AeA's Longanecker tech Rookie of the Year
November 7, 2005
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
Ed Longanecker gets
my vote for Chicago tech rookie of the year. Longanecker finished
his first year as executive director of the American Electronics
Association's Midwest Council. He's breathing new life into the
organization, and pointing AeA forward.
is the nation's largest high-tech trade group, representing more
than 2,500 companies. In 2001, AeA pulled up stakes and left Illinois.
Longanecker arrived to re-energize AeA. He quickly recruited PCTEL
CEO Marty Singer to chair the Midwest AeA. Today, membership stands
at 125 companies, including Motorola, Andrew Corp., Zebra Technologies,
Littlefuse, Richardson Electronics, Cabot Microelectronics and
and Singer emphasize the Midwest's local tech company financial
performance and an improved job picture. They're immersed in a
host of policy issues affecting tech companies, including Sarbanes-Oxley
relief, health care reform, H1B visa improvements, stock option
treatment and education opportunities for foreign students.
called last week to say five AeA companies reported record revenues.
Elk Grove-based ISCO International's top line tripled in the first
nine months from the same period a year earlier. Oakbrook Terrace's
VASCO Data Security's third-quarter revenues grew 79 percent.
Chicago-based PCTEL's third-quarter revenues surged 102 percent.
Romeoville-based Nanophase Technologies posted record third-quarter
revenues up 22 percent. Motorola's third-quarter sales increased
26 percent to a record $9.4 billion.
called back to say SPSS logged record third-quarter revenues,
and Click Commerce reported record revenues and profits. "The
success of these companies is an example of the resilience of
the tech industry," Longanecker says.
not taking credit. He's simply saying something positive is happening.
He knows we're still recovering in terms of tech jobs, but he
expects positive tech job growth in Illinois in the next 12 to
the expansion of wireless broadband and tech security are fueling
growth. "We're positioned better to rebound than California,"
concerns. Sarbanes-Oxley compliance costs hit mid-size tech companies
hard. The cost of expensing stock options makes emerging tech
companies less appealing to investors.
and Singer are concerned the government is misguided in limiting
H1B visas. The visas allow educated foreign-born professionals
to work in the U.S. "The H1B annual cap for 2006 was reached
on the first day -- Oct. 1," Singer says. "It's an unmitigated
American schools are losing tuition revenues because the government
is preventing foreign-student entry. The long-term impact is less
innovation here as those students go elsewhere to learn, work
provides $2.7 million
Midwest General Manager Michael Gorriaran is busy this week providing
$2.7 million in cash and software grants to three Chicago non-profits.
Vincent Allocco, executive director of El Valor, the Pilsen community
development center, accepts a $660,000 grant in cash and software
to increase the number of women and minorities preparing for technology
Field Museum President John McCarter receives a grant of software
worth $1.4 million to update tech infrastructure.
Erie Neighborhood House Executive Director Ricardo Estrada receives
a grant of $667,000 in cash and software to support adult education
invest in new tech startups or recruit global corporate behemoths
to relocate to Chicago? A paper by the Hudson Institute Center
for Employment Policy says job growth depends on new business
births and existing firm expansions -- not on capturing the next
Boeing. E-mail Xiuyue@hudson.org
president of i. c. stars, holds her TechBash Thursday at YBAR
on West Ontario. Kastrul's group provides tech training support
to inner-city youth. Her TechBash aims to "defragment our
community and put an end to the tireless Silicon Valley comparisons."
president of Palatine-based RND Pharmaceuticals is smiling. His
company just received a $25,000 investment from the Illinois Technology
Enterprise Center at Northwestern University.
SSA Global won Software Business magazine's Best Product Strategy
Krauss is a Chicago area tech writer and consultant.