Why San Diego is Emerging as a Top Tech City

San Diego is gaining recognition in the tech world as an industry leader and an innovation magnet. From people to places to businesses, there a number of factors that have helped to boost the city’s growing reputation. Here are a few of the major reasons:

Tech Leaders

If you attended the 2017 Top Tech Exec Awards, you know that San Diego is home to some pretty incredible tech leaders. This impressive group of information technology innovators bolster the business, academic, governmental, and non-profit communities within our city. The Top Tech Exec Awards celebrate the unsung heroes of information technology, as these brilliant leaders and their teams serve as the behind-the-scenes forces that keep companies functioning and businesses accelerating on a daily basis.

Innovative Spaces

Developers and planners are busy at work, reshaping San Diego into a more hip neighborhood for techies and designers. Live-work areas like Makers Quarter, and I.D.E.A. District are transforming the city and attracting entrepreneurs, millennials, and the innovation economy.

Another big trend attracting tech companies and startups is co-working and shared office space. Downtown Works and WeWork  are just two examples of innovative new office setups that foster more collaborative, open environments.

More Tech Jobs

It’s no secret that tech jobs in San Diego are on the rise. Forbes (forbes.com) ranked it on their list of Cities Creating the Most Tech Jobs in 2016 and many tech companies have recently made the move from places like Silicon Valley and San Francisco.

One startup CEO, Business Apps founder Andrew Gazzkecki said in a recent article, “San Diego offers a new and growing technology scene where entrepreneurship can blossom. Startups like Bizness Apps, who are ahead of the curve, can gain ground more easily and become an influencer, not just a follower. This makes for an exciting, thriving environment on an upward trend rather than a plateau.”

Startup-Centric Events

San Diego Startup Week, coming up this month during the week of June 19, is a week long non-profit event that celebrates startups, entrepreneurs and tech companies in San Diego. This is just one example of an event focused on growing the startup community. Other events, meetups and networking opportunities abound, hosted by groups like Startup SD, startup incubator Evonexus and San Diego Venture Group.

8 tips for building tech leadership skills


Many tech experts want to rise up the corporate ladder, but lack the communication and business skills needed. Here’s how to gain the tools that will help you advance your career.

1. Make the choice:
If you want to be a leader, make a conscious decision to do so: Be proactive and take the initiative instead just falling into the position.

2. Observe your leaders:
Your leaders got where they are for a reason. Study their strong characteristics and learn how they got there, then try to incorporate that into your work style.

3. Talk to your manager:
The best way to make sure you’re on the right path is by talking to your manager. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback and make your aspirations known.

4. Join a professional organization to observe and connect with leaders in your field:
Once again, look to the role models you want to emulate. Connect with them and use that network to your advantage. Who you know is important.

5. Seek feedback from your managers and peers:
You need to know your strengths and challenges. Get a balanced view of both in order to learn where you need to focus on improvement and what skills you can use to your advantage.

6. Avoid the “delegation trap”:
You don’t need to do everything yourself. The more responsibility you get, the more you will need to delegate to others. Don’t feel pressure to do all the work when you may be better off it assigning to others.

7. Don’t define yourself as “apolitical” in the workplace:
You need to be able to influence people; don’t always stand on neutral ground – take a position and be sure to fully understand the situation.

8. Don’t expect any leadership program to be a cure-all:
Leadership programs are intended to give you guidance and a framework for skill building – but they can’t do all the work. Remember that your workplace is also a learning environment as well.

This content is based on an article from Tech Republic – read the full piece here.

2017 Top Tech Exec Awards Recap

The 2017 10th Anniversary Top Tech Exec Awards were out of this world! We enjoyed record-breaking attendance at Petco Park and an endless supply of entertainment and fun surprises, all of which made for a very special night honoring San Diego’s IT leaders. Here are a few event highlights:

The Swag:
Attendees were given event info and a stylish pair of sunglasses as they walked in. Sponsor tables all around the event had more fun giveaways and freebies. Oh – and did we mention the complimentary drinks and delicious food options?

The VIP Scene:
VIP’s were invited to a special reception featuring special announcements and live music prior to the event.

The Hosts:
Former Chargers player and media personality Nick Hardwick and CBS8 Anchor Heather Myers Emceed the event.

The Special Features:
Where do we even start? Superheros, ping pong in the outfield, a jaw dropping entrance during the National Anthem by Patriot Parachute Team, the swanky Cox Lounge, Shoeshine Tavern and a beautiful fireworks display just to name a few!

The IT Heroes!

  • Dr. Christopher Longhurst of UC Health was Top Tech Honoree in the Education Category
  • Matthew Brown of San Diego County Water Authority was the Government Category Top Tech Honoree
  • Peter Battistel of 211 San Diego was Small Nonprofit Honoree for the Top Tech Awards
  • Large nonprofit honoree award went to John Hall of Gemological Institute of America
  • Cox Business Exemplary Award for Top Tech presented to Laura Spencer of Lakeside Union School District
  • Top Tech Private Micro Honoree was David Gray of DMV.org
  • Top Tech Private Small Company Honoree was Brian Casazza of Vistage International
  • Private Medium Top Tech Honoree was Bob Millington of CUSO financial
  • Private Large Top Tech Honoree was Tim Bochard of Glacier Water!
  • Extra Large Top Tech Exec Honoree was Bill Zondler of Millennium Health 
  • Small Public Top Tech Exec Honoree was Joseph Talarek of Turtle Beach, Inc. 
  • Public Large Honoree at Top Tech Exec went to Julie Hubbard of AMN Healthcare
  • Previous Lifetime Achievement Honorees was inducted into the Top Tech Hall of FAME!
  • Douglas Palmer of KnuEdge, Inc. was awarded 2017 Top Tech Exec Lifetime Achievement Honor

The After Party:
Bub’s at the Ballpark hosted a special extended happy hour following the ceremony – the perfect nightcap to a great evening!

Once again , we’d like to give a big thank-you to everyone who attended. Congratulations to all of our nominees, honorees, and award winners and another HUGE thank you to all of the sponsors who made this event possible. We can’t wait to do it again next year!

Want to see pictures from the event? Check out out 2017 Photo Gallery.

2017 Top Tech Awards Featured on CBS 8!

Our event last Thursday was a HUGE success and even made the news on CBS 8! Here’s what they had to report:

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) — The city of San Diego’s top technology innovators were honored at Petco Park Thursday night.

It’s all part of the Top Tech Exec Awards ten year anniversary event.

The ceremony honors outstanding information technology executives who work in the San Diego business community.

They are nominated by their peers and clients and then chosen by a panel of judges.

“The it leaders in San Diego businesses are really the unsung heroes of the San Diego business community and 10 years ago we came up with the idea of starting a recognition event just for them,” said

CBS News 8’s Heather Myers emceed the event along with former Charger Nick Hardwick.

One of the engineers at KFMB – Chris Aamodt – was among this year’s nominees.


Introducing our 2017 Emcees!

We are very excited to announce our 2017 Emcees! Former San Diego Charger’s player and TV, radio and digital media personality Nick Hardwick, and CW6 San Diego Anchor Heather Myers will host the 10th Anniversary Top Tech Exec Awards Ceremony!

Nick Hardwick is a former NFL Pro Bowl Center who played 11 years with the San Diego Chargers. Since his retirement in February of 2015, Hardwick transitioned to the media side (TV, radio and digital) and holds multiple positions as: Field Reporter for the San Diego Chargers Radio Broadcast; local TV sportscaster on Fox 5 San Diego; weekly radio contributor on three iHeart Radio stations; and host of “Behind the Bolt with Nick Hardwick” on Fox Sports San Diego (TV) and the Chargers website. In addition, Hardwick keeps busy as a motivational speaker, trains NFL Draft prospects and is developing a new digital training program for high school and youth football players. Nick lives in San Diego with his wife Jayme, and their two boys, Hudson (4) and Ted (2).

Heather Myers is a native San Diegan and is thrilled to be working in her hometown. “It’s true. This really is America’s finest city,” Heather said. She brings her passion for storytelling and knowledge of the county to San Diego 6 News in the Morning, weekdays from 5:00-10:00 a.m. Heather joined San Diego 6 News in November 2007 as the weeknight co-anchor of San Diego 6 News at 10 p.m. In 2011, she joined Marc Bailey as co-anchor of San Diego 6 News in the Morning. Heather has covered some of the biggest stories in San Diego and Southern California. She was on the front lines of the 2003 and 2007 wildfires. She reported from the Mt. Soledad and Laguna Beach landslides. She also went to the areas affected by the 7.2 earthquake that hit the region in 2010. Heather enjoys spending her time with her husband, 2 little boys, and lab-mix Capone. “When the work day is done in the morning, I rush home to be with my sons. This job allows me to live a full life as a news anchor and a mom.”

Just Announced: Our 2017 Nominations Are In!

Congratulations to the 2017 Top Tech Qualified Nominees!

If you were nominated for the 2017 event you should have received both an email and a letter in the mail stating if you qualified as a nominee. If you qualified, your nomination will be considered for an award in the category in which you were nominated. If you were disqualified, you are still able to attend the event with a guest complimentary but your nomination did not advance to the judging round.

Nominees are not notified in advance if they have won an award. If you are a qualified nominee, you must be present on May 11 to find out if you have been selected, as the winners are announced live from the stage. Cox Business Exemplary and the Lifetime Achievement Honoree winners are the only award recipients notified before the event.

Nominees and a guest (regardless of qualification status) receive two complimentary tickets to attend the event on May 11.

View the full list of nominees here.

Announcing ScaleMatrix as a Platinum Sponsor

ScaleMatrix has signed on as Platinum Sponsor for the Top Tech Exec awards for the 6th year in a row.
ScaleMatrix is a Hybrid Service Provider delivering an array of cloud, colocation, managed services, data protection and connectivity options under one manageable umbrella. As developers of ground-breaking data center efficiency technology, the company offers a cutting edge product catalog and white-glove concierge type services at market prices which benefit from these proprietary cost-saving innovations. For more information visit www.scalematrix.com.

Cox Business – 10 Years as a Title Sponsor

Cox Business signs as title sponsors for the Top Tech Exec Awards for the 10th year. In it’s anniversary year the Top Tech Exec event is scheduled to occur at Petco Park in downtown San Diego on May 11th. A monumental celebration for recognizing information technology leaders in San Diego, this is also the only awards recognition program for information technology leaders in Southern California. Tickets to the celebratory event are 60.00 and include beverages, entertainment, networking, and awards program.

Nomination Deadline is March 3rd

Nomination Deadline is approaching fast. One week left to nominate a top tech exec leader from your organization or client firm. Deadline is 5:00 p.m. on March 3. Click the tab on the top of the page.