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2016 Research Park Awardees

2016 Distinguished Leader 

M.J.  “Mike” Arts

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The Distinguished Leader award is given to a leader who supports the Research Park’s mission with an investment of time and wisdom. This individual was the longtime leader of one of Palm Beach County's most influential business groups, the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. Across Palm Beach County, business and elected leaders credited him with helping shape Boca Raton, recruiting major corporations, advocating for education and improved transportation. He played a role in just about every major decision the city faced over 20 years, from building Mizner Park to helping the city cope with losing thousands of jobs at IBM, to pushing for affordable housing before others had the idea. He had a hand in recruiting hundreds of small and large businesses to Boca Raton, including Tyco International Ltd. and W.R. Grace & Co. He also helped establish The Golden Bell Education Foundation, which has given out more than $1.5m in grants to local schools. Following his tenure at the chamber, he was elected to the City Council in 2006 but most importantly, he was appointed to the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority in 1996 where he served with distinction, including a term as chairman, until his retirement in 2011. This year’s Distinguished Leader is “Mike” M.J. Arts.


2016 Distinguished Researcher 

Jason O. Hallstrom, Ph.D.


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The Distinguished Researcher award is given to a researcher who is leading by inventing and innovating. This year’s recipient has had an enormous impact on his field, and has driven his team to remarkable breakthroughs in network design and research in the Internet of Things, helping to tackle some of our largest challenges in society from agricultural issues, to urban planning, to health and wellness.  His work at FAU’s Institute for Sensing and Embedded Network Systems Engineering is making it possible to stream information about the world in real time, allowing researchers in multiple disciplines and across multiple campuses to share their data and collaborate more effectively. This year’s Distinguished Researcher is Dr. Jason O. Hallstrom, Professor and Director of I-SENSE, FAU Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.


2016 Distinguished Entrepreneur 

Larry Talley

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The Distinguished Entrepreneur award is given to a leader who is leading the innovation and invention pipeline and creating substantial economic impact. This entrepreneur has over 12 years of experience bringing concepts to reality. His passion for building partnerships, business development, and customer satisfaction led him to founding Everyware in 2014. Prior to founding Everyware, he spent over 15 years architecting large scale web applications to support sales and marketing initiatives for Fortune 500 companies. This entrepreneur has served in the US Navy Seals and when not evangelizing Everyware’s technology, he can be found enjoying life with his wife and three boys. This year’s Distinguished Entrepreneur is Larry Talley, Founder & CEO, Everyware.




2016 Distinguished Organization 

Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance


Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance

The Distinguished Organization award is given to an organization that helps maximize the academic and entrepreneurial talent and regional resources in South Florida to accelerate economic development and prosperity.  Between 2007 and 2016 this organization has created or retained more than 25,000 direct jobs and as a result saw the creation of $2.1 billion in annual personal income, $11 billion in annual economic impact, and total employment of 55,000 jobs throughout Broward County.

The team’s excellence in delivering economic development services to its community through marketing, managing business expansion, market  research and business intelligence is not only making an impact on its service community, but all of South Florida. This year’s Distinguished Organization is the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance.