FelixSolutions.AI (DocSynk) Receives Top Honors at Innovation Awards 2020, Paving the Way for Healthcare Transformation

FelixSolutions.AI (DocSynk) Receives Top Honors at Innovation Awards 2020, Paving the Way for Healthcare Transformation

The Winners of D CEO’s and Dallas Innovates’ 2020 Innovation Awards

If you want to get excited about what’s ahead for Dallas-Fort Worth, all you have to do is read about the companies and leaders featured here. They are disrupting their industries and solidifying the region’s reputation as a hub for innovation. It’s especially felt in the tech arena, where North Texas continues to shine, ranking among the nation’s best markets for tech talent. But innovation permeates companies of all sizes in every industry, from healthcare and education to energy and commercial real estate.

To take a closer look at what’s happening here, we teamed up with our colleagues at Dallas Innovates to present The Innovation Awards. A special thank you to our judges: Duane Dankesreiter of the Dallas Regional Chamber; Joe Beard of Perot Jain, and Bill Sproull of Tech Titans, who joined our respective editorial teams in selecting the winners and finalists among the more than 120 nominations that rolled in.

Alanna Cotton

Senior Vice President, Samsung Electronics America

As a senior executive and product lead, Alanna Cotton oversees everything from wearables and tablets to portable audio and virtual reality for Samsung Electronics America, one of the largest tech companies in the world. Her impact is global but is especially strong in North Texas, where the company has more than 1,000 employees. Cotton has played a key role in bringing cutting-edge technologies to the marketplace. In the past year alone, Cotton led the launch of 12 Samsung products that continue to push the envelope, including the Galaxy Tab S6 and the Galaxy Watch Active2, which lets users monitor their health and wellness in real time. “The best innovation out there will empower people to live their best lives,” she says. One of the highest-ranking African-American women in the industry, Cotton makes it a priority to encourage a diversity of thought and perspectives in technology. She leads the Women in Samsung Electronics initiative, which helps bring women to the decision-making table. “The ability to unleash the power of this portion of our workforce in ways that we haven’t been able to before has been extremely rewarding,” Cotton says. The Mississippi native has had roles at PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble in other markets but has found Dallas-Fort Worth especially welcoming. “It is a great place for inspiring innovators.” —Will Maddox

Finalists: Arjun Dugal, Capital One; Paola Arbour, Tenet Healthcare; Heidi Soltis-Berner, Deloitte


Better Block Foundation

The Better Block Foundation began in 2010 as a local effort by urban planners Jason Roberts and Andrew Howard to improve their neighborhoods. Since then, the approach has been adopted internationally by more than 200 cities across the globe. Roberts says the goal is to revitalize neighborhoods by “giving people the tools they need to implement change in their community.” Innovation for Better Block Foundation begins with community engagement, partnerships, education, design, and public outreach. The Better Block team has turned empty parking lots into vibrant plazas, created architectural design competitions, promoted local art, and used environmental design to prevent crime—all by working with communities to bring people together. —Amanda Salerno

Finalist: Fort Worth Medical Innovation District


UT Southwestern Simulation Center

UT Southwesterns simulation center uses the latest technology to train medical staff. With settings that include an emergency room, labor and delivery room, and a patient exam room, it’s disrupting traditional educational methods. Opened in September 2018, the 49,000-square-foot facility hosted nearly 500 individual simulation events in its first year. Looking ahead, leaders at the center believe the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and immersive virtual reality will help UT Southwestern more accurately evaluate the next generation of medical providers. “The phrase ‘it takes a village’ may sum it up best,” says Daniel Scott, assistant dean of simulation and student integration. “Without a culture of collaboration, this endeavor would not have been possible.” —W.M.

Finalists: Big Thought, Design and Innovation Program at Southern Methodist University, The University of Texas at Dallas