We had fun choosing the categories for the Seattle 2.0 Startup Awards this year, keeping the most popular of the traditional categories from the annual event but also adding some new ones to the mix.

Today’s featured category, Schmoozer of the Year, is one example. The award recognizes the most effective connectors in the tech community, the movers-and-shakers who can bring people together and make big things happen based on their personal connections — in a word, the glue of the startup scene.

We’ve heard some feedback that the word “schmoozer” doesn’t have such a positive connotation for some people, but rest assured, we mean it in a good way!

Schmoozer of the Year is presented by Barokas Public Relations. Voting runs through Monday, so if you haven’t registered your choice yet, be sure to do it now. If you need help deciding, see more background on each finalist below the poll.

Shauna Causey: A fixture at Seattle technology events and the current president of Social Media Club Seattle, Causey was recently named vice president of marketing at Decide.com and honored on our 2012 Calendar for Geeks who Give Back.

Bob Crimmins: This serial entrepreneur (MoonTango) and master networker is also the organizer of Startup Poker 2.0 and Geeks on a Trail. See this guest post he wrote defending the importance of networking for startups.

Geir Hansen: This co-manager of Silicon Valley Bank’s Seattle office  gets you one degree of separation from anyone you need to know in investment and tech, and you’d remember him from … every tech and startup event in town.

Todd Hooper: This entrepreneur is the CEO of Zipline Games. He serves as a mentor for the Founder Institute, and is a prolific public speaker, memorable both for his deep industry experience and unmistakable Aussie accent.

Adam Philipp: If you haven’t already met this tech patent attorney and entrepreneur look for the guy with the  CAMbadge hanging from his neck.  This Startup Weekend-winning  app that he designed turns an iPhone into an illuminated badge that takes pictures of new acquaintances.

Tickets are available now for the awards show at EMP on May 3 — a great chance to hone your own schmoozing skills, if you’re so inclined.

Thanks to our event sponsors Waggener EdstromFilterSalad Labs AT&T Developer ProgramCooleyFresh ConsultingKnollPayScaleProtingentSilicon Valley Bank,  Splunk Startup WeekendWashington Partners, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & RosatiHeinz Marketing, Bader MartinSEOmozChristensen O’Connor Johnson KindnessBarokas, and Creativello  for their support.

Email Rebecca Lovell at rebecca@geekwire.com for available sponsorship opportunities, and learn more here

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