News & Content: Press Release

ITA's TechForward Achieves 501(c)(3) Status, Announces Board of Directors

Friday, November 2, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gary Hotze
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Chicago, IL — November 2, 2018 — The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) announced today the formation of TechForward, its philanthropic arm. TechForward recently received a 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS, and as such is now positioned to fully provide and support programs and initiatives that attract, grow, and retain world-class and diverse technology talent in Illinois. Through education and awareness, grantmaking, and scholarships, TechForward’s mission is to create the next generation of industry leaders to further establish Illinois as an exceptional home for technology professionals and companies alike.

Last night, building on the momentum of achieving its 501(c)(3) status, TechForward’s mission received reinforcement from speakers from the Chicago Tech Academy and Code Platoon, who discussed the need for TechForward and offered their support at a launch party hosted by Crescent Wealth. TechForward also revealed its founding Board of Directors: Hans Bodine, CEO,; Rick Bowman, CEO, Shiftgig; Trisha Degg, VP of Talent Programs and Operations, ITA; Glen Fulton, President, Englewood Development and Technology; Adam Hecktman, Director of Tech and Innovation, Microsoft; Fred Hoch, Co-Founder, TechNexus; Kelly Jones, SVP of Partnerships, Regroup Therapy; Julia Kanouse, CEO, ITA; Susan Lorenc, Partner, Thompson Coburn; and Drew Mauck, CEO, 3Points Communications.

Degg, TechForward’s executive director, commented, “In revealing our BOD and obtaining our 501(c)(3), we are signaling that we are highly motivated to find the diamonds in the rough — innovative organizations that, with help from us and our network, may then be ready to achieve their missions and, in doing so, further establish Illinois as an outstanding home for both technology professionals and companies.”

“TechForward is really working to help organizations that are doing their best to make STEM a reality for a diverse population,” added Fulton. “Tech jobs of the future should be accessible to a wide variety of people, and that in turn will make Illinois an even more alluring destination for companies and talent to build and expand.”

One of the first organizations to receive support from TechForward is the Middle School Tech Ambassador Program, which introduces young people — especially those from rural areas of Illinois — to technology workshops, presentations, tools, and resources for additional learning. Numerous other tech-focused programs are being planned for 2019. For those interested in investing in the future of tech in the region and ensuring Illinois remains competitive as a hub for the best and brightest, please email

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