The GTA’s annual awards program recognizes and thanks the many companies, organizations and individuals working to advance the tech industry and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in the Columbia River Gorge. The GTA Technology Leader and Technology Organization of the Year awards were presented to the individual and organization who made the largest positive impact on the technology community of the Columbia River Gorge. Nominations were accepted from across the Gorge and all finalists are celebrated at the annual Winter Party for their leadership and hard work. Nominees were not required to be GTA members.

The GTA honors all of the 2017 winners and finalists:

2017 GTA Technology Organization of the Year: Insitu Commercial Division

2017 Tech Awards
Mark Bauman (right), Vice President and General Manager of Insitu Commercial, and representatives of the Insitu Commercial Division accept the Tech Organization of the Year award.

Insitu is a pioneer in the design, development, production and operation of high-performance, cost-effective unmanned aircraft systems. Further, Insitu Commercial is pioneering the use of UAS in the national airspace. This award is especially focused on the amazing efforts by Insitu Commercial over the last year to help with natural disaster response.

During the September 2017 Eagle Creek wildfire, Insitu’s commercial team flew its ScanEagle to support the emergency responders working to control the fire. Insitu’s efforts helped keep personnel safe, and reduced fire damage. This achievement not only demonstrates the maturity of the ScanEagle and the value of its image data, but also demonstrates Insitu’s commitment to the Gorge and its growth into using drones for commercial roles.

From its leading position providing intelligence to military users, Insitu has evolved its solution with innovative new data processing tools to demonstrate significant new value in fire management and emergency response.

Besides the Eagle Creek Fire, Insitu supported wildfire operations in California this fall and disaster relief efforts in Texas after Hurricane Harvey. In Texas, Insitu launched and conducted operations over the Port of Corpus Christi for search and rescue, damage pollution, critical infrastructure assessments, security and monitoring, and unmanned and manned aviation over watch protection. In appreciation for the ways the Insitu Commercial Division has worked to give back to the Gorge, make our lives safer and more efficient, we say thank you.  

2017 GTA Technology Leader of the Year: Ryan Hartman

Ryan Hartman is President and CEO of Insitu and has served in that role since 2014. He joined the company in 2010. During his presidency, Ryan has led Insitu to impressive growth for any company, particularly for a company that has graduated out of its startup phase. Insitu has grown from less than 800 employees when he became president, to around 1000 last year, and about 1500 this year, with 1000 living and working in the Gorge.

Ryan has also cultivated and developed an advanced corporate culture that guides Insitu managers and other employees to honor each area of responsibility, including customer welfare, employee wellbeing, and the health and vitality of our communities, the Gorge in particular. He has built an understandable system to guide Insitu employees in everyday and difficult decisions. This is represented by the four pillars: Pioneer, Perform, Unite, and Care, which goes far beyond a company slogan under Ryan’s leadership.

Additionally, Ryan has directed Insitu to increase its support of community non-profits, with direct support and programs to encourage and facilitate employee involvement.  He personally has served as Board chairman of the Gorge social service nonprofit the Next Door and chairman of the LuMind foundation, which supports research to understand and address Down Syndrome.

In recognition of Insitu’s role in the larger community, Ryan supports initiatives to improve the quality of life for the entire Gorge. He also promotes STEM education in the region in many ways, including has a special personal effort for 6 years to create and maintain the Roboflight Academy, a summer program to engage, inspire, and teach high school youth in UAVs. 

2017 GTA Technology Leader of the Year Finalist: Tom Furey 

Tom Furey is the Chief Operating Officer for Sagetech Corporation and has been since early 2015. Tom has managed to achieve the tremendously difficult task of increasing corporate performance and innovation to unprecedented levels while simultaneously changing corporate culture and positively impacting the technology industry in the Gorge. One of Tom’s technical contributions has been leading the development of the first certified micro transponder. He has also been able to increase Sagestech’s business footprint in the commercial, military, and international sectors. His long term planning and vision for Sagetech has reshaped the company and driven sales and revenue growth by 26% year over year. Under his leadership, Sagetech has established relationships with renowned industry leaders and begun a transformation from a small engineering and manufacturing facility to a key player in the international tech industry.

Additionally, Tom Furey’s character and leadership are among his greatest contributions to the advancement of the technology industry, greater community and Sagetech employees. Tom has the perfect combination of patience and decisiveness combined with a keen ability to see the strengths in the Sagetech team and bring out the best in people. His leadership is sincere and strategic. He has changed the culture of Sagetech by fostering the highest levels of performance while encouraging individual growth and continued education. Under Tom’s leadership Sagetech’s employee headcount has doubled and the employee turnover rate has been significantly reduced. Overall employee satisfaction and motivation is at all-time high.

He also encourages giving back to the community and serves himself as the tech representative on the Board of Directors for Mid-Columbia Economic Development District.