms to hybrid flexible instructional spaces in 2022. He also played a crucial role in establishing a program to provide students with computing devices and free internet service, addressing the digital divide and promoting equitable access to technology for all students. 

Companies: Maryland Tech Council / University of Maryland, College Park / State of Maryland

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