Countdown to the Apogee Awards: West, Howard, Charanjiva honored as CIOs

As SFBW counts down the days to the Apogee Awards celebration on Oct. 21 at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale, we’ll have biographies about the winners in each of the eight Apogee categories: chairman, CEO, president, COO, CFO, CMO, CIO and top HR executive.

Click here to register for the event, which is presented by the Octagon Family of Recruiting Companies (including its divisions of Octagon Technology Staffing and Octagon Professional Recruiting). Other sponsors include Quantified IT, Tripp Scott, BankUnited, Comcast Business and NSU Art Museum.

Here are the CIO biographies:


Broward: Tom West, Nova Southeastern University

 Tom West is Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) chief information officer and vice president for information technologies. He arrived at NSU in March 2011 to advance strategic goals with increased investments in academia technologies.


West was previously chief technology officer of Health Choice Network in Miami and chief information officer at Kaplan Higher Education, where he built an IT support team of more than 450 employees in less than five years. He also served as senior vice president of global information technology and engineering for Pfizer pharmaceutical, as vice president of global information technology for Citigroup Latin America and as senior director of IT for General Electric corporate in Asia Pacific and Latin America.


In 2014, West was named one of America’s top 100 global CIOs by IDG Enterprise. He is on the board of Florida LambdaRail, a research and education network. 


Miami-Dade: Tery Howard, Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium

 Tery Howard is in her 17th season as senior vice president and chief technology officer for the Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium. She directs technology initiatives and the strategic direction of business operations to drive consumer and fan engagement.


The Miami Dolphins was recognized by InfoWorld as a top 100 company in using technology to enhance business, by PC Magazine as a top 10 company using technology in intelligent ways to improve business, and by Computerworld as a leader in best practices in mobile and wireless.

In 2011, SportsBusiness Journal named Howard an industry game changer. She is a recipient of the Glass Ceiling Award from the Florida Diversity Council.


Howard is an advisor to eMerge Americas and on the dean’s advisory council at St. Thomas University. She spent 16 years with Carnival Cruise Lines managing shipboard technologies.


Palm Beach:  Lakshman Charanjiva, NextEra Energy

 Lakshman Charanjiva is vice president and chief information officer for NextEra Energy Inc. (NYSE: NEE), the parent of Florida Power & Light. He joined NextEra in December 2008 and is on its operating committee.

A chartered accountant with an MBA from Tulane University, Charanjiva was previously vice president and global chief information officer for the AES Corporation. He served as co-chair for the Edison Electric Institute’s CIO committee and on the advisory boards of the Palm Beach County School District, the Tulane Energy Institute, Cisco and SAP.


Charanjiva received a Top 10 Breakaway Leaders Award at the Global CIO Summit in 2011 and was one of ExecRank’s 150 Most Distinguished CIOs in 2012. He was also named to Computerworld“s Premier 100 IT Leaders list in 2013. In 2012 and 2013, NextEra was named to Computerworld“s list of 100 Best Places to Work in IT. 

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