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September 18, 2020 | Matt Pacheco

Celebrating the 2020 BraveIT Award Winner

Each year, TierPoint’s BraveIT conference recognizes industry leaders who exemplify the unique blend of leadership, innovation, commitment, and courage required to succeed in today’s challenging environment. Winners for the BraveIT Awards are chosen based on online voting, promoted via social media and email. The award winner receives a trophy and $10,000 donation to her selected charity.

2020 BraveIT Winner: Shannon Orr of Avant and A Silver Lining Foundation

We’re pleased to recognize Avant National Channel Manager Shannon Orr as our 2020 BraveIT Award winner.

Over the last year, Shannon helped raise over $100,000 for various charities across 30 different organizations, collected and distributed over 100 survivor supply bags of goods to the homeless community in Chicago, personally sewed over 100 face masks for local hospital staff, and helped raise $13k+ for Fisher House Foundation, an organization supporting the families of injured soldiers.

Through Avant’s Inclusion and Diversity committee, Shannon teamed up with Xposure, a channel-focused organization, to help launch a new national strategy to educate, promote, and recruit diverse candidates to the IT channel industry. Shannon is also the Co-Captain of Alliance of Channel Women Chicago Chapter. Last year, she helped grow the chapter from 3 to 75 members and held 15 events supporting women with mentor programs.

Shannon’s own mentor, Dr. Sandy Goldberg, is the founder of A Silver Lining Foundation, and she was the inspiration behind Shannon’s focus on giving back. A Silver Lining Foundation was founded in 2002 after Dr. Sandy’s own journey with breast cancer. The organization provides cost-free breast health testing and fully funded treatments to women who need financial help.

Highlighting our other 2020 BraveIT award nominees

2020 was a year filled with examples of bravery and commitment. In addition to our award winner, we’d like to recognize and thank these other nominees for their contributions:

Jill Binder, Diverse in Tech – When Jill was asked to co-organize a tech conference in 2013, she recognized the need to represent a more diverse audience from the stage. Since then, her workshop program, Diverse in Tech, has helped more than 350 people from underrepresented groups in 35 countries find their voice and gather the courage to speak at conferences around the world. Watch this video to learn more about Diverse in Tech.

Bob Schukai, Downtown T-Rex – Bob Schukai leverages his reach as a tech blogger to support organizations like Downtown T-Rex, a tech start-up incubator in St Louis, and Apps for Good, a non-profit which teaches children 10-18 to become entrepreneurs.

Sam Staley, The Harbor Entrepreneur Center – Sam Staley is the founder of Event.Gives, an event management platform that helps non-profits raise funds. In his “free time,” Sam also is a mentor at The Harbor Entrepreneur Center in Charleston, SC, where he helps guide and grow other start-ups in the region.

Our previous 2018 and 2019 BraveIT Award Winners

A technology-driven world will always require strong leaders who are a force for good. Our winners from 2018 and 2019 set an excellent example.

2019: Uriel Ash, SVP of engineering and infrastructure for Cross River Bank

Uriel helps charities in his area implement or improve their IT infrastructure. The non-profits that have benefited from his help include a soup kitchen; a thrift store dedicated to providing affordable appliances, furniture, and clothing to financially-strapped individuals and families; and a volunteer ambulance service that provides low-cost and free emergency services to the community. Read more about the 2019 BraveIT Award winner.

2018: Joe Wilkinson, Code the Block

Joe leads Code the Block, which teaches coding to inner-city high school students in the Kansas City area. Started as an after-school program, Code the Block has expanded its services to include several summer camps and multiple courses: introduction to software engineering, web development, and app development. Learn more about the 2018 BraveIT Award winner.

We hope to see you next year at BraveIT 2021

This year, we held our first-ever, 100% virtual BraveIT conference. We hope to be back to a live, in-person event next year. And whatever the coming year holds, we look forward to recognizing the stories of the many IT leaders who continue to inspire us with their dedication and passion. Learn more about BraveIT.

BraveIT 2020 | Now Available On Demand

Did you miss BraveIT 2020? Watch the entire conference on-demand.

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