2014 Technology Innovation Award

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

At Digital Ball® 2014, Accenture announced the winner of the 2014 TechBridge Technology Innovation Award:

Atlanta Step-Up Society logo

Founded in 1994 by an Army veteran who was once a homeless and hopeless addict, the Atlanta Step-Up Society (ASUS) serves as an emergency shelter and employment program for homeless veterans and men as they rebuild their lives and recover from their addictions. ASUS provides three primary services – substance abuse recovery, work therapy, and independent living skills training.

Proposed Project
ASUS solicits donations from previous donors and manually routes trucks and drivers to pick up the donations. ASUS is in desperate need of a centralized database to track and schedule telemarketing solicitations, manage its donor relationships, and provide logistical support allowing fewer staff and more volunteer resources to handle its day-to-day operations. ASUS also seeks tablets to give its drivers access to real-time route information.

Impact on Organization’s Efficiency and Effectiveness
Streamlining the solicitation and retrieval process will transform ASUS’ current manual, paper-based processes. Operational efficiencies will be gained requiring fewer staff members to effectively manage its donor base reducing the chances of alienating and losing long-term donors. Drivers will notify donors of accurate pick-up times and change routes as needed to more efficiently secure donations in a safe and timely manner. ASUS estimates it will save $40,000 annually in labor and fuel costs which will be redirected to services for 228 clients annually with the potential to double this number.

Innovative Use of Technology
Moving from a paper-based system to a centralized database and on-line route mapping system will allow ASUS to better manage its resources and provide better donor services. Better services will increase its donor base enabling ASUS to generate more funding from its thrift store to increase its capacity. As an added benefit, ASUS clients who are participating in a work therapy program will gain marketable computer skills operating the new software and hardware.

We also congratulate our two finalists:


Founded in 2000, HealthMPowers promotes healthy eating and physical activity in schools using evidence-based CDC guidelines.  HealthMPowers provides in-school services and training to foster healthy behaviors and environments by empowering students, school staff and families to improve health and academic achievement.

Proposed Project
Seeking to double the number of trainings offered, HealthMPowers needs expertise to expand its  distance learning program with online video streaming technologies and services, web training and technical support, and online collaboration tools to reach more schools  in real-time. . To better manage school information and data, HealthMPowers also desires an online needs assessment and data dashboard.

Impact on Organization’s Efficiency and Effectiveness
By providing online training options, travel to schools would be reduced by up to 50% (cost savings of $22,000/year) and save educators approximately 280 hours annually. Last year, HealthMPowers reached 46,210 students and teachers. An online platform will allow it to reach more schools virtually at a lowered cost, providing access to resources and training for teachers across the state and country including as many as 780,000 elementary students in Georgia alone.

Innovative Use of Technology
The project would take the successful elements of the program—school assessment, training and curriculum—and allow HealthMPowers to provide more of what its constituents want at a lower cost to a wider audience. Using existing training content, resources and data collection tools, HealthMPowers can use additional technology platforms and technical support to maximize program impact. Schools will benefit by having access to a wider variety of trainings and resources for the full duration of the 3-year program. Schools that are not eligible for the full program will also be able to easily access individual resources.
Piedmont Park logo

The Piedmont Park Conservancy was founded in 1989 to enhance and preserve Piedmont Park as a vital urban green space and as a cultural and recreational resource that enhances the quality of life for  Atlantans. The Conservancy hosts 85% of all City of Atlanta permitted events and performs 90% of the daily maintenance of the 200+ acres of park, in spite of receiving no event proceeds.  

Proposed Project
To successfully reach more of the 3.5 million visitors to Piedmont Park each year, the Conservancy would like to create a mobile application to help it communicate with Park users where they are. The communications would include updates on field conditions for leagues and athletes, new offerings at the weekly Green Market, pool closures, and requests for contributions to support the Conservancy’s programs.

Impact on Organization’s Efficiency and Effectiveness
Implementing this project would substantially upgrade and improve the Conservancy’s communications abilities. Very few visitors enter the Park without a mobile device. It is also expected to improve its fundraising capacity by reducing dependence on expensive direct mailings, providing an easy option to support the organization by becoming a member, or signing up for a volunteer project.

Innovative Use of Technology
The Conservancy exists to continuously improve Piedmont Park and to provide a unique visitor experience. This project would enable it to do that in an innovative way for nearly every person who visits Piedmont Park. It would also provide a vehicle to increase revenue through app-specific sponsorship sales, membership sales, and donations to the Conservancy, all without negatively impacting the on-site experience in the Park.

2014 Technology Innovation Award Judging Panel

An esteemed panel of judges from both the nonprofit and for-profit business communities assessed the candidates.

Dave Barnes Dave Barnes
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Co-Chair 2010-11 | Host since 2007 | TIA Judge since 2006
Ed Byrd Ed Byrd
IT & Telephony Engineer
Center for the Visually Impaired (2013 TIA Winner)
Hometown: Miami, FL
Anil Cheriyan
SunTrust Bank, Inc.
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
TIA Judge since 2013
Kenneth Coleman Kenneth Coleman
Southern Company
Hometown: Jersey City, NJ
Host since 2012
Larry Clark
Former CIO
PSA Healthcare
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Host since 2007 | TIA Judge since 2006
Dave Deckebach
VP, Manufacturing Information Technology
Hometown: Port Angeles, WA
TIA Judge since 2012
Sheryl Fikse Bunton
AGCO Corporation
Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
Host since 2012 | TIA Judge since 2012
Melanee Haywood
Managing Director, Airline Operations and Corporate Services
Delta Airlines
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
TIA Judge since 2013
Bob Hesskamp
SVP, CNN Broadcast Engineering & Systems Technology
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Host since 2011 | TIA Judge since 2011
Karen Kreider
CIO, U.S. Automotive Parts Group
Genuine Parts Company
Hometown: Reading, PA
Host since 2013 | TIA Judge since 2013
Stan Kubis Stan Kubis
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Hometown: New Hyde Park, NY
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
 Scott McGlaun Scott McGlaun
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama
Hometown: Columbus, GA
Host in 2006
Eric Pearson Eric Pearson
Hometown: Winter Park, FL
Jim Scholefield
The Coca-Cola Company
Hometown: Asbury Park, NJ
TIA Judge since 2013
Joe Surber
AGL Resources
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Host since 2009 | TIA Judge since 2012
2013 VanCuren web Bill VanCuren
NCR Corporation 
Hometown: Laurelville, OH
Host since 2010 | TIA Judge since 2010
Gene Viscelli
King & Spalding, LLP
Hometown: Hasbrouck Heights, NJ
Host since 2012 | TIA Judge since 2011


2014 Technology Innovation Award Nominees

Alliance for Freedom, Restoration, and Justice, Inc.
Arts Clayton, Inc.
Atlanta Bicycle Coalition
Atlanta Police Foundation
Atlanta Step-Up Society
Atlanta Victim Assistance, Inc
Autism Speaks
Caminar Latino, Inc.
Center Helping Obesity in Children End Successfully, Inc.
CETPA (Clinic for Education, Treatment and Prevention of Addiction, Inc.)
CHRIS Kids, Inc.
Creative Enterprises, Inc.
Dress for Success Atlanta
Every Woman Works, Inc.
Family Advancement Ministries
Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance
Georgia Shakespeare
Hapeville Charter Schools
Heritage Sandy Springs
Literacy Action
Mary Hall Freedom House, Inc.
Mentor Me – North Georgia, Inc.
Meridian Educational Resource Group, Inc. dba Whitefoord, Inc.
Mother Dillard’s Village of Hope, Inc.
Multi-Agency Alliance for Children, Inc.
Piedmont Park Conservancy
Project Open Hand/Atlanta, Inc.
Rainbow Village, Inc.
Resources for Residents and Communities of Georgia
Second Chance International Ministries, Inc.
Senior Connections
Sheltering Grace Ministry
St. Jude’s Recovery Center, Inc.
TAG Education Collaborative
Tapestri, Inc.
The Place of Forsyth County, Inc.
Urban League of Greater Atlanta
VOX Teen Communications
Woman at the Well Transition Center
WRFG Radio Free Georgia