The Illinois Technology Association honors the industry leaders that are making Chicago tech history


On September 12, the Illinois Technology Association (ITA) revealed the winners of its 2019 CityLIGHTS Awards. The CityLIGHTS Awards is the premier annual event in the region that commemorates the achievements of the local tech community.

Envoy Global took home the Industry Disruptor Award in a category that was filled with Chicago tech’s market-leading companies.

Because of the rigorous criterion and balanced judging process, the awards have become a strong indicator of future success. Not including the 2019 honorees, CityLIGHTS award winners have amassed $53.4 billion in exits, $1.1 billion in IPO proceeds and $4.2 billion in venture capital. Previous winners include Grubhub and Braintree.

“This year’s winners represent a milestone for the awards and over two decades of historic success here in the Second City,” said Julia Kanouse, CEO, ITA. “Twenty years ago, Chicago tech was barely a blip on the city’s economic development radar. Now through the accomplishments of many ITA CityLIGHTS award winners and nominees over the years, it has become crucial to the future success of our economy and city as whole.”

“We’re honored to win the Industry Disruptor Award and be recognized alongside such great local companies,” said Richard Burke, CEO, Envoy Global. “We’re disrupting an industry once dominated by change-averse law firms and are proud to have the only platform on the market that that brings screening for visa eligibility into the recruitment workflow, enables automated job information audits, ensures continued compliance and conducts real-time analytics and reporting. We’re looking forward to continuing to bring innovation to those we serve and improve this function which plays a critical role in strengthening companies and allowing individuals to lead fulfilling lives.”

The full list of 2019 CityLIGHTS winners:

CityLIGHTS Industry Champion: Presented to the company or individual who actively and consistently supports the growth of the Illinois technology industry through leadership and/or collaboration.

  • John Higginson, CTO, Enova

CEO of the Year: Presented to a CEO who has successfully scaled their company through outstanding leadership, ability to attract and retain talented resources, financial accomplishments and the implementation of strategic growth opportunities.

  • Shawn Riegsecker, Founder & CEO, Centro

Technologist of the Year: Presented to the individual whose talent has championed true innovation, either through new applications of existing technology or the development of technology to achieve a truly unique product or service.

  • Henrietta “Hettie” Dombrovskaya, Associate Director Database Architecture, Braviant Holdings

Prominent Woman in Tech: Presented to a preeminent woman or individual identifying as female in the local industry who has championed technical innovation to drive the growth and success of her organization.

  • Reem Jaghlit, VP of Product Engineering, ActiveCampaign

Rising Star Award: Presented to the company with the strongest potential to emerge as a leader in the technology industry ($5 to $25 million in annual revenue).

  • TRUCE Software

Lighthouse: Presented to the growth-stage company, (more than $25 million in revenue) that through innovation in products, services or business approach, has grown to become a serious competitor in the marketplace.

  • Showpad

Outstanding Company Culture: Awarded to the technology company that has instilled a high-performance culture in their workplace by encouraging employees to take their career to the next level, fostering diversity and inclusion, and are committed to positively contributing to the community.

  • Solstice

Industry Disrupter: Presented to the company that has developed or introduced an ingenious, non-traditional and innovative product or service that has significantly disrupted its industry.

  • Envoy Global

Toast of Chicago Tech: Presented to the individual or company who, after winning an award at CityLIGHTS, continued on to make an impact in the Chicago tech community through successfully lead companies, development of a new and innovative service, championing for peers and the community as a whole.

  • SPSS

About Envoy

Founded in 1998, Envoy is a global immigration services provider offering the only immigration management platform that makes it seamless for companies to hire and manage an international workforce by combining expert legal representation — for both inbound and outbound immigration — and proprietary technology. Envoy empowers companies to acquire the best talent regardless of where they are in the world; helps mobilize employees around the world to take advantage of business opportunities; and enables the management of entire global workforces, providing a strategic, proactive view into workforce and financial forecasting and compliance. Envoy has managed more than 30,000 cases and served more than 2,000 customers in a broad range of industries.

Website, technology platform and administrative services are provided by Envoy Global Inc., a Delaware corporation. Legal services are provided by attorneys at one of the two U.S. Law Firms who provide services through the Envoy Platform. Please visit for more information.