Few follow this path: Invent something technical and life-saving, start a company based on this invention, rocket to success in international markets, win awards for creating one of the best companies to work for, then turn around and reinvest time, energy and wisdom into helping others. And teach skydiving.
Entrepreneur, business leader and Alberta technology champion Robin Winsor has done just that.
He has received a prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding service to Canada based on his contribution to high technology. The medals were awarded at a special ceremony in Montreal on Sunday, October 21, as the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) and i-CANADA celebrated the country's technology leaders.
The medals are being awarded to individuals who have been "technology innovators as well as catalysts for national transformation," says John Reid, President of CATA, in a release about the 38 Canadians receiving the award.
Two years ago, Winsor took on the presidency of Cybera, the publicly funded agency in Alberta that advances Internet-related innovation in the province. It is technology neutral, and works to the benefit of Albertans, without privilege or partiality to any one organization.
This public sector role is a second act after a career as an innovator.
Winsor invented and developed the world's first direct digital x-ray system. His company, Imaging Dynamics, was formed in 1991. He holds multiple patents and has authored standards currently in use in the medical, well logging and seismic industries. In 2005, Imaging Dynamics won the Cool Companies Award for being an innovative and exciting place to work. In 2005 and 2006, Winsor's company was among the top 10 in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 fastest growing companies. Winsor is a past winner of the Manning Innovation Award and the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
In addition to his role at Cybera, he sits on a number of boards and committees, and now chairs the southern Alberta chapter of the Manning Innovation Awards. Winsor is a geophysicist by training with a special interest in artificial intelligence.