PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon's first woman governor, a groundbreaking heart surgeon, a dynamic chief executive and innovative tech startup founders are among the recipients of this year's Weatherford Awards, Oregon State University's annual celebration of entrepreneurs and innovators.

The awards will be held Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower.

Hosted by OSU's Austin Entrepreneurship Program, the event starts at 5:30 p.m. with a reception, followed by a dinner and the award presentations. Tickets are $95, available until sold out, and can be obtained at http://business.oregonstate.edu/programs/aep or by contacting Mary McKillop, 541-713-8044 or mary.mckillop@bus.oregonstate.edu.

The awards are named for OSU's Weatherford Hall, where entrepreneurship and business students can explore their innovations and new venture ideas in a unique, living-learning residence hall. Traditionally, the awards have been given to entrepreneurs and innovators later in their career. This year, for the first time, a trio of young entrepreneurs and Oregon State alumni are being honored as well. 

The recipients of the 2013 Weatherford Awards are:

  • Don Robert, an Oregon State alumnus and the chief executive officer with worldwide responsibility for global information services company Experian. Previously CEO of Experian North America, Robert started his career at US Bank, and joined Experian from The First American Corporation in 2001. From 1995 to 2001, he held positions with First American and before that served as president at Credco, Inc.
  • Gov. Barbara Roberts, a fourth-generation Oregonian and the first woman elected as governor of Oregon. In 1985 she was elected Oregon's Secretary of State and in 1991 she became governor. After her term she served as director of the State and Local Government Executive Programs at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, held a senior fellowship at the Harvard Women and Public Policy Program, and served on the Metro Council in Portland.
  • Dr. Albert Starr, co-inventor of the world's first successful artificial heart valve. Dr. Starr joined Oregon Health and Science University in 1957 and led OHSU's heart surgery program from then until 1964. In 1960, he and engineer M. Lowell Edwards invented the Starr-Edwards heart valve. He now serves as the Distinguished Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine in the School of Medicine. Last fall, he was appointed to co-lead the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Center.
  • Alex Polvi, Dan Di Spaltro, Logan Welliver, the trio of Oregon State alumni who co-founded Cloudkick. The group was part of the 2009 Y Combinator startup incubator, which provided the support needed to launch Cloudkick. The company, which provides cloud server monitoring and management tools, was acquired by Rackspace Hosting in December 2010.

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Jenn Casey, 541-737-0695