Finalists Announced – 2018 SWAE Leadership Award

PHOENIX, AZ (December 14, 2017) – The Southwest Alliance for Excellence (SWAE) is proud to announce the 3 finalists for the 2018 Leadership Award: Laura Fucci, City of Henderson, NV, Amanda Goodson, Raytheon, Tucson, AZ and Kimothy Taylor, IPRO Tech, LLC, Tempe, AZ.

The finalists were selected by a committee of individuals with a high level of experience in organizational excellence and understanding of the SWAE core values. The SWAE Leadership Award recognizes an individual who exemplifies outstanding leadership in the pursuit of performance excellence and has furthered performance improvement beyond the boundaries of their organization.

Laura Fucci has worked in the City of Henderson, NV since 2012 and serves as the city’s Chief Information Officer. Since her first day on the job, Laura has been an active proponent of transparency in government. She’s supported multiple projects designed to provide increased transparency to city employees, citizens and other stakeholders, such as the Open Data project, which facilitated the publishing of high-value city data sets for internal and public consumption. Laura is strongly committed to excellence and continuous improvement. For several years, Laura has opened the IT department up to examination by participating in Gartner’s IT organization benchmarking program. This results in data she analyses to help turn improvement opportunities into strengths. For example, utilizing this data, she was able to garner executive support for additional funding for the cybersecurity program over a 10-year horizon. She has elevated security to IT’s #1 priority. She has formally tied security to performance evaluations for IT management in pursuit of the strategic security objectives she has set. At the executive level, Laura proactively provides leadership and ensures IT remains aligned with the city’s mission, vision, and values. Laura also collaborates with other local and state government agencies. For example, she helped pave the way for Microsoft solutions compliance with FBI Criminal Justice Information Services for multiple agencies in Nevada. Laura is the founder of the local chapter of Women in Technology, Inc. and is a member and past president of the Metropolitan Information Exchange through which she shares insights and expertise with other CIOs around the country. She is involved in local ITWorks training programs and sits on both the Nevada Digital Government Summit and the UNLV School of Computer Science Advisory Boards.

Amanda Goodson is the Senior Manager, Program Management Excellence, Accelerating Talent Office for Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, AZ. Amanda currently serves as the Senior Manager for Project and Program Leadership Development and is responsible to lead and support the growth of program leadership for emerging business. Amanda has a commitment to excellence and making a difference in the lives of people and industry in all areas of involvement, and a hallmark of her leadership is evidenced by her desire for coaching others and directing them in areas of self-improvement. She leads in-boarding efforts to develop internal employees in becoming program leaders that include the development of business acumen, business financials, emotional intelligence, situational leadership and program management strategies. Amanda is committed to diversity and has a passion to attract, place and retain top talent within Raytheon which is significant to global growth and stakeholder vision. Prior to her fourteen years with Raytheon, Amanda served as the Director of the Safety and Mission Assurance Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center at NASA. She was accountable to NASA Headquarters as an independent voice and served as the Alternate Dispute Resolution Executive for the Marshall Space Flight Center’s employees and leaders. Amanda currently serves as the Vice Chair for (AMIE), Advancing Minorities Interest in Engineering. She also participates with (HBCU), Historically Black Colleges and Universities engineering schools, of which she is a product of in Alabama. Amanda is highly involved in community service as a senior leader in her church and has led efforts that have impacted many lives within the community. Amanda has hosted and sponsored workshops for youth and women to learn leadership skills and how to live clean and productive lives.

Kimothy Taylor is CEO & President of IPRO Tech, LLC in Tempe, AZ. He is an advocate, champion, and voice for innovation within the eDiscovery space. Kim has maximized the value of technology in support of the legal profession through his unique approach to eDiscovery which provides the legal community with viable options to reduce their total legal technology spend. He co-founded a national litigation support company, Lex Solutio in 1995 which he sold to Encore in 2003 with revenue over $23M. He joined Encore and helped develop the company into one of the top providers of electronic discovery resulting in the sale of the business for $100M. Overall, he has created over $230M of owner equity in the eDiscovery industry. After 23 years in litigation services, Kim entered the software side as the CEO of IPRO Tech. He played an instrumental part in the creation of the industry’s first, fully automated workflow platform utilizing a patent-pending data streaming technology, bringing his vision of simple, affordable and automated eDiscovery to fruition. Kim and IPRO invest in our legal community by giving time and money to support industry associations, donating software to educational entities, mentoring students from local colleges and hosting industry-related events.

The recipient of the 2018 SWAE Leadership Award will be announced at the annual SWAE Performance Excellence Program Award Banquet on February 6, 2018, at the Dragon Ridge Country Club in Henderson, NV. For more information visit

Established in 1990, The Southwest Alliance for Excellence is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that advances improvement and excellence in organizations, communities and individuals throughout Arizona, Nevada, and Utah by using the Baldrige Framework.