Onepath News

Onepath was thrilled to attend this year’s CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards, presented by the GeorgiaCIO Leadership Association. The event took place at Cobb Galleria, and CIOs from numerous industries were in attendance. Frank Bell, founder of the CIO of the Year Awards, kicked off the event by detailing the history of the ORBIE.

“CIOs are at the center of everything regarding digital technology,” said Bell, “[and the ORBIE] is meant to give CIOs the recognition they deserve.”

Before announcing the ORBIE winners, GeorgiaCIO presented four scholarships to local college students. The organization then posthumously awarded their Lifetime Achievement Award to Ed Steinike, former Chief Development Officer and CIO of Coca-Cola. Coworkers and family members recounted stories of Steinike, showcasing his legacy of developing CIOs and inspiring leaders. These themes of leadership and human connection were central throughout the event.

Next, James Dallas, Keynote speaker and two-time Fortune 500 CIO winner, took the stage. He began his speech by highlighting “the lighting of opportunity” and “the thunder of achievement,” noting that each relied on strong personal relationships.

“You have to be willing to listen to stories, not stats,” said Dallas. “The spark you light is first within you, then within someone else. See someone as more than what their trade is.”

Dallas also stressed the importance of being intentional with time and not letting obstacles derail someone from their goals.

“You’re always going to be criticized before you’re congratulated,” he said. “Don’t let your story get drowned out… Leaders create rolling thunder that reverberates long after the lightning.”

Dallas’s speech was met with thunderous (pun intended) applause; this applause grew even louder as the awards ceremony officially commenced. The ORBIEs were awarded in 6 categories: Nonprofit, Corporate, Enterprise, Large Enterprise, Global, and Super Global. Judges received over 125 nominations, and they narrowed their finalists to five people per category.

Each winner expressed gratitude toward their teammates, companies, and fellow CIOs. They spoke of the importance of technology and the need to continue supporting one another, not just on a company level, but as leaders in the tech community.

“Every department wants to become more efficient and leverage tech,” said Wes Richard, winner of the Corporate ORBIE. “From that perspective, [being a CIO] is the best role in the company.”

“I get a lot of opportunities to help people in [my] company,” added Laura Miller, winner of the Super Global ORBIE. “And that’s what I really love.”

Jonathan Frye, President of InspireCIO, closed off the event by thanking everyone for coming and supporting their fellow technology leaders.

“By working together, CIOs can build meaningful relationships,” he said, “and we can provide a unified voice for the community.”

Onepath was proud to contribute to that voice and to listen to what it had to say. We were also proud to host one of our client CIOs, who provided great feedback on our mission. The Awards were a great opportunity to engage with our partners and learn more about the evolving nature of technology. Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to all CIOs who continue to do so much for our community.