Data – The Game Changer

At TechBridge, we believe technology is a game changer. Marva Bailer thinks so too. Today on TechBridge Talks, we speak with Splunk Strategic Advisor and TechBridge Board of Directors member Marva Bailer about TechBridge’s service evolution from designing websites for nonprofits to using data to create predictable pathways out of poverty. Marva shares her passion for TechBridge’s Workforce Development pillar and what keeps bringing her back to our organization.


What keeps me coming back to tech bridge is where they're evolving. Tech bridge has now evolved into a cloud. Provider. And that is really been game changing


So we work with nonprofits all over the country to assist with their data collection analysis and management, helping them use. To better serve their communities.

In today's episode, I've talked a long time supporter, Marva, Baylor about why she supports tech bridge, the importance of data in our work, and so much more Marva. Welcome to


So why don't we start with that story? How did you come to be involved with tech?


Uh, community events that tech bridge has is a ball. And it's a, um, and I'm from the Mallee DC area. So I never was in cotillion or debutant or anything. So this was really a big deal for me. So I had never been to a ball before, or even heard of one in a professional setting. So it was called the digital ball and I got an invitation from one of them.

Large account teams to attend the digital ball. So I was very honored because the 6,000 employees we only had, I think we had 12 tickets. So that was a pretty big deal to go. So I went to the ball. It was amazing experience. I can tell you so much more about it. And then our board member, um, got a new role where he was moving outside of the area and they had an opening.

They stand, we were at the bar and they said, Marvin, You know what it was the sea levels at the time. And then that's how I got involved with tech bridge and the board. Wow.


Uh, you were at IBM and now I know you moved on, but you're, you know, you're a busy professional, right? You've, you've done a lot of stuff. You're doing a lot of stuff. Um, and you're taking your time to also spend time supporting tech bridge. So, so tell me about that. Like why, why do you want to take time to support tech bridge?


So obviously I had had a good experience around volunteering and doing things with my family and, um, walks and car washes and all the fun hands-on, um, opportunities. But I really didn't understand nonprofits at scale. And so being part of that at IBM, I really got to understand what you can do as a collective community at scale.


So that was, you know, at the time that was the technology of the day, email and website. And believe it or not, some of these nonprofits did not even have email. So they were fielding the requests from their constituents and their clients and the grants all over the phone. They didn't even have email systems.

So at the time, email websites, websites for donors, that's what was really popular. Tech bridge has now evolved into a cloud. Provider. And that is really been game changing for these nonprofits because they don't have it departments. So to be able to put all of the giving and the grants, and then all of now with all the HIPAA regulations and PCI regulations, all that information of their clients.

Um, and a lot of them do have IP. That's very significant to their, you know, charity or nonprofit area they're trying to serve in the cloud that has been game changing. And so that's why like tech bridge, because we change. With the needs of our clients and the needs of the technology world.


I love that. So, so let's talk about technology as a game changer, which, which you mentioned earlier and you know, that. Tech Bridge's mission is to end generational poverty through the innovative use of technology. So can you talk a little bit about why you see technology as that game changer in how it affects that whole conversation?



So using data. And now I work at Splunk and that's all we do is flag data data. And that data is used obviously for security and, and other, other parts of the business. But really data has been. The game changing technology, because it's telling you where you need to spend your time and focus. Um, and, and then for me personally, um, as well as for even tech bridge, we're learning so much with data, um, around generational poverty.

on some were done as early as:

And there's so many connections. And again, using data they're able to really map out. The success of adulthood and having a job in the middle class with third grade reading. Um, so they're able to take all this data. So, so to me, having technology and that intersection of social economic is really going to help really all of us figure out we're going to, where we're going to put our collective action.

And to answer your question, Adam, our time, talent and treasure.


So, so, all right. So as you know, Techbridge works across four pillars, hunger relief, homeless support, social justice and workforce development. I know it's hard to choose if you, but if you had to choose one, tell me what your favorite one is and why


Um, I mean, it's, it's a biblical. Value. Um, and so the daily work is really important. And back to the day of there's so much data around, you know, if you have this, um, type of education or, um, $10,000 in the bank, you're going to get out of poverty. And then if you get out of poverty, it goes on and on. But it's just that whole dignity factor.

Like really, you know, what gets you up in the morning? Not what keeps you up at night, but what gets you up in the morning? What are you excited about? How can you contribute to society and this whole idea. Of not being able to work because you don't have, the access is crazy. And I've gotten to see it firsthand through it's at tech bridge.

We have a program called TCP technology career program, and there's so many other similar to this. And the great news is there's no competition because there's not enough people graduating. Just alone. Um, my personal experience, um, relevant experience is in the security cybersecurity, and the AI area cybersecurity in the us alone has over 1 million jobs been fulfilled and we're able to take the talent of.

People that are taking these classes through TCP and through the generous support of vendors and, um, all the volunteers and they're getting jobs 10 times what they were getting before, but it's not just about getting the jobs they are contributing to society. Think about it. Cybersecurity. We all need to keep our world, our country and our family safe.

So it it's a really dignified career people are entering into. Mm that's.


Some, some pretty epic digital balls and some pretty amazing things. I wonder if you'd just, is there one story or one thing that sticks out across all the digital balls you've been to that


Um, I am a huge ADT ADT. America's got talent, huge ADT fan. So. We had the quick change artists, which a lot of people didn't like, I thought it was cool because it was someone from ADT as well as the, um, illuminary same thing. I thought it was cool to me. The most memorable ones have been the comedians because.

Honestly, you know, technology is really, really hard and to be able to really connect with it technologists and actually like take a breath and have some fun. That was, um, to me where I thought it was is the most fun because people are like, ah, I got to wear a suit. I'll have to do this. But when people really understand, like, Hey, this is my role.

This is my life. And we can make a little bit of fun out of it. Um, that, that to me was the most memorable and really just seeing everyone dressed up. I know a lot of people don't like it, but I love doing it and it's, and it really is a great, great time we call it the mom prom. So it, it really, it really is worth it.

Um, and it, it makes it feel like it's something special outside of your normal realm of what you're normally doing for work. It really does make it a unique experience. Well,


Yeah. So tech bridge, if you said, what am I most proud of right now? Um, so actually we now have two generation of balers. Um, so there was a, a, a big technology event where. Accenture, who was one of the longest standing supporters of tech bridge was opening their new office. And I cannot attend as a board member or as a sponsor with Splunk and nobody from Splunk could attend or our business partners.

Cause we were all in Las Vegas for a company, all hands meeting. So instead of wasting my ticket, I said, Hmm, who can, who can go? So I asked a few friends, they couldn't go, or they already had tickets. And I was like, I'm sending my daughter. So my daughter was in grad school, um, at Emory for public health.

And I sent her and she networked and networked. And guess where she works now. Where Accenture and she is the Accenture, um, liaison with tech bridge for this TCP program, because you need all, you know, she's, she's probably better versed in how to navigate a new career and interviewing then, you know, someone like myself, who's, you know, 30 years into my career.

So yeah, but my point is, don't say no. You always want to say yes. And if you have to say no, which is okay, find somebody else to take your place, look at the next generation. So it could be a family member. It could be someone you mentor within your organization or outside your organization. And that's where the scale comes in.

So, so that, that's the advice I give to a lot of people on the left hands. They don't think about it. They're just like, sorry, Adam, just like this podcast. Sorry, Adam. I'm busy this week. Well, who else could have done it rather than you having to fill that spot? I should take that ownership and think of someone in my network and community that can help really add value.

And it really helps your political and social capital. So we all need to that. That's what, walking the walk and, and passing it on what that's, what that looks like. In practice, at least an idea. I


Thanks for joining us on the show today.


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