Home News ATP 2015 Gala Celebrates Atlanta Leaders and Innovators

ATP 2015 Gala Celebrates Atlanta Leaders and Innovators

by Kristyn Back

ATP has fostered lasting relationships among industry peers throughout the city for fifteen years. Recently, they held their Annual Awards Gala, an event honoring the top innovators and leaders in the Atlanta technology and communications community. This year’s theme played off of the 1960s cartoon family, The Jetson’s. It was a fun play on the imagination of future technologies (like flying cars, talking computers, and video conferencing).

David Cummings wowed as the keynote speaker, sharing stories about his early days as the co-founder of Pardot and his latest work as the visionary behind the Atlanta Tech Village.

ATP wore their heart on their sleeve through ATP Cares, their community program supporting Georgia’s youth through STEM and Telemedicine initiatives. Dr. Bradley K. Jensen, Principal Partner with the new Microsoft Innovation Center located in the historic Flatiron Building, surprised guests when he announced an in-kind donation of Microsoft BizSpark development tools to be used by Vine City Code Crew. The donation is worth over $120,000 and will allow the program to continue inspiring kids to learn computer programming.

The highlight of the evening, of course, were the accolades. The winners of the 2015 ATP Annual Awards:

  • Startup Disruptor Award – Derek Harp, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of NexDefense, for his work as a serial entrepreneur creating products, services, and companies since 1987.
  • Technology Service Provider Award – Craig Hyde, CEO of Rigor, for propelling his company to one of the fastest growing private companies in Atlanta, which has been ranked #1 Best Place to Work in Atlanta and the #1 Top Startup in Georgia by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
  • Innovation Award – Prakash Muthukrishnan, CIO, Purchasing Power, for pioneering the leading employee purchase program in the benefits industry evolving to meet the needs of their current and future customers.
  • Leadership Award – Juan Perez. VP of Technology, UPS, for implementing an initiative that will save the company $50 Million dollars for every mile it shaves off each drivers route (per year) – and cutting emissions by 14 thousand metric tons in 2014.
  • Impact Award – Keith Parker, CEO of MARTA, for his instrumental role in creating a sound financial company, utilizing SMART technology, and creating an economic impact of over 2 billion dollars annually in GA.
  • ATP of the Year Award – Chris Penrose, Senior Vice President, Internet of Things (IoT) AT&T Mobility, for his innovation and enthusiastic leadership that added 1.4 million connected devices, including 1 million connected cars, in Q2 of 2015.

The Gala concluded with an after party featuring a band, birthday cake, and a photo booth in celebration of 2015’s winners. If you weren’t able to attend, be sure to see what you missed.

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[photo credit: ByteGraph Events]

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