CIO of the Year Awards
Nominations are closed for the 2021 CIO of the Year Awards!
Click the Links Below for the 2021 CIO of the Year Application Forms
CIO of the Year Program - Overview
Since 1995, the Society of Information Management Chicago Chapter together with The Executives’ Club of Chicago and the AITP Chicago Chapter have recognized technology leaders with the premier CIO of the Year Award in Chicagoland. Beginning in 2019, three additional premier organizations have joined in recognizing the CIO of the Year – Chicago Innovation, i.c.stars and Evanta/Gartner.
Selection considers leadership in driving business value, technological innovation, business partnerships and creating best-in-class workplaces for IT professionals. Finalists will be interviewed and the winner will be announced at SIM Gala on October 14, 2021.
In 2019, we added two additional categories:
If you know a company that is doing great things because of its technology leadership, please submit a CIO of the Year Award Nomination.
Each year, 20+ top CIO's are nominated by their CIO peers and company CEO's. Those nominated receive a formal application and prepare an in-depth write-up on their key initiatives, contributions and impact covering several key category areas such as:
Each of the CIO category answers are individually scored on a 1-10 basis by a panel of judges consisting of C-Level executives. Finalists are then interviewed by senior C-Level Executives to determine the CIO of the Year.
To be nominated the CIO must have held the top IT position in the company for at least two years and be recognized as a leader in the industry. The nominee does not need to be a member of The Executives Club of Chicago, SIM or CompTIA AITP, but must be available to attend the SIM Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony (tentatively scheduled for October 14, 2021).View Past Winners
On October 15, 2020, SIM Chicago, AITP Chicago and the Executives’ Club of Chicago held a Virtual Awards Ceremony for the 2020 CIO of the Year Awards. Please join us in congratulating the 2020 Honorees.
2020 CIO of the Year Award
On October 15, 2020, SIM Chicago, AITP Chicago and the Executives’ Club of Chicago held a Virtual Awards Ceremony for the 2020 CIO of the Year Awards. Please join us in congratulating the 2020 Honorees.Special congratulations to Heather Nelson, SVP & CIO, University of Chicago Medicine, our 2020 CIO of the Year!
AITP Chicago, SIM Chicago and The Executives’ Club of Chicago wish to congratulate Heather Nelson, SVP & CIO of University of Chicago Medicine, who was chosen as the 2020 CIO of the Year! Nominations were made by CxOs and senior business & IT executives, and all judging and elections were done by peers in the IT community. The award was presented as part of a Virtual Awards Ceremony held on October 15, 2020.
The award is given to an individual with experience in driving business value through creative leadership, innovating through technology, and creating business partnerships and best-in-class workplaces for IT professionals. The CIO of the Year Award has been presented for 25 years to a Chicago-based CIO whose accomplishments and innovations have created meaningful advances in the city’s IT field.
Heather Nelson is currently in the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for the Information Technology division at UChicago Medicine. In the role of SVP/CIO, she is responsible for supporting all the information management systems (clinical & business/administrative), infrastructure, clinical engineering, IT support services, IT Project Management Office, integration, reporting, and analytics capabilities & technologies, as well as the privacy & IT security functions for UChicago Medicine. Her teams are comprised of talented IT professionals that are dedicated to supporting patient care and care teams throughout the health system and in our communities through a shared services operating model.
Nelson joined UChicago Medicine in 2014 as the Executive Director of Applications Systems with oversight of all the clinical and revenue cycle management applications, clinical engineering team, population health strategies and systems, and support of the UCM Care Network strategies and systems. She was named Interim VP/CIO in August of 2017, named the VP/CIO in April of 2018, and promoted to SVP/CIO in 2019.
Prior to joining UChicago Medicine, Nelson spent time at Baystate Health in Springfield, MA as a Senior Director of Applications and IT Operations, including an Interim CIO assignment and 10 years at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, MI with roles in Laboratory Services, Case Management, and increasing leadership responsibilities within the Information Technology division. Nelson holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Alma College in Alma, MI as well as a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University. She is a Certified Healthcare CIO (CHCIO) through the CHiME organization.
“I am incredibly grateful to be chosen as the 2020 CIO of the Year,” said Nelson. “Chicago is a leader of tech innovation and excellence, and I am proud to represent the work of UChicago Medicine and our wonderful team. It is an honor to be receive this award amongst such an accomplished group of tech leaders and I look forward to continuing to make Chicago a global leader for technology and innovation.”
Special 2020 Awards
CIO Innovator of the Year
This award recognizes a CIO who has been especially innovative in his or her approach to producing business results far above the other nominees.
The 2020 CIO Innovator of the Year Award Winner is Sean Katz, CIO of the Vitality Group USA.
Sean Katz, Chief Information Officer for Vitality, has extensive experience in Health IT technology, specifically in the payor and wellness space. He has spent the past 24 years working in this field - both locally and abroad - providing advanced technology solutions to solve complex business problems.
Sean rejoined Vitality Group at the beginning of 2013 and is responsible for the technology that helps people drive engagement in their health. This includes using IOT to get device data into real time journeys that incentivize people to complete healthy activities. Recently, Sean has worked with leading life insurance companies, including John Hancock and Manulife, to attach the Vitality program to their insurance products.
During his tenure, Sean has been responsible for re-architecting and building a new claims system and introducing new technology stacks and systems to better service clients and internal company operations.
Sean received his Master of Science degree in Computational and Applied Mathematics from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of South Africa.
This award recognizes a CIO who has successfully expanded his or her current role into other business areas like Operations, Marketing, Sales, CEO role, etc., thus, broadening their impact on driving success for the overall business entity.
The 2020 CIO+ Award Winner is Jill Albin-Hill, VP for Operations & Technology and CIO, Dominican University
Jill joined Dominican University in 2003 as Associate Director of IT, becoming Director of IT in 2006, CIO in 2009 and VP in 2013 before assuming her current role that brings together information technology, facilities, and security.
In her sixteen years at Dominican University, she has had the opportunity to grow and learn about many aspects of university administration. Her work has been driven by a keen interest in customer service and a strong desire to exceed expectations. She is passionate about helping others utilize and leverage technology in effective ways and is proud of the pervasiveness and usefulness of IT today. No longer begging for a seat at the table, there is hardly an initiative on campus in which the technology division is not involved.
Jill has also served as an Adjunct Professor for the past 13 years..
Prior to joining Dominican University, Jill served as the Manager of Technical Services at Consolidated Communications.