Since being sworn in January, state Rep. Mike Dudgeon has not gone far without a laptop and a smart phone.
The Republican from south Forsyth, who represents District 24, reads bills on the computer instead of printing them out and works to respond to e-mails within 24 hours.
It’s not just his technology savvy that earned him the title of Technology Legislator of the Year from the Technology Association of Georgia.
Dudgeon and District 52 state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, are "two of the strongest supporters of the technology industry at the Capitol," said Tino Mantella, president and CEO of the association.
"They understand the important issues that impact technology firms and work tirelessly to see that Georgia is not only open for business, but open for innovation,"Mantella said.
"[Dudgeon’s] pro-business, pro-technology attitude, coupled with his knowledge of our education system, will continue to allow him to make Georgia a better place to start and grow a business."
Dudgeon, a Georgia Tech graduate who previously served on the Forsyth County Board of Education, has been in the technology business his whole career.
He helped build Radiant Systems and founded Tier One, an engineering consulting business in Forsyth.
In addition, he co-founded Qualia Labs, which performs research into new computer architectures and artificial intelligence.
He currently works as director of research for video game company Hi-Rez Studios.
"I have a fairly unique background in the legislature by being an engineer and by being someone who has a true high-tech background," Dudgeon said. "I very quickly became recognized as somebody who is very in tune with the tech community."
Dudgeon said he was honored and flattered by the award. He also plans to continue his involvement in technology, beginning with an upcoming state panel.
"There’s going to be a study committee involved with doing a strategic plan for bringing technology in Georgia," he said. "I’m going to be participating and that may have recommendations about legislation to make Georgia the most attractive area possible for high-tech companies."
Dudgeon was presented with his award Tuesday at GE Energy.