Connected Tennessee Hosted First Ever State Broadband Summit

Summit Focused On Use In Public, Private Sectors, Broadband Heroes Honored

Friday, March 1, 2013

Leaders from across Tennessee assembled in downtown Nashville Wednesday to share and learn about broadband best practices, discuss strategies to address remaining barriers to broadband access, adoption, and use, and to network with other leaders working to bridge the digital divide.  

The Summit brought more than 150 attendees to the Nashville Public Library on Church Street for a day-long event with informative sessions, special presentations, and Metro Nashville Public Schools announcing a spring summit dedicated to technology in education, in partnership with Connected Tennessee.  

Connected Tennessee Executive Director Corey Johns opened the day with a presentation on the history of the organization, the future ahead, and the goal of the Summit.  

“It was exciting to be able to spotlight so many of the broadband best practices across the state and to hear from experts representing various sectors about how broadband is impacting and improving every aspect of our lives and communities,” he said.  “Whether it was economic development, education, healthcare, public safety, or beyond, the importance and opportunities enabled through broadband were certainly showcased today and we want to thank our many partners who helped make the Summit such a great event.”

Several regional leaders and experts facilitated eight breakout sessions focusing on the implementation of broadband in sectors such as public safety, education, healthcare, economic development, and in rural communities. Moderators and panelists included Assistant Commissioner David Purkey, Tennessee Department of Homeland Security and Safety, Dr. Kecia Campbell-Ray, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and the Martin Professional Development Center, Leigh Sterling, executive director of the East Tennessee Heath Information Network, Liza Massey, president and CEO of the Nashville Technology Council, and Ted Townsend, assistant commissioner for Strategy with the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development. 

"The opportunity here with this particular conference is excellent to get the decision makers in the smaller communities to come and see what the potential is; and with the success stories, say ‘here is how we do it,’ use it as a model to implement in their own community, and have the support from the state to be able to do that,” said Stephen Meyer of Excalibur Integrated Systems, Inc.

A short documentary about Connected Tennessee’s Computers 4 Kids (C4K) program was shown and Joshua Grubb, former C4K participant, provided attendees with insight on the impact the program has had on his life. Connor Dixon, also a former C4K participant and Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year, spoke about the significance the computer and printer donations have in the clubs. 

The Broadband Hero Awards were presented to three organizations for their contributions in the areas of broadband access, adoption, and use:

The Broadband Hero Award for Access was received by Dave Aguzzi on behalf of Tennessee’s Department of Children Services for its efforts to increase broadband access for Tennessee foster youth through individual laptop donations. 

The Broadband Hero Award for Adoption was given to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tennessee, and accepted by Dan Jernigan, president and CEO of the Middle Tennessee Clubs, for enabling digital literacy training and online learning programs to the youth they serve. 

The Broadband Hero Award for Use was presented to Michael Dumont and Tatiana Sankey of VisionPerry for its successes in providing computer training and job placement for unemployed and underemployed citizens in rural Tennessee communities. 

Michael Ramage, associate director of the Center for Telecommunications Systems Management at Murray State University, was also honored as the first-ever inductee into the Connected Tennessee Broadband Hall of Fame. Prior to his return to academia last year, Ramage led Tennessee’s state broadband initiative as the first executive director of Connected Tennessee from 2007-2012. 

“This is Tennessee’s first state broadband summit. We are excited about the momentum and certainly look forward to the prospect of carrying that momentum to create a bigger and better event again next year,” said Mr. Johns.  

Photo highlights, presenter slides, and other Summit materials can be found in the Summit section of the Connected Tennessee website at www.connectedtn.org/broadband-summit

 Connected Tennessee also unveiled the results of the 2012 Residential Technology Assessment; its annual survey of technology trends in homes. The findings show that broadband adoption continues to rise in the state, but 1.5 million Tennessee adults remain offline. The results are posted in an interactive tool on Connected Tennessee's website.



Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC Expands South Carolina Presence

Donny Luker, managing partner of Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC announced that the firm of Derrick, Stubbs and Stith, LLP, in Columbia, S.C., will join Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC. With nearly 100 years of success, Mauldin & Jenkins welcomes the opportunity to better reach its already growing clientele within South Carolina through this merger, said officials.  ... (click for more)

Airport Officials Point Out That Electronics Larger Than Cell Phone, Food Items Must Now Be Screened

Chattanooga Airport officials announced today that the Transportation Security Administration has changed its guidelines on items to be screened.   Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is requiring passengers to remove all electronics larger than a cell phone from cases or carry-on bags for screening. These electronics include but are not limited to tablets, ... (click for more)

Lone Survivor Of Lookout Valley Massacre Says He Is 100% Sure Morse Was One Of Shooters; Detective Tells Of Retrieving Guns

The lone survivor of a massacre at a Lookout Valley trailer park on April 9, 2014, testified Wednesday that he is 100 percent sure that Derek Morse was one of the two shooters. Matthew Callam said he was thrown off initially by the fact that Morse had facial hair at the time, but he said when he was shown a recent photo of Morse soon after the incident "it was like I was looking ... (click for more)

3 Firefighters Carry Unresponsive Woman From Burning Lookout Valley Home

Three Chattanooga firefighters early Wednesday morning carried an unresponsive woman from a burning house in Lookout Valley.   At  3:08  a.m., firefighters were dispatched to a house fire at 111 Centro Ave.The 911 dispatchers told the responding firefighters that someone may be trapped inside. Upon arrival, the firefighters observed smoke and flames coming ... (click for more)

Send All Ed Johnson Donations To The Greater Chattanooga Community Foundation

To all concerned, I believe there was mistake printed in a recent article stating to send donations to me at the school. I would ask that all donations be sent to the Greater Chattanooga Community Foundation to the attention of the Ed Johnson Memorial. This project is in no way affiliated with HCDE schools. All funds are housed there and are tax deductible. Mr. Savage ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: McQueen & Her TVAAS

If I am reading my Ouija Board right, I suspect the Hamilton County School Board will vote to allow a controversial “partnership” to be formed with the state Board of Education tonight at its monthly meeting. State Education Commissioner Candice McQueen has said she will demand the one-sided partnership to take over the operation of five at-risk schools in Hamilton County and, if ... (click for more)