News Release

Biz 417 honors Evangel IT Department as finalist for two Excellence in Technology Awards

January 5, 2018 | Paul K. Logsdon


The Information Technology Department at Evangel University has been recognized once again for its role-model status in academic computing. Also being honored is the department’s leader, Gary Blackard, vice president of for strategy and innovation.

Southwest Missouri’s Biz 417 magazine announced the finalists on Jan. 4, 2018, for the second annual Excellence in Technology Awards. There will be six awards, with three in corporate categories and three in individual categories.

  • Evangel’s IT Department is a Corporate Award finalist in the “Enterprise Technology” category.
  • Gary Blackard is an Individual Award finalist in the “IT Executive of the Year” category.
2017 Gary Blackard lecture

Gary Blackard, engaged in a classroom discussion. // (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Biz 417 said, “This year, we received more than 70 nominations for the six awards, which highlight 417-land’s tech standouts and innovators.”

Evangel ’s IT Department and Gary Blackard were nominated based on several technological innovations, including being the first university in the USA to use the newest Wi-Fi technology, for their cyber security strategy, and for innovative cloud-based application strategies.

Blackard came to Evangel in 2014 as chief information officer, and he currently holds the title of vice president for strategy and innovation. Prior to joining Evangel, he had extensive global operational experience as a vice president for the Xerox Corporation.

“We left it up to an independent panel of five judges to determine the top finalists and winners, who will be announced at the Excellence in Technology Awards ceremony on March 1, at The Old Glass Place and featured in the May/June 2018 issue of Biz 417,” said the magazine’s announcement.

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2018 Biz 417 Tech awards

Click the award hot link above for more information on the Biz 417 Excellence in Technology Awards, and to order tickets. // (CLICK ARTWORK TO ENLARGE)

DETAILS FROM BIZ 417

Corporate Awards Finalists:

  • Community Impact: The eFactory, Hack4GoodSGF, Mid-America Technology Alliance
  • Most Innovative Startup: Apt Crowd, The Daily Scholar, HCOMM Solutions
  • Enterprise Technology: Eagle Speak, Evangel University, Show Me Systems LLC

Individual Awards Finalists:

  • IT Executive of the Year: Gary Blackard, Jarad Johnson, Stephanie O’Connor
  • Developer of the Year:Myke Bates, Maranda Provance, Dan Seawel
  • Rising Star:Evan Allen, Aimee Hendrycks, Brenden Reeves, Charlie Rosenbury

Meet the Judges:

  • Greg Burris, Springfield city manager
  • Kim Collison Farr, director of Mercy Innovation’s Product Development & Informatics Division
  • Shannon McMurtrey, assistant professor of Management Information Systems at Drury University
  • Jeff Morrissey, Missouri State University’s chief information officer
  • Heath Rust, network security engineering manager for Gladiator Technology

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