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Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and ClikCloud Founder Dan Shapero Recognized as TechVoice Champions

Policymakers, Industry Leader Honored For Advocacy of Technology Policies

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CompTIA, through its TechVoice partnership, presented the inaugural TechVoice Champion Awards to Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) to recognize their leadership and advocacy on behalf of the country's information technology (IT) industry. Longtime IT industry executive and activist Dan Shapero, founder of ClikCloud, also was honored for his ongoing commitment to policy advocacy on behalf of the industry.

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The TechVoice Champion Awards were presented here Wednesday as part of the two-day TechVoice D.C. Fly-In.

"Last year saw so many important policies that impact the technology sector, particularly small and medium-sized companies," said Todd Thibodeaux, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA. "With the inaugural TechVoice Champion Awards, we recognize three individuals who were instrumental in realizing some of these accomplishments – and continue to advocate for the small business tech sector."

Rep. Grimm was recognized for his leadership and advocacy of the Startup Act 2.0, a legislative proposal intended to boost our economic recovery by providing greater support for high-paying, high-skilled jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). 

Sen. Merkley has been active in ensuring that small and medium-sized technology businesses have the access to capital that they need to grow. He was a strong champion of the crowdfunding provisions which allow entrepreneurs to raise smaller amounts of money from various sources. He also was a strong supporter of the JOBS Act.

Dan Shapero is a long-time tech policy advocate and an active member of CompTIA. Shapero was a former member of the CompTIA Board of Directors and has been particularly active in launching and leading the Southern California TechVoice Chapter.

"Tech is the key engine driving our economy and transforming our society," said Senator Merkley. "I'm committed to making sure we have the building blocks in place that allow innovation to thrive, creating new opportunities for individuals and businesses that we can't even imagine today. The first-ever crowdfunding law that we passed will be a powerful tool helping entrepreneurs launch new ventures, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with the tech community."

"Too often we educate the world's best and brightest in STEM fields, only to send them back to countries like India and China to open businesses and compete against us," said Rep. Grimm. "I introduced Startup 2.0 to keep top talent here, in order to help American businesses grow and drive U.S. innovation in fields like the IT industry. I thank CompTIA for recognizing my commitment to growing America's technology sector and I'm honored to receive the TechVoice Champion Award."

The TechVoice Champion Awards were presented at the TechVoice Champion Awards Dinner in conjunction with the TechVoice D.C. Fly-In, held February 13 and 14. The fly-in allows U.S. business leaders in the technology sector to meet face-to-face with Congressional representatives on Capitol Hill and other key policymakers in Washington.

TechVoice is a partnership of the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA) and participating regional technology associations. TechVoice represents thousands of technology companies across the country employing millions of workers.

"As Washington, D.C., and state capitals focus on tough choices on revenues and spending, we want to make sure that policymakers prioritize policies that support growth and innovation in the technology sector. Having strong legislative champions like Rep. Grimm and Sen. Merkley is invaluable. Engaging passionate voices from our industry, leaders like Dan Shapero, who has been on the forefront of advocacy, is equally important," added Thibodeaux.

For more information on the 2013 TechVoice Champion Awards and the TechVoice D.C. Fly-In, visit www.techvoice.org.

About CompTIA
CompTIA is the voice of the world's information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy. Visit http://www.comptia.org/home.aspx or follow CompTIA at http://www.facebook.com/CompTIA and twitter.com/comptia.


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