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Innovation Award winners announced
Savannah Music Festival

The results are in for the second annual Innovation Awards, sponsored by The Creative Coast Alliance and held Thursday night at the Trustees Theatre downtown.

In the "Innovative Achievement by a Small Business" category, the winner was Music Intelligence Solutions. Through their site, they provide interactive online services - including creative development, branding, social networking and discovery tools - for established and budding musicians and songwriters, producers, music supervisors, and mobile distributors. For consumers, uPlayaTM has a suite of services, including online and mobile interactive games, a music discovery application and a personalized streaming solution.

"We are honored to receive this recognition from the Creative Coast Alliance. When our board of directors in Barcelona agreed to move operations to Savannah from San Francisco two years ago, the Creative Coast and others in the community stepped up to help make the transition a success," said David Meredith, CEO of Music Intelligence Solutions. "We now have artist and record label customers from over 170 countries around the world, so we hope to be an example that companies looking for global growth can find a home here in Georgia."

In the "Innovative Achievement by a Big Business" category, the winner was Chatham Steel Corporation, for its "Steel Fit" Wellness Program designed to help improve employee health, thereby positively impacting company health care costs. A premium has been placed on healthy food choices at work and wellness through personal mentoring, ongoing educational Lunch N Learns, semi-annual employee meetings with the President, awards programs, and ongoing cookouts to celebrate employees wellness achievements. There is no charge to the employee and covered dependents for wellness benefits.

"Chatham Steel understands that investing in its employees and their wellness is 'smart' business," said Missy Jarret, Director of Human Resources for Chatham Steel. "Even though the economy has had an impact on employers benefits offerings, we continue to increase our benefits in health and wellness and without an increase in healthcare premiums. Providing a safe and healthy environment for our employees is one of Chatham Steel's key values on our Roadmap for organizational success."

In the "Innovative Achievement in Sustainability" category, the winner was Structured Green LLC, for its eco-friendly product, process and community approach. In addition to an original line of sustainable furniture, Structured Green's specialty is in custom design work. Pieces are built entirely in Savannah using CNC technology for material efficiency. All finishes and adhesives are LEED compliant, Green Guard certified, no- and low-VOC.

"We hope that events like the Innovation Awards encourage Savannah to truly take on sustainability as the way forward as well as choosing local businesses first," said Mike Ayres, owner of Structured Green LLC. "We would like to thank the Creative Coast for their encouragement of local businesses and are honored to win this award."

Innovative Achievement in Community, Eduction or Government the winner was the Savannah Music Festival, for its  off-season communications initiative resulting in new media programs, such as online streaming of Savannah Music Festival (SMF) concert. The successful integration of personal URLs, SMF live radio, eBlasts, Ticketing/Patron Development and its substantial Production Database is an innovative approach that could soon be taken to market for other festivals and presenting organizations.

"We are thrilled to have been chosen for this award. Our communications efforts have always relied on two core elements: unique musical programming and the incredible atmosphere of Savannah in the early spring," said Rob Gibson, Executive Director of the Savannah Music Festival. "With the wide variety of music that we present, it is essential that we rely on digital media to refine and customize our outreach. Many thanks, Creative Coast!"

Winning the Howard J. Morrison Leadership Award was Stephen J. Stephens Jr. of Stage Front Presentation Systems. The award honors individuals who exhibit outstanding commitment in leadership in the advancement of creativity, innovation or technology through his/her partnership building and collaboration-oriented contributions.