College of Computing Inducts Three Alumni to Honor Academy

The College of Computing is pleased to announce this year’s inductees to the College of Computing Honor Academy. The Honor Academy recognizes Michigan Tech graduates who have distinguished themselves in their professions and others who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of the College of Computing and its programs. This year’s inductees are Kanwal Rekhi ’69, Randy Berry ’82, and John Furton ’87.

The inductees were announced October 4, 2023, at the opening event of this year’s Showcase[AI] presented by the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) and the College of Computing.

Kanwal Rekhi

Master of Science, Electrical Engineering, 1969, Honorary PhDs in Engineering and Business

Kanwal Rekhi is a visionary who works to forward entrepreneurial skills and educational opportunities at Michigan Technological University and around the world. He completed an MS in Electrical Engineering at Michigan Tech in 1969. He was inducted into the College of Computing Honor Academy on October 4, 2023.

Rekhi was the first Silicon Valley Indo-American founder and CEO to take a venture-backed company public on the NASDAQ. He then became a high-profile super-angel while co-founding and leading TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) into the largest global mentoring network for Indian entrepreneurs. Subsequently, he was a founding managing director at Inventus Capital. He has served on dozens of corporate boards. Rekhi earned a BSEE from IIT-Bombay.

He also founded the Kanwal Rekhi School of Information Technology at IIT-Bombay and the Kanwal and Ann Rekhi Hall at Michigan Tech, which houses the College of Computing. He has served on many nonprofit boards and is currently a board member of the RAND Corp Center for Asia Pacific Policy.

Rekhi is a tireless supporter and benefactor to Michigan Tech, developing and funding a number of initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation among Michigan Tech students and alumni. He received the Melvin Calvin Medal of Distinction, Michigan Tech’s highest honor, in 2020. Also at MTU, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Board of Control Silver Medal, honorary doctorates in Business and Engineering, and was inducted into the Electrical Engineering Academy

Randy Berry

Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, 1982

Randy Berry completed a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at Michigan Technological University in 1982. He is a member of the College of Computing External Advisory Board. He was inducted into the College of Computing Honor Academy on October 4, 2023.

Berry is an energy industry professional with more than 30 years of experience in the design, delivery, and support of operations technology (OT) solutions around the world. His experience includes electricity T&D, electricity markets, oil and gas, and water systems solutions. He has also participated in federal and state policy and regulatory activities while serving on multiple industry boards.

In 2021, Berry retired from Open Systems International Inc., where he was vice president of utilities. Today, he runs his firm, RWB Consulting LLC.

John Furton

Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, 1987

John Furton graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. After working for Kraft Foods, he co-founded Peapod, an online grocery shopping service and one of the nation’s first Internet companies. He was inducted into the College of Computing Honor Academy on October 4, 2023.

Furton then ran Sourcelight Technologies, a predictive analytics start-up building recommendation engines for entertainment retailers in the movie, music, and gaming industries. In 2003, John joined the leadership team of Family Video, helping to grow the company to nearly 1,000 stores, leading the company’s expansion into the telecom and Cable TV industry, and launching new online and offline retail brands.

Furton currently serves as chief operating officer for Sifter, a venture-backed company that licenses its Food as Medicine platform to the healthcare and retail grocery industry. He is a member of SLC Angels and is an active investor and advisor to several early-stage technology firms.

Furton is a member of the External Advisory Boards for the Department of Computer Science and the College of Sciences and Arts. In 1999, he was honored as the university’s Outstanding Young Alumnus. He was inducted into the College of Sciences and Arts Academy in 2006.