Executive Leadership Awards

The Innovate@UCLA Executive Leadership Award (ELA) recognizes the exceptional creation of value to achieve a company’s vision via application of innovative, forward thinking and disruptive technologies and operating models.  The award is given to a CEO/Founder and CIO/CTO (or top Technology Executive) who has led and promoted the use of digital technology and expertise as a critical component of the company’s decisions, fueling improvements in brand and bottom line. 

This year, the primary focus is on organizations that have excelled in the face of adversity, illustrating the power of innovation in times of uncertainty and ambiguity.

Nomination Process

Selection Criteria

The selected senior executive and/or organization exemplifies leadership in the vision and use of technology to achieve outcomes through their ability to:

  1. Seek new innovative solutions creating a far more stimulating environment for change than during economically stable times
  2. Develop, communicate, and execute a strategic vision for the business that centers around technology as a critical advantage
  3. Leverage modernized, cutting edge technologies or proven technologies in an innovative or disruptive manner
  4. Maintain a track record of recognizing and successfully capitalizing on opportunities to utilize digital solutions/technologies
  5. Focus on delivering a differentiated, exceptional customer experience throughout the customer’s journey

Additionally, the selected Executives should:

  1. Be receptive to receiving the award
  2. Attend the Award Dinner on Thursday, 11/18/2021
  3. Lead a company or division of a larger company
  4. Reflect positively and prestigiously on UCLA and Innovate@UCLA

Award Categories

Starting in 2017, the ELA award was expanded to identify 4 distinct categories.  Additional criteria for each award include:

  • Enterprise Award
    • Senior Executive awardee is typically C-level (i.e. CEO, CIO, CTO) but can be other Senior Executive title, leading a company or division of a larger company. 
    • Brand, customer experience and innovative technology are both paramount in the final award decision
    • Size of company can be either Enterprise (over 1B in revenue) or Mid-Market (200M – 1B)
  • Public Sector Award
    • Senior Executive awardee is typically Public Official leader with large sphere of influence, contribution and presence to a Southern California technology community.
    • Outcome focus can be varied whether on efficiency through government/city tech or focus on helping citizens and the community. 
  • Emerging Technology Award
    • Senior Executive awardee is typically C-level, however given the infancy of these companies, the company leader can be other Senior Executive title by exception.
    • Company has achieved product market fit and adoption as well as level of VC funding to support company viability to be considered in this category (typically 20M minimum Funding and/or 200M Revenue as minimum).
    • Acquisitions are common within 3-5 year period of company start. These will be reviewed case by case against overall award criteria.
  • Community Impact Award
    • Senior Executive awardee is typically a non-profit officer who positively impacted their communities in ways that inspire integrity.
    • Organizations that have made significant outreach efforts that serve to uplift the community, specifically by promoting strong principles, ethical leadership and honesty.
    • Evidence of sustainable impact of their work

Past Honorees

Past HonoreesTitleOrganizationYear Honored
Sanford C. SigoloffCEOWickes Corporation1987
John P. SingletonCEOSecurity Pacific Corporation1988
Emil P. Martini, Jr.CEOBergen Brunswig Corporation1989
George H. BabikianPresidentARCO Products Company1991
Thomas V. McKernanCEOAuto Club of Southern California1992
Thomas E. EpleyCEOTechnicolor, Inc.1993
Roger F. GreavesCEOHealth Net1994
Robert Rodin CEOMarshall Industries1995
David M. LawrenceCEOKaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.1996
Edward C. StoneDirectorJet Propulsion Laboratories1998
Sky DaytonFounder & CEOEarthLink Network, Inc.1999
Patricia WyattDivision PresidentFox Consumer Products2000
Susan KentCity LibrarianLos Angeles Public Library2001
Angelo R. MoziloCEOCountrywide Financial Corporation2002
Leonard D. SchaefferCEOWellpoint Health Networks2003
Robert A. EckertCEOMattel, Inc.2004
John A. ClarkeExecutive OfficerLos Angeles Superior Court2005
Alan J. FohrerCEOSouthern California Edison2006
William J. BrattonPolice ChiefLos Angeles Police Department2007
Alexis C. LivanosPresidentNorthrop Grumman Space Technology2008
Tony VinciquerraCEOFox Networks Group2009
Dean ScarboroughCEOAvery Dennison2010
Alan BuckelewCEOPrincess Cruises2011
David PyottCEOAllergan2012
Scott McGregorCEOBroadcom2013
John MolinaCEOMolina Healthcare2014
Gary BurnisonCEOKorn Ferry2015
Bryan SmithPresident & COOAmerican Homes 4 Rent2016
John Wallace
Eric Garcetti
Brian Mullins
Deluxe Entertainment
City of Los Angeles
2017 Enterprise Award
2017 Public Sector Award
2017 Entrepreneur Award
Jeff Dailey
John Wicker
Travis VanderZanden
Farmers Group, Inc.
County of Los Angeles
2018 Enterprise Award
2018 Public Sector Award
2018 Entrepreneur Award
Dennis Gilmore
Sachi Hamai
Ara Mahdessian
First American Financial
County of Los Angeles
2019 Enterprise Award
2019 Public Sector Award
2019 Emerging Tech Award
Jack Dangermond
Christina Ghaly
Andy Puddicombe
Rich Pierson
Skye Patrick
Co-Founder & CEO
LA County Health Agency

LA County Library
2020 Enterprise Award
2020 Public Sector Award
2020 Emerging Tech Award

2020 Community Impact Award