Outstanding Achievement Award Recipient
Institute of Technology, April 2, 2008
Brett A. Shockley, illustrious alum of the University of Minnesota, received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (1981) and the MBA from the Carlson School of Management (2005). He began his career with ADC Communications in 1982 and in 1988 he and two partners founded Spanlink Communications. Spanlink produced automated software and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services that integrated voice and data applications. Its WebCall software was the first in the world to provide customers with the ability to connect over the internet to a customer service agent at a call center. In 2007, the company divided with the Spanlink division maintaining its focus on selling, delivering and supporting communication solutions, while the new division, called Calabrio Software, focused on software product development and distribution. Shockley has received major awards for his visionary technical contributions and leadership, such as the Tekne Leadership Award and the 2006 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Technology in the Minnesota and Dakota area. He is a true supporter of the University of Minnesota. He has hired many University alums as employees and interns and has given generously of his time and energy to the University and to its students. He is described as "always willing to reach high, to take risks, and to defy convention." He entered college without completing a high school diploma and was cited in the "Guinness Book of World Records' at age 17 for riding the world's tallest unicycle (51 feet) in the Southdale Parking lot!
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.