Tech company hosting online contest

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Nearly two dozen area non-profit agencies are hoping to get a $30,000 technology upgrade in an online contest sponsored by Data Recovery Services in Youngstown.

CEO Mike Meloy said the company is a regional technology provider that provides everything from phone systems and data centers to cloud services. The company has 1,500 miles of fiber optic lines on poles in the area.

“We are a cross between a cable company, a technology company and a big data warehouse,” Meloy said.

This is the first time the company is hosting the CommunIT award contest, but Meloy hopes it continues in the future.

He said with so many positive events happening in Youngstown, the company wanted to give back to the community. Meloy said Data Recovery Services also owns part of PALO Creative, which is giving away a complete web re-design to the winning non-profit as part of the online contest prize.

He said word of mouth by staff members, as well as local advertising, helped spread the word about the contest to local non-profits. Dozens applied to participate in the contest, and Meloy said his staff narrowed the field to agencies they felt deserved the technology upgrade. The public will help vote for the winner.

The top five nonprofits receiving the most amount of votes will move on to the next round, where their technology needs will be evaluated by a panel of community leaders and DRS. One winner will be picked through a combination of panel votes and the community’s vote.

Meloy said he was “blown away” by the community’s response. He said when he left the office on Friday, there was just under 550,000 responses, which is about 3,000 responses an hour, just from the Valley.

Meloy said there are three non-profits at the top of the leader board, with less than 1 percent separating the second-place and third-place agencies.

The public has until Sunday to vote for the winner. Votes can be cast by clicking here.

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