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Date: February 23, 2000

Retiring VAITeC CEO Received Hyperion Award

Bob Skene, whose leadership of the Vancouver Island Advanced Technology Centre (VIATeC) helped transform Victoria's high technology sector into a
thriving, multi-million dollar industry, is the recipient of this year's Hyperion award. The award, presented as part of UVic's New Media conference, is for excellence in the development and support of new media. The presentation will be at the conference's opening reception at the Empress Hotel on Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m.

Before announcing that he will retire later this year, Skene spent 10 years as chief executive officer of VIATeC. In the past decade, he saw the organization grow to include 400 members with a $700,000 annual budget. The high technology sector on Vancouver Island is now worth about $750 million a year in company revenues.

"On Bob's retirement from VIATeC we wanted to recognize the 10 years he devoted to the society, particularly his work in growing VIATeC, and the work VIATEC has done under his leadership in supporting the advanced technology industry in Greater Victoria," says conference chair Martin Segger. "The concentration of new media firms on Vancouver Island, a sector experiencing dramatic and rapid growth, is due in no small part to Bob's diligent promotion of both the sector and this area."

Skene came to VIATeC in 1989 from High Tech Systems, a Victoria company he helped to found to do mainframe maintenance, software development and data processing for B.C. Systems Corporation. He had served as vice-president of finance and administration for five years at B.C. Systems. He first moved to Victoria in 1979 from Ottawa where he had spent 10 years with Computel Systems, three of them as executive vice-president and chief operating officer.

Trained as a chartered accountant with a bachelor of commerce degree from UBC, Skene was also active in his community. He is a past president of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, past treasurer and chairman of the operations committee for the Greater Victoria Hospital Society and a past board member of the Association for Community Living.

The second annual New Media conference is at UVic Feb. 24 and 25 at the University Centre. It is focusing on new media in the educational and training sector. Over 400 teachers and creators of new media from Canada and the United States are expected to attend. For complete conference information and on-line registration check the conference website at http:www.maltwood.uvic.ca/nmc2k/

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Media contacts:
Ed Oscapella (conference organizer) at (250) 472-1690 or (250) 361-6707 (cell phone).

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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