Trivalent Group gives $50K to nonprofits at CompassionIT awards


Dawn Simpson, left, and Bjorn Bylsma, from Trivalent Group, with Karen Kaashoek, from Catherine’s Health Center. Photo via

It was a win-win situation with an even better twist — two more winners.

“What’s this? I have three envelopes?” teased Dawn Simpson, vice president of market development at Trivalent Group, before an intrigued audience at Grand Valley State University’s Eberhard Center.

Although there was originally only going to be one winner of Trivalent Group’s philanthropic initiative called CompassionIT, Simpson said that last week, two days before the winner was to be announced, Zenith Infotech Ltd., one of the sponsors for CompassionIT, practically doubled its sponsorship by giving an extra $25,000 and allowing Trivalent Group to have awards for the top three placers of its initiative.

“We’ve gotten some additional help,” she told the pleasantly surprised roomful of candidates and supporters. “I think we will have three winners today instead of one.”

Simpson announced Catherine’s Health Center as the first place winner of CompassionIT. The nonprofit health clinic was given Zenith Infotech’s TigerCloud solution, an in-depth infrastructure hardware for virtual desktops, servers and SAN storage. The award was estimated at a value of more than $30,000.

Karen Kaashoek, executive director at Catherine’s Health Center, said it was an amazing gift, especially in light of the upcoming Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The health center saw 5,000 visits in 2012, she said, and still had to turn five to seven people away each day. With the new technology up and running, the clinic could reach its full capacity and see 15,000 people, she said.

“One of the things we’re dealing with as a nonprofit that does health-care services is that in order to really do good health care, we have to retrieve and send health records for a our patient in a way that is quick, safe, and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant. Right now, we can do pieces and part of things, but because of the way our system is cobbled together from donated pieces and parts … it doesn’t work together smoothly. Now it will.”

With the enhanced donation of $25,000 from Zenith, Trivalent Group also was able to help second and third place recipients of CompassionIT with about an extra $20,000 worth of technology and support services.

Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, a cancer and grief support community, won second place and received $15,000 worth of services.

Degage Ministries, a nonprofit that works with homeless and disadvantaged individuals in West Michigan, won third place and received $5,000 of technology assistance.

Richard Reiffer, vice president of Cloud Practice at Zenith, said Zenith CEO Akash Saraf gave the okay to contribute the extra money out of the company profits to deliver more solutions for CompassionIT.

He said he was glad his company was able to be a part of the generous spirit of West Michigan technology groups, which often donate their equipment, services and time to help nonprofits.

“Part of it is that West Michigan culture in general, of people helping people,” he said. “A lot of the morals and ethics come through because people practice what they preach.”

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