Silicon Slopes Hall of Fame & Awards Gala celebrates Utah leaders and companies
Silicon Slopes celebrated three new Hall of Fame inductees at its annual awards gala last week, lauding them for their “tremendous positive influence on Utah’s business community and beyond.” Jeanette Bennett of Bennett Communications/Utah Valley 360, Jonathan Johnson of Overstock and John Pestana of ObservePoint accepted their awards onstage before diving into a ball pit wearing black tie attire and sneakers.
Johnson praised his Overstock team and recalled a favorite poem by Walt Whitman, saying, “People, places, things around us shape who we become … The Overstock team, especially the management team…they aren’t afraid to tell me when I’m wrong—something every CEO needs. And they aren’t afraid to take on big, hairy, hard problems, which is another thing every CEO needs. They are a team of doers, they are live-rs of our ‘We are Overstock’ culture. They make me a better CEO and person.”
Referring to social media platforms, Bennett said, “Everyone in this room has our own publishing company. What a great honor. What a great privilege. And what a great responsibility we all have to use our particular publishing companies for good.” She then issued a challenge to the audience. “Speak positively about Utah, about Silicon Slopes and about each other because despite our differences politically, religiously or otherwise, we can find ways to be kind.”
In a Silicon Slopes Conversation podcast episode, Pestana said, “The journey has been long … I’ve just loved building and helping take care of people and creating things and that’s just always what’s driven me … When we first started in tech, it was really hard to get anybody to pay attention to anything in Utah and that’s dramatically changed. And then it’s been fun to see the community.”
According to the Silicon Slopes Newsroom, the Hall of Fame awards launched in 1999 by the then-Utah Technology Council. The event identifies and applauds the technology pioneers and breakthrough leaders who have contributed to the ongoing and growing success of Utah and Silicon Slopes.
Silicon Slopes also honored winners of company and individual awards, selected from finalists who were announced in December 2022:
Community Hero: The Other Side Academy
"When we first started in tech, it was really hard to get anybody to pay attention to anything in Utah and that’s dramatically changed. And then it’s been fun to see the community."
Advertising: Dirty Dough
Aerospace and Defense: Intergalactic
Health & Wellness: CharityVision
Media & Entertainment: JUMP by Limitless Flight
Physical Product: Traeger
Services: Tanner Accountants and Advisors
Spaces and Places: Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute