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Remitly CFO Krish Srinivasan won Hire of the Year at the 2016 GeekWire Awards. (GeekWire Photo)

Good talent is hard to come by in the tech world, which makes competition for the best and brightest fierce.

But when a company secures a win, it can be a game-changer. Great hires can accelerate growth, set the tone and culture of the organization and infuse it with creative new ideas.

So which company was the biggest winner this year? That’s for you to decide. Voting is officially open for Hire of the Year at the GeekWire Awards.

A judging panel sorted through dozens of community nominations to select this year’s finalists: Nohla Therapeutics CEO Kathleen Fanning; ExtraHop CEO Arif Kareem; Convoy VP of Engineering Tim Prouty; Qumulo CEO Bill Richter; and Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky. Read more about each finalist below and big thanks to Capital One for sponsoring Hire of the Year.

We’ve opened voting in several GeekWire Awards categories, and we’ll continue to do so over the next 10 days, with GeekWire readers choosing their top picks. Check back on GeekWire each day to cast your ballots, and go here to vote in previously-announced categories.

All of the winners will be revealed at the GeekWire Awards — presented by Wave Business — on May 4 at the Museum of Pop Culture. Tickets are selling fast, and we do expect to sell out, so make sure to go here to grab yours.

Kathleen Fanning, Nohla Therapeutics: Pharmaceutical vet Kathleen Fanning joined Nohla Therapeutics at an exciting time. The biotech startup, a spinout of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, raised $43.5 million in funding last year to propel development of two new drug candidates through clinical trials. Nohla is focused on developing universal donor cellular therapies for patients with blood diseases.

Nohla Therapeutics founder and Chief Medical Officer Colleen Delaney, MD (left) and CEO Kathleen Fanning. (GeekWire Photo / Clare McGrane)

Fanning brings more than 30 years of leadership experience at public and private biotech and pharmaceutical companies to Nohla.

Arif Kareem. (ExtraHop Photo)

Arif Kareem, ExtraHop: Last year, business analytics company ExtraHop brought on Arif Kareem as its new CEO and president, hoping to usher in a new wave of growth at the company. Kareem took the helm as ExtraHop was expanding into the Asia-Pacific region and grew to more than 500 enterprise customers. Under Kareem, ExtraHop launched a new product to help businesses detect security breaches and other anomalies.

Before ExtraHop, Kareem was president of Fluke Networks, where he spent six years helping the company increase revenue to more than $350 million, while increasing operating margins.

Tim Prouty speaking at the 2015 GeekWire Summit. (GeekWire Photo)

Tim Prouty, Convoy: It’s not hard to see why Convoy, often called the “Uber of trucking,” wanted to bring on the person who launched Uber’s Seattle engineering office.

Tim Prouty joined Convoy as head of engineering after growing the Uber engineering center to 150 people in 18 months. Convoy is experiencing rapid growth, as the heavily-funded startup now employs 85 and has outgrown its office spaces seven times in the past two years. Prouty is a University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering alum, who served as director of engineering at EMC’s Isilon Storage Division prior to Uber.

Bill Richter, Qumulo: Former Isilon exec and partner at Madrona Venture Group Bill Richter joined Qumulo as CEO in November, allowing his longtime friend and Qumulo co-founder Peter Godman to move into the role of CTO.

Bill Richter. (Qumulo Photo)

Qumulo is a Seattle-based cloud storage startup backed by $100 million in venture funding. When he was hired, Richter said he believed Qumulo’s solutions tap into an $8 billion market that “is just dominated by legacy vendors whose software code is 15, 20, almost 25 years old.”

Adam Selipsky, Tableau: After spending a decade growing Amazon Web Services into the cloud computing juggernaut it is today, Adam Selipsky took the helm as CEO of Tableau. When announcing the hire, outgoing CEO Christian Chabot said “it’s almost too good to be true.”

Christian Chabot, Tableau co-founder and chairman, with new Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky. (Tableau Photo / Michael Clinard)

Selipsky took over as Tableau’s chief in September. Since stepping into the role, he’s been focused on beefing ups Tableau’s cloud-based platform and making sure its programs work well with every cloud storage provider. Selipsky is a Harvard alum who spent six years at RealNetworks prior to Amazon.

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