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Morrison, Shah worthy of Idaho Tech Hall of Fame

Faisal Shah talks to Centennial High School students at his Nebula Shift office at 609 W. Main St. in 2014.
Faisal Shah talks to Centennial High School students at his Nebula Shift office at 609 W. Main St. in 2014. Idaho Statesman

When former Hewlett-Packard executives Dick Hackborn and Ray Smelek joined the Idaho Technology Council Hall of Fame as the institution’s first inductees, we at HP were delighted, proud, even humbled. But we were not surprised.

Even though the roles Hackborn and Smelek played in the growth of HP and the development of the LaserJet printer are well known, it is fair to say no one appreciates their contributions to Idaho and the world as well as their friends, colleagues and successors at HP.

Hackborn and Smelek launched a product that sold more than 200 million units (and counting) and catapulted a relatively small HP outpost in Boise into a technology hub and breeding ground for a generation of Idaho tech entrepreneurs.

And now we are in 2016, preparing to induct the late Harry Morrison and Faisal Shah in our sixth class. Harry Morrison was the trailblazing co-founder of Morrison-Knudsen, and Faisal Shah is a pioneering entrepreneur with many successful startups behind his name.

That’s the incredible thing about Idaho. This unassuming sliver of the Pacific Northwest, known so well for its potato crops, has evolved over the last half-century into a thriving technology center, home to corporate giants, global research organizations and massively successful startups. It’s a diverse, collaborative innovation ecosystem, and we’re proud to be a part of it.

We at HP are thrilled to be the signature sponsor of this year’s Hall of Fame featuring the Idaho Innovation Awards presented by Stoel Rives. Morrison — legendarily hailed as “the man who has done more than anyone else to change the face of the earth” by Time magazine in 1954 — headlines this year’s class along with Shah, co-founder of explosively successful startups MarkMonitor and First to File, and a tireless leader and advocate for the state’s entrepreneurial community.

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Boise Centre, these men will become the 11th and 12th members of the ITC Hall of Fame. They are more-than-worthy successors to the other members.

From all of us at HP to this year’s inductees and their families, we say congratulations — and thank you for your contributions to the Idaho technology community.

Jim Nottingham is vice president and general manager of HP and member of executive committee, Idaho Technology Council. This column appears in the Sept. 21,-Oct. 18 2016, edition of the Idaho Statesman’s Business Insider magazine. Click here for the Statesman’s e-edition, which includes Business Insider (subscription required).