The Gorge Technology Alliance (GTA) held its eleventh annual awards program on December 12, 2023, recognizing the Tech Leader and STEM Educator of the Year and honoring all finalists who were nominated for the two awards.
Steve Olson and Jordan Holt, founders of SightLine Applications, were honored as the 2023 Tech Leaders of the Year. Founding the company in Hood River in 2007, Steve and Jordan have made SightLine Applications a great place to work and had the significant achievement in July 2023 of receiving a strategic investment from Artemis Capital Partners. The investment from Artemis, a Boston-based private equity firm, will help pave the way for remarkable growth and development. Steve is also a long-time leader with the GTA, serving in the past on the Board and as President for many years. Learn more at sightlineapplications.com.
The 2023 STEM Educator of the Year was awarded to Jack Perrin, Founder and Director of Gorge MakerSpace in White Salmon, whose mission is to empower and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to explore and build their creative skills. Since 2014, Jack has been selflessly bringing youth and adult classes to the community, leading youth robotics in White Salmon, and finding new ways to reach students less represented in STEM careers like girls and Latino students. Jack is also well known in the Gorge for his STEM leadership, serving on numerous advisory committees to stay at the forefront of new STEM initiatives and opportunities to provide better outcomes for his students. As one benefit of this award, the GTA has donated $1000 to Gorge MakerSpace. Learn more at Gorgemakerspace.com.
Additional STEM Educator finalists honored included Chuck Webber, CTE/Computer Science teacher and VEX robotics coach at The Dalles High School, and Jamie Sowell, South Wasco High School’s Director of Technology and VEX robotics coach.
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 STEM Education Leader of the Year awards are presented to the individual or organization who made the largest positive impact on the technology and STEM education community of the Columbia River Gorge. Nominations are accepted from across the Gorge and all finalists are celebrated at the annual Winter Party for their leadership and hard work.