ATLANTA, GA – (October 27, 2015) – ATP has fostered lasting relationships among industry peers throughout the city for fifteen years. Recently, they held their Annual Awards Gala, an event honoring the top innovators and leaders in the Atlanta technology and communications community. This year’s theme played off of the 1960s cartoon family, The Jetson’s. It was a fun play on the imagination of future technologies (like flying cars, talking computers, and video conferencing).

David Cummings wowed as the keynote speaker, sharing stories about his early days as the co-founder of Pardot and his latest work as the visionary behind the Atlanta Tech Village.

ATP wore their heart on their sleeve through ATP Cares, their community program supporting Georgia’s youth through STEM and Telemedicine initiatives. Dr. Bradley K. Jensen, Principal Partner with the new Microsoft Innovation Center located in the historic Flatiron Building, surprised guests when he announced an in-kind donation of Microsoft BizSpark development tools to be used by Vine City Code Crew. The donation is worth over $120,000 and will allow the program to continue inspiring kids to learn computer programming.

The highlight of the evening, of course, were the accolades. The winners of the 2015 ATP Awards:

  • Startup Disruptor AwardDerek Harp, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of NexDefense, for his work as a serial entrepreneur creating products, services, and companies since 1987. “I would like to thank ATP for awarding us this award. We could not have done that without our amazing team. They are why we are here today.” -Derek
  • Innovation AwardPrakash Muthukrishnan, CIO, Purchasing Power, for pioneering the leading employee purchase program in the benefits industry evolving to meet the needs of their current and future customers. “I am extremely honored and thankful to receive this innovation award. This award recognizes Purchasing Power’s commitment to our customers.” -Prakash
  • Leadership AwardJuan Perez. VP of Technology, UPS, for implementing an initiative that will save the company $50 Million dollars for every mile it shaves off each driver’s route (per year) – and cutting emissions by 14 thousand metric tons in 2014. “I want to thank ATP for the recognition they are giving us today.” -Juan
  • Impact AwardKeith Parker, CEO of MARTA, for his instrumental role in creating a sound financial company, utilizing SMART technology, and creating an economic impact of over 2 billion dollars annually in GA. “I want to thank the folks at ATP for honoring me and my company with this award.” -Keith
  • ATP of the Year AwardChris Penrose, Senior Vice President, Internet of Things (IoT) AT&T Mobility, for his innovation and enthusiastic leadership that added 1.4 million connected devices, including 1 million connected cars, in Q2 of 2015. “It is a true honor to be accepting this award of ATP of the Year on behalf of myself, AT&T and the most amazing team in the industry. I’d like to thank ATP for continuing to drive innovation both here in Atlanta and around the world.” -Chris

The Gala concluded with an after party featuring a band, birthday cake, and a photo booth in celebration of 2015’s winners. If you weren’t able to attend, be sure to see what you missed here and here.

“We’re so proud to be a part of such an uplifting and supportive technology community and organization. ATP’s Gala shines a light on the leadership and innovation coming out of Georgia and is a true reflection of your “real network”. It wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of our sponsors, volunteers and nominees, so THANK YOU!” -Emily Ashley and Kelly Kierans, Co-Chairs of the 2015 ATP Awards Gala.

“For me, it was a humbling experience to be in the room with so many influential individuals who are transforming the landscape of our technology industry, both locally and globally. We are excited to provide our community with an update on our ATP Cares initiative. While we’ve given back for many years, we recently formalized this program to ensure we utilize our resources and connections to serve and support our community on an ongoing basis.” -Michelle Henley, ATP President


ATP is where professionals in communications technologies connect. The organization hosts monthly events that dig deep into the industry trends and business drivers that are changing the world of connectedness: mobility, broadband, cloud, big data, M2M, emerging platforms, and more. The Annual Awards Gala, CIO Roundtable, and CIO Golf Tournament are recognized as premier industry events in Atlanta. In a world where everyone has too many “contacts” but not enough face-to-face interaction, ATP is all about facilitating authentic relationships amongst industry peers. That’s why members say, “ATP is where you go to build your real network, not just your LinkedIn® Network.” For more information, please visit the website at