2015 Technology Innovation Award

Click here to view a video of our three finalists, courtesy of 

At Digital Ball® 2015, Accenture announced the winner of the 2015 TechBridge Technology Innovation Award:


Since 1960, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta (BBBSMA) has provided children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.

Proposed Project
The online CRM system developed by the national BBBS organizationdoes not meet all the needs of the Atlanta affiliate. BBBSMA wishes to augment its CRM system to reduce paper, efficiently track client data, and more easily generate reports for partners, grants and internal review. Additionally, enhancing its website, implementing an online scheduling application, and utilizing a “live chat” feature during work hours will make it easier for volunteers and parents to find information, apply for the program and get questions answered in real time.

Impact on Organization’s Efficiency and Effectiveness
Current response time to new inquiries is seven days with only 19% of those who inquire about the program coming in for an interview. Using the online scheduling application, volunteers and parents will be able to log on and select a convenient interview time increasing in-person interviews to an estimated 35%. Specific requirements for match monitoring, including regular check-ins with volunteers, children and parents, are set by the national organization. BBBSMA currently averages 85% for on-time compliance for this requirement. Eliminating the need to make multiple follow-up phone calls, live chat would allow participants to sign on during office hours and check-in with a match specialist increasing BBBSMA’s compliance to its goal of 99%.

Innovative Use of Technology
Leveraging responsive technologies, such as online scheduling and live chat, to provide real-time support to volunteers, parents and children is essential to making them feel more supported by BBBSMA. Employing a comprehensive CRM system that better manages its client and program data can propel BBBSMA toward its goal of doubling the number of children served without increasing staff or expenses.

We also congratulate our two finalists:

NWHFH-TIASince 1986 Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Metro Atlanta has been dedicated to helping eliminate substandard housing by constructing and rehabilitating houses in Cobb, Douglas and Paulding counties; advocating for fair and just housing policies; and providing training and accessible resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.

Proposed Project
Hampered by an obsolete CRM system, a taxed IT system and a desktop based office, Habitat seeks to become more responsive and more mobile. Implementing a new CRM system to efficiently manage and communicate with volunteers and donors and enable offsite homeowner application, selection and property acquisition, will make this a reality.

Impact on Organization’s Efficiency and Effectiveness
Moving to the cloud will result in Habitat saving at least $63,550/ year by eliminating the need to open and staff a satellite office. Mobile volunteer sign-up will save hours of coordinator time and improve service to volunteers by allowing them to sign-up 24/7 from anywhere and receive immediate feedback about their chosen activity. This drastically streamlined process will likely result in an additional savings of nearly $8,000 in time per year.

Innovative Use of Technology
Currently, Habitat sponsors coordinate their own volunteers. Online sign-up would allow them to manage their volunteers more efficiently—enhancing the sponsorship experience. Once all volunteer slots are filled, the event will automatically close preventing too many volunteers onsite, which is a safety hazard. Presently, no Habitat affiliates have a fully automated online registration system. Additionally, integrating online sign-up with a CRM system will enable Habitat to seamlessly add volunteers to its fundraising efforts, document volunteer hours and produce various CEM reports.


Founded in 1976, the Historic Oakland Foundation (HOF) partners with the City of Atlanta to preserve, restore, enhance, and share Oakland Cemetery with the public. Oakland is an outdoor sculpture museum with monuments recognized by the Smithsonian, an arboretum recognized by the Association of Public Gardens and Arboreta, and a certified Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary.

Proposed Project
Oakland Cemetery is consistently ranked within the top 5 Atlanta attractions by TripAdvisor.com hosting an estimated 50,000 visitors annually. To enhance the visitor’s experience, HOF envisions a comprehensive mobile app that will provide a self-guided tour, information about the cemetery including history, architectural and horticultural highlights, and notables buried there, as well as schedules and push notifications for special events and tours.

Impact on Organization’s Efficiency and Effectiveness
Providing detailed information and self-guided tours of Oakland Cemetery along with schedules of other tours and upcoming events, the app would significantly reduce the number of calls currently handled by staff. HOF estimates that this savings will allow them to reapply over 676 hours/year of labor thereby increasing attendance and revenue without increasing staff time. This is also expected to increase the number of visitors taking all types of tours by 10% in year one at no additional cost to HOF.

Innovative Use of Technology
A leader among historic cemeteries and other cultural venues, HOF seeks to build a multi-faceted experience in which visitors explore and enjoy Oakland: as a historical resource, outdoor museum, city park, arboretum, garden, and venue for events. HOF is also creating a hierarchal geodatabase to serve as a repository for historical and restoration information—including mapped locations of 70,000 interred residents, historical and significant trees/plants in the gardens, and details about restoration projects.

2015 Technology Innovation Award Judging Panel
An esteemed panel of judges from both the nonprofit and for-profit business communities will assess the candidates.

Sheryl Bunton Sheryl Bunton
AGCO Corporation
Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
Host since 2012 | TIA Judge since 2013
Greg Casagrande Greg Casagrande
Verizon Telematics Inc.
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Larry Clark
Pyramid Consulting, Inc.
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Host since 2007 | TIA Judge since 2006
Cy Fenton Cy Fenton
President, Digital Unit & CIO
Books-A-Million, Inc.
Hometown: Nashville, TN
Tom Hall Tom Hall
Senior Director Business Solutions Delivery
Genuine Parts Company
Hometown: Norfolk, VA
Kevin Hart Kevin Hart
Cox Communications
Melanee Haywood
Managing Director, Airline Operations & Corporate Services
Delta Air Lines
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Host since 2014 | TIA Judge since 2013
Trey Keisler Trey Keisler
CIO – PGS Field Services
GE Power & Water
Hometown: Columbia, SC
Barb Kunkel
Troutman Sanders, LLP
Hometown: Rochester, NY
Host since 2007 | TIA Judge since 2007
Lance Luther
Senior Executive – North America Products Technology Lead
Hometown: Kansas City, KS
TIA Judge since 2013
 Ramesh Munamarty Ramesh Munamarty
Verint Systems Inc.
Hometown: Hyderabad, India
Eric Pearson Eric Pearson
Hometown: Winter Park, FL
Host since 2014 | TIA Judge since 2014
Jim Scholefield
The Coca-Cola Company
Hometown: Asbury Park, NJ
Host since 2013 | TIA Judge since 2013
Jikin Shah Jikin Shah
SVP – IT Executive, Retail Bank and Call Centers
SunTrust Bank, Inc.
Hometown: Johns Creek, GA
Brian Sondergaard Brian Sondergaard
CIO, Financial & Risk Management Solutions
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Joe Surber
AGL Resources
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Host since 2009 | TIA Judge since 2012
Julie Untener Julie Untener
Hometown: Hamilton, OH
TIA Judge since 2014
Robert Barber 2014 Technology Innovation Award Winner
Robert Barber
Co-Founder\Co-Executive Director
Atlanta Step-Up Society