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The Wireless Foundation Honors People and Organizations Changing Lives through Wireless at its VITA Achievement Awards Dinner

by Wireless Foundation | Jul 23, 2013


WASHINGTON, July 23, 2013
 – At last night’s 19th Annual VITA Achievement Awards Dinner at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, The Wireless Foundation recognized individuals and organizations whose use of wireless technology have led to positive and significant societal impacts. West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller was one of the recipients for his tireless dedication to a number of important issues to the wireless industry and its users, such as spectrum and the next generation emergency wireless communications network. Along with four Wireless Samaritans who used wireless technology in life-challenging circumstances, the VITA Achievement Awards honored American Red Cross, Ericsson, National Parent Teachers Association and North Carolina’s Onslow County Public Schools for connected health, green wireless, children’s wireless and online safety and education initiatives.

“It’s an honor to be a part of an industry that has such a tremendous impact on people’s lives, from helping in emergency situations to improving education and healthcare. It’s also important to recognize the wireless industry’s efforts to help protect and positively affect the environment and keep kids safe when they’re online. This year’s recipients are well-deserving individuals and organizations and their stories were inspiring,” said Steve Largent, President of The Wireless Foundation and President and CEO of CTIA.

The evening’s honorees included:

Congressional Honoree: U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller
As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D–W.Va) authored the “Spectrum Act” which gives first responders a high speed nationwide wireless network to communicate during times of crisis. Senator Rockefeller’s leadership in next generation 911 services and spectrum will continue to positively impact users’ lives for years.

Connected Health Honoree: American Red Cross - First Aid and Other Mobile Apps
Mobile apps from the American Red Cross are providing lifesaving information to people anywhere and anytime with a touch of a button. Providing users with first-aid instructions such as controlling bleeding or helping someone during a seizure, the American Red Cross First Aid app has been downloaded more than 1.5 million times. In addition, the organization developed apps to educate people on how to  respond before, during and after crises, such as earthquakes and hurricanes. Gail McGovern, CEO of the American Red Cross, accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

Green Wireless Honoree: Ericsson - Enabling Low Carbon Economies, Sustainable Cities and Intelligent Transport
Thanks to wireless technology and connected devices, other industries are being more environmentally friendly by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, Ericsson’s work is having a positive environmental impact in the wireless industry itself, such as reducing the carbon footprint of wireless infrastructure, which helps create a low-carbon economy.  As a proven leader in green wireless technology, Ericsson Head of North America Angel Ruiz accepted the award on behalf of the company.

Children’s Wireless & Online Safety Honoree: National Parent Teachers Association - TipTxt
To help stop bullying, the National PTA, in partnership with Blackboard Inc. released TipTxt, a free two-way texting service that allows students to confidentially notify school officials of incidents involving bullying or school safety. Eric Hargis, Executive Director of the National PTA, accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

Education Honoree: Onslow County Public Schools, N.C. - One-to-One Math Initiative
Leveraging emerging technologies to create better learning environments, the One-to-One Math Initiative in Onslow County, North Carolina is increasing student engagement and helping thousands of students in seven schools improve their math scores. Dr. Kathy Spencer, Superintendent of Onslow County Public Schools, accepted the award on behalf of the school system. 

Wireless Samaritans: These four individuals used wireless technologyto save lives, stop crimes and help in emergency situations. Latin for “life,” the VITA Award recipients were chosen by a panel of representatives from CTIA.

  • Carole Cooper of Knoxville, TN – After a violent storm downed trees, injuring several families, Carole Cooper used her SUV’s OnStar communications service to call for help and administered first aid to the victims. As officials worked to clear the roads, emergency responders, who were forced to walk to the scene, used her connected vehicle as a makeshift command post until they could drive the victims to waiting ambulances.
  • Frank Deveraux, Jr. and Vernon Schumacher of Yakutat, AK – One month after wireless technology, and a wireless network, made its way to the remote Alaska town of Yakutat Bay, brothers Frank Deveraux, Jr. and Vernon Schumacher almost lost their boat and lives when their anchor gave way in an isolated reef and they started to drift out to sea. Using their new cellphone, purchased only days before the trip, the brothers called for help.
  • Nathen Lane of Buffalo Grove, IL – Huddled in the store’s bathroom during a robbery, 15-year-old Nathen Lane sent a text to his father outside the store, “Don’t come robber here call 911” from his mother’s cellphone. His father called the police, who quickly surrounded the building and took the man into custody before anyone was harmed.

2013 Amy J. Zoslov Memorial Scholarship Fund Recipient: Trudy-Ann Powell
Awarded annually in the memory of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s Amy Zoslov, this $5,000 grant benefits a student attending her alma mater, Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Ms. Powell was recognized for possessing the skills and attributes for which Ms. Zoslov exemplified, such as professional promise, character, leadership, academic achievement and a commitment to public service.

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The Wireless Foundation (www.wirelessfoundation.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to developing and supporting initiatives that use wireless technology to help American communities. The Foundation’s innovative programs benefit consumers in areas such as education, healthcare, safety and the environment. As part of its Annual Achievement Awards, the Foundation recognizes VITA™ Wireless Samaritans and honors the best of our nation’s leadership, its youth and its scholars. The Foundation was formed by CTIA-The Wireless Association® member companies in 1991.

Media Contact: Amy Storey, [email protected], 202-736-3207