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For the second straight year, Digitaria Chief Technology Officer Chuck Phillips was named San Diego’s IT Executive of the Year, in the Publicly Held Business category, by the San Diego Business Journal at its fifth annual award ceremony last night.
Phillips won the honor from a pool of 43 nominees for being “at the forefront of reinventing the digital agency model by melding creative ideas with technology that can bring those ideas to life,” said the SDBJ’s Editor in Chief Reo Carr at the awards event, held inside the Ruben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. “As one of the co-founders of the technology company Console, which merged with Digitaria in 2005, Chuck has led his department’s growth from eight to 51 employees through innovative thinking and leadership.”
Phillips, 36, was also cited for spearheading the agency’s development of the multiple award-winning LRA Crisis Tracker, which melds rudimentary high frequency radio technology with the latest in mapping and social communications technology to empower Central Africans in reporting movements and actions of war criminal Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army. The LRA Crisis Tracker was developed in tandem with the non-profit human rights organization Invisible Children, and has been hailed by the U.S. State Department and a number of NGOs.
The LRA Crisis Tracker won “Best in Show” at this year’s Creative Media Awards, and was cited as a key reason Digitaria was named OMMA Magazine’s Agency of the Year for Design/Interactive in January.
“Chuck has been an elite thinker when it comes to technology, but his secret weapon is that he’s also a great creative thinker,” said Digitaria Chief Operating Officer and President Doug Hecht, who co-founded Console with Phillips in 1997. “His passion for technology and innovation has enabled Chuck to build an extraordinary team of similarly creative and talented technologists.”
The Digitaria Technology team has long been at the forefront of digital technology, and is currently among the few rare marketing groups that creates single native applications that work across all mobile platforms: Android tablet and mobile, and IOS tablet and mobile. The same group was recognized by Microsoft for finding a bug in Microsoft IIS that would have exposed the server software to DDOS attacks.
Phillips is a member of the Digitaria executive team, which helps guide the company’s quarterly and annual plan, as well as a vocal proponent of cross-pollination across the company’s disciplines, and launched Digitaria’s “Birds of a Feather” program, which encourages different department to unify around common interests. He also leads monthly tech training sessions to bring employees up to speed on the latest technologies.
Last night’s event was attended in force by the Digitaria tech team, which sent nearly a dozen rowdy members to support their leader. Afterwards, he said he shared the award with them.
“I’m honored by this award, and it belongs as much to all the members of my great team as it does to me,” said Phillips. “The best thing about our business and Digitaria is the people I get to work with, and how we can literally reinvent ourselves continually through technology and innovation. Every day is exhilarating for me, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.”