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Meet our XR Awards Leader of the Year Finalists


XR Today will soon debut its inaugural awards event on Thursday, with industry professionals and fans of virtual, augmented, mixed, and extended reality (VR/AR/MR/XR) solutions uniting to commemorate some of the most recognised innovators across the tech landscape.

Before the ceremony launches on Thursday, we’d like to share with you the profiles of our finalists for the XR Leader of the Year Award, which include an illustrious trio of XR professionals carefully selected as our judges’ top picks from across the immersive industry.

John Blackmon, CTO, eLearning Brothers

Blackmon currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer to ELB Learning, an American Fork, Utah-based company rebranded from eLearning Brothers, and possesses a long track record as an engineering and management expert in the virtual training and education sector.

John Blackmon, ELB Learning

Starting his role in April 2020, Blackmon’s work has secured critical eLearning opportunities for global workforces by providing bespoke training modules for clients and employers. The company has been lauded for its bespoke training solutions aimed at preparing and upskilling employees for future and ongoing work roles.

He has also served as the Chief Executive and Chief Technical Officer of Trivantis over the course of his 23-year career with the firm, as well as its senior vice president of authoring systems and senior VP.

With ELB Learning, he has helped his teams create its authoring platform Lectora and CenarioVR, a VR-based course designing platform, as well as ReviewLink course feedback tool and a massive Asset Library for real-time 3D (RT3D) content.

Mr Blackmon has also graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology with a BS in Electrical Engineering and has previously collaborated with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which designs, creates, and advises on standards across the global tech industry.

Krissa Watry, Co-founder and Chief Executive, Dynepic

Watry currently works as the Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Dynepic, a former product design firm founded in 2011. The Reno, Nevada-based firm’s DX-Platform educates and trains workforces and personnel with its immersive, scalable solution. She also serves as the Co-Founder and inventor for Dynepic Sports, where her company’s technologies train via its Spiral Strength grip tools.

A decorated military veteran, Watry additionally reached the rank of captain and chief engineer in the US Air Force (USAF) and later built and deployed space systems for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the International Space Station (ISS), and the US Department of Defense.

Whilst there, she managed 20 government staff and contract engineers to position and configure the US Space Force’s (USSF) Milstar constellation as well as upgrade and resolve issues with the satellite system, earning her 4th Space Operations Squadron (4 SOPS) best practice benchmarks.

Krissa Watry Dynepic HS

Krissa Watry, Dynepic

Watry is also an esteemed graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she earned a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering and became a Draper Laboratory Fellow to specialise in human factors engineering and product design.

She also attended the USAF Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Mechanics and received top marks in her field as a Distinguished Graduate and an accomplished National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for her sabre fencing, powerlifting, cycling, and mountain biking capabilities.

Alex Dzyuba, CEO and Founder, Lucid Reality Labs

Alex Dzyuba, Lucid Reality Labs

Alex Dzyuba heads Lucid Reality Labs, one of the world’s top tech consultancies, as its Chief Executive and Founder. The company designs and develops immersive ecosystems and experiences for the medical and EdTech industries using interactive XR technologies.

The senior executive boasts a 15-year career as a tech evangelist, investor, and innovator, and is also a member of the Forbes Technology Council, which is an exclusive, invitation-only group for senior executives across the industry.

He also co-chairs the Virtual and Augmented Reality Association’s (VRARA) Healthcare Committee and serves as the organisation’s Ukrainian Chapter President, with the VRARA currently holding over 50,000 professionals and over 4,000 organisations across the XR sector.

Dzyuba is an alumnus of the Hult International Business School, where he graduated with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) in Strategy and Finance and received high marks, and also attended the Hult Entrepreneurship, Consulting, and Finance Clubs. He also holds a Master of Arts in Leadership for Sustainability from Malmö University.



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