Governor Deal Proclaims “Georgia Technology and Innovation Day” at Annual Technology Summit

John Tabellione

Monday, March 26th, 2018

Governor Nathan Deal, referencing the 13,000 technology-related companies in Georgia, proclaimed a resolution marking March 21, 2018 as Georgia Technology and Innovation Day. The Governor included the special announcement during his speech at the annual Technology Summit held this past week in Atlanta at the Cobb Galleria.

Alluding to Atlanta as “The Silicon Valley of the South,” Deal proceeded to enumerate a partial list of the innovative companies that have recently relocated or expanded job opportunities in the metro area, and Georgia, in general, such as GE Digital, NCR, and Anthem. Georgia has an estimated 189,000 workers in various technology fields. “I am very proud of what’s happening in our state in the technology arena,” noted Deal. “I’m told we now have more than 13,000 companies in the technology sector in our state and we are very fortunate to have those. They include areas like telecom, med-tech, digital media and mobility.” 

Deal also pointed out that when the U.S. Army spent $2 billion to move its Cyber security Headquarters to Augusta, the state has since invested $100 million to build a cyber security training facility there for training and for start-up companies. Lastly, he noted that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently ranked Atlanta as the top destination for tech start-ups in 2017.


The Technology Hall of Fame of Georgia inducted Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson, President, Georgia Institute of Technology, as its newest member. 


As keynote speaker, world-renowned “futurist,” and lecturer, Thornton May, donned his virtual professor’s robe and conducted a lively, interactive engagement class in order to “cerebrate and celebrate.” He proceeded to roam the meeting room between tables with a microphone, a cameraperson and a spotlight, searching for audience participation. 

“I collect data by listening to people, and the best way to listen to people is one-to-one.” May collects stories about innovation that lead to insights using “a series of Socratic exchanges,” as he terms his communication process, “not a lecture.” “Your network is the key to successful innovation. I expect you guys to talk to one another.” 

His three foundational elements of successful innovation: attitude, aptitude and ambiance, (i.e., technology trends), which he claims are forecast-able.

Again referencing Socrates, May stated, “Excellence is teachable and learnable.” He added, “Innovation is a teachable skill. Words matter. Be careful with the words you use. Innovation does not equal invention. Invention is the conversion of cash into ideas. It consumes financial energy. Innovation releases that energy, so it’s the conversion of ideas into cash. Innovation makes you money. It’s outcome-based.”

He went on to emphasize that stories and narratives matter. Those with the greatest stories, typically do innovation best. It’s not just the technology skills, however. It’s also the communication skills.

May concluded by encouraging the audience that positive change is possible, and since every age has it heroes, “I believe that each and every one of you are the heroes of this age.” 


The Summit offered the 1,300 attendees a choice of over 20 breakout sessions featuring specialist speakers, as well as panels moderated by industry experts. Below are a few highlights from two such presentations:

“Why Electric Vehicles Will Disrupt the $2 Trillion Global Auto Industry”

Jack Perkowski, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Green4U, and a veteran of the automotive industry, recently became a “convert” to EVs (electric vehicles) vis-a-vis the ICE (internal combustion engine) manufacturing side. 

Based upon his many contacts and time spent in China, Perkowski outlined reasons why he foresees EVs becoming eventually 40% of the automobile market. For example, the cost of batteries will decrease due to overcapacity of manufacturers, particularly those in China, which number 140. By 2020, 70% of EV batteries will be made in China.

Another important driver is the improved charging infrastructure in the U.S. as a result of utility companies having excess capacity; cities desiring cleaner air; and, the growth in this country of charging stations, which now number 16,000. Another factor is companies with fleets, such as UPS, which can realize significant cost savings with EVs: compare $.22 per mile versus $.33 per mile, a potential impact of up to $55 thousand annually. Until all these pieces come together, however, for the time being, the cost of the battery-run car versus one with an ICE typically runs $14,000 versus $4,000.

“Biometrics: Identity Management of the Future”

Sherry Stein, Director of Innovation for SITA (Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques), addressed the need and solution for airlines and airports to identify passengers, improve security and handle bag drop expeditiously, for a better passenger experience. The leading biometric currently is the utilization of facial recognition, and eventually it will lead to fingerprinting, because, in a few years, 75% of smartphones will have fingerprint sensors. Stein noted that JetBlue Airlines is already using such facial identity technology for faster boarding. Even though the process is voluntary, she stated that 90% of travelers readily want to try it. Atlanta is the location for SITA Headquarters in the U.S.

Other breakout session topics ranged from “The Future of Crypto,” to “Where Digital Meets Entertainment,” as well as “Technology and the Future of Health Care: What’s Possible,” and “Outsmarting Fraud in Real Time.”


Complete details of the annual State of the Industry report, conducted by Atlanta-based market research and strategic planning firm, Porter Research, are available at


The Technology Association of Georgia recognized the 2018 Top 10 Innovative Technology Companies in Georgia for their innovation, financial impact, and their efforts at spreading awareness of the state’s technological initiatives throughout the U.S. and globally. According to Larry Williams, President and CEO of TAG, "The Top 10 awards are given to an elite group of companies whose products and solutions are not only changing their respective industries, they are also putting Georgia on the map as a state where technology innovation can thrive.” The exclusive list includes the following:

Airbus Aerial


Dune Medical Devices

Evident ID


Quest Renewables



Trust Stamp


Summit attendees voted “People’s Choice Awards” to these companies:

‘Most Innovative” – Monetizr

“Biggest Impact” – Airbus Aerial

“Best Presentation” – Evident ID

“Best Overall” – Dune Medical Devices

About John Tabellione

John Tabellione is an award-winning, professional business writer, complemented by over twenty-five years of strategic communication responsibilities as a Marketing, New Business Development and National Account Sales Executive in consumer goods and commercial industries. 

Experience with Fortune 500 companies, as well as with smaller firms and non-profits, encompassing a variety of products, including those of Georgia-Pacific, Kimberly-Clark and Stanley Works. 

John has a B.A. in English from Fairfield University and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Hartford. In addition, he has studied Russian at the Defense Language Institute at Syracuse University, and Italian language and culture at Kennesaw State University.