TechBridge’s Nonprofit Innovation Summit was co-created with thought leaders in the nonprofit sector who are utilizing data and current technologies to make an even bigger difference in their communities. This half-day program informed how executive directors and program coordinators have tapped into data and technology to advance their charitable missions, rethink case management, improve service delivery and validate their outcomes to foundations and other funders. It was a great opportunity to hear ideas and “lessons learned” directly from your colleagues that are transferrable to your own nonprofit environment.






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Data Management Panelists
Executive Director, Gideon’s Promise

Ilham Askia is the co-founder of Gideon’s Promise, an organization with a mission to transform the criminal justice system by building a movement of public defenders who provide equal justice for marginalized communities.

Ilham was 5 years old when her father, a reformed criminal and devout Muslim, was arrested on an armed robbery warrant. He was convicted and served 10 years in prison. Her father was served by a public defender. And whether it was due to lack of training or overwhelming case load, the public defender did not provide the court details of Askia’s father’s character change – important information that could have led to community service instead of jail time. This is why Askia helped found Gideon’s Promise.


VP of Strategy and Institutional Effectiveness, Morehouse School of Medicine

David Hefner, Ed.D., is an award-winning journalist, communications expert and university administrator with close to 20 years of experience in higher education. His area of research expertise is higher education leadership with an emphasis on organizational structure and culture change.

He assumed the position of chief of staff and vice president of strategic planning at Morehouse School of Medicine in June 2014. In November 2016, MSM launched the Office of Strategy and Institutional Effectiveness, and Dr. Hefner was named vice president.


Deputy Director, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation

Michael became AVLF’s Deputy Director in January 2014. Previously, he served as the Director of Housing and Consumer Programs, managing a variety of programs that provide legal representation to low-income individuals. He litigated in the areas of landlord-tenant law, unpaid wages, debt-defense, and debt collection.

Michael came to AVLF after working as a staff attorney for the Georgia Legal Services Program, representing low-income Georgians in a variety of civil matters. Prior to coming to Georgia, Michael was a fellow at Public Justice, P.C., a national public interest law firm in Washington, D.C.

Performance Measurement Panelists
CEO, Future Foundation

A thought leader and status-quo disruptor, Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim transformed her life and uplifted her community — now she’s using what she learned to alleviate poverty and change the world using the Future Foundation’s program as a laboratory for innovation. The CEO of the Future Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower Atlanta’s youth, Qaadirah is also a former U.S. Air Force Reservist and a Georgia Education Policy Fellow who has been named one of America’s Leaders of Change by the Urban Fellows Program.


Giving Leader, Chick-fil-A Foundation

Gloria Cox is the Giving Leader for the Chick-fil-A Foundation. During her time with the Foundation, she has been responsible for cultivating meaningful partnerships and developing engaging programs that bring to life the mission of the Chick-fil-A Foundation – “to help children become all they can be.”

Gloria’s work has resulted in feeding over 1,000,000 children in communities across the country; teaching financial literacy to over 300,000 youth annually; and introducing over 2,000 urban youth to college campuses for the first time. In addition, she has the privilege of leading Chick-fil-A’s Team Member Scholarship Program which provided $15.34M in scholarships during 2019 alone.


President, Georgia-Pacific Foundation

As president of the Georgia-Pacific Foundation since 1994, Curley Dossman leads the Foundation’s charitable giving program which focuses on four areas: education, environment, enrichment and entrepreneurship. He also oversees GP’s community affairs efforts including headquarters, local government affairs and national disaster relief efforts. In addition to his work with GP, he is involved with many non-profit organizations, including the Atlanta Committee for Progress, Community and Government Affairs Advisory Council, Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, Atlanta Rotary Club, Savannah State University Board of Governors, Metro Atlanta YMCA, High Museum of Art and Atlanta Beltline Partnership Development Committee. YMCA, High Museum of Art and Atlanta Beltline Partnership Development Committee.


Fund Advisor for Atlanta

Tené Traylor joined the Kendeda Fund as a Fund Advisor in March 2016 and oversees the Atlanta program. Prior to joining the Fund, Tené was a senior program officer at the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. For ten years, she led their community development and neighborhood transformation grant making, including the Neighborhood Fund. Tené launched several programs and initiatives for the Community Foundation, helping identify, develop and steward collaborative relationships and resources to amplify the importance of place-based philanthropy, equity and civic leadership.

Collective Action Panelists
Director, Youth Development at United Way of Greater Atlanta

Michele has over 10 years of experience in Youth Development. She leads the Metro Atlanta Opportunity Youth Initiative at United Way of Greater Atlanta which focuses on re-connecting youth and young adults to education and employment pathways.

A native of Atlanta, Michele has served in several roles at United Way including supporting Community Engagement initiatives, building the capacity of grantee agencies and aligning strategic partnerships and investments to improve outcomes for youth and young adults in metro Atlanta.


Chief Operating Officer, CHRIS 180

Cindy has more than 35 years of experience working in Georgia’s social welfare, youth homelessness, and mental health systems. As COO of CHRIS 180, Cindy has developed several new programs including the TransitionZ program at Summit Trail, a 44-unit supportive housing apartment complex for homeless and transition-age youth with a mental health diagnosis; the Drop-In Center for homeless youth and young adults; the Voices Against Violence curriculum; a trauma-informed care training model (Trauma STARs); an LGBTQ training program; and a trauma informed adoption services model for special needs youth in foster care.


VP of Career Services, Goodwill of North Georgia

Jenny Taylor is a sought after public speaker on the topics of successful large-scale public/private partnerships, employer engagement, and employment outcomes for people with significant barriers. She is Vice President of Career Services at the third largest Goodwill in the nation, leading evidence-based programs with outcomes in the top 10% of the industry, as measured by the National Benchmarking Project. Her agency has a $165 million dollar budget and operates programs that placed 24,900 people in competitive employment last year.


Executive Director, Learn4Life

Ken is the Executive Director of Learn4Life, a nonprofit with the mission to harness the collective impact of metro area business, philanthropy and nonprofit partners to support public schools and common education goals across the Atlanta region. Previously Ken served in several roles at Fulton County Schools including Superintendent and Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer. Ken arrived from Los Angeles where he served as the Chief Operations Officer for Green Dot Public Schools. Green Dot Public Schools is an award winning charter management organization serving over 10,000 students in Los Angeles and New York. He was also a White House Fellow and served as a senior policy consultant to the US Secretary of Education.

Speakers and Moderators
President and CEO, Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RCIE).

Committed to living by his personal motto, “Build As We Climb”, change agent, thought leader, entrepreneur and emerging philanthropist, James M. Bailey has dedicated his life to serving others. James was recently named President and CEO of the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RCIE). Honoring the great legacy and visionary business leadership of Herman J. Russell, Sr., he will lead the development of the largest center in America, driven by impact, dedicated to empowering African American entrepreneurs and small business owners; over 50,000 square feet designed to inspire ideas, create jobs, grow companies, and increase wealth in the community.


Performance Measurement Group Leader, TechBridge

Karen Cramer is the Director of Performance Measurement at TechBridge. The Performance Measurement team helps organizations define and implement their data strategy in order to better realize their missions and goals. Karen leads TechBridge’s collective action consulting and is passionate about data sharing and building data collaboratives across the broader non-profit community that allow for the better coordination of services and the matching of service demand and capacity. Among her recent accomplishments, Karen co-founded the non-profit Helping Mamas, a baby supplies bank in the metro area and winner of United Way Atlanta’s 2015 Spark Prize.


Technology Career Program Director, TechBridge

In 2016, Dickens became the Georgia Community Leader for TechBridge. Andre is charged with building relationships, appropriating resources for Georgia, and pushing TechBridge’s mission to ultimately reduce poverty through technology solutions across Georgia. To that end, he and former CEO James Franklin created the Technology Career Program to provide free training to underserved populations on high-demand technology skills and match them with employment opportunities at a livable wage. Dickens currently serves as the director of the Technology Career Program.


Strategy Group Leader, TechBridge

Jennifer Higgins leads the Strategy Group and is responsible for all consulting engagements—including IT assessments, planning roadmaps, and process optimization. Jennifer had a wide variety of roles in her first stint at TechBridge from 2002-2007. Having been back since May of 2012, her focus has been to help nonprofits use technology to alleviate the causes of poverty.

Jennifer’s previous experience includes consulting in the financial services industry for Accenture and owning her own business.



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