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21st annual 50 Most important African-Americans in Technology March 5, 2022 San Francisco

Derek Peterson CEO Soter technologies inc.

The Journal of Black Innovation has selected Derek Peterson, CEO of  Soter Technologies, among the 21st annual 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology as a exemplar among the 562,000  black technologists nationally. He was the 2020 Roy L. Clay Sr. Technology Pinnacle Award winner for his rapid response to the pandemic with cutting edge products.

 Soter Technologies is a rapidly growing environmental sensor and technology innovator headquartered in Ronkonkoma, New York.

As a teen, Mr. Peterson was fascinated with computers and technology and has been developing software since high school. Today, he is a high energy and focused business leader and problem solver who leverages his knowledge and technological expertise to address complex social, business and community safety challenges.

Mr. Peterson is always seeking to find solutions to complex and challenging problems. He has assembled and leads a team of engineers, software developers, researchers, scientists, technology and business and communications experts to bring a suite of innovative and critical products to market. These potentially world-changing products include SymptomSenseTM Medical Evaluation Gateway, which rapidly scans vital signs, including blood oxygen levels, body temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate. This first of its kind technology is expected to play a critical role in helping the United States and the world recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Peterson and his team have also invented of the world’s first vape and bullying detection and alert system for schools, FlySense. With over 8,000 devices deployed in schools around the world, this technology is making schools healthier and safer. The company’s products and services are making an impact in communities and schools across the nation and have even been credited with saving the lives of students who were contemplating suicide.

Mr. Peterson believes that no puzzle is impossible to solve; all he needs is the time to figure them out.

A former bullying victim as a high school student, Mr. Peterson is dedicated to creating technology to address this problem in schools. As CEO of Soter Technologies, he is devoted to the practical application of technology to improve and save lives. The “Soter” name is inspired by the ancient Greek god of safety, deliverance and preservation from harm. Using advanced sensor and software technology, the company develops and delivers innovative solutions for environmental intelligence – to make the world a safer place.

Mr. Peterson’s inventions, products and software have received awards as well as national media attention. Soter’s SymptomSense has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, MSNBC, Inside Edition, Cheddar TV and many other regional and national media outlets. His FlySense vaping detection and anti-bullying sensor has also been featured in the national and local media, including ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’sToday Show along with hundreds of other media outlets across the United States and abroad. Mr. Peterson is regularly interviewed by the media about technology, health and safety in the workplace and schools, entrepreneurship and technology.

Mr. Peterson has a proven track record in the high tech and software sector and has held senior and key roles at IPS, Symbol Technologies (a $1.6B NYSE company), and Neohapsis (bought by Cisco). In 2003, he co-founded CBD, Inc. to apply his experience to assist emerging technologies in libraries and public schools.

Mr. Peterson is also a national thought leader and expert in the field of the Internet of Things (IOT) and currently writes for TechTarget / IOT Agenda. He regularly speaks at colleges, universities and conferences across the United States on technology subjects.

Mr. Peterson has expertise working in many industries, including the accounting profession where he developed some of the country’s first tax software and the public sector where he developed the first Public Computer Management system, monitoring user access, authentication and security in libraries and universities. His solutions have been deployed on over 100,000 desktops worldwide.

Early in his career, Mr. Peterson led the development and delivery of key security products for the gamming and aviation sectors. He also created the Engineering Test and Validation department at Symbol Technologies (Motorola/Zebra). Through the creation of T & V, he re-engineered the process on how products were developed at Symbol Technologies.

When Mr. Peterson is away from developing new technologies, software products and solutions for Soter Technologies, he enjoys spending time with his family, training for Ironman Triathlons and using his high-tech skills and knowledge to customize his high- performance automobiles. Giving back to his community and supporting young people is important to Mr. Peterson. He is involved in several community groups and is the Treasure for the Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch located in Riverhead, New York. This not-for-profit includes residential programs that provide a safe haven for at-risk young people and help them restore their lives through a holistic approach that focuses on mind, body & soul.

Mr. Peterson earned a BS in Computer Science and Applied Math from Stony Brook University in New York in 1988. A lifelong resident of Long Island, he is committed to being a mentor and advisor for students. He is a sponsor of and has judged Stony Brook University’s “Wolfie Tank” competition. A spin off from the popular NBC reality TV series “Shark Tank,” Stony Brook University’s “Wolfie Tank” caters towards aspiring student entrepreneurs from the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences who have developed innovative technologies and inventions and make business presentations to a panel of esteemed judges.

The 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology began in 1998 with an exhibition at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, inspired by Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame members Roy L. Clay Sr. and the late Dr. Frank Greene.

Selectees meet in person/virtually on the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., January 15, to solve big challenges using their collective expertise and to boost opportunities for generations to follow. Throughout the year, they make direct connections with students in person and online arranged by ReUNION: Education-Arts-Heritage, the African-American children’s instructional channel. Since the first Innovation&Equity symposium, the number of African-Americans in technology jobs has grown from 400,000 to 562,000. To be part of the annual scientific proceeding with the 21st annual 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology, BlackBio100, 50 Most Important African-Americans in Infrastructure and Top Dealmakers 2021, register for in-person or online access at