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Community Award - Applied Innovations and Jesse Coburn

Presented by Andy Roberts

We have a lot of winners here tonight and a whole lot of very good runners. We also have a whole lot of people who work their tails off to make this one of the greatest running clubs there is.  So what does it take to make a great club? And what does it take to succeed within a club this great? How did these people manage to win the Grand Prix?

-Dependability
-Consistency
-Hard work
-And of course some speed never hurts

The Community Award goes to a person or company within the community who has gone to great lengths to help out the club.  The winner of the award like many of the contributors to Gulf Winds goes unnoticed by many of the members of the club.  As a matter of fact many of you may have never heard of the winner.  But that is a good thing because the only reason you would be likely to notice this winner is if something were not working properly. And I can tell that in the 4 years that we have been working with this award winner everything has worked perfectly.

In fact since most of you have no idea who this person is so I'll go ahead and end the suspense. The winner of the Gulf Winds Community Award is Jess Coburn and his company Applied Innovations.  Otherwise known as my cousin Jess.

Over the course of the last 4 years Applied Innovations has provided Gulf Winds a home for one of our greatest assets the Gulfwinds.org Web site. 

A little back Ground.  In 2010 Peg Griffin gave me a call and told me that she was looking for a new ISP - that is Internet Service Provider to the less techy out there - and I gave her an answer that even over the phone I could tell made her cringe.  "My cousin owns an ISP and I think they would do a great job for the club.”

No really Peg this is not just some kid in his garage, it is a real company that is very well respected and has lots of customers.  I could tell she was less than excited about the prospect.  Gulf Winds is a top notch club and she wanted to be sure that switching providers did not cause problems or make the site look bad.  But she listened and we decided to get in touch Jesse.

Like any good cousin his response was "Beat it Deadbeat, No Freebies."  But then, to our surprise, he offered to host the Website for free with the small condition that we include his company logo on the bottom of all of our pages. It still took me a little bit of pushing to get Peg and the board to agree on Applied Innovations but once we switched over the relationship has been terrific. Applied Innovations has now hosted our website for free for 4 years. This has been a great benefit to the club since web hosting is quite expensive. When we used up all of our space the company graciously allotted us more space, still at no charge.

Now getting back to how you become a winner with Gulf Winds.  As I said it takes several qualities: dependability and consistency, hard work, and of course speed never hurts.

Applied Innovations displays all of these Qualities

-- Dependability and Consistency - There are things in life that just work, we don't know how they work and we don't care. You flip a switch and the lights come on, turn the faucet and water comes out, Turn the Car key and the car starts. Turn on the computer and there is the internet. Most of us have no idea how these things work and don't want to know.  We depend on them to work every day and they do. Applied Innovations is that company. We type Gulf Winds.org and the web page is there. Every time. In 4 years the website has been down fewer times than there are fingers on one hand.  And each time an issue occurred, Applied Innovations responded immediately to work request and the problem was fixed.

-- Hard work - I'll give you an example of the hard work with a story.  When the website first changed over to Applied Innovations, we wanted to get the results search working on the new site.  I had been busy and it ended up that I was awake at 1 am one night and could not sleep so I took a look at the Applied Innovations site.  I saw that they offer 24 hour customer service so I gave them a call. Sure enough I got a happy helpful person on the phone that took care of the problem right away and right then and there was our results searching screen working again.  The company is there for us all of the time.

-- Speed - Now I promise you that you will not see Jess passing you in any of our 5k's but our website is as fast as they come and the speed of customer service is unmatched too.

On behalf of Gulf Winds Track Club I am happy to present the 2013 Community Award to my cousin Jesse Coburn and his company Applied Innovations.