Help select Toronto's top tech contributor of 2014

On December 2nd the annual #TOTechBash will go down at the Courthouse, celebrating yet another great year for Toronto's tech community. This annual bash brings together developers, designers, creative technologists, makers, hackers, entrepreneurs and more from all the community groups, startups, organizations, companies, and local initiatives in Toronto.

As part of this year's celebration, members of the tech community were asked to nominate those they felt deserved to be recognized for their contributions. A panel of jurors reviewed all the submissions received and narrowed it down to a final ten nominees for the TOTech Top Contributor Honour.

Now it's your turn to select the winner. Who do you think deserves this year's title of TOTech Top Contributor? Review the top ten nominees, then cast your vote before November 23rd for your favourite.

Andrew Smyk
As Program Coordinator for the Interactive Multimedia program at Sheridan College, Andrew inspires and educates his students in today's and emerging technologies, setting them up for success in the industry. His teachings go beyond the classroom as a regular speaker and contributor at events and conferences sharing his expertise on UX and mobile design, often with a standing room only audience. With his long list of publications, you can always find Andrew with a friendly smile on his face ready to talk tech and share ideas.

Andy McIlwain
Andy loves WordPress. He co-organizes the Toronto WordPress meetup group and annual WordCamp Toronto conferences, mentors at WordPress sessions with Ladies Learning Code, presents at PodCamp Toronto, and volunteers his WordPress expertise through Marketers Without Borders. Andy also loves meetups; you'll find him popping up at various ones throughout the city, trying his darndest to bring people together, usually around tech. Or WordPress. (Probably WordPress.)

Anna Starasts
Anna's knowledge of Toronto's tech scene, the people within it, the companies, and the technologies emerging from the city are bountiful. She can easily write and speak on any tech or startup topic with everyone, and does it with an open and welcoming attitude. Her contributions to the community as organizer for Girl Geeks Toronto, contributing writer for blogTO's Get to Know a Startup Series, as well as volunteering to lend a hand at events alongside her team at tech recruiting agency gdR demonstrates the true meaning of a community champion.

Bruce Chau
Bruce contributes to Toronto's open data community in so many ways, as a thinker, speaker, developer, teacher and mentor. He enables the community at events such as Open Data Day and the OGT 2014, he opens the doors for #thehackgoeson, then helps with the data and development work. Bruce is one of the community's most important champions, he sees the civic value in the work and is 100% committed to supporting it.

Christina Troung
Over the past three years, Christina has shifted her focus from being just another front end developer to becoming an educator and advocate of equality in the tech industry. She currently teaches at Humber College and is the tech lead at Ladies Learning Code as well as taught at HackerYou. She puts a lot of effort in not only just teaching but also mentoring students and providing support for them.

Jennie Faber
Jennie is a co-founder and director of Dames Making Games, a feminist organization that supports women who want to make games, and Bento Miso Collaborative Workspace, a community for independent game and web developers. On top of being the leader behind two incredibly successful and supportive tech communities in Toronto, Jennie is a developer and partner at Bento Box Projects, Inc., building software that supports equity, transparency and change.

JJ Beh
From Tech Socials, hackathons and volunteering, JJ dedicates his time to the Toronto tech community through his contributions with HackerNest. He works closely with educational institutions like Ryerson and University of Toronto to help up-coming students and startups move to the next level.

Joallore Alon
As a digital content strategist, Joallore has been a voice for Toronto for years. He is an influential member of the community as the co-founder of the tech community group DevTO, as well as the organizer for #RegiftTO. Beyond that, Joallore is always eager to connect people together, offer guidance, and use his influence to encourage the participation of others.

Pearl Chen
Pearl is an outstanding leader in Toronto's tech community and she is by far one of the most inspiring women in tech this city is lucky to have. Her contributions to technology education, running web development workshops through her company Karma Laboratory as well as through Ladies Learning Code and others, empowers her students to participate and thrive in this industry and community. She also boasts a very impressive resume working with such companies as Intel, Google, TELUS, and CFC Media Lab.

Shawn Pucknell
In 2000, Shawn began working to grow a community for the digital industry with the creation of the Flash user group, which grew to be the largest Flash group in the world in just six months. Following that vision to bring people together, he then launched FITC in 2002, the first ever Flash conference in Toronto. It is now the largest and oldest digital conference in Canada, and has went on to expand the focus of its events. Shawn has been very influential in helping to firmly place Toronto on the international stage within the digital community, and continues to do so each day.

The top ten nominees will be honoured and the winner announced at #TOTechBash on December 2nd at the Courthouse.

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