Tech masters, entrepreneurs, economists and execs top this year's list of the best and brightest in the tech industry.

Karen A. Frenkel
Nov, 02, 2013

Felicia Hatcher

Co-owner, Feverish Ice Cream & Gourmet Pops

As a middle school student in Delray Beach, Florida, in the 1990's, Hatcher was the first of her friends to get a computer. Her passion fueled her to build her own website. After majoring in communications at Lynn University, she landed marketing jobs at Sony and Nintendo. Then Hatcher and husband Derick Pearson founded Feverish Ice Cream & Gourmet Pops. But they didn't forsake tech: They started Code Fever, a Saturday program to teach kids coding and familiarize parents with computers, and launched Meetup Black Tech Miami. Her favorite tech tools:

"This site makes it easy to send e-mail newsletters and grow your subscribers. If I ever run out of business cards at a conference, it stores my picture and all my info, so I just e-mail it."

"It's an all-in-one travel organizer: my hotel, flight, car rental and Priority Club Rewards are in one place!"

Tile, $19,

Attach your Tile to any item you might normally lose, like your keys, and track it using your smartphone.

Marian Croak

Senior VP, applications and services infrastructure, AT&T

This year Croak was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame. She holds 125 patents in technologies that enable us to communicate online. Her favorite tech tools:

"As a marathon runner, I use this site a lot. You can buy running shoes, try them for up to three months and return them if you don't like them."

"Order your groceries online and pick them up on the way home. Part of having work-life balance is lessening the time spent doing routine chores."

AT&T Digital Life, packages start at $40 per month,

Whether you're at home or traveling, this is the next level of home security and automation.

Kathryn Finney 

Founder, Digital Undivided and CEO, TBF Group, LLC, parent company of Simply Good Media

Last year Finney founded Digital Undivided to increase the participation of urban communities in the digital space and to give entrepreneurial women of color access to venture funding. "More than 20 percent of our 40 companies received funding," she says. "That's big since only about 1 percent of all venture capital goes to Black companies." Her favorite tech tools:

Plug in to a community of entrepreneurs growing their ventures.

"Uber is a godsend for those of us who live in areas like Harlem, where it can be difficult to hail a yellow cab."

Samsung Galaxy S4, $250 with a two-year contract,

The next generation of mobile devices shows you smarter ways to connect.

Lisa D. Cook 

Associate professor, economics and international relations, Michigan State University

As a senior economist on the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 2011 to 2012, Cook worked on the euro zone, an economic and monetary union of 17 European Union member states that adopted the euro as their sole legal tender. Her favorite tech tools:

"This is a fascinating way to provide funding for start-ups."

"Shazam helps me explore great music from many genres."

Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker, $60,

Track your steps, distance traveled and calories burned.

Valerie Taylor

Executive director, Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT

A senior associate dean of academic affairs at Texas A&M, Taylor cofounded CMD-IT in 2010, providing workshops for students getting degrees in IT. Her favorite tech tools:

"An inspirational site, it features makers of Black history."

"My children can complete homework at their grandparents' house, and save it to our home computer."

Evernote, $10 a month,

"I jot down ideas from a meeting, and it will appear on all my devices."

You May Like