Rendell talks tech, national politics at NPower community service awards fundraiser - Technical.ly Philly

Nov. 8, 2011 1:11 pm

Rendell talks tech, national politics at NPower community service awards fundraiser

On Friday, two technology leaders were recognized for their commitment to the local community and for their commitment as board members of nonprofit information technology service provider NPower. Marty Judge, who founded the Judge Group — growing the recruitment company from a $2,000 investment in 1970 to more than 4,500 employees — was awarded the […]

On Friday, two technology leaders were recognized for their commitment to the local community and for their commitment as board members of nonprofit information technology service provider NPower.

Marty Judge, who founded the Judge Group — growing the recruitment company from a $2,000 investment in 1970 to more than 4,500 employees — was awarded the Community Impact Award. Accenture‘s Nicole Tranchitella, who leads the company’s global corporate finance practice, received the group’s Founder’s Award.

The two were awarded at an NPower luncheon, which was keynoted by former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and attended by more than 400 technology executives who gathered at the Crystal Tea Room in the Wanamaker building in Center City. The event was intended to raise funds for the nonprofit. [Full Disclosure: Technically Philly was invited to attend the event by a member of Npower’s board of directors.]

At at least one table before the event, attendees exchanged stories of growing up in Philadelphia and caught up with one another before Npower executive director Patrick Callahan opened the award ceremony with a number of comments about the organization’s commitment to providing information technology services to nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity, and about its ITWorks program, which helps connect disadvantaged youth with IT internships and training. We covered ITWorks in February 2010.

Rendell then took the stage for a speech focused on technology, economic policy and the political rifts currently facing the country.

You picked the wrong guy to talk tech,” Rendell said to the crowd, made up of companies like SAP, Judge Group, Accenture, Cigna, HP, Brandywine Realty Trust, NetApp, and dozens of others, many which sponsored the event.

He asked the crowd to consider “exhibit one,” while he held up a basic flip phone, to the crowd’s delight.

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Sans-smartphone, Rendell pointed to several efforts he led to improve technology in Pennsylvania schools and to improve interaction between corporations and Philadelphia’s nonprofit community. He highlighted the state’s $220 million Classrooms for the Future initiative, which brought laptops to at least 500 school district high schools. He also referenced his mayoral administration’s Philadelphia Plan, which provided tax credits for companies working with nonprofits.

The former Governor mentioned one of the difficulties that NPower faces as an organization that helps the nonprofit community. “Npower has trouble raising money because technology doesn’t pull at people’s heart strings,” he said.

Rendell switched gears to the present day’s political issues. “The country is going to hell in a handbasket,” he said. Referring to the Supercommittee that is deciding the fate of the U.S.’s long-term deficit reduction, he told the crowd that leaders across the globe will be watching to see if America still has the courage to do something radical to make a plan.

He encouraged the audience to write to Congress to support nonpartisan cooperation in the Supercommittee.

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