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Magic, motivation and mouth-watering cuisine mark TiE 2010 Awards Gala

By: VIren Mayani
November 2010
Magic, motivation and mouth-watering cuisine mark TiE 2010 Awards Gala

The TiE Nomination Committee received over seventy solid award nominations, which were boiled down to fourteen finalists by a team of expert judges, led by Venture Capitalist Alan Taetle. The final four award recipients announced at the 2010 Gala were Mark Wilson, Founder, President, & CEO of RYLA, Inc. for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award; Shashi Reddy, founder & CEO of case-mate & David Cummings, Co-Founder & CEO of Pardot, LLC, sharing the Top Up-and-Coming Entrepreneur Award; Dr. Jay S. Yadav, Founder & CEO of CardioMEMS for the Most Significant Deal of the Year Award; and Matt Smith, Chief Interaction Officer, Rank ’em, for the Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award. TiE made a conscientious effort to espouse the Global Entrepreneur and it was evident in its clear, concise and commendable Awards process.

The 450 attendees who gathered on October 16, 2010 for a silent auction, networking, awards ceremony, and gala were then led into the banquet hall by a dazzling bhangra troupe. There, TiE Atlanta President C. N. Madhusudan spoke of TiE Global’s strengths and reach and shared the growth of TiE Atlanta and its members and sponsors. He also spoke of their new initiative—TiE Young Entrepreneurs—that will be commenced at high schools and colleges.

The Keynote speaker was Michael J. Coles, co-founder of the Great American Cookie Company, Inc.; co-founder of Charter Bank & Trust; Chairman, CEO and President of Caribou Coffee; CEO of Boardwalk Fresh Burgers and Fries; and more. Michael spoke of his trials and triumphs in commencing the first Mall outlet for the Cookie Company. Lack of planning on opening day did not prevent a better inauguration the next day, and the rest is history. Mike also spoke of his personal triumph after a motorcycle accident left his legs impaired. His young daughter gave him motivation to begin exercising and after a couple of years he cycled cross-country from NY to CA and holds 2 world records for the fastest time. Michael has generously endowed the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University and Coles Gymnasium at the Walker School, both in Cobb County, GA.

America’s Got Talent semi-finalists, Kruti Dance Academy, provided entertainment, as did Aasmaan Bhangra group, and dramatic magician “Howie the Great” (who also acted as master of ceremonies) and his assistant. Dinner was Asian fusion from the Ritz Chef who had spent years in Thailand, followed by a choice of over ten deserts.

The Awards were presented by the three Gala Sponsors; The Coca-Cola Company, NIIT & WIPRO, with speaker Michael Coles. President C. N. Madhusudan and President Elect Rajan Palaniswamy presented the TiE Chapter Awards. Executive Committee members Ashish Thakur, E. P. Easaw, Minaz Vastani and Sapan Parekh were honored. Howie closed the evening with the announcement of winners of the Silent Auction items, including time with a few noted Chief Information Officers.

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