December 13, 2004






The DFW Area Chapter of the Society for Information Management (SIM) is pleased to announce that announce that Richard A. Harris Jr., Associate Vice President for Computing and Chief Technology Officer for University of North Texas (UNT), was selected as the 2004 Dallas/Ft Worth Area Information Technology (IT) Executive of the Year.  This is the 7th consecutive year that the local DFW SIM Chapter has made this award.  The Society for Information Management is a national organization of nearly 3,000 IT professionals, primary at the CIO-level.  The Dallas/Ft Worth area has over 130 members.  While Mr. Harris is a charter member of our chapter, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, nominees are not required to be a member of our chapter.


This is one of the most prestigious awards for an IT Executive in the Dallas/Ft Worth Area.  It recognizes those individuals who have:  (1) used IT to significantly improve the competitive advantage of their organizations; (2) demonstrated how they have used IT to significantly improve their organizations efficiency and effectiveness; and, finally, (3) demonstrated outstanding leadership and management skills within the IT professional community (See History of the Award below). 

Among Mr. Harris’s achievements was his ability to implement a $21 million PeopleSoft Enterprise Information System (EIS) nearly one year ahead of its scheduled 3 year time table and under budget.  Mr. Harris’ superiors at UNT noted that comparable installations have taken upwards of five years and up to $50 million at other universities.  Furthermore, Mr. Harris’ vision of “non-stop” electronic services at UNT has lead to UNT’s recognition as a national leader in the use of online courses.  In 2001 UNT garnered the Best E-Learning Program award at the 20th Annual TeleCon Awards Ceremony.  This fall semester more than 250 courses delivered more than half their course content via distance learning options.  Finally Mr. Harris was a founding member of the North Texas Gigapop and the Dallas Area SIM Chapter.  In the past three years he rallied over $30,000 in IT vendor support for UNT’s State Employee Contribution Campaign, which supports the local United Way and other partner agencies.


The two outstanding finalists in this year’s competition were David Muntz. Sr. VP – Information Services & CIO, Texas Health Resources and John Polizzi, Sr. VP, CIO North America, Blockbuster, Inc.  Mr. Muntz was cited for his nationally recognized development of web-based information portals for Employees, Consumers, Physicians and Hospital Trustees (2004 Most Wired Innovator Award, Hospital & Health Networks, and by Information Week 500).  Mr. Polizzi was cited for his leadership in moving Blockbuster into the online DVD and Video game rental business marketplace to compliment their 5,000 store fronts.  Both Mr. Muntz and Mr. Polizzi are SIM members.


All honorees were recognized at the DFW Chapter SIM Holiday Banquet and Awards Ceremony, which was held at the Gaylord Texan, December 13, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.


Between 2002 and 2003, the DFW Area Chapter was the fastest growing medium-sized SIM Chapter in the nation and achieved the status of large SIM chapter.  The chapter is composed of CIOs, CTOs, other high ranking IT executives, academicians from within the IS/IT profession, and recognized “thought leaders” in our profession.   For additional information about SIM membership, please, visit or contact:

Dr. Jack Becker, Information Technology and Decision Sciences (ITDS) Department, University of North Texas (UNT) and SIM PR & Communications Officer; 940-565-3113 (




Jack D. Becker

Chairperson, PR and Communications, Dallas/Ft Worth SIM Chapter

Chair, SIM DFW Chapter, IT Executive of Year Awards Program





The IT Executive of the Year Award was initiated by the DFW SIM Chapter in 1998 to recognize excellence in IT management within the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  During the first four years, recipients were recognized at a special ceremony and reception sponsored by American Show Management, Inc. at the Dallas Information Technology Exposition (ITEC) each June.  In 2002, ownership of the award was assumed by the SIM Chapter and the awards ceremony was moved to coincide with the Annual DFW SIM Chapter’s Holiday Banquet in December.  Initially only one winner per year was selected; however, starting in 2003, multiple awards were selected based upon the size of one’s IT organization.  Only one winner was chosen in 2004 for the large-firm category.*


IT Executive of the Year 2004

Large Firm Category*

Richard A. Harris, Jr., Assoc. VP for Computing and CTO, University of North Texas


IT Executive of the Year 2003

Large Firm* Category


Evelyn Follit, CIO & Sr. VP of Organizational Enabling Services, Radio Shack Corporation

Keith Morrow, CIO & VP Information Systems, 7-Eleven, Inc.


Small & Medium Firm* Category


Joe Lacik, VP of Information Services, Aviall Inc.

Steve Williams, Sr. VP & CIO, Mattress Giant Corp.



IT Executive of the Year 2002

Dave Landry, Group Vice President, Verizon Information Services


IT Executive of the Year 2001

John Bock, Community Credit Union, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer


IT Executive of the Year 2000

Earl Peck, Sr. VP Information Technology and Billing, VarTec Telecom


IT Executive of the Year 1999

Jack Dowling, CIO, Compucom Inc.


IT Executive of the Year 1998

Phil Farr, Director IT, Fina Oil & Chemical


* Large firm is defined as greater or equal to 100 IT/IS employees under nominee's supervision.