2016 Pace-setter Honoree: E. Kelly Fitzsimmons

The Milwaukee Independent Film Society (MIFS) established the Pace-setter Award eight years ago to bestow upon persons that are dedicated to advancing filmmaking in Wisconsin. E. Kelly Fitzsimmons is an active advocate and supporter of the local independent film community. She will receive the Pace-setter award on the opening night of the 18th Annual Milwaukee Short Film Festival.


E. Kelly Fitzsimmons is a well-known entrepreneur who has founded, led and sold several technology startups. Recently, she launched Custom Reality Services, a virtual reality production company, with Jeff Fitzsimmons and Brad Lichtenstein. She is also the co-founder of the Hypervoice Consortium, which researches the future of voice communications. Previously, she was the co-founder and CEO of HarQen. Prior to launching HarQen, she founded Sun Tzu Security (1996), an information security firm, which merged with Neohapsis (2003), where she led the combined company as CEO through 2006. Cisco acquired Neohapsis to enhance its information security offerings in 2014. In 2011, the Angel Capital Association awarded her the Silvertip PwC Entrepreneurship Award. In 2013, Speech Technology magazine honored her with the Luminary Award. She is a regular contributor to Information Week and Inc. magazine. Recently, several of her Inc. articles were published in an anthology Been There, Run That. She serves on the board of advisors for Telstra and Ericsson NA and on the board of directors of HarQen and the Executive Women’s Forum. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Rochester and holds a master’s degree from Harvard University.

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